Every semester, tons of our Intern Queen Campus Ambassadors take advantage of the amazing opportunity to study abroad. This Spring, we wanted to share their stories with you! The first blog in our #InternQueenAbroad series is from Nora Horvath, Syracuse University.
What city and school are you studying in?
I am studying in Prague, Czech Republic through UPCES (Undergraduate Program in Central European Studies) at Charles University.
Why did you choose to study abroad there?
I used to live in Budapest, Hungary, and I absolutely love Eastern Europe. So when deciding where to go, Prague seemed like a great choice. It's the only major city in this part of Europe that wasn't damaged during WW2, so being here among all the old buildings really makes you feel like you've been transported back in time.
Have you had to deal with language barriers? What have you done to make it easier?
For the most part, it is possible to get around Prague with English alone, but I do take Czech classes at school. I choose not to look at it as a language barrier - more as an opportunity to learn a new language and meet new people!
Is the classroom environment different from the United States? How so?
The classroom environment is pretty similar to what I experienced in the states, but instead of meeting 2 or 3 times a week, most of my classes meet once a week for 3 hours. There are also less quizzes and weekly assignments. Instead, there are just two big papers or exams for each class throughout the semester.
How did you budget for your semester and manage your money abroad?
I saved money from my on-campus and summer jobs for 2 years so that I would have money while I was abroad. Luckily for me, Prague is a pretty cheap city for Americans, but I manage my money by making sure I ask for student discounts everywhere I go (get an ISIC card, it's a lifesaver,) and trying to eat at home as much as possible.
How are you balancing school and exploring your country?
UPCES is great because it doesn't schedule Friday classes for students, which allows a lot of flexibility for traveling. It's important not to procrastinate and to get your work done before the weekend, so that you don't have to worry about it when you want to be exploring!
What are the 5 things you HAD to pack to bring with you?
1. A backpack: you'll use it everywhere you go, including the grocery store (where you have to pay for plastic bags)
2. A paper copy map of the public transportation system the city you're in (just trust me on this one)
3. A box of emergen-c: traveling a lot wears you down, make sure you're taking vitamins
4. Cute but comfy sneakers for walking in
5. A cheat sheet for useful words/phrases in case you need it!
What has been your favorite place/activity so far?
UPCES took us on a weekend trip to Litoměřice, Czech Republic, where we did a wine tasting! That was amazing.
What advice would you give other students considering study abroad?
Go alone. A lot of people I know went abroad with friends, and have spent all their time together and haven't gotten to know the locals. I chose to go somewhere alone, and have met amazing people from lots of different American universities and European universities. If I had friends with me, I would have been less likely to branch out!
Any last words/tips/secrets to share?
Whoever said peanut butter doesn't exist in Europe was lying - I found Skippy at my local grocery store :)