I had an incredible study abroad experience in the Czech Republic. My host institution Anglo American University was housed in two medieval palaces. Ever day I’d catch an old Soviet-era tram through the bustling heart of Prague to the historic neighborhood where Anglo American was located. Then, I’d walk through the ancient church doors and up the creaky wooden stairs case to my classroom, where even the window frames were over 100 years old. It was like stepping back in time.
What I enjoyed most about my time in Prague was the sense of history. I had the opportunity to take a course entitled Prague Art and Architecture. The entire city was our classroom. Every week we’d take field trips and learn how Prague came to be the beautiful city that it is today. We explored ornate Baroque cathedrals, walked along the 600 year old Charles Bridge, and saw where Czech protestors ousted the communist regime in the 1980’s. Through this experience I learned to identify many types of architecture and to appreciate their historical significance which really enriched my time in Prague. All of my classes were under 20 students which gave allowed us a lot of freedom when deciding how we wanted to learn. For example in my Czech Language and Culture class we decided to practice our new restaurant vocabulary by spending a class period eating breakfast at a local café where great minds like Albert Einstein and Franz Kafka once sat.
Outside of the classroom I spent my weekends traveling around Europe. What makes study abroad so much fun is all of the new friends you make who are eager to get out and explore the world. My roommates and I piled on to buses, trains, and planes and visited all kinds of places. I was able to go skiing in Switzerland, sailing in Croatia, and sip wine on the Mediterranean coast of France. It was amazing.
Taking my 2011 spring semester to travel abroad to study and live in Prague was a life changing experience and ended up being one of the best decisions of my college career.