I have recently completed a semester abroad at Charles University, Prague. I am a final year Arts student, and used my remaining electives while overseas. I chose Prague as it was among the most affordable European cities, a great base for traveling, and it looked incredibly beautiful. I wasn’t disappointed, and would recommend Prague to anyone considering an exchange semester.

I enrolled in six subjects, which may sound like a lot although it was very manageable as some subjects are worth more credits than others. I would recommend to any future Charles students to take the Czech language course, as it is worth 6 credits and is very worthwhile if you are planning on living in Prague for a number of months. My Czech teacher was wonderful, and it was nice to be able to use (albeit very little) some of the local language. My other subjects were Central European history, Balkan History, Ethno-Nationalist studies and a unique diplomatic seminar, in which a European ambassador would address the class each week.

All exchange students are allocated a spot in a dormitory room. The dormitories are incredibly cheap so are definitely a worthwhile option, however I preferred to find private accommodation. I stayed for a short time in the dormitory before finding a room in a flat which was very easy to find, far more central and quite affordable by Brisbane standards.

There was a fairly large group of international students in my Faculty, and it was great to meet so many people from all over the world. The International Club organised many activities including weekends trips to small towns in the Czech Republic, skiing weekends, and a long weekend in Budapest. A weekly Czech film club was also a good opportunity to learn about Czech culture, and the movies were screened in a room which had a beautiful view of Prague castle. Czechs drink more beer per capita than any other nation, which you will find quite evident once you arrive. There are an endless pubs, but I would also recommend exploring some of the great bars and club nights.

  • Plan and organise your visa paperwork as early as possible. It can be a long and frustrating process!
  • If you decide to find a room of your own (which I would recommend!), the classifieds at http://www.expats.cz/ usually has a lot to choose from. Living right in the centre (Prague 1), may be useful, although very busy with tourists as it gets warmer. Other areas include Žižkov, a great inner-city area full of bars and pubs, Nové Město and Vinohrady, which are all very central but with more character and less tourists.
  • The International Club can also assign you to a Czech student which is very useful on arrival when you need to register with the foreign police, who do not speak any English. My Czech ‘buddy' Tereza was even kind enough to pick me up from the airport.
  • Prague is beautiful and absolutely fascinating, so other than the sightseeing favourites (Charles Bridge, Prague Castle) try and check out some lessor known places such as Vyšehrad.
  • Take thermals.

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