A case for studying abroad

If you have got decided to read this article because you’re on the fence approximately analyzing overseas, permit me simply to say: Do it. I am writing this article now at an airport in Prague; I look at the overseas program that has simply ended, and I am already reminiscing approximately it. From the new ingredients to the friends made, I can virtually say that reading overseas turned into the pleasant semester I actually have spent in university. To keep away from turning into that-one-pal-who-gained’t-close-up-about-her-semester-overseas, I will talk about it once in this article and then in no way carry it up once more. That manner, if certainly one of your actual pals also keeps going on approximately their look at abroad experience, you could display them this and say: “I know. I get it!” So without additional ado, right here are my largest takeaways from residing in Prague this past semester.

You’re going to be frightened.

Going to Prague, I turned into actually flying out of my comfort zone to a place wherein I knew no person, could not talk the language, and was — in contrast to in Berkeley — going to be one of the few Asians within the application, not to mention the whole u. S. A… My mind at the aircraft spanned from “It’ll be excellent if I don’t make buddies” to “Oh my God, what if human beings yell racial slurs at me, but I received even realize as it’s in Czech?” It didn’t help that on my connecting flight from Frankfurt to Prague, it regarded like anyone on the aircraft changed into going to observe abroad, and all someway knew every other. A concept I had already overlooked out on the window to make friends although the program hadn’t even commenced but.

It’s like freshman year all over again, simplest this time, you may legally drink
It became needless traumatic about all those matters because the first two weeks of orientation hastily showed me that everybody turned into seeking to make pals. It felt like a countrywide version of freshman yr — humans were discussing their majors, their hometowns, and the schools they went to. Coming from Berkeley, where it seems like all people are either from NorCal or SoCal, it became exciting to interact with software full of people from the Midwest, East Coast, and even the South. I learned what a Chicago accessory gave the impression of, what Frank’s RedHot sauce is, and that the word “slaps” is apparently slang in Florida. I also realized that I assumed all of us knew the whole thing, approximately California. When I advised human beings I become from the Bay Area; I was given reactions starting from “Cool. Which bay?” to “Oh, so Maryland?” to “Is that Los Angeles?”

Culture shock is actual. Very actual.

People don’t smile within the Czech Republic! There is actually an issue referred to as “Metro face” in Prague, which is a look of stone-cold indifference that everyone puts on. It can also seem unfriendly or impolite. However, that is simply the way it works here. It doesn’t help that staring is socially acceptable so that you may also turn your head on the Metro best to come face to face with a Czech citizen churlishly making extreme eye touch with you. By the stop of the semester, I had perfected my Metro face and become staring proper again at all and sundry.

Food, glorious meals

Czech meals start and end with various sorts of meat — from red meat goulash to pork sausages. Being vegetarian, the most effective Czech meals I ought to virtually consume changed into fried cheese with tartar sauce, which is delicious however very dangerous nutrition-smart whilst it’s your best meal option. I needed to look out of doors at the neighborhood cuisine, but happily, there are plenty of global options within the city. Ironically, pho and burritos have been the food I most usually ate; that is my exact food plan in Berkeley. It turned into like I had by no means left.

I was also lucky enough to tour different international locations on the weekends, and I had an excellent time sampling neighborhood cuisines. Waffles in Belgium! Fondue in Switzerland! Pasta in Italy! More pasta in Italy! The pleasant aspect I ate were pierogies in Poland, which — and this is not an exaggeration — tasted like little pockets full of happiness. I fell in love with pierogies so hard that I went to a 24-hour pierogi location at 2 a.M on our last night time. To consume them one last time.

Right before I get off my journey high horse, allow me just say analyzing abroad compelled me to step of my comfort sector in a first-rate manner. Everyone takes a look at overseas revel in will be distinct, but I cannot advise it enough. I got to take a destroy from the Berkeley bubble and meet humans I would never have met otherwise. I had as soon as-in-a-lifetime studies that I will cherish (and subtly brag approximately to my pals) for a long, long term. My stomach is a bit heavier, and my pockets are a touch bit lighter, but if I could pass again and do all of it all over again, I might.

Jaclyn H. Dempsey
Jaclyn H. Dempsey
I’ve worked in education since my first year of college when I tutored students in Spanish. Since then, I’ve helped students prepare for standardized tests, master algebraic equations, and write poetry essays. I am an adjunct instructor at NYU’s Center for Continuing Education. In my spare time, I write a series of educational posts about teaching, study methods, and life skills on my blog, Prodigibook.com. Check out my blog if you’re looking for tips and tricks to improve your study or classroom performance.

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