By (Teaching English or French as a Second or Foreign Language., SUNY - College at Oswego) for

SUNY Oswego: Brno - Masaryk University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Anyone who says they didn't get something out of an experience like this; you can tell that the problem wasn't the program. It was the person. If you don't get something out of travelling you're not a traveler and just stay home!

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.

I think that this question is almost structured oddly! By "academics" I would be tempted to say 3/5. It wasn't great yet it wasn't the worst I've ever had. However when you change the question to "educational experience". The entire education experience I received from going on this trip deserves a 6/5 stars. You can't put a price/rating what you learn from an experience like this. The blend of cultures and the opinions you develop that's not even including the friendships you make!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I have no bad things to say about Martin Vasek! HE IS A CHAMPION! Helpful with anything you needed and willing to go out of his way! Someone needs to get that man an award or something because really I can't put into words how great he was! He surely made the experience as great as it could possibly be!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

VINARSKA IS THE GREATEST PLACE ON PLANET EARTH! Everyday since I left has been a little bit of nostalgia for the friends that I met and people that I share connections with around the world! The hardest part of dealing with it is that you can always physically go back to Vinarska but the people you left there with have all gone on! It is one of the best aspects of the program!

* Food:

you live in a city/urban environment. you can find anything you need!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There are too many to explain. Rather just a collection of great memories!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Well compared to crime levels in the United States I was safer there than I am here.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I personally traveled a lot while I was there. If you stay in the Czech Republic you can live like a king on 100 dollars a week. If you want to travel like me and visit everywhere possible. I probably wen't through somewhere close to 5k from start to finish.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? RYAN AIR/WIZZ AIR!! USE IT!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None. I bought a copy of Frommer's and read the section in the back with helpful phrases
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

This is 100% honest! The course in Czech Language confused ridiculously! I did learn quite a bit of Czech going out with friends and spending time in public and basically the original linguistic theory of "trial and error". The Czech Language course tries to explain all the tiny rules in the language and by the end of the class you are almost afraid to try and talk because you are 97% guaranteed to make a mistake. Meanwhile you can go out in public and make 10 mistakes per everything you say and granted people will know you are obviously not Czech you can usually convey a message with a few key words. This is where the class went wrong. It was not teaching "basic Czech". Foreign students that are studying for 6 months-1 year don't need to know the aspects involved with fluency in the language. They need to know enough to communicate and the rest will develop as they spend time around the language. Trying to squeeze the entire language into 6 months just seemed a little bit out of it!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

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A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Any student that loves traveling and has an open mind. "The grass may not be greener on the other side; but it will always be greener where you water it". No other place that I have been offers the chance to water the grass and make it easier to see what exactly that quote means.