Testing the Waters Without Regret Past Review

By (Trinity University) - abroad from 01/21/2016 to 05/13/2016 with

CET Film Production at FAMU

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The goal of my study abroad experience was to figure out whether or not I want to go to graduate school for film production. My experience provided me with a clear answer (that being, film school isn't right for me) while giving me constructive insight on what it's like to work with others and mediate differentiating opinions. Coming from a background where group work isn't prevalent, I was able to learn about what it's like to work with a serious and passionate team. That being said, my time abroad helped me appreciate both my home institution, Trinity University, and my major, mathematics, much more than I had previously.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Taking classes under FAMU international was an absolute pleasure. The professors were all very knowledgeable and taught about their respective topics (script analysis, editing, sound) well. However, the courses under CET were not approached with the same level of enthusiasm or effort. This seems to be the result of the excessive number of students in attendance. Professors weren't able to work as closely or with great attention to most projects due to the large amount of films being produced. This also resulted in production problems since there weren't enough people nor resources to properly address the students lack of necessary connections(to actors and locations) and means to create a successful film. That being said, I would recommend that any student interested in film production consider pursuing a program hosted through FAMU. Although the program might not be ideal, the experiences (in and out of the classroom) are unmistakably important and fun.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

As mentioned before, there were more students than the program was suited to accommodate. When the resources my film team was supposed to be provided with fell through, the powers that be were not ready nor willing to help. Only after an excessive amount of effort and pressure on our (the students') part were we able to get the situation sorted

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I appreciated both my living quarters and the people I shared them with.

* Food:

The food was incredible and inexpensive. Buying food - shopping in general really - is a very different experience and will remind you of the fact that most meet and produce in the US is not very fresh.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I, and most of my peers, became very accustomed to the culture and lifestyle that comes with Prague. The public transit system is easy to navigate and ordering food isn't difficult. Having "Czech buddies" to help advise students on czech culture and get us involved in local activities made a tremendous impact.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Fortunately, I did not experience any serious health issues while abroad and therefore have no experience with the Czech Republic's health care system.

* Safety:

I never, at any point, felt like my safety was at risk while living in Prague. Neither my friends nor myself experienced any instances of crime. That being said, I often traveled with friends and did not explore areas i was unfamiliar with after dark.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

If I could have gone through another program that was more focused on the growth and success of their students, I would have prefered that. However, I have no regrets about studying in FAMU and experiencing live in Prague with other incredible students.


* 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)

As mentioned before, food and ingredients are impressively inexpensive in the Czech Republic. So long as the food bought is not imported or from an upscale restaurant, you're looking at approximately $2-3 per meal when factoring eating out.


* 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

The language course was geared towards teaching students useful basic Czech so that we could function in Prague's community. This resulted in us not only speaking Czech to citizens, but to each other as well.

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
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? One of the easiest and most effective ways to learn and reinforced the language is to watch films in Czech.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Working with other passionate students
  • Learning from experienced professors
  • Experiencing the Czech Republic, both in and out of Prague
* What could be improved?
  • The availability of help and resources for film production
  • The restrictive guidelines on narrative structure for creating a film
  • The organization and execution of various classes and activities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that making every professor satisfied with the plot of a short film was an impossible task, and that the most important people to make happy is yourself and your team.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!