Auburn student pictured abroad in Prague

Czeching out Prague

Harrison Svrcek: IFSA-Butler Reimagining Europe in Prague, Czech Republic Spring 2019

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Whenever I asked for advice about College and things people wish they knew at my age, people always said one of two things: that studying abroad was one of the best experiences of their life or they wished they had studied abroad. So I made it a point to fit it into my schedule to have the experience of a lifetime.

Growing up, I always heard stories about Czech culture and food. My great grandparents immigrated from the Czech Republic to a small town in Texas. So when I decided to study abroad, going back to where my ancestors were from seemed fitting.

I was the only Auburn student going on my program but I was so excited to meet new people. I met people from different parts of the U.S. that were also going on my program and also met people from all over the world who were attending Prague College, where I took classes for the semester. I met so many people from different walks of life and learned about cultures I never thought I would get exposed to.

Prague is the most magical city. There are so many colorful buildings, cute cafes, markers, bridges, and castles. During my first week in Prague, after a day of orientation the friends I had made that day and I braved riding the trams for the first time by ourselves and climbed the stairs to go see the Prague Castle. We went right at sunset, after a day of snow to see the largest ancient castle in the world. It is a moment I’ll never forget. The bright red roofs covered in snow, the beautiful Prague sunset setting over the horizon, and the beautiful grounds of Prague Castle. Everyday in Prague felt like this.

I fell in love with the crazy Czech language, the people, the international community, the Czech food, and the beautiful sites everywhere I looked. Learning about the tumultuous history and all the adversity the Czechs and those living there overcame was inspiring. I don’t think I have ever learning so many new things about history, the EU, other cultures, and more about myself. Prague will forever be a part of me.

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