Community, History, Art, Prague & Friends! March 30, 2022

By (Studio Art, Bates College) - abroad from 09/13/2021 to 12/18/2021 with

SIT Study Abroad: Czech Republic - Arts and Social Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
While this program may not be the typical abroad experience, it is truly unique and so worthwhile! I learned so much from our lecturers about Czech culture and felt very immersed by the end of our semester. On our excursions, we visited places in Europe that I wouldn't have sought out on my own (Poland, Slovakia, Moravia). These trips were well planned and we met incredible people at inspiring organizations. Every week was a new adventure, I highly recommend!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

A really unique program with a fascinating curriculum! We had a variety of courses on art history, language, and Czech history which were all taught by amazing professors from Prague. We concentrated especially on how artists persisted under a communist regime. The school has cultivated a tight-knit community in the city with lots of helpful connections to local artists and activists. The excursions to Poland, Slovakia, and Moravia were also a highlight!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The academic director is super invested in the students and the program as a whole. They encouraged us to pursue our creative interests, especially in the independent study section of the semester. I felt supported both academically and personally by everyone who worked at the school. They are great people!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a host family around 40 minutes outside the city in a small town/village. My host family was so welcoming and truly made me feel at home. They included me on lots of weekend adventures where I got to explore a completely different side of Prague and meet their extended family (lots of walks, performances, and great food). The times I spent with my host family are among my favorites of the entire semester :)

* Food:

Czech food is wonderful! A lot of the classic dishes are centered around meat but there are plenty of options around Prague for vegetarians (especially falafel). My host family made delicious meals and they were always happy to include me in the cooking process. I loved having special lunches all together on the weekends, it was a treat!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The school did a great job teaching us about Czech history and connecting us with local teachers and activists. Our art class met with a Prague-based artist each week and often visited their studio or exhibition. My host family showed me amazing spots outside of Prague and I felt immersed in their everyday routine which was really special. Since our program was just Americans, it was a bit challenging to meet Czech people my age, but I'm sure it can be done with some extra effort.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any experience with the local healthcare system but the program staff was very attentive if we were ever sick and gave us cards with important medical resources. Our director also checked in with us if we were ever feeling unwell. They are very helpful!

* Safety:

I felt very safe commuting alone and walking around Prague. The city is a super manageable size and I didn't run into any big issues with safety.

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)

Prague is an affordable city for students! I was always pleasantly surprised at how cheap meals could be at local restaurants and cafes. On excursions, we were provided with stipends which covered the cost of extra meals when we couldn't eat with our host family.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It was great to be able to pack a lunch from home some days to save a little money on food!


* 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 teacher is awesome. They made every class lots of fun and I looked forward to learning Czech each week!

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

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Family
  • ISP Period
  • Excursions
* What could be improved?
  • Can't think of much!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Keep an open mind! It takes time to adjust to a new culture but it is so rewarding. Also, take advantage of living in a city with exceptional public transportation!

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!