Special Nature of the Fall and Spring Semesters
More than anything else, while studying abroad one is able to learn about themselves-to mature, accept circumstances, and appreciate the beauty of the world. Studying abroad in Prague has taught me to enjoy life, to take in my surroundings-hear the sounds of the language, the traffic, the culture. Prague has inspired me to see more of the world and to gain a better understanding of it. It has put a passion in me to explore, understand, learn, accept, appreciate, and enjoy. It is one of the most valuable experiences I will ever have.
We hope you will share the feelings of one of our former students, expressed above, after 4 months of stay here.
The major difference between the summer and the fall/spring semester stay is its length. In other words, students have more time to absorb the academic content, to appreciate the cultural milieu, and to reflect on their private lives as well as their lives as Americans. That is one of the greatest benefits – and challenges – of study abroad.
♦ Students are away from their social support network. On one hand, no one expects anything from them and that is liberating. On the other hand, it is also challenging and potentially hard. Students are forced to find a replacement for their „rut“— they have to find their bearings on their own.
♦ Fall/Spring semester students take more courses than the summer semester students. They learn to regard things from new, unfamiliar perspectives.
♦ Four months are enough to establish friendships with other European students.
♦ They have more time for individual travel. Courses can be organized into 4 days, clearing the rest of the week for excursions. Fall/Spring semester students can attend, at a much more relaxed pace, the program’s guided trips.
♦ Coming to Prague is an excellent choice. It is cosmopolitan and yet not overwhelming, people of all ages and tastes find fine entertainment here. There are no immigrant issues that plague many other European countries. The level of violent crime is extremely low.
Prague is very beautiful. Coming for an entire semester gives one an opportunity to explore it, to see it as if it were new everyday, to be able to sit down in a park, thrown into an aesthetic contemplation – both of the monuments and the life force that gave rise to them. The monuments express relationships, ideas; they are statements about the way of life and world-view of the people who built them. They remind the living of their heritage, of their “past life” – of their roots. American students can come to appreciate history as a positive force here and see it not as an obstacle or something irrelevant to their current life and future strivings.