Study Abroad in Prague!

In Prague, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Tips by Katherine Carranza

Prague is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and the experience of living here for four months has truly been life-changing. I would 100% recommend coming to Prague for study abroad! Here’s why:

First and foremost, Prague has an extremely low cost of living aka cheap!! Yes, beer really is cheaper than water! Anywhere you study abroad, you’re gonna have to pay for water (I think free water is one of America’s redeeming qualities), so you may as well come somewhere it’s cheap. Besides that, food is very cheap here as well. My friends and I found a Simpsons themed restaurant where you get chicken schnitzel, fries, ketchup, and a beer all for about $7!! Traditional Czech meals will never cost you most than $8 or $9, and if you ever feel like balling out, you still won’t spend more than $13, $14. The amount of money you save will definitely come in handy for traveling or other activities.

Second, the travel opportunities are endless. The Czech Republic is conveniently located in the Central Europe and many countries are easily accessible by bus for short day trips or 1hr/2hr max flights (depends where you’re going) for further countries. The Czech Republic itself is very rich in both culture and history and the style of life is definitely a change from New York, but I think it’s quite a refreshing change to be in a quiet city. The surrounding countries also have a lot of history, so I would recommend checking them out, even though they may be places you might not consider. Being in Prague gives you the opportunity to travel to countries you might not have considered otherwise, such as Poland, Austria, Hungary, etc. But at the same time, hop on a plane and go to Spain, England, France, Netherlands, etc. and it won’t be too expensive.

Third, nightlife in Prague is great. I like the variety you get in nightlife here because you can choose from clubs, pubs, bar-clubs, wine bars, etc. The clubs in Prague are really cool and you can find a good mix of locals and other students in the crowd. Most of the clubs have different feels to them, so there’s variety in where you choose to go as well. For example, Retro has a great EDM scene and Radost has a great hip-hop scene, depends on what you’re in the mood for. There’s always one active club for every night of the week, for the hardcore party animals out there. But if you don’t feel like clubbing, the pubs are super relaxed and you can go enjoy a (cheap) beer with some friends. There’s also cool events and concerts going on to switch up your nightlife routine.

So if I’ve already convinced you to come to Prague, here are some tips for making the most of your time here:

  • Do the tourist-y things during your first weeks here, especially if you plan to travel a lot. You’ll find that after extensive travel, coming home to Prague becomes very familiar and you no longer want to do tourist-y things. Don’t wait until the end of the semester to realize you haven’t explored Prague fully.
  • Find a balance between travel/staying in Prague. Traveling is so much fun and everyone comes with the idea that they will visit every major country/every major city. But traveling is also exhausting and can be expensive if you don’t plan in advance. It’s really refreshing to take breaks and spend some time in Prague.
  • For traveling itself, plan the further trips in advance that way airfare isn’t too expensive. Don’t worry about planning the closer trips in advance, you can always buy a last-minute bus ticket to Germany for cheap.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle. Although Europeans think it’s weird, I always have a water bottle at restaurants because I, like the average American, do not enjoy paying for water.
  • Be adventurous with food. Czech food is so good! I’m usually a really picky eater, but I decided to be open-minded about what I eat here and it has definitely payed off. I love Czech food and I am so sad I have to leave it behind.
  • Live in Slezska! Best dorm in the best neighborhood. It’s closest to the transportation to school, the rooms are huge, and it’s in a nice residential area. Slezska is a really great dorm and I think the idea of a communal kitchen helps build community within.