Great Experience Past Review

By (Accounting, University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh) - abroad from 01/30/2015 to 05/23/2015 with

AIFS: Prague - Charles University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience was definitely worthwhile. I gained independence skills, from having to navigate around foreign cities to struggling to learn a new language. I also learned to just go with the flow and roll with whatever happens, because sometimes you just can't control if the bus is late or you ordered a food item in another language and you have no idea what's coming out.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were interesting, but not grueling compared to my home university. The classes I took abroad were perfect for what I wanted to study and it was great learning about European art, for example, and then going out and seeing examples of those art pieces.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Maike, Renata, and Karin are amazing. They are so helpful and caring, and it is very clear that they want to make your experience as great as possible.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorms were exactly what I expected - dorms. The shared kitchen worked well enough for what I needed to do. It would have been nice if the dorms had been closer to the center of the city, but otherwise they worked well.

* Food:

Although a little unclear in the information packets, the $200 food stipend is actually just a debit card that they refill with $200 every month. I never used mine for food, but it was great that they provided that option. And I loved the Czech food!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I did not work as hard to mingle with locals, but I did become close with my Czech buddy (whom I got matched with in a Czech-American buddy program through the school). We hung out a few times in Prague and she showed me some of her favorite cafes. It was really cool to see how similar we were being from two separate cultures.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I went to the doctor once for a sinus infection. AIFS staff were very helpful in explaining the process of seeing the doctor and the staff at the doctor's office all spoke English and were very understanding and helpful.

* Safety:

I never had any issues with safety and neither did any of my friends in my program - no pick pocketing, theft, injuries, etc.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Prague is a very inexpensive city, so it was easy to stretch my money. I did spend a lot on traveling over the weekends, but I expected that.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Not including traveling to other cities, about $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Always take your travel pass with you - the fines for not having it on the metro are ridiculous


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

We had a two week intensive culture and language course where we learned the basics.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 0
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Keep practicing and learn the basics - no one expects you to be an expert and everyone speaks English. That said, they appreciate when you try.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • AIFS staff
  • All inclusive program
  • Prague
* What could be improved?
  • Dorm location
  • Information packet not matching the classes offered
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Take pictures of everything - especially the everyday things, like the dorm and the crepe shop on the corner. You're not going to forget what the Eiffel Tower looks like, but you will forget the little things that you used to see every day.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.