Life Changing Semester in Prague May 16, 2016

By (Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Drake University) - abroad from 02/01/2016 to 05/21/2016 with

AIFS: Prague - Charles University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worthwhile. I feel like a completely new version of myself now. I am more confident, self-aware, assertive, accepting, and so many other things that I never imagined I could accomplish in just four months.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes are much easier than classes I have taken in the United States. However, the type of learning can be hard to adjust to which makes the academics harder than they appear.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff in Prague is outstanding! I loved getting to do cultural outings with them and whenever I had a problem they were the first people to try and solve it with me.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living arrangements are what you would expect: dorm style and roommate.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I wish I would have been able to do more with Czech students/people. I felt integrated into the culture, but not as much with the people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe walking by myself or doing my own thing in the city.

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

I felt this program was exactly what I wanted and needed in order to grow as an individual. I wouldn't want to have this experience anywhere but Prague or with any other program.

Finances

* 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 so much cheaper than at home. I was able to do more, eat more, and enjoy more because the prices were lower and allowed me to feel like I was splurging while still staying within my budge.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100-150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make a plan for how much you have to spend and set a budget for yourself. I made an excel document to keep track of all my spending and it helped me a lot. To save money when traveling always check more than one website for hostel prices, flights, and activities!

Language

* 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

They encourage us to use as much of the language as possible on a daily basis, but it wasn't required which helped ease the stress of communicating in another language.

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? Spanish 3- so no experience with the Czech Language
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Take the semester long course if you're interested in it. I couldn't fit it into my schedule and I really wish I would have been able to. It helps you connect with the people and the culture. Make an effort even in the little ways: hello, goodbye, please, thank you. Every time you speak their language they treat you with a little more respect.

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
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • People
  • Opportunities
  • Culture different from my own
* What could be improved?
  • Cost of optional excursions is too high
  • Get more of the program's students involved
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't take a single moment for granted! It goes by so quickly. Don't dwell on the little things that go wrong, laugh them off and learn from them.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
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.