Czech out Prague, it's worth it! Past Review

By (International Relations and Affairs., University of the Pacific) - abroad from 01/19/2013 to 05/11/2013 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about how a country can make the rapid transition from communism to capitalism in 20 years. Also, I learned that of all the places I have been (nearly every major city in Western Europe) Prague is definitely one of the most beautiful.

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 academics were pretty easy compared to my home university. There was basically no homework, but I did learn a lot while in the classroom and the free time allowed me to explore Czech culture on my own/with my roommates even further.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Jan and Richard are very helpful and friendly.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was placed in a brand new apartment in a perfect location (just outside the old town in a working-class neighborhood called Zizkov). The apartment was really nice with a huge balcony, although you did have to walk up 6 flights of stairs to reach it. Also, I shared the apartment with 7 other guys which was alright, but a little tight.

* Food:

Czech food is absolutely amazing, and goes great with the best beer in the world.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Czechs are rather wary towards foreigners in general, so it was very hard to meet locals. Luckily, I befriended a local student in my apartment building who was awesome. I wish Czechs were more approachable, but then again they have been invaded countless times so I understand their general distrust of foreigners.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had any health issues, but Prague is a modern city with modern medical facilities if need be.

* Safety:

Prague is generally pretty safe, just don't do anything too stupid and be attentive at night (as with basically everywhere).

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)

Prague is dirt cheap compared to major cities in Western Europe. Back home, I rarely eat out as it is generally expensive but in Prague I was able to eat out for almost every meal on the same budget for groceries in the United States.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Going to the grocery store will always be cheaper than eating out no matter where you are. Tesco near Narodni Trida is by far the largest grocery store in town, and you can get almost everything there. Due to the fact that I was sharing a single kitchen with 7 other guys and eating out is cheap (you can get a VERY filling meal and a beer for like $6) I didn't cook much.


* 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? 3rd Semester 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? There is a two week intensive course at the beginning of the program where you learn many of the essentials of Czech. Even though many people speak English (especially in the Old Town and Mala Strana), USE YOUR CZECH AT RESTAURANTS. Seriously, they will charge a service charge is you do the transaction in English and they don't charge it if you speak in Czech (even if it is extremely broken).

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • Small Class Sizes
  • Local Professors
  • Vienna/Budapest Field Study
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Czech is a very, very hard language to learn. It makes learning Spanish look like child's play.

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.