An intriguing, life-changing, fun experience. January 17, 2017

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/12/2016 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?
Outside of school I learned an incredible amount over the course of the semester. Living and traveling in a foreign country/continent teaches someone unforgettable life lessons.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The program was just as rigorous and intense as my studies at Middlebury. There were definitely fewer resources and the semester schedule was much more crammed and instead of spread out like it is at Middlebury.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration was excellent. They were always available for any help I needed throughout the semester.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very satisfied with my living arrangement.

* Food:

Food was not a problem however we were completely on our own for our daily meal arrangements.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Although I had never been to Eastern Europe, I actually felt surprisingly integrated from the first few days in Prague. I think it is because the city as whole is very Americanized.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had an issue with health so I don't have any valuable opinion to add.

* Safety:

I felt very safe throughout my stay. The only advice I would have is that when traveling late at night to stay among friends and only take Uber or AAA cabs because there are many cars posing as taxis outsides of bars and clubs.

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

I would do it all over again the exact same in a heart beat!

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? Probably around 200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn the exchange rate the first day and keep track of your spending habits!

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 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? Use it outside the classroom as much as you can. Even when the locals know english, it is better to use the local language with them!

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
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?
  • It was challenging
  • It didn't try to control the students
  • Offered many field trips
* What could be improved?
  • A better orientation to get to know everyone in the program
  • More areas within the building to work
  • More time to meet with teachers
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Much of the work is jam packed into the weeks of mid-terms and the weeks of finals. It is not really spread out over the course of the semester like Middlebury. So it in a way hits you all at once which can me a little overwhelming at first if you are not prepared for it.

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:

Prague as a Living History: Anatomy of a European Capital

Course Department: History
Instructor: Ondřej Skripnik
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was my least challenging course work wise. We toured the city once a week for three hours. It was very helpful in getting to know the city and it's history from very early on. Participation was never really an option as it was mostly just touring. We were finally graded on two exams and a paper. The exams seemed to be pretty irrelevant to what we studied all semester and were challenging in that sense.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Intro to Czech

Course Department: Language
Instructor:
Instruction Language: Enligsh/Czech
Comments: This course was definitely challenging. The teacher was fluent in both languages. Participation filled the entire class every day. We were able to go on a field trip to a Czech school and speak with the students. We were graded on our Mid term and final exams as well as a presentation.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Gender and Minorities in Post-Socialist Europe

Course Department: Gender Studies
Instructor: Dr. Elena Soler
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was challenging and very interesting. The teacher was extremely knowledgeable of the topic and was always very prepared. Classes were discussion based and participation was necessary. We were assessed by papers, presentations and a final exam
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Urban Anthropology of Central European Cities

Course Department: Anthropology
Instructor: Lucia Stefankova
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was fairly challenging. It was more of a lecture with not as much participation. We were able to go on field trips around the city. The professor was very educated and offered a lot of detail on each subject. We were assessed through papers, exams and presentations.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Comprehending The Holocaust

Course Department: History
Instructor: Plzak
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Yes, it was a challenging and very interesting course. We were able to go on a field trip to Krakow and tour the concentration camps which was truly a life changing experience. Participation was frequent and we were assessed by papers, presentations and exams.
Credit Transfer Issues: