Bachelor of Economics/Laws
Bachelor of Economics/Laws

“If European cities were a necklace, Prague would be a diamond among the pearls” [Anon].

After my time in this amazing city, I completely agree with this. My time spent abroad in the Czech Republic studying economics at VSE was without a doubt the most incredible experience of my life. I haven’t been able to stop talking about my amazing semester – I have made lifelong friends and fallen in love with the city of Prague. This experience was absolutely priceless, and I will treasure the memories I created forever!

I lived in the student dormitories out in the suburb of Zizkov and honestly believe that this contributed in a huge way to my exchange experience. Most of the exchange students lived in this area and so every night there was something happening, someone doing something, someone wanting to go out. My roommate was a Canadian, and our flatmates were a girl from Bangladesh and a girl from Lebanon, both of whom study in America. The Number 9 tram took you straight from the dormitories to the university to the main train station to the Old Town and even over the bridge – so it was never far to go anywhere!

I chose to leave my law subjects at home and study economics electives – VSE is quite highly regarded within Europe and provided subjects such as the Economics of State Interventionism, the Economics of the Czech Republic and the European Union and the Economic Theory of Politics – subjects covering areas I wouldn’t have been able to learn about back home in Australia. Most of the classes were full of other exchange students and the professors loved hearing about our different countries.

The Czech Republic is a beautiful country, and after my time here Prague is definitely one of my favourite cities in the world. The streets within Prague are an absolute fairy-tale, scarcely touched by the twenty-first century – or the twentieth or nineteenth, for that matter. The people are amazing and so proud of their country; the transport is fantastic; everything is cheap; and beer is less expensive than water! I cannot say enough times just how amazing my exchange was – I would say to anyone considering Prague as an exchange destination: DO IT! You will have the best experience of your life.

There are five things that I wish I had known before I started the exchange or I wish I had listened to before I went abroad:

  • Do not – I repeat, DO NOT – schedule classes on a Wednesday morning. The Nation2Nation parties on Tuesday nights are the highlight of the week and you probably won’t make a class earlier than about 4pm [see other testimonials from UQ students who attended VSE to confirm!]. Given attendance is compulsory to pass most of the classes, this is one piece of advice I wish I had listened to more strongly!
  • Go to the theatre – it is so cheap to be a cultured student in Prague. If you go to the State Opera House or the National Theatre around an hour before performances are due to start, student tickets can be purchased for 50CZK – the equivalent of $2.50AUD. Even if you haven’t heard of the opera or the play or the ballet that’s being performed, go ahead and check it out!
  • The top 3 beers – in my opinion! – are Budvar, Krusovice and Gambrinos. Most of these are available on tap and you can grab a half litre of 40CZK - $2AUD.
  • Take weekend and day trips outside of Prague – the countryside of the Czech Republic is absolutely beautiful and transport around the country is, in typical European fashion, exemplary. Towns such as Karlovy Vary, Kutna Hora and Cesky Krumov definitely deserve a mention.
  • Go and see an ice-hockey game. The Czech league is fantastic and the supporters are great!  

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