I’ve now spent three weeks in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic and I am absolutely stunned by everything I see when I walk out my door. There are major things that I have to get used to that are drastically different from my ordinary life but there are also many things that are quite similar to American and Western culture.
Things that will help you:
- You can eat a lot of bread. Honestly, my favorite thing about going to the grocery store is going to get the freshly baked bread that is made there every day. The Czech people eat it all the time and its quite honestly so good, it is fresh in any shop or café that you walk past. There is simply nothing quite like that in America.
- Train rides are extremely cheap. I’ve explored some really cool places within the Czech Republic in addition to weekend trips outside of the country. I was able to visit Charles Castle which is just outside of the city for a $1, Kutna Hora which has the famous “bone church”, and Olomouc in Moravia. Take some time exploring your host country in addition to the rest of Europe.
- It’s true, you can live very cheaply. My weekly trip to the grocery store costs me an average of $10. This includes most of my lunches, dinners, and snacks for my week. One bit of advice that still catches me every time is that they charge by the bottle, not the package. It surprised me every time I went.
- Immerse yourself in the culture. Every chance you get, mingle with the Czech people. I have taken advantage of shows at the national theater for less than $5. It’s beautiful — I love listening to the language being spoken on the stage. Go sit in a cafe when you are doing homework, or listen to the language every chance you can get.
- Take advantage of being on this side of the continent. Many people get caught up in being in Europe and end up spending their entire semester in Western Europe. Central and Eastern Europe are completely untouched and very underestimated. This has become my favorite part of the planet very fast. It’s unlike the rest of the world and it’s very beautiful in that way. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to go to Ljubljana, Slovenia, a place that is not talked about often enough. It was a beautiful city packed with locals enjoying their town, not many tourists, and very unique. So, explore it. You may not get to do it like this again.
Prague is an absolutely stunning city. This country and this region of Europe and beautiful, culturally and physically. Before I got here, I told people that I was going to be studying abroad in Prague and they would say that Prague was one of their favorite cities and you don’t actually realize until you get here how beautiful it is. The city is bustling with history and culture, don’t underestimate this beautiful city, I’m glad I didn’t.
Your Discovery. Our People…The World Awaits.