Almost one year ago I sat in USC’s international office with the idea of studying abroad. A few weeks later I excitedly signed an agreement to study at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic and booked my plane ticket to the other side of the world. Since then I have had experiences far and varied. From ice skating, to snow skiing, to mountain hiking and exploring old cities, I find it difficult to put my experience overseas into words.
I headed over to Europe two months before beginning my semester abroad and kicked off my time with an awesome Eurail experience. By train, I travelled to a number of different countries including, Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France and Italy.
At the end of the Summer, I boarded a bus for a student city in the Czech Republic. I had heard great things about Brno but was completely unaware of what would await me. I soon discovered why Brno was so positively regarded by students. Firstly, Brno is incredibly cheap. You can buy beer for less than water and enjoy a restaurant meal for only $5. The student dorm is also located close to the city center and everything you need is within a short walk. Already these qualities of a city are perfect for “economically conscious students”. The International Student Club in Brno is also well organised and hosts a wide variety of events each week. From trivia nights, to language courses, to country presentations, and parties, there is always something for international students to do. It was through these events that I was able to meet friends from different countries around the world. Masaryk University was also a wonderful university to study at. The university offers a wide variety of subjects and allowed me to study and gain credits in classes that involved learning about Czech lifestyle and culture. I use the term “study” loosely as most students including myself spent more time travelling and learning through experience. Travelling with such ease over the weekend was only possible due to Brno’s central location. From watching the snow fall in Cesky Krumlov, to visiting the Christmas markets in Krakow, to relaxing in the Budapest thermal baths, the experiences were endless.
My time abroad gave me a new perspective on the world. I watched the seasons change and experienced a white Christmas. I learnt about new cultures and discovered more about my own, and made friends all around the globe. Studying abroad well and truly exceeded my expectations and I cannot recommend the study overseas program by USC more highly.