Enlightening and unforgettable January 04, 2017

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/12/2016 to 12/19/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Learned so much about myself and others outside of the classroom traveling the world. It is just as much about learning in class lectures as it is experiencing the nuances of each unique place.

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

Program directors and staff were exceptional and extremely accommodating.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program orchestrated opportunities for cultural integration on weekends, when many students were traveling.

* 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

I probably would but many of our friends abroad studied in the CIEE program so it would've been nice to meet them a little earlier in the semester and spend every day with them.

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)

Spent a lot of money but the city was hands down, the most affordable European city I spent any time in.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150-200. Not including airfare or hostiles if I traveled.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan trips far in advance. Cook! Definitely experience the city socially and find cool dive bars that have more affordable drinks for you and friends.

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

Use it as frequently as you can in class and in the city.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had never studied the language prior to this semester.
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? Try to use it outside the class room.

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Academic focus on Prague and Central Europe
  • Program directors. They looked out for us.
  • The friends I made.
* What could be improved?
  • Some classes could have been more challenging.
  • One class could have been a lot more reasonable.
  • I wish it started earlier.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Branch out. By all means go with friends from your school if you feel more comfortable that way but try to meet new people because the people are what truly make the experience worthwhile.

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 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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Economics of Transition

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Krešimir Žigić and Vilém Semerák
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Yes it was. We didn't take field trips. Teachers were both knowledgeable. Participated quite a bit. Preferred this over my other economics class at UPCES. Assessed with exams, paper, and home assignments.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

CEE Economic Growth and Development

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Tomáš Lichard
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Extremely difficult. This was the hardest course I've taken at both my home institution and abroad. We did not take field trips. Teacher knew the subject matter but didn't do a good job of "simplifying" it to make it digestible for the students in the course. He is very smart but I had a tough time retaining information. Assessed with a homework assignment and two exams.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Prague as a Living History

Course Department: History, Cultural Studies, Art History, and Architecture
Instructor: Ondřej Skripnik
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Was not overly difficult. Class was based around day trips so yes, it made use of the location. Teacher was extremely knowledgeable but sometimes, his lectures could be difficult to understand, as expected when studying abroad. Was not overly participation based. Assessed with papers, exams, and an oral presentation.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Comprehending the Holocaust

Course Department: Philosophy, History, and Religious Studies
Instructor: Michal Plzak
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Yes. Yes, trip to Auschwitz was especially educational and powerful. Teacher was knowledgable and able to answer all of our questions. Participated about the same. Assessed with papers and exams.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Elementary Czech

Course Department: Foreign Language
Instructor: Zuzana Švíbková
Instruction Language: Czech & English
Comments: Yes, acceptable level of difficulty. Yes, we did a number of different things throughout Prague to work on our Czech skills. The teacher was excellent. I participated more here than at home institution. Assessed by homework assignments, oral presentations, and exams.
Credit Transfer Issues: