My time abroad was an unforgettable experience that I will cherish. Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/25/2017 to 05/14/2017 with

CIEE: Prague - Central European Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to handle uncomfortable situations. For example, while I was traveling, I got lost in Vienna for two hours. I did not have cellular data (which unfortunately we rely so much on in this generation), so there were moments like that where I was forced to figure it out and navigate, and ask people for help when I was completely alone. I had a really difficult roommate experience because my roommates were really mean, so I learned how to deal with exclusive and unfavorable social and living situations. I learned to ask for help and to become more independent as I traveled alone and experienced uncomfortable situations.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I loved the program and the administration. They were friendly, put-together, and helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very satisfied with my living arrangements but not with my roommates, and that is why I have to give this four instead of five stars.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We lived in the perfect spot to be part of the local culture, as we were farther away from the touristy areas and could go to a nearby restaurant for food and practice speaking Czech.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't need much healhcare abroad but I did try to get a prescription and the program was helpful in trying to help me get that.

* Safety:

Prague was very safe; I never felt afraid or worried. I do think the touristy areas like Old Town Square can be bad with tourist traps and pick-pockets, but I was very careful and nothing bad happened.

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

I loved my program. The professors were incredible and the courses offered were so fantastic I wish they were offered at my college in the United States. The administration was helpful and well-managed. The apartment living was favorable, although I had a bad experience with my roommates. I think the only negative was my social experience. I didn't make any friends and had a really tough time with my roommates. I didn't feel like I knew anyone on my program after it was over and I wish there had been more opportunities to meet people. I know some people hate orientation and forced social bonding, but I felt so distant from everyone I would have loved some amount of forced social bonding. There were people on the program that I gravitated towards who were not my roommates but a person shouldn't have to be best friends with their roommates. Most roommate groups became clique-y because there were not a lot of opportunities to meet people. I know everyone was traveling on the weekends so it would be hard to plan program events, but in the first few weeks before people started traveling, there could have been more. Overall, my experience was truly wonderful and I already wish I could go back; sometimes situations don't go as planned like my rooming situation.


* 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 traveled a lot so my weekly budget would be higher because of that. If a student chooses not to travel, it will be easier to budget. Prague was very cheap so when I wasn't traveling it was very manageable.

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? If you plan on traveling, keep your weekly meals cheap and simple. While traveling, splurge on some tourist things, but try to find cheap housing through airbnb or hostels and look to tripadvisor for cheap places to eat.


* 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

Language was optional through the program so it was offered but not required. The program was always encouraging us to take the language and use it.

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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I took Intensive Italian during my Freshman year of college.
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Just go out and talk to people. I practiced in restaurants with servers and I practiced out at social clubs or bars. The only way to grasp some of the language is to go out and speak it.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Having Fridays off to travel
  • The amazing professors/courses
  • The apartment living situation
* What could be improved?
  • Roommate placement/match-up
  • Longer orientation/alone time to get to know roommates
  • Activities for people on the program to get to know each other
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had been prepared for the new living and social situation. I had never met my roommates and we just clashed completely right off the bat. I wish I had had more time to get to know them and other people on my program before the program, even if it was online. I am also from the suburbs so I am not a city girl and I wish I had been more prepared for the overwhelming city life I experienced. Learning how to navigate new social situations while in a city in a foreign country was difficult and I just don't think I was fully ready for it.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.