I’m finally in Prague! And, after dreaming about studying abroad since high school, it feels almost unreal to be able to type that statement. I’ve now been in the Czech Republic for two weeks to the day, and I couldn’t be happier that I chose Prague to be my temporary home. It’s almost overwhelmingly beautiful – it’s impossible to go even one day without seeing something new (well, new to me – more likely hundreds of years old in actuality).
I’ve accomplished some key milestones too: I’ve found the nearest grocery store and the most convenient supermarket, I’ve discovered some delicious restaurants and cafes, and I’ve figured out how to work their public transportation system! Also, important to a movie fanatic like me: I’ve located some cinemas that play the new releases in English (with Czech subtitles, of course!). I am looking forward to exploring the Czech films as well, though!
As for some highlights of my experience so far, it’s been hard to select only a few to discuss in this post. One, though, had to be the bone church in Kutná Hora! If you have a chance to go on this particular excursion, definitely seize it. The ossuary is just something that you have not and will never encounter in the United States. Another highlight has been the cafes. As an avid drinker and lover of coffee, nothing makes me happier than seeing a café on every corner, and selling delicious coffee for only 2 US dollars (except for Starbucks, which seems to be able to maintain their ridiculous prices everywhere)! I’ve been in so many in the past two weeks alone, in fact, that I’ve lost count. Fair warning to those are used to coffee in the states, though: Czech people are crazy about their foam – a latte is about one-half foam and one-half actual drink!
In terms of difficulties I’ve encountered while abroad, meanwhile, a primary one has been making new friends. I actually entered the program with two of my best friends, so it’s not as if I’ve been completely isolated. However, I am so lucky to be able to share this experience with them. But trying to form new friendships has been challenging. I am a reserved person: I don’t warm up to new people immediately, and I can probably come across as a little standoffish at times. Combine this personality trait with the fact that I don’t drink alcohol or generally participate in much traditional nightlife, and you have the perfect mix for a recluse! But I’m not giving up yet on meeting new people! I only bring this up, in fact, to let you know that you’re not alone if you don’t make new best friends within a couple weeks of arriving (especially if you are introverted like me!). But don’t give up! Studying abroad is supposed to push you out of your comfort zone, after all.
Until next time!