Foreigners are soon becoming new neighbours, they are a part of local communities. The real integration takes place in jobs, schools, communities, neighbourhoods, restaurants, blocks of flats, family or cultural centres, churches or playgrounds. Participating on sport events, volunteering or interacting with locals help to feel comfortable in your new home and to build stronger ties with your local community.
Understanding, speaking and writing Slovak is an important step towards integration. The knowledge of the local language makes the everyday life easier, makes the individual more independent at the offices of public institutions or at the doctor, gives more chances to get a job, find local friends or understand the local context. Adults have several options to learn Slovak in language schools or online.
Informal way to boost your Slovak and find new friends is to attend Language café, a regular event taking place in Tabačka Kulturfabrik.
How is Slovakia and Slovaks perceived by foreigners? Very interesting guidebooks in English, Russian and Arabic based on interviews with people from outside may help to understand ordinary situations from different perspectives. Feel free to download.
For generations, Košice is home of many minorities. There are several organizations or clubs of minorities living in the city:
Komisia národnostných menšín pri MZ (City Council Committee for Minorities) works as an advisory body for the City Council. Representatives of several minorities are members, so if you feel like consulting ideas or concerns related to the life of minorities, contact the chosen member.
There are also several international groups, which help with day-to-day integration of their peers:
Among many places in Košice, there are some examples where to enjoy art and culture:
The Theatre Thália Színhás (Hungarian minority theatre)
Romathan Theatre (Roma Theatre)
Košice Cultural Centres K13 (incl. Amfiteáter, Kasárne Kulturpark, Výmenníky SPOTS, Kunsthalle, Steelpark)
and many others.
There are numerous cultural events held in Košice throughout the year. This cultural calendar includes some of the favourite events:
Winter Culinary Festival, FEBRUARY
Days of Frankophone Culture, MARCH
Days of Ukraine, APRIL
Košice Music Spring, MAY
Use the City Festival!, MAY/JUNE
Gurman Fest, JUNE
Art Film Fest, JUNE
Cassovia Folk Fest, JUNE
Hevhetia (music festival), JUNE
Mazal Tov (Festival of Jewish Culture), JULY
Month of Authors‘ Reading (Festival of Literature), JULY
Summer in the Park Festival, JULY/AUGUST
International Organ Festival of Ivan Sokol, SEPTEMBER
International Peace Marathon, OCTOBER
Nuit blanche (Biela noc), OCTOBER
Night of the Theatres, OCTOBER
Days of Spanish Culture, OCTOBER
International Jazz Festival, OCTOBER
Jazz for Sale, OCTOBER
Matrioshka Festival, NOVEMBER
Ars Nova Festival (Festival of Contemporary Art), NOVEMBER
Košice Fairytales Christmas, DECEMBER
Evening of the Culture of Minorities (Večer kultúry národnostných menšín), DECEMBER
For other information about how to spend the leisure time, learn about Slovak history and traditions, what places are recommended to visit or which sport events to participate, check http://www.visitkosice.org/en.