Prague - plan to walk a whole bunch Past Review

By (Fine and Studio Arts., University of Texas - Arlington) - abroad from 05/25/2012 to 06/28/2012 with

USAC Czech Republic: Prague - Politics, Culture, and the Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained courage and confidence that I can find my way home - even in a foreign country where I don't know the language. I also had a wonderful cultural immersion.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

On site administrators do an excellent job setting up our apartments and orienting everyone on getting around and cultural norms. Additionally, they plan a variety of excursions that are both fun and interesting. Not to mention, they are just good people all around.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Most of our organized time was spent with fellow students and Prague staff. There were opportunities to mingle with locals and some students were more comfortable reaching out than others. It is really up to the student to get out there and meet people - the opportunities are there.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health issues.

* Safety:

The city is very safe. I felt safer on foot in Prague than I would in my own city. There are pick pockets in the tourist areas and they got to two of the students. Use common sense precautions and be aware.

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


* 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)

The exchange rate is favorable. I spent a little over $100 per week - and did enjoy some extras. It's better to bring way more than you expect to need so you have options for activities, eating out, and trinkets. Make sure to budget for shared apartment needs such as paper and bath products.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $100- $120
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Know what your financial aid package is early and make sure you exchange cash for the first few days after you arrive. This is when you will find out that you have to go to the store to pick up the things you didn't bring.


* 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

The program encouraged us to use Czech as much as we could, but the country made it easy to slip into English as many citizens speak at least some of our language. Plus, being a summer program, there wasn't much time to learn the basics of the language and then start using it.

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? none
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? This country can be visited with no language preparation. Some basic vocabulary is taught in the first sessions.

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • excursions - especially historical and winery
  • Courses were interesting
* What could be improved?
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I felt well prepared to face any unknowns that cropped up.