The reason for me choosing to go to the University of Economics, Prague is its central location in Europe, the cost of living in the country and the rich history of the land that exists within their culture and architecture. In all honesty, I was somewhat disappointed when I had not received my first preference for Exchange. However, after talking to friends and family who have traveled around Europe, I was somewhat comforted by it being invariably praised the country as one of the most beautiful places in Europe.
One recommendation that I would give to future exchange students for the Czech Republic is to start the visa application as soon as possible. The visa process is quite long and laborious and will take over two months including getting documents, officially translating it and getting the visa approved (which itself will take around 60 days).
After getting my visa approved, I was able to travel around Europe for around two weeks before the start of my Exchange Semester in Prague. In my time traveling, I visited Spain, Italy, and Greece which was an excellent way to start off my trip meeting a lot of great people and have many new experiences. Coming to Prague, I decided to live in the Student Dormitories. The student dormitories are quite cheap, is close to a student bar and has a decent amount of facilities (e.g. Gym, Laundry, etc.). I would also recommend it to future students as it is quite convenient and a 10-min tram ride to the uni.
The University of Economics, Prague has a large foreign exchange student base with all your classes being set with other exchange students. For someone who has just come to Europe for the first time, it was eye-opening to see the vastly different cultures of different people when they lived so close geographically. The University was previously constructed to be a high school and is decently sized from what I have seen of it. The University having a late start date of 11th of September limits more of what I can say about the actual University lifestyle.
The lifestyle of Prague is pretty much what can be expected, the beer is cheap and costs around 30-50 crowns. Old town and Wenceslas square are quite beautiful and busy, and it’s where you will visit a lot for clubbing and activities during the day. The city is a 20-minute tram ride from the Dormitories. There are many beautiful sites in Prague including the Charles Stuart Bridge, Prague Castle, Dancing House and more. The architecture, from what I have heard, has been untouched from the impacts of WW2.
One difficulty that has arisen from studying in Prague is language, while it is possible to get by with only English, there is still a considerable percentage of the population that does not speak English. Coming from a native English-speaking country, I had some difficulty in trying to convey information to other Czech speakers using the limited vocabulary we have learned and eventually resorting to pointing and shoddy sign language. However, studying in the university and talking to other students is quite easy as most of them can speak English very well.
Gerard Rodrigo – 97115226
Bachelor of Information Technology
University of Economics, Prague