Prague: Forever in My Heart Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/31/2016 to 12/17/2016 with

CIEE: Prague - Central European Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained better cultural understanding, having to go through some cultural barriers. I learned how to be more independent, whether in Prague or as I travelled around Europe. I could not imagine a better study abroad experience, and hope to get back to Prague ASAP

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.

Overall, a much lesser workload than a Brandeis semester, but I did learn a lot about Czech and European politics, history, and culture. Classes differed in their rigor, and I also enjoyed having the opportunity to take classes at Charles University.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

More towards the beginning of the semester, CIEE was great in helping us get situated in Prague. However, throughout the semester, there was a number of miscommunications from class schedules to absences to events.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My personal living arrangements were amazing, and gave me the opportunity to be more independent. My apartment was spacious, fully furnished, and right in the center of Prague. The Prague public transportation system is phenomenal and simple, and all living arrangements are located near a tram/metro stop. Also, my Czech buddy was a great resource and person in general.

* Food:

I miss Czech food terribly. And Prague also has some really great restaurants and cafes from a variety of cuisines. Also, food is pretty cheap in comparison to American prices.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It's what you make of it! You have the resources to make friends with Czechs, learn about their culture, and history, and meet interesting people from all around the world. The Czech Republic is such a fascinating and beautiful country that made saying goodbye very difficult.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The Doctor I encountered was rather cold and condescending, but I received good medical treatment. CIEE compensated me for the appointment.

* Safety:

The Czech Republic is one of the safest countries in the world. CIEE warned us about pick pockets, but just as long as you keep a basic eye out, it's hard to find a safer city than Prague.

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

Overall, CIEE provided a great experience. I learned so much about the Czech Republic, Europe, and the world. Prague is beautiful wherever you go in the city with a rich history and culture.


* 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 pretty cheap, and even cheaper if you budget throughout the semester and do not have a coffee addiction.


* 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 encouraged it more for cultural immersion than practicality. Learning Czech does go along way, and many locals appreciate it.

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

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Prague
  • CIEE Trips(especially Berlin!)
  • Housing
* What could be improved?
  • Organization/Communication
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Having a basic understanding of cultural differences helps a lot, and gives you a better appreciation towards Czech history and its people. Keep an open mind, and get out of the American bubble as much as you can.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'