A Semester for the books January 02, 2017

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/14/2016 to 12/16/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a more worldly and informed perspective on a part of the world I had little to no knowledge of. It was incredibly worthwhile.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150-$200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Utilize the grocery stores as much as possible and try not to eat out every night. Also food in Old Town Square is going to be nearly 2 or 3 times as expensive as in other parts of the city.

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? 3 years of 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? Practice amongst your friends and try to use it when you venture out in the city.

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?
  • Getting to experience Europe through travel.
  • Getting to meet other americans through the program
  • Program guided trips.
* What could be improved?
  • The degree of openness between teachers and students (for some)
  • Czech class could be later in the day, 8:20 AM is too early.
  • They could improve their housing process, it was a rather strenuous experience.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A better basic understanding of the Czech Language

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Prague as a Living History: Anatomy of a European Calital

Course Department: Architecture, History
Instructor: Vera Vejrychova
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was moderately challenging but very enjoyable. Each class was an excursion into the city to see and experience the history firsthand. We were assessed through a midterm, final exam, and final paper.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Art, Architecture and Propaganda

Course Department: Architecture, Art History, Anthropology
Instructor: Blanka Nyklova, Petr Gibas
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was a reasonable level of difficulty and was interesting. The classes were mostly discussion based and revolved around assigned readings. We were assessed through a variety of assignments, a midterm, and a final presentation.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

CEE Economic Growth and Development

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Tomas Lichard
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was very challenging and confusing. The teacher was not very effective at explaining concepts and there were very few graded assessments (2 homeworks and 2 tests) so the entire class grade was based off of a small number of opportunities.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Economics of Transition

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Vilem Semerak, Kresimir Zigic
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was a manageable level of difficulty and was engaging. The professors were very knowledgeable and available. I participated quite a lot due to the small class size. We were assessed through assignments, tests, and one paper.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Introduction to Czech Language

Course Department:
Instructor: Petra Bulejcikova
Instruction Language: Czech/English
Comments: The course was challenging but not impossible. We made numerous field trips to practice the language in a real world setting. The teacher was always well prepared and knowledgeable. The class was a similar level of difficulty for an introductory class as it would be at home. We were assessed through quizes, assignments, and tests.
Credit Transfer Issues: