So this is it. You’re looking at the glossy purple brochures for each NYU Study Away site, trying to decide where you want to spend the next four months of your life. You’ve spoken to upperclassmen, searched NYU Local and obsessively stalked your friends’ Instagram feeds. Each site definitely has its pros and cons, but in the end they all sound amazing. How will you decide?
Enter this magical blog post, giving you the real deal about what it’s like to spend the semester at NYU Prague. Hopefully, this will tip the scales in favor of a semester in Central (NOT EASTERN) Europe. So here we go, the 5Ws of NYU Prague:
WHO are the students? NYU Prague typically has 150-200 students on its campus each semester. It’s a cozy campus, where you will eventually meet almost everyone (unless they live in Osadni, in which case you will never see them outside of class because no one wants to go to Osadni).
WHAT are the classes like? People will tell you that your classes here don’t matter – this is NOT true. While classes at NYU Prague are definitely easier than New York, you still need to put in some work if you’re after that A. The professors are great (Salim Murad is a tragically adorable angel. TAKE HIM). I stacked my classes to only Mondays and Tuesdays this semester, as did many others, and it’s totally doable. Just be wary of deadlines when you’re planning trips, bring some reading for the planes, don’t start a group project due at 9AM Monday at 10PM Sunday unless you hate sleep, and your classes shouldn’t kill you this semester.
WHEN do you travel? Ah, travel. After all, study abroad often seems less study, more abroad. Prague’s central location makes most of Europe accessible with a less than 2 hour flight. Stacking classes helps you maximize your travel time, but don’t expect to leave late Tuesday night and come back late Sunday night every week if you do stack. Firstly, your bank account, your sleep schedule and your project group will hate you. Secondly, you will often find that you must wait until Wednesday or Thursday anyways because the friends you are traveling with did not stack. But that’s okay, as the extra day or two between class and travel is your actual weekend to rest, get some work done and/or be an actual human.
WHERE do you live? Prague’s dorm life is a mixed bag. The three dorms are Slezska, Machova and Osadni, but Osadni is in the middle of nowhere, so there are really only two options. I lived in Slezska and (mostly) loved it! It’s the smallest dorm with only about 30 people, but I love knowing everyone in the building. I only say mostly because Slezska’s communal kitchens are a nightmare sometimes. They’re almost always a mess, except right after the cleaning ladies come through (bless those women). Machova’s suites have their own kitchens, which is a point in its favor. But I have to stay loyal to Slezska on this one – it’s the best dorm. Plus if you pick Slezska, you have Johnny’s Indian food right next door!
WHY should you choose Prague? NYU Prague isn’t perfect, but I’m so glad I picked this site for my semester abroad. It’s a different experience than the usual European semester. You’ll probably get a little tired of the meat and potatoes and the never-ending cold, but the Czech Republic is a beautiful country with a fascinating history and an affordable cost of living. The central location is perfect to maximize your weekend trips. Add on the cozy community and the choice is clear.
I choose you, Pikachu Prague!