Best 4 months of my life! December 15, 2019

By (Computer Science, Western Washington University) - abroad from 09/04/2019 to 12/22/2019 with

AIFS: Prague - Charles University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
A new sense of independence, a love for travel and so much more. It was incredibly worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Just the right amount of difficulty to allow explorationa and free time, while still feeling like classes were teaching me lots of new information

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Amazing people, genuinely kind and very helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was awesome. Everyone from my program was near by each other in the dorms. Dorms were what you expect of college dorms, but had a kitchen and such. 4 beds between 2 rooms. Driers were subpar tho.

* Food:

Amazing system for food. Given a card that got monthly funding to be used for food anywhere. Gave us freedom to eat anywhere.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Tons of opportunities to get involved with local culture but not forced, which I liked a lot.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was mildly difficult to navigate without knowing the culture and language, but advisers were extremely helpful, came with me to the doctor and translated and advocated for me to make sure I got what I needed.

* Safety:

I felt so safe, and had so much fun.

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

This was an amazing experience I would trade nothing for. Changed my life.

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 choose to spend a lot of money every week, but one of my good friends and roommates was able to easily budget and spend very little. Food was extremely inexpensive, and because of this I choose to eat at fancy restaurants, but I could have easily spent less than 100 every week and eaten just as well.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Probably 150 a week on food and essentials because I choose to eat fancy
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Choosing to cook breakfast and not eat out for breakfast saves a lot of money. Eating at local restaurants is another great way. You can get a meal for 5 dollars.

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

What we learned was easily applicable to our lives. Whenever I went to the store, or a restaurant or saw people on the metro I wanted to practice what I was learning.

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? None? I had taken 4 years of Spanish but no Czech.
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? Taking the intermediate language class after the required language class helped my friends become pretty decent at speaking.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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 culture
  • Friends I made
  • Everything
* What could be improved?
  • Driers
  • All kids from program being in the same dorm
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How easy it is to travel around Europe and that I could have done some of the optional trips on my own, at the same time the groups went.

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.