An Unforgettable Semester of Travel January 09, 2018

By (Accounting, University of Hartford) - abroad from 09/06/2017 to 12/16/2017 with

AIFS: Prague - Charles University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much it is way to much to list. I can tell you the most important things that I learned about is other cultures and how to understand people who don't understand you. There are many universal ways to communicate which I figured out with practice. I also learned how other people live and what places look like. I learned more history than I ever did in high school. I also gained some appreciation for the little things at home in the States. It was definitely a worthwhile experience that I encourage anyone who is thinking about it to go for it!

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Super outgoing and friendly. Willing to help anyone anytime and really cares for their students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Stayed in the University of Economics dorms. They were better than the Charles University. Only issues was with cleanliness and roommates.

* Food:

Dorm food was very cheap. It was easier for me to buy groceries and cook than to go to the cafe because the hours were limited. Lady didn't speak English at the cafe so it was hard to order until you figured out how.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like a true Czech. I definitely have some traits that match up with them. It was easy to blend in and act like Czechs until you couldn't speak the language.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Never had any experience with healthcare. I treated everything on my own with trips to the pharmacy.

* Safety:

Overall a very safe city. Police patrol everywhere so as long as you are aware of your surroundings you should be fine. Steer clear of the drunks. Those are the only issues that I've seen, especially on public transportation.

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

I really enjoyed where I stayed, the country, the trips I did, the friends I made and the overall experience. There was only 6 students in my program so if I could I would've chosen a different semester (maybe spring) where there would be more students. I also still have a list of places I haven't been to yet. I would definitely go back!!

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)

I did way too much shopping which is where my money went. I also bought a lot of groceries. It took be about half the semester to realize how I needed to change my spending habits.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $350
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? SET A BUDGET. I set my budget pretty high and I ended up sticking with it. Really look into your host country's currency because everything in Prague is cheap. If I planned for half the budget I did, I would've been fine as well.

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 didn't necessarily encourage the language component since it was optional but if you needed help or was willing to learn, they were definitely willing to help.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 3
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? It is all memorization. It helps if you have previously taken a language course, either in college or high school to have the background of understanding it.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The host country.
  • The help and support they offered.
  • The ability to travel smoothly between countries.
* What could be improved?
  • Only have one University under AIFS (not 2 - Charles University & the University of Economics)
  • Allow for chosen roommates
  • Make a minimum requirement for a number of students to study abroad in a program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew the currency exchange rate and how cheap Prague was. I spent way too much money. If I planned better financially I would've been a lot better off.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

International Strategy

Course Department: Business
Instructor: Ladislav Tyll
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Very hard course. Participated less because the professor would say why your answer is wrong in front of the class. He didn't have any connections with students. He said that if you didn't hand write your notes you are bound to fail.
Credit Transfer Issues: A little. Professor agreed to give me a B so he wrote down B as the letter grade but kept the number as a 75. I suggest to get above a 90 in all classes so you don't struggle to understand the transfer system of what grades mean what in the US.
Course Name/Rating:

Marketing in Central and Eastern Europe

Course Department: Business
Instructor: David
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Great course! Very interesting and tons of field trips and speakers that related to life itself or marketing. Teacher was excellent. Very entertaining and friendly. Had connections with almost every student. Participated more often than at my home university. Only graded on attendance, final exam, and a project that included a presentation.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not at all.