Bachelor of Laws, 4th year
Bachelor of Laws, 4th year

Academic experiences

I had a great experience at Charles University.
The weight of credits is a little different, you have to take 30 ECTS to equal 8 UQ units (classes are either weighted at 6 or 3 ECTS).
The load expected at Charles is definitely lower that at UQ, with less reading required for most courses.
My favourite classes were ‘Out of Court Dispute Resolution’, which contained a lot of discussion, and ‘European Union law’ which I found interesting, having no prior knowledge of the EU system.
In regards to the European focussed classes, Australian students are at a disadvantage to the other students, but it just meant taking detailed notes in the introductory lectures of the EU structure.
Classes are all one 2 hour lecture a week, which is more informal and involves more discussion than lectures at UQ.

View of the city of Prague

Personal experiences

I found Prague to be an incredible city with so many different things to do.
I met great friends from across Europe and the world, and really enjoyed trying out each language as I met people from Austria, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Germany, Italy, France, Poland and more!
We also attempted to learn some Czech which is quite a difficult language, partaking in the language course Charles Uni offered.
Although definitely not fluent, I was able to communicate with shop keepers and waiters, and at least know what I was ordering in restaurants!
Prague is such a central city in Europe that it draws people from all over the place.
This also means that it is a great starting point for exploring both Eastern and Western Europe.
While on exchange, I travelled to Krakow, Budapest, Bratislava, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, London, and many more!

Prague Castle at night

Accommodation

Charles University organises accommodation off campus in university dorms across Prague.
These dorms vary in distance from the city, cost and quality, and it really depends what each person wants.
I got placed in the Troja dorm, which was a 10 minute walk and then 15 minute tram ride from the centre, which I found fine.
Although quite basic, it allowed for cheap living, and a great atmosphere as most of my friends lived in the same building, making for some great nights!
Other friends of ours also moved into their own accommodation, flat sharing with other students, which was more expensive but they enjoyed it a lot.

Exploring a nearby abandonded quarry

Budget

Prague is an extremely cheap city relative to Western European cities and Brisbane.
Your budget really depends on what you can afford.
You can live extremely cheaply, but if you are eating out every day and going out a lot, it all adds up.
Rent was very cheap at the dorm (about $45 a week with $5 a month for internet).
A normal meal in a pub is about 100-200czk ($5-$10), transport for a student is 720czk for 3 months (about $45) and drinks out can vary depending on how touristy the place is.
Travel to other cities can be very cheap on buses, otherwise you can search for budget flights and trains.

Academic development and employability

Prague has been such an amazing experience for me, allowing me to develop my awareness of the world around me.
I think an exchange enhances your employability by showing potential employers that you have life experience, the ability to adapt to a new culture and environment, and the skills to meet new people.

The John Lennon Wall

Highlight

My favourite part about Prague was the history.
Despite so much changing over the past 25 years since Prague became democratic, there is still so much influence from the Communist era.
It's Old Town (Stare Mesto) is extremely well preserved, making any walk into an adventure as you wander the little alleyways.

Top tips

Prague is definitely a city to get lost in, and to just go with the flow and live a little differently.

Like drinking $1.50 beer in dark smoky pubs, trying Czech cuisine of pork knuckle or garlic soup, arguing with a shop keeper who doesn't speak English, late night decisions to jump on a bus to a new city the next morning, coming home long after the sun has risen, and just generally living life as much as you can.
 

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