I had the time of my life, and learned a lot Past Review

By (HISTORY., Rice University) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes. I learned about a new place and culture. I learned about new foods. I became a more independent and confident person, and further showed myself that I can be a citizen of the world. I made great friendships. I saw unbelievable things. I could go on for days, but I will simply say that I don't think it's a stretch to say that it was the best few months of my life.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Charles University
The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I had the time of my life, and learned a lot about a place of the world that I knew nothing about. The courses all helped make me look at the city in new and interesting ways.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The people at USAC were wonderful- they were always present to help us out and make the adjustment easier and our time more enjoyable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment was fine, though our kitchen could have been better (there was no oven and the range could be temperamental). Plus 4 guys sharing a mini fridge is a little silly. Still, it proved up to our uses, and the apartments themselves were great- very spacious and comfortable. I also loved the location (we lived at Krizikova STreet)- we were very close to grocery stores and the metro/ tram stops. To boot, we lived above a GREAT bar/restaurant- I highly advise the Pivovarsky Klub if you're ever in that area. I also loved living in an apartment building full of other students; it was the best of both worlds of apartment life and dorm life. <br /><br /> The kitchen was difficult, but the apartment was great. The neighbor hood was great precisely because it was an average czech neighborhood. Plus it was located wonderfully in terms of transportation, safety, nightlife, etc. Just outside Old Town so it wasn't super expensive, but close enough to the action to be able to walk.

* Food:

Maybe some might disagree, but I LOVE czech food. It's heaty and delicious. I would have liked to see more greens and veggies in my meals though certainly. If you're at campus, the restaurant in the basement and the ones around are great for a cheap (100 CZK) lunch. If you're at the Krizikova apartments, the Pivovarksy Klub is without a doubt where you will find great beer, great svickova, and great goulash.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The people I met, the things we did- they'll all stay in my very fondest memories for the rest of my life. I saw amazing things across the region, and had a hell of a lot of fun doing it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Safety was never an issue- you can wander Prague in the dead of the night and you'll be completely safe. I'm a guy so maybe I notice these things less, but I never had any concerns. I didn't need medical services, but the people I do were treated well and promptly, and the program coordinators were great in helping them out.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Roughly $200 (including groceries, personal expenses, drinks, etc NOT rent) It depended on the week and what you did. If you laid low it would be less. If you went crazy it would be more. If you traveled it could be either depending on where you went.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Food goes bad pretty quickly, so you're always buying groceries. Also, if you go out, on the weekends if you bounce around, cover fees can add up.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

Czech is a nutty language, but by just trying to refrain fro using English in your day to day you pick up a lot more of it than you'd think.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Throw yourself into it. You'll love Prague if you like to have a wickedly good time in an amazing part of the world you'll fall in love with. If you like to go out, make great friends, and drink excellent beer, you'll do fine in Prague.