Bachelor of Laws/Commerce, 6th year
Bachelor of Laws/Commerce, 6th year

Academic Experiences 

Studying Law at Charles University was a "perfect balance" for an exchange. Law students must study 4 compulsory courses; Czech Criminal Law, EU Law, International Business and Private Law and EU Environmental Law. These subjects were overall interesting, but not too challenging (and very much like political science subjects). This allowed ample opportunity to explore Europe and enjoy the wonders of exchange, without unnecessary pressure. In terms of electives I studied Comparative Constitutional Law, which was thoroughly engaging (and a great capstone course to do) and Alternative Dispute Resolution, which was also engaging. These two courses were the more "difficult" courses to engage in, but were good. You could alternatively pick simpler electives.

Personal Experience 

The exchange experience one obtains is very dependent on where they are at the stage of their degree and own personal development. Being in my last year of university, Prague was a good location to blow off steam and do nothing. You have the option to study Czech if you wish (although most people don't bother). I really appreciated the opportunity to meet new people and throw myself out of my comfort zone again (after having spent so long at university). Additionally, Prague acts as a perfect staging ground to explore either Eastern or Western Europe. Having travelled extensively through Western Europe previously, having the ability to explore Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Bosnia all by bus/car was a novel and enjoyable way to see a very diverse and alternate part of Europe. Additionally flights to Western European cities (London, Amsterdam, Barcelona) were still quite affordable.

Accommodation

I stayed in the Trojska dormitories. These are basic, but liveable (depending on how adaptable you are). Additionally, they are very cheap ($50 AUD a week) and a lot of other Erasmus students live there; so they provide a good focal point for social interactions. They are a little out of the city centre, but you get unlimited travel as a student and Ubers are very cheap so this isn't too restrictive. You share your room (although I was lucky enough to have my room-mate leave). Given the low cost and social element to Trojska I would recommend trying it out, then considering if you want to move out after a while there (although few people do this, it is relatively easy).

Budget 

Prague is very cheap if you're living there. As any capital city you have the scope to spend more money if you desire and Prague has the unique opportunity for you to "pick your own adventure." You can live a classic student lifestyle, or you can eat and spend more. Avoiding the tourist areas and you can relatively comfortably live off $30 a day (or less). Beers cost $2 on average (although expect to pay $5 at night clubs). Accomodation for 4 months was $800, public transport was $100. The biggest variables are how much you eat out, and how much you travel (and where you travel). For example, for a weekend in London I could spend what I would live off in Prague for 2-3 weeks. As a result, you could go to Prague and stay in Eastern Europe for a while easily on $10,000 (including flights). However the longer you spend in Europe over June-July will easily eat into your funds.

Academic Development and Employability 

An ability to engage a wider group of people and greater self-confidence in new situations. A greater resilience and ability to spend time by myself.

Highlight 

The down time and ability to travel every weekend, in particularly skiing for the first time in my life at a price that made it possible ($250 AUD for all expenses for the weekend). Additionally, not having to worry about budgeting too much was liberating.

Top Tips

The Czech Republic is a very very affordable location for an exchange, and is very centrally located for travel. Prague is a beautiful but small city. It's important to think about what you want to get out of exchange and choose accordingly. Prague is great if you want a cheap base to travel from, and want to go out clubbing regularly. Having been on other exchanges I think that socially, other exchange destinations are better (think Nordic countries, the US). That's not to say you won't make friends, but it can just be more difficult than elsewhere. Ultimately, consider what "type" of exchange experience you want in addition to your budget; not everyone has the same "perfect" exchange destination.

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