About Prague – location, culture and insights
To start with my travel report, I would like to tell you about my journey to Prague. Since the capital city of the Czech Republic is not that far away from Germany, i decided to go there by car. A lot of my student mates got here by bus, which is also very cheap (about 20-30€). When i arrived in Prague i was completely stunned by its beauty! The old baroque buildings painted in various colours, the bridges across the Moldau and the huge amount of city parks are pretty much amazing. Also, i was very surprised how multicultural Prague is. While walking through the streets, you can hear so many different languages and see people from all over the world. Because Prague is located in the middle of Europe, a lot of Americans travel here to make weekend-trips to other European countries during their stay. On my first day here, there was a football game between Germany and the Czech Republic taking place at the football arena in Prague. It was quite funny because i somehow felt like home because of all the German football fans.
In the following days, i moved in my flat and got to know my city district a little bit better. What i can tell you about the housing situation in Prague, contradictory to the common opinion, is that finding a flat here can be challenging. The capital of the Czech Republic has caught the attention of many tourists (including lots of students) during the past, basically because of its culture, beauty and architecture – not to mention the cheap prices for partying and beer. So the housing capacities have decreased and, additionally, have become more expensive. Other than that, the living costs in Prague are lower compared Germany. The supermarkets and mini markets (most of them are open 24/7) are smaller than in Germany and do not offer that much of a variety, but they are very low-priced. Talking more about the city, you can reach almost everything by foot – but you have to be aware of the up and downs of the streets here. The streets are very hilly plus built of cobblestone, so Ladies should better leave their high heels at home ;-). If you don’t want to walk, Prague offers a very good public transport system: the trams here can basically take you anywhere at any time for very cheap (e.g. the student metro pass is about 25€ for three months).
UNYP – about the university system in Prague
The UNYP (University of New York in Prague) is located near to Namesti Miru, which is a famous square at Prague 2, 15 minutes from the city centre. Compared to Macromedia University, UNYP’s campus is very small, but full of students from all over the world. At our orientation day, we met people from the U.S., Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Azerbaijan and other nations. To get to know each other, we played a lot of games together and had a BBQ at a park called Riegrovy Sady. Everybody was nice, open-minded, welcoming and the staff at UNYP was very well-organized. During the past three weeks we could get an impression of how the American study system works. Compared to most of the German Universities, you have to be present at all the courses (if you miss more than three meetings of one course, you fail) and you have to do a lot of homework. My group and I were not used to this system, as we usually like to arrange our workload ourselves. Moreover, there isn’t just one exam or a presentation – at UNYP you have two exams, a presentation, homework plus essays in nearly any course.
What to do in your free time
To get rid of the „university pressure“, Prague offers a lot of things to do in your freetime. The old town is full of shops, museums and parks. I also was totally surprised by the huge variety of extraordinary cafés here in Prague, were you can hang out, drink coffee and enjoy your life. After our evening courses, we often went to the California Bar nearby, which offers drinks and small dishes for very cheap. As i have already mentioned, Prague is big on its „beer culture“. On our first day, we for example went to a pub where you could tap your own beer. Besides the good and cheap drinks here, another plus is that the dress code for bars, clubs and pubs is very relaxed, so you don’t have to worry wether you can go in a club or not. All in all, i am totally happy that i have chosen Prague for my semester abroad and i am looking forward to all the exciting adventures ahead!