When I came to Auburn for my freshman year, I had already decided that I was going to study abroad. I did not know where, but I knew I wanted to go for a whole semester and completely submerge myself in another culture. I had never been to Europe, so my love for history and culture made it an easy decision to study there. I was concerned about the language barrier, but after many consultations with the Auburn Study Abroad office, I decided to study in Prague, Czech Republic. I really didn’t know anything about the culture, but I knew it was centrally located in Europe, a rather inexpensive city, and had a young and fun social scene. I soon began planning for my semester, incredibly excited for the adventure of not knowing anyone else or my surroundings, but learning and discovering new and exciting things.
I arrived in Prague, and although it was much colder than my southern self was used to, I completely fell in love with the architecture and calm vibe of the city. I roomed with five other girls and we all immediately became best friends in a matter of days. I only had to attend classes Tuesday-Thursday and even that was a joy. Taking a fifteen-minute walk through the beautiful city to arrive at the quaint, private university I attended with 200 of the other students in my program along with 200 other international students were some of my favorite memories. I was able to develop relationships with my teachers and other students and had so much fun working on group projects or just hanging out in the school café getting to know one-another.
When traveling, we all made sure to keep a couple weekends free to be able to explore and enjoy Prague together. I was lucky enough to go on 12 different trips over the course of the semester, being able to travel to and explore Italy, Hungary, Austria, Ireland, Poland, Germany, Croatia, and the Netherlands, and of course, the Czech Republic. I made the most amazing memories traveling with other people in my program and experiencing other places and cultures. Whether it was hiking Cinque Terre, Italy in the pouring rain, driving along the coast of Croatia in a rental car with your roommates, or dancing to German music at Springfest in Munich, every experience was amazing, unique, and completely picturesque.
Before we even left Prague, my roommates and I already began planning our reunion with all of our new friends and even started talking about when we were all going to come back to Prague together. Seeing
Europe with what became some of my closest friends was a life changing experience that I would not change for the world. My incredible abroad experience is why I am so happy to be an Auburn Abroad Intern so I can not only market my abroad experience better in my future, but also encourage other students to go abroad and step out of their comfort zone. Putting yourself out there in a new place with new people is an incredibly rewarding experience for every individual. I will be back Europe!
CEA in Prague, Spring 2017