To Prague, Of Course!

In Prague, The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Tips by Kaylyn Kavi

If you want to travel Europe, study abroad in Prague. If you want cheap expenses and easier courses, study abroad in Prague. If you are an NYU Stern student, definitely study abroad in Prague! I am sure this will not be news to anyone who has started investigating their options for study abroad, but Prague is by far one of the more laid back, cheap, and ideal-for-travel options of all the NYU sites. From the professors not assigning busy work, to the courses usually being once a week, to lacking the dreaded “Stern curve,” there are many purely academically motivated reasons why one should choose to study in Prague.

If you want to start looking beyond the academic spectrum, there are still an overwhelming number of reasons why one should choose Prague. First, things are cheap. One U.S. dollar equals around 25 Czech Koruna aka Czech Crowns and that means you can usually get a solid meal for $4 or less. Most local supermarkets do not take credit cards, so cash is necessary, which also means you should check with your bank about international ATM withdrawal fees. But that said, there are also “hypermarket” stores such as Tesco who operate on a larger scale and do take card. On that note though, one thing that I have struggled with in Prague is the lack of bulk sizes for grocery items. Whether it is granola, milk, cheese, or candy, most items seem to only be sold in quantities meant for a couple days use, which necessitates going to the grocery store much more frequently than I am used to—I live and breathe Costco back in New Jersey, so bulk size items mean a lot to me. That said, you can find most of the items you need if you Google their Czech equivalent and look hard enough, though frozen meals, beef jerky, and conditioner are all things I struggle even now to find.

Moving on to housing in Prague, I would definitely recommend either the Machova or Slezska dorm; they are within ten minutes walking distance from each other. I personally live in the only quad in Machova and love it, but I have also visited Slezska and have seen how equally spacious and new their rooms seem to be. The only big difference would be that in Machova every suite has their own kitchen, whereas in Slezska there is only one giant communal kitchen on the top floor and a smaller kitchen on the bottom floor. That said, I would recommend choosing either dorm as long as you coordinate with your friends also traveling abroad so that you all stay in the same dorm. Having close friends who also live right next to you really makes a difference on the frequency that you hang out and the ease with which you can coordinate for group projects, movie nights, or going out together. Regardless or which dorm you pick, my only serious recommendation is to not choose Osadni. The dorm itself is very nice and if you are a music student it does have music practice rooms, but besides that it is just too inconveniently placed. While the other two dorms take about 20 minutes to get to campus, from Osadni it usually takes more like 30-40 minutes and they are very out of the way from city center and the rest of the NYU Prague community.

My last major tip for prospective NYU Prague students is in reference to traveling. Prague provides the unique position of being ideally placed to visit all of Europe. I have personally visited eight countries already this semester and still have a trip to Rome planned to go. Being in Prague allows one to access practically all of Europe by train, bus, or plane and really opens up the spectrum of international opportunities that you can experience. From going hawking in Ireland, to lying on a beach in Spain, to climbing a waterfall in Morocco, there are so many possibilities of things to do and you will find having a boring weekend at home to be a very rare commodity. Instead, NYU Prague provides you with the chance to really put yourself out there, meet people, and do things you could never have imagined, and that is why I most definitely, absolutely recommend you to study abroad in Prague if you can!

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