Siena College's Student Newspaper


Study Abroad: Czech Republic

Dobrý den, it is Emily speaking. A soon to be senior, traveling around Europe and having the time of her life. Since I was 6-years-old, my main goal was to see the world and what it has to offer. To learn and understand the different cultures that surround me. Deciding on a country was a marathon, but I’m glad I picked the Czech Republic. Being in Prague has been a dream come true and I couldn’t wish for anything more. I’ve been thrown into a culture that I knew nothing about and became one with the locals. Taking photos left and right, immersing myself within the environment. Enjoying the dark humor, speaking the language and eating typical Czech dishes like knedlíky.

The program has transformed me and the way I value life. Our program has seven students and has taught me valuable lessons in our apartment style school. One could say the apartment is for hipsters, but for us it is our artistic home. Where we engage in debates about contemporary politics to talking about drag race. Our classes are similar to the ones in the states, but our lecturers are some of the coolest people I have ever met with outstanding profiles. From translating Czech to English documents, being part of the “underground university,” signing Charter 77, co-founder of NGOs to being activists. Providing us with endless connections and an impressive network of people. The Czech Republic is a small country, and everyone seems to know everybody. Sounds a bit like Siena. And where do I live? In a lovely house with a Czech Family around the corner from the Japanese Embassy with one dog and four cats.

I get the chance to the unspeakable and meet people who have shaped the Czech Republic through NGOs. As well as, travel around Central Europe to Germany, Poland, and Slovakia visiting Independent Cultural Centers. Even though it has only been about 3 months, the program has been installing new values of leadership and activism within me. As of right now, I’m preparing for the Independent Study Project. Where I will conduct interviews with current activists about their work and how it affects the social space. You can’t get any of this in your average study abroad, I’m proud to be a part of SIT’s Czech Republic: Arts & Social Change. Prague is called the heart of Europe and has stolen part of mine. A place full of discovery and never-ending curiosity.