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.
Since my last post, I have traveled to Rome, as well as a few other cities within the Czech Republic. When getting ready to leave for Italy, I made sure to pack lightly. Bringing just the right amount of clothing, and nothing extra, is crucial, because many of the cheaper European airlines only allow for one carry-on item. I actually had to stuff my backpack into my other tote bag to be allowed me to board the plane! Also, always leave early for the airport, allowing extra time for traffic. I asked my professor Thursday morning if I could leave a few minutes before class was over, and he was very understanding. Another travel tip is to make sure your phone works internationally; I rarely use my Czech phone, but it is important it has service at all times in case of an emergency.
Once arriving in Rome, I met up with friends from Emory that are currently studying abroad in Italy. The long weekend was filled with a lot of exploring; I saw several churches, the Pantheon, the Coliseum, the Vatican, the Trevi fountain and other famous areas. When touring, I would definitely recommend going on guided tours; this is a great way to cut the insanely long lines and learn more about the sights. Also, you can usually get a student and group discount. While I was constantly on the move, I worked up an appetite for amazing pasta and pizza meals, and some of the best gelato for dessert.
When I arrived back in Prague on Monday morning, I was left with just a little time to unpack before heading back to class. Fortunately, my workload abroad has been pretty light; that being said, it is still important to keep up with work. Since I don’t want to be stuck in my dorm writing papers while I am in a beautiful city, I try to find cute cafes where I can study with friends.
While I am lucky that I haven’t been assigned to do too much work this semester, I am also glad that my classes go on field trips! Instead of only having lectures, my teachers have also been teaching outside of the classroom; I visited historical chateaus and castles with my Art and Architecture class and a car and a beer factory with my Economics class.
Now that midterms are just around the corner, I better get back to studying! I can’t wait to update you soon!
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