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All blog posts are by University of Michigan students who have participated in a CGIS program. The following blogs are students studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic.
Allyson explores anxiety as a foreigner in Czechia
Something that has made a large impact in my life is my mental health. I’ve always had anxiety and while I have traveled before, it is something I have never done alone. Going to college has somewhat eased my mind with doing things on my own, like going to restaurants or having the confidence to order things and speak up. But doing those things in a foreign country that does not have English as one of its languages made that social anxiety resurface.
Illya connects Russian identity with Czech cultural experience
My identity as a Russian and multicultural student made studying abroad in the Czech Republic much easier than it seemed to be for others in my program. Russian is somewhat similar to Czech and I learned a bit of it before going on the program so there was little to no language shock. I also didn’t experience much culture shock because I’m used to adapting to multiple different cultures quickly, and Russian culture is somewhat similar to the Czech culture. I consider myself American as I’ve lived here longer than in Russia, so I somewhat forgot about the cultural differences, but it didn’t take me long to get used to them whereas the people in my program weren’t comfortable or used to them even by the end of it.
Margot reflects on her semester in Prague
I have officially been in Prague for one week! It is crazy to think that it has only been a week because it feels way longer. Jet lag truly disorients the brain’s sense of time. Even though it has felt longer than a week, everything is still very new. It is almost as though I am starting college again because there are heavy adjustments to be made and change is happening. This feeling of apprehension is simultaneously daunting and exciting. I already can feel myself striving to be more independent and going outside my comfort zone. I feel that I usually take the easy way out or avoid things that may be scary or difficult. I fear that sense of disappointment or failure and I hope that the new setting and challenges of this semester will push me to believe in myself and do things I may not normally do.
Zainab reflects on her spring term in Prague
We gathered today for the first time at a Czech restaurant with CET staff for our “Welcome Dinner”. I couldn’t help but notice that there were only 3 people of color in the room, and I was one of them. This came as a bit of a relief as well as a disappointment. I anticipated that I would be the only POC in the room, so I was pleasantly surprised to see other women of color.
Vladislav reflects on his spring term in Prague
The Czech Republic has an incredibly complex history for a country that is relatively young. As an average American, there was little that I knew about this country as I came into it to study abroad in Prague this spring, but coming out of the city 3 weeks later, I felt that I have learned more than I ever could have back in the United States, both through the class that we took, as well as my personal experience.