There is something for everyone in Brno Past Review

By (Journalism., New Mexico State University) for

Masaryk University: Brno - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was really difficult for me to be so far away from my friends and family, so my best advice would be to throw yourself into your new experience and not dwell on the things that you are missing back home.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes within the Central European Studies programs were not very challenging, which is either a good or a bad thing depending on how you view it. Personally, I liked not being stressed about course work while I was in a foreign country.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Any time I had questions or concerns they were immediately addressed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The international dorms are considered the best dorms Masaryk has to offer but they are nowhere near as nice as the dorms here at NMSU. It was a really great experience living with all of the other international students, because they are going to be your best friends while studying there.

* Food:

The food at the mensa in the dorms isn't the most tasty and usually leaves you hungry again in an hour or two, so try out local restaurants.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The International Student Club at Masaryk is great! There are activities almost every day all semester long. Wednesday nights are definitely the highlight of every week with country presentations and then a theme party at a local club.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

A lot of people in the dorms passed around a cold/flu over and over again. I would definitely advise that you bring any medication that you like to take because it won't be available abroad and finding medicine is difficult because their pharmacies are set up differently than American pharmacies. Brno overall is a safe city to live in, even though there are some bad areas of town. Just use your common sense and be aware of your surroundings. I know of 3 people who had their wallets stolen during the semester, so pickpockets will prey on foreigners.

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


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you're going to Masaryk through ISEP, you will have to open a bank account in the Czech Republic. This is fairly simple and the bankers will come to you during orientation, so you don't need to seek them out. Many people at the bank (as in most of the city) don't speak English so it can be tricky. ATMs are pretty common. You will need access to money the first month before your stipend goes through.


Language acquisition improvement?

The Czech language classes were either very good or very bad depending on which instructor you had. With that being said, don't expect to be able to speak Czech after one semester. It is a very difficult language.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? DO IT! I've spoken to students who have studied abroad in different countries and my time at Masaryk was way more enjoyable than theirs. The Czech Republic is a cheaper alternative and it draws very down-to-earth people to study there. Plus you couldn't ask for a better program. There is something for everyone here. If you want to party all the time, you will find many new friends to go to the clubs with you and you won't find cheaper, higher quality beer than in the Czech Republic. If partying isn't your scene, there are so many cultural opportunities and Brno is less than 3 hours from Prague and Vienna, Austria.