During my time in the Czech Republic I studied at VSE, the School of Economics, Prague. I found the classes rewarding and took the opportunity to study some classes unique to the university for my Bachelor of Economics, such as the Economics of Drug Use. The lectures tended to be quite young and enthusiastic in their teachings and were very friendly. They were always available and eager to help out exchange students to help you get the most out of your education.

I lived in the student dormitories in the working class suburb of Zizkov. Both international students and Czech students alike live in these dormitories and it has a very friendly, large family atmosphere. There was never a quiet moment in the dorms with someone always wanting to play basketball, go for a run or just drink a beer at the local pub. My roommate was from Texas and my other two flatmates were from Canada. Despite my flat being monopolised by North America I made good friends with people from all over the world from Mexico to Finland that I would not even hesitate visiting given the opportunity.

Prague itself is a beautiful city and the best way to see it all is on foot. Take random trams and go walking without direction and you will be amazed at the beauty you can find and the outstanding views of the sprawling city you might stumble upon. Outside of the city itself are dense forests that are majestic in their own right. Take the number the 26 tram out to the stunning rock formation, Divorka Sarka, which offers picturesque landscapes and a marvellous view of the city.

Prague’s nightlife is just as promised, with an exciting night guaranteed any night of the week. Tuesdays are especially worthy with the VSE Nation2Nation parties holding a big event for International and Czech students every week on Tuesday night. Don’t book a Wednesday morning class, though!

The Buddy System will assign you a buddy to help you settle in and it is well worth asking for their help in the beginning weeks. You may never see your buddy around but they will always be there at a moment’s notice if you need help with the Czech language or any other issue you might have. The Buddy System also organises weekly trips to exciting and exotic places. I went on the Brno, Bratislava and Vienna trip and could not have had a better time!

Prague offers heaps of fun activities for you to sink your teeth into. While I was on exchange I ran the Prague marathon, went paintballing, played paintball, went pedal boating, went hiking in Bohemian Switzerland just North of Prague and most importantly barbecued on every sunny day possible. All of these activities can also be improved with the ridiculously cheap beer Prague has to offer.

Some tips to get the most out of your exchange:

  • Don’t put off getting to know someone. In the final weeks of exchange you’ll find that everyone regrets not getting to know some people better.
  • Optimise your timetable for travelling. Prague offers an amazing central location for travelling to both East and West Europe quickly and cheaply; get out there as much as possible.
  • Take heaps of Aussie gifts. Australia is internationally renowned for being awesome and the friends you make will love an Aussie present.
  • Say yes to everything. A healthy fear of missing out will put you on a course for some of the best moments of your life. The best times are always the ones that take you by surprise.
  • Enjoy Prague to the fullest because there’s no way you can’t!

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