Hello again! In my last blogpost I wrote about my arrival, the UNYP and some general facts & informations about Prague. As time flies by people sometimes tend to change their attitude towards something new turning into something „usual“… But what I can tell you after almost four months in Prague is that I’m still in love with this city and kind of feel local by now. In the following post I will tell you some tips and tricks I’ve learned during my stay here:
Right at the beginning of my journey, I wasn’t really sure what to think of the local inhabitants of Prague. There is nothing really special or extraordinary about the people here at first sight. They often look kind of grumpy and behave quite reserved. When I asked my friend about what impression she has of the people here, she told me that she will always remember these „ugly fabric shoes and cheap duvet jackets in the wildest colors“. I think this is a very funny but true statement. The challenge here is just to start scratching the surface. Knowing the basic Czech words like „Dobry den“ („Hello“), „děkuji“ („Thanks“) or „Na shledanou“ („Goodbye“) often can break the ice and bring a smile to the local’s faces. The Czech people are rather down-to-earth than charming but in my opinion this turns the whole journey here to a diversified and interesting challenge. Talking about challenges – crossing the streets of Prague sometimes can be quite difficult! You really have to keep your eyes open when crossing one of the three-lane roads, as the cars drive by very fast. Also, the pedestrian’s right of way on crosswalks is existent in Prague, but since this regulation is only 2 years old, drivers are still not used to it. So you better not cross a street without checking twice! Apart from that, Prague is a very safe city to live in. You can walk anywhere at any time without feeling strange. On bigger places, like the Wenceslas Square, there are always security guards while police patrols cover the streets, too.
As already mentioned in my previous blogpost, the academic facility here in Prague is very different compared to our Macromedia. You have to „victim“ a lot of your free time in order to prepare homework assignments or essays. Not only is the workload different, but also the style of teaching. I had kind of a flashback to my school life, since the professors here are rather authoritarian and there is less personal interaction between students and professors. Focussing more on the school-comparison, UNYP is very well structured and professional. Everything you need to prepare for your courses, all presentations and an updated overview of your attendance is on your personal e-learning platform. Also, the professors work very fast in reviewing your assignments, so you get your grades via e-learning in almost no time. To sum up my experiences at UNYP, it sometimes was hard to get everything done quickly and properly but it was a good training for my time management. It really helps to make a time schedule including all tasks and dates in order to improve your independence without being too stressed to explore the city.
Speaking of exploring, Prague offers so many cool places to discover. I have to mention that Prague requires some sort of „urge to discover“, as the city does not serve all its best places on a silver platter – you sometimes have to search for them. You don’t really need a city guide – Google Maps will be your best friend during your stay in Prague. I virtually walked through the streets and marked some interesting spots in the map. In addition to that, I highly recommend the Blog „Prague off the map“, providing very unique and secret tips about where to go in Prague. To be honest, the most time we just walked randomly through the tiny passages and discovered the best shops and cafés by ourselves. The „La Bohème“ is one of the most beautiful cafés I’ve ever been to! Unfortunately, a lot of people discovered this hotspot as well, so you really need the luck on your side to get a table there… At „Coffee Corner Bakery“ you can enjoy nice music and the best pumpkin spice latte in town while studying for uni.
Not only has Prague lovely cafés, it also offers a huge variety of cool shops and markets. You can find some unique second hand pieces at „Prague Thrift Store“ (50% discount for students on Fridays) or at „Fifty Fifty“ and the Prague Market near the river is simply amazing!
Since Christmas is right around the corner, I can also highly recommend all the Christmas markets here – especially the one at Namesti Miru, which is two minutes away from UNYP (= mulled wine before / after uni ;-) ).
To summarize, I totally fell in love with Prague and will definitely come back here as the city is like a giant treasure chest full of unique things!