Prague is incredibly popular among foreigners for its affordability, well-preserved medieval architecture and its endlessly picturesque views. According to the Czech Statistics Office, the Czech capital welcomed 10.6 million tourists in 2018, up 3 million from 2017. The city is also popular among foreign students. According to European Commission, there are currently 43,000 international students studying in Prague. We have asked three of them to share why they chose to study in Prague and their experience here so far.
Anh Hyong is senior majoring in Media and Communications in a South Korean university, who came to study abroad for a semester. “I chose Prague as my study abroad destination because it has an extensive history and it is located in the middle of Europe.” Anh enjoys walking down the streets of Prague and breathing in the city’s atmosphere, that many people who have been living here for a long time are too used to it to notice. “That is
probably the biggest advantage of being a tourist,” she says, “you see everything with fresh eyes.” Anh also points out the difference in transportation. “In comparison with South Korea, the subway system in Prague is convenient because there are only 3 lines and there is no wi-fi.” And what about architecture? “Because of the architectural difference, when I travel back to Korea, I feel like I am teleported into the future because of the skyscrapers and cement sidewalks.”
Jair Jimenez Molina, an exchange student from Mexico, expected Prague to be an old, quiet European city, but to his surprise its quaintness was enhanced by modernity in forms of skyscrapers and futuristic-looking trams, and a great nightlife. Jair says Prague is very beautiful at night and it is incredibly green. He also likes it for its safety: “In Mexico you don’t feel safe walking on the streets at night, but here it is different.” One of the challenges he faced in Prague is that “people here are not really kind and are direct.” When it comes to eating habits, Jair notices that locals’ diet consists primarily of bread and a considerable amount of other carbohydrates, barely of anything spicy, and restaurants charge an extra fee for sauces, while in Mexico it is free. Overall, Jair likes Prague.
Lauren Wolfe is a full-time student from the US, majoring in Humanities. She chose to study in Prague because it is affordable. Like Jair, Lauren found local people as being cold when she first arrived. “Looking back there were mistakes I was making too though like saying ‘ahoj’ instead of ‘dobry den’ which I’m sure contributed.” Before coming to Prague, Lauren studied for a semester abroad in France. When asked to compare studying abroad in Paris and Prague, she answered: “Despite not being fluent in the language at the time, I also felt more comfortable in my own skin in France. Not to the same extent, but I feel the same way here in Prague.” Lauren likes to study in Prague because she loves going to a university where the professors and students both come from such diverse and international backgrounds. “Everybody has a story,” she says. Lauren’s study abroad experience overall has been great so far.
About the author
Anelya Kadyrova is one of PDM’s reporters, who is in her final year of studying journalism in Anglo-American University.