I have been in the Czech Republic for almost a month now, and it is absolutely beautiful here! This experience is the first time I have ever been out of the states, and while the adjustment was difficult, I am grateful for the opportunity to grow!
When I am not in class, I often go out with a few friends to admire the architecture and enjoy many of the beautiful parks here. The restrictions have limited how much we can do in the city, but the views themselves make up for it all. I honestly don’t know how I am going to move back to Texas after this!
In my classes, there are very little Americans, and I have enjoyed the different perspectives of my peers in class because of this. Many of my courses have group projects, so I am learning how to interact with different nationalities in a work setting.
Overall, I highly recommend study abroad to any student who has the slightest interest in meeting new, interesting people and seeing a little more of the world!
My name is Taylor Strong and I am currently studying at the Prague University of Economics and Business in the Czech Republic. As my first month here comes to an end, I would like to share a brief snippet of what life is like here in Prague. Even though I decided to study in Europe during a global pandemic and the majority of my time here the city has been under loose lockdown restrictions, I have still managed to have the best time ever. Many people back home considered me crazy for going abroad during such unprecedented times but I have no regrets and would not trade this time for anything in the world. One way that has made this transition easier for me is that I am constantly surrounded by my friends and am able to meet new people every day. I currently live in my university’s exchange student dormitory which I cannot recommend enough. Every night there is a social gathering where residents of the dorm either play cards, share food from their native countries or party. I have been able to make so many friends here from all over the world and learn about so many different cultures and lifestyles. They have pushed me to be more outgoing and active. Every day we do something new like explore the city, go on nature walks, try traditional Czech cuisine (I highly recommend the fried cheese and potatoes), etc. Overall, I would say that my first month here has been a transformative experience for me and I have grown immensely as a person and student. As cheesy as it sounds, I truly believe that being here has shown me what kind of person I want to be and has made me realize what I want out of life after I finish my time at Texas A&M.
I would honestly say that studying abroad has been the best decision of my college career so far. I have been blessed with so many new friends that I would consider some of the nicest people in the world that I hope will remain to be lifelong friends. I have been able to learn new languages, try amazing food, learn new sports/games, and best of all experience the European lifestyle like a native. For anyone considering participating in the exchange program, do it. It is a priceless, life-changing adventure.
My name is Fernanda Vidales and I am currently studying in Madrid, Spain for this spring semester 2021. Since the beginning, studying abroad was always something I planned to do because I loved the idea of living in Europe at some point in my life, specifically Spain. Although things changed because it is in the middle of a pandemic, I was still as excited for such an amazing opportunity. I was lucky enough to arrive to Madrid during one of the most historic times, which was when it received the most snow in recorded history so I was able to walk around the city filled with piles of snow for my first few days. It will soon be 2 months since my arrival, yet it has felt like home since day 1.
I started school only a few weeks ago, which is located on the outsides of Madrid in Universidad de Carlos III de Getafe, but I live in the city center. One of the most amazing things about this city is how easy and fast public transportation is. Living in the heart of Madrid has been the best choice because everything is walking distance and I never feel the need to stay in my apartment since I have the chance to distract myself and go for strolls around the city. Because of Covid, there is currently a “toque de queda,” which is currently from 11pm- 6am and it means no one can be out on the streets during those hours and everything is closed–except pharmacies for emergencies.
Even with the toque de queda I have been able to enjoy a somewhat type of normality living in this city because restaurants, movie theaters, bars, etc. are still opened just with a shorter schedule and a smaller capacity. One of my favorite things about Madrid is how every restaurant has a terrace and there are plenty of rooftops in the city so it is very relaxing to spend so much time outdoors. I also really enjoy trying different local restaurants because authentic Spanish food is delicious. Due to the toque de queda, traveling has been complicated but I hope everything gets better soon and I am able to travel around Europe and have some more freedom before I leave. Everyone in Madrid and on campus have been extremely kind and helpful, it makes me look forward to all the amazing friendships I will continue making this semester. Although I just started school, time has been flying by and I know for sure this will be a once in a lifetime experience…one that I wish would never end.