Here is a short summary of the things I had to do in the past few days.
(this photo is for Satu)
- Find a flat! No, living under a bridge (even if there are quite a few of those) is not permitted. I was lucky with my accommodation – I found it in one day and I’m happy with it. I’m currently sharing a flat with some other people who are also working (no wild student parties), my room has its own bathroom and it came with internet, electricity and a millon TV channels included. The location is a typical residential area, it’s not in the city centre but getting there is easy. And the landlord is very friendly and helpful!
- Registering for residence permit (address in Slovakia is required). This registration is required for anyone planning on staying in the country for more than 3 months (as far as EU-citizens are concerned, I don’t know about the rest). In my case, the employer required this to be done before the employment started, meaning that I had to go the Foreign Police Office and queue with a lot of other foreigners. The queuing felt endless but the process itself was painless and quick. *knock on wood they don’t want any other papers*.
- Health insurance: this was far easier than I had expected it to be. I chose the company, walked into the nearest office, asked the girl if she spoke any English and filled the application form. I was asked to show my passport and job contract. She told me she’d e-mail me when the card is ready to be picked up. Done.
- Bank account: opening a bank account was an entertaining experience. As I’ve mentioned, Slovak people are very nice and friendly. This wasn’t an exception but the clerk didn’t speak any English and I didn’t want to start messing around with my Polish/Russian/whatever – so we ended up communicating by Google Translate! The deal as such was good: the monthly fee is low and comes with internet banking and a debit card. Again it was necessary to show the passport and contract.
- Phone. Getting a Slovak phone number was very easy. Again – pick a store (here the common ones are exactly the same ones as in the UK – Orange, O2 and T-Mobile), walk in and ask for a sim-card. As I only wanted a pay-as-you-go, it took about three minutes, cost me a total of 3€ + credit. Done. Oh yes, the passport was required again.
- Medical examination. According to Slovak law, a medical check is required before any new employment can commence. The company where I work uses a private clinic with English-speaking doctors, so all I had to do was show up at the right time and day. They took some samples, poked me here and there and then sent me to see an eye-doctor.