Bachelor of Business Management/Bachelor of Commerce, 3rd year
Bachelor of Business Management/Bachelor of Commerce, 3rd year

Academic experiences

At the University of Economics (VSE), I was able to study my general electives.
Whilst many of the courses are economics-based the university also has courses in Business Administration, Finance, International Relations, History, Languages and more.
You definitely don’t need to be studying economics to go on exchange to VSE.
I was able to study many interesting courses that were mostly internationally focused such as:

·         Doing Business in Russia

·         Business of Latin American Cultures

·         International Marketing

·         History and Culture of the Czech Lands

The Easter markets in Old Town Square

I studied about seven courses over each of the semesters which I initially thought would be a huge workload.
However, the courses are not too intense and found most of them fairly easy to pass.
A difference in the academic system compared to UQ was that the lecturers do not use online portals such as Blackboard often and so attendance is more important.
Also, presentations and group work are also more commonly used as assessment.

Personal experiences

Going on exchange to Prague for a year was the best decision I’ve made.
I now have close friends all over the world who I plan to visit in their home countries one day.
The people who I met on exchange became like my family and we did everything together- cooked, studied, travelled and explored.
I had the opportunity to travel on weekends and after each semester so I visited many countries throughout Europe.
Prague is a very central location in Europe so I was able to travel by bus or train to Budapest, Vienna, Berlin, and Krakow, as well as many cities in the Czech Republic.
Europe is so rich in history and culture and I was able to experience and learn so much about these countries throughout my travels.
Going on exchange and living out of home for my first time enabled me to develop many skills.
I became more self-reliant and had a lot more responsibilities.
Living in Prague where most people do not speak English, and being able to work with and interact with people from many different countries has definitely made me more open-minded.

The canals of Amsterdam

Accommodation

I lived off-campus at the university dorms.
It is 12 minute tram ride to the university and about 20 minutes to get into the centre.
I would definitely recommend this as opposed to finding your own accommodation.
The dorms are fairly basic and the ladies at the reception don’t speak English, however I think living at the dorms was one of the main factors that contributed to my amazing experience abroad.
It took a little while to get used to sharing a room with someone, but I became so close with my roommates and it was a great way to meet other Czech and exchange students.
There was always something happening at the dorms and always someone to talk to, have a beer with or explore the city with.

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Budget

The cost of living in Prague is fairly cheap, which was why I could afford to go on exchange for two semesters.
The accommodation is about $500 per semester and cost me only $1400 for the ten months I was there.
Transport is also very reasonable costing $40 for a student transport card for three months, which gives you unlimited travel in Prague.
Food and drinks are also comparably cheap with a good meal at a restaurant costing between $5-$10 and beer costing less than water!
The thing that cost the most on my exchange was definitely the travel, especially when travelling to more expensive countries such as those in Western Europe.

Academic development and employability

I am majoring in International Business and participating on exchange has helped me see how much I would love to work in an international environment and live overseas again.
It has enhanced my employability by giving me real-life experience working and communicating with a variety of people and cultures.
It has made me more open-minded and flexible as I had to adapt to a whole new culture and lifestyle.

First day exploring Prague with my roommates

Highlight

I think the highlight of my experience was just meeting all the amazing people whilst on exchange.
Before coming back home I was able to travel to the countries where some of my friends lived and I stayed with them.
It was so amazing to learn about their home countries and I definitely got more out of the travels by being shown around by locals!

Charles Bridge and the Vltava River

Top tips

If you are considering going on exchange to Prague (or anywhere), DO IT!
It was definitely the best decision I have made.
I experienced so many amazing things, explored beautiful cities and made life-long friends with people all over the world.

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