Prague the Pleasurable January 26, 2016

By (English, Willamette University) - abroad from 09/18/2015 to 12/18/2015 with

UPCES - Study Abroad in Prague (CERGE-EI, Charles University)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
So worthwhile. Best experience of my life, and no mistake. Opened my eyes, and inspired me in so many ways, too many indeed to list within the confines of this small box. Learned about European culture, and how to live successfully in a capital city. Can't say enough about it.

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

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Excellent living in Prague 2, which area is highly recommended as distinct from Prague 1 (the tourist center)

* Food:

Lots of cheap grocery shopping and fast dining at local caf├ęs and restaurants

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Pretty well, though learning Czech more would have helped.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Never felt in any sort of danger. Beware of pickpockets. I saw none, that said. If a woman, perhaps it is more advisable to travel with a buddy or in small groups

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

Finances

* 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)

Cheap city, and if you budget well, you will be all right. I have friends who went to pubs and out on the town every night. They never complained of it being beyond their pecuniary means; in fact they would rave about how they were to do it again, owing to the affordability of the social scene.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $130 a week, maybe
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't go to casinos. Eat out, but not every night. Cook, because buying food at supermarkets is rather cheap.

Language

* 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

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
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Beginning Spanish
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Speak Czech as much as you can. It really helps. Converse with other Czechs, and take the class seriously (which is easier said than done).

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Fieldtrips
  • Living Accomodations
  • Ability to travel (because of ample free time)
* What could be improved?
  • Housing arrangements in terms of what is offered (many students were much fretful over where they would live and with whom; it all ended up well, though)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The amount of time you have to do as you please is best spent in going about Prague and other cities -- travel!

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.