Unforgettable academic and social experience. January 15, 2016

By (Sociology and Economics, Drake University) - abroad from 08/31/2015 to 12/19/2015 with

CIEE: Prague - Central European Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about new cultures. I fell in love with the city and I can't wait until I can return.

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.

I enjoyed how all of my classes were different subjects, yet they all related back to Prague so we got a better understanding of the Czech culture and society from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The work load was less than my home university, but this was helpful because we did a lot of out of class excursions and were given the opportunity to experience the city instead of constantly sitting inside studying.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved living in an apartment and having a Czech buddy/roommate. My apartment was conveniently located between the study center and downtown so that I could walk to either. The only problem was that we had a small kitchen and we were not given a cleaning schedule so we never knew when the maids would show up.

* Food:

CIEE provided a delicious and authentic dinner for our arrival party on the boat. There were other events held by Czech buddies at CIEE where we got an opportunity to try homemade dishes.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The Czech buddy program was fabulous. I really got to know my buddy, by walking to class and cooking together. We really enjoyed talking about the subtle differences we noticed between our cultures. We also had the tandem program, which allowed us to meet Czech students from the local high schools and Charles University. I met with my partner multiple times over the semester and when my parents visited both of our families met for dinner. It was a great experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I dislocated my shoulder in Budapest and when I returned to Prague I was checked by a local doctor. I did not understand how the multiple insurances we had to buy worked through CIEE and I did not get this visit covered by insurance. I probably could have been more diligent to figure this out, but I didn't even know who to ask at the study center for help and I wasn't going to need any further assistance while abroad.

* Safety:

Prague was extremely safe. I walked around the city alone quite often. I was never pick-pocketed, which is something that can happen in any large tourist city if you aren't aware of your surroundings.

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

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 a very cheap city to live in!

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

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
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? Participate in the tandem program!

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

  • 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?
  • Optional Trips
  • Czech buddies
  • The city
* What could be improved?
  • Healthcare support
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I felt well prepared by the program and I knew for the most part what to expect.

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:

Art and Architecture

Course Department:
Instructor: Marie Homerova
Instruction Language: English
Comments: We were introduced to a lot of information over a great time span of history. It was overwhelming at times, but this provided another way of examining Prague's history. It also provided numerous out-classes where we explored museums and new areas of Prague with interesting architecture.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues.
Course Name/Rating:

Beginning Czech Language

Course Department:
Instructor: Barbara Storchova
Instruction Language: English
Comments: My professor was kind, but expected a lot from our class. I learned a good deal of Czech for the short time I was abroad. I felt comfortable ordering in restaurants, asking for directions, and generally navigating Prague thanks to this class. The homework was helpful and relevant.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues.
Course Name/Rating:

Anthropological Perspectives of Czech and Slovak Roma

Course Department:
Instructor: Yasar Abu Ghosh
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was amazing! I learned so much from our professor. The lecture-style format could be tedious, but overall the work load was fair and the information we got was invaluable.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues.
Course Name/Rating:

The Economics of the EU

Course Department:
Instructor: Petr Hedbavny
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The professor did not teach the material we were supposed to be learning about the EU. He went on many tangents regarding political matters such as the refugee crisis and the current presidential race in the U.S. At times the professor also made sexist comments about female leaders in the EU. I really wanted to learn about how the EU was formed and how it functions so I was disappointed by the class.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues.