Hello, and welcome to d&mAbroad! My name is Courtney and I’ll be one of several bloggers reporting from the city of Prague this summer as I wrap up my junior year. It’s likely you were able to infer that I’m a design & merchandising student at Drexel, but over the course of the summer I’ll also be working towards my minor in art history and continuing to build my skills as an amateur photographer. I’ll be enrolled in a survey of architecture and design as well as a street photography course, so prepare yourselves for loads of photos. Additionally, I’ve been granted the wonderful opportunity to develop a project for the study abroad department as part of a scholarship program, so hopefully I’ll be able to provide you with updates along the way.
I’ve known since my freshman year of college that Prague was the city for me. Since I’ve been accepted into the program, though, news of my travels have been met with resounding…ambivalence. “Oh! Prague? Where’s that?”
Nestled between Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria, Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic. The history of this city spans a millennium: it once served as the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and Prague Castle is noted as the oldest ancient castle in the world. A coworker once referred to it as “the jewel of Central Europe” with numerous cultural hubs merely a train ride away. While I will be spending an additional month in Prague, I fully plan to take advantage of its central location. I’ll be venturing to Vienna, Budapest, Rome, Berlin, Paris, and London before I make my way home to the states.
Over the past three weeks, those of us enrolled in the program have been attending a “crash course” in Czech language and culture. We’ve been assigned a series of readings, plays and political manifestos alike, in order to give us a fundamental understanding of the modern Czech. Unfortunately, a solid understanding of the language has not been as easy to grasp. I experienced my first wave of panic during a phone call I made to a foreign airline last week. The woman on the other end answered in Czech and I, upon realizing that I recognized none of what she said, was unable to muster more than a pathetic “Um…”
That being said, I’m off to spend some quality time with my Lonely Planet phrase book and a Czech audiobook in preparation for my departure next week. Wish me luck!