By Emily Rose
If you’re reading this and have no idea where the Czech Republic is then don’t worry, you’re in the same boat as 90% of the people who asked where I was spending my semester abroad and looked utterly confused when I responded with the Czech Republic. I ended up studying in the Czech Republic because I knew nothing about it and wanted to be challenged and after spending 114 days living in that country, I can honestly tell you that it was the most amazing experience of my life and it all had to do because of the country and city that I was in.
In the words of one of Prague’s most famous writers, Franz Kafka “Prague never lets you go...this dear little mother has sharp claws.” I never really understood why this Kafka guy was so in love with Prague until I left and realized that Prague had sunk its sharp claws into me. This is why you need to study abroad in Prague:
The Food: Let me start by saying that if you are a vegetarian or a vegan, then it is going to be hard for you to fall in love with the food of Prague; unless you’re down to eat dumplings for every meal. The food in Prague is all hearty, stick-to-your-ribs type of food. You’re not going to find a farm fresh salad, instead you’ll be seeing a lot of beef, duck and parts of animals that you never thought that you would like. My personal favorite is the Czech pork knuckle. Yes, you heard that right I loved to eat the foot of a pig. But let’s not forget the most important meal of the day dessert. Sure tredelnik is cool, but the real Czechs know that the chocolate cake from Prague is where you go to have your chocolate cake dreams realized.
It’s Cheap To Live There!: I didn’t realize how cheap it was for me to live and go to school in Prague until I actually got over there. A really good meal that will fill you up and convince you that you will be full for the rest of your life will cost you around $8 USD, and a half liter of beer will set you back a whopping $1 USD. If you’re ballin’ on a budget then Prague will definitely be your new bff.
The Drinks: Beer, beer, and more beer. The Czechs love beer like Oprah loves bread, and if you don’t like beer then look at studying abroad in a different country. The Czechs drink beer more than water which is a-ok with me, and the best part is that the beer actually tastes good in the Czech Republic! The two most popular (and tastiest) Czech beers are Pilsner-Urquell and Budweiser Budvar but don’t take my word for it, go and get a bottle and decide for yourself! If you’re more of a wine drinker then you HAVE TO study abroad during the fall semester for one reason: Burčák. It is a special type of wine that is only available in September and it will change your life. The best way to explain what burčák is that it is lemonade with a little devil inside. It tastes like sparkling lemonade but if you have too much your liver will be gasping for air and wondering what it ever did to deserve that type of treatment.
The Views: I could never manage to get over the amazing views that Prague has to offer even after a full semester there. Take a 15 minute walk from Old Town Square and you can find yourself at either Letna Park or Prague Castle, both of which have amazing views of the city. For a real experience, go up to Letna Park right before sunset with your friends and watch the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. If you don’t believe me just Czech out (I’m sorry, I had to) this sweet pic from the top of Letna!
The other parts of the Czech Republic that aren’t Prague: The CR is so much more than just Prague! Sure Prague is absolutely amazing but the rest of the CR is equally as beautiful. In the Eastern part of the Czech Republic is the city of Brno which is home to one of the most beautiful cathedrals! Or if you’re feeling more adventurous and you want to get in some hiking you can go to Czech Switzerland and stand in awe of the rock formations.
Location, location, location: One of the best parts about living the in Czech Republic is that it is a country that is quite literally smack dab in the middle of Europe. Since the CR is bordered by Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria you can take a train or a cheap and quick flight to any of the bordering countries for a weekend away!
No matter where you may end up studying, make sure that you set aside one of your weekends to experience Prague and all that it has to offer. If you end up studying in Prague then prepare yourself for one of the best experiences of your life...and the amazing beer of course! Explore more of Central Europe with our Best of Central Europe Trip!