Hi! My name is Sam, and I am a junior at Emory University studying Economics and Mathematics. Currently, I am abroad in Prague, Czech Republic on a CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange) program. Throughout the semester I will be sharing my personal experiences with academics in a new setting, the amazing sights Prague offers, cultural differences between Americans and Europeans, and my travels to other countries throughout Europe. Feel free to follow along with my posts on Twitter using the hashtag #SamAbroad.
My semester is flying by, and I cannot believe I only have a little over a month left living in Prague. Before I leave and return to the American culture I am accustomed to, I wanted to make sure I experience real Czech life. Here, I have listed a few experiences that made me feel like a Czech local!
1. Shopping at local farmers’ markets. There are farmers markets in different locations almost every day of the week in Prague. Sometimes I stumble upon one, but when I am in town on the weekends, I always make sure to go to my favorite Saturday farmers’ market on the Vltava River. Here, I see local families shopping for fresh produce, flowers, and other traditional treats. Now that I have been studying the Czech language for three months, I’m able to greet the farmers’ and ask how much different products cost. It definitely feels nice not to be surrounded by tourists! I also enjoy listening to the local street performers sing as I shop. Once there was a flea market on the river and I bought a pair of pants for two US dollars!
2. Babysitting for a Czech family. Last Tuesday I started babysitting for a family that lives in a mainly residential area in Prague. The tram ride took about twenty minutes to get to the family’s apartment. I was greeted by the mother, her two daughters, ages six and eight, and their pet dog. This was truly a great experience. While the daughters barely know any English, we played games that we both understood, and I learned some more Czech words from talking with them. We watched The Simpsons in Czech, and the mother invited me to stay for dinner. I spoke with the mom, who is fluent in English, for a while, and I learned a lot about her childhood during the Communist regime, which I have been learning a lot about in my classes. We made crepes, which served as a sweet end before I said goodbye.
3. Attending an exercise class. One of my classes was canceled last week, so I saw that as an opportunity to try something new. I searched online and found a Bikram yoga studio just a few minutes away from my dorm. I had never taken a hot yoga class before, so it was challenging enough, but I was also faced with another challenge of taking the class in Czech! Everyone else in the class was Czech, so the teacher spoke very quickly, but she was very nice and helpful when she could see that I didn’t understand her instructions.
These few experiences have helped me feel more like a local and less like a tourist. I am starting to feel a lot more comfortable calling Prague my home. I can’t wait to update you on my future abroad experiences in my next post!
Love our blog? Like us on Facebook to get all of our fun education tips.