Prague is the place to be! June 12, 2016

By (Math, Economics, Civic Engagement, Wesleyan 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?
Being at college in the U.S. and being at college in Prague have each given me totally different experiences of independence. I owe Prague for some amazing new friends, for being the perfect home base for exploring Europe (especially central and eastern Europe!), and most of all for the cultural immersion that has allowed me to call it a second 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.

The classes were not difficult, which was honestly a welcome break from the rigor of my home university. Despite the lack of challenging material, I really enjoyed have a focused course of study in Central and Eastern European history, film, and language. It was a valuable experience to learn about the places I was living and visiting.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The whole UPCES program staff is amazing! Their kindness, organization, and especially their friendship gave the program a comfortable feel from day one.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing process was stressful, but ultimately everything worked out well and I lived in an extremely nice apartment within the budget they provide you prior to the program.

* Food:

The program leaves food completely up to you, which is nice because everything is so inexpensive in Prague and any program's provisions would likely be less choice and more expensive. It added to the independence of living in a downtown apartment on your own.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I like the Czech-American partner program that UPCES provides, matching you with a Czech student. However, other than that I didn't really feel that I became very integrated into Czech culture. This is a hard thing to even hope to accomplish in such a short time, though.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Prague is SO cheap. Food (grocery shopping AND eating out) and apartment needs cost me about $700 total for the entire program (excluding meals eaten while I traveled elsewhere). This means I spent about $50 total on the necessities each week. And activities are also very accessible and inexpensive to partake in.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Keep track of your expenses as you go along, from the very beginning, especially if you're planning on traveling. I was able to keep my week-time expenses low so I could have a little more to spend on travel, but only because I was budgeting and keeping track.

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?

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?
  • Staff
  • Sponsored trips
* What could be improved?
  • Housing process
  • Orientation lectures
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? As much as I love the friends I came away with from the program, there were many students who I did not mesh with at all. Of course, this is life, but I do wish I would've known going in what universities my American peers would be from and how many from each school. Just know, you won't become friends with everyone, but there are a variety of students and you will definitely fit in somewhere.

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.