best semester of my life May 26, 2016

By (Columbia University) - abroad from 02/07/2016 to 05/20/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained an international perspective, studied central european studies which I never would have gotten the chance to at school, made amazing friends from all over the world, and gained a new appreciation for my home university by taking the semester away.

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.

The classes were easier than at my home university, but I still learned a lot and my professors were excellent. I didn't come abroad for the academic experience, and the lower intensity enabled me to focus on travel and other aspects of my study abroad experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

amazing student services and student support, amazing student amenities (i.e. public transportation was paid for, they organized trips and events for free, etc.)

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

apartments were amazing and very cost effective, great locations within the city and a very close proximity to school.

* Food:

n/a

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We lived with and took classes with other American students, but it was easy and available for us to integrate with the local culture and social scene.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

n/a

* Safety:

Prague was an incredibly safe city, I did not ever feel unsafe or insecure. Especially during a scary time in Europe with a high threat of terrorism, Prague is one of the safest cities to be in.

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

UPCES was the best program I could have imagined. Small size, excellent professors, very helpful staff, lots of amenities--all around much better than comparable programs.

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)

It depends on the kind of lifestyle you live.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? save before you go! you will spend more than you think. make sure you account for emergency situations or mishaps/

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
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? no need to learn it ahead of time!! many people speak english in prague!

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

  • 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?
  • the classes
  • the relatively short length (14 weeks)
* What could be improved?
  • the housing process
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? nothing--i did my research!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.