Written by Charlie Kay, Foster undergraduate
I have officially been in Europe for a month now, and it is really difficult to quantify how much I’ve learned since coming over here. Everyday brings something new, and it has been so much fun learning about and living the Czech culture. The first thing that you notice when you travel to a foreign country is the language. However, unlike most other European countries, Prague and the Czech Republic does not speak a romantic language, their language is slavic. Whereas in Italy or France or Spain you can rely on your basic knowledge of their language and similarities it has with English, in Prague, it is nearly impossible to decipher signs and understand what people are saying. Its even more difficult to speak the language, but I hope to be an expert by the end of the semester. It really helps that most people speak English in Prague.
Prague might be the most beautiful city I have ever seen. The Gothic architecture, the red rooftops, the Charles Bridge, the Castle, and Old Town Square never cease to amaze me. As beautiful as it is during the day, Prague is even better at night. The way the buildings are illuminated at night make you feel like you’re in a fairy tale. Prague isn’t the only amazing place I have spent some time in this month. I had an unforgettable weekend in Munich during Oktoberfest and spent another one in Vienna. Each town has its own different flavor, but everything is just awesome here.
While school is just starting to ramp up, my favorite part of my time abroad so far is meeting all the people here. I live with an Italian, a German, and a French and it has been so insightful just to learn how each culture does something differently. I have spent so much time just having a beer or coffee and discussing our different ways of life and I think that that is far more valuable than any one class can teach. That being said, having another student from UW at the university has helped me a lot. We have been able to rely on each other when we need help, and it is fair to say I do not know where I would be without her. It is extremely comforting to know someone is going through exactly what you are and it’s making my experience that much better.
I’m already through a quarter of my trip, but there is so much to see and do before I leave. I’m so excited!