Daniel Perez Gil Rodriguez
Management Information Systems
Prague, Czech Republic
Why I Did I Choose Prague?
One of the main reasons that made me choose Prague was its perfect location. Czech Republic is located in Central Europe and it has borders with Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria. I can even say that Prague can be considered as "the heart of Europe". It is really easy to travel anywhere else from Czech Republic. Another reason for choosing Czech Republic was that everything is really cheap! I could get a really good meal for less that $5. (Hint: Beer anywhere in Prague is $1)
But overall, I think I chose Prague just for the experience of living in a Central European country, where the language and culture is totally different and where I could challenge myself to try different things.
Why Study Abroad?
I have always been aware of how important relationships and interaction among people from different cultures are; a feeling that only grew stronger by being an international student at RIT, and that was confirmed during my semester abroad in the Czech Republic.
Nevertheless, it is true that even if I claim to be an open, caring and inclusive person, I don’t know my own country nor any other, as well as I, thought I did. For this reason, volunteering and going abroad has been my new way of approaching people and immersing myself in completely different cultures.
It has never been clearer for me that if we aim to become the globalized and inclusive society we all talk about, it is necessary to keep on promoting cultural exchange programs as well as volunteering both locally and internationally.
There is no doubt, that for me, as an international student, the whole process of moving to another country has been an everyday challenge. As a foreign student, you will always feel out of your comfort zone. However, these experiences have given me the opportunity to immerse myself into completely different cultures, to understand these cultures, to challenge myself every day, and most importantly, to meet fascinating people. Now, I’m completely sure, that these are the experiences that have built up my character, inspired and fulfilled me the most.
Typical Day in Prague
After I woke up, I would go to the grocery store (potraviny) in the corner of my street and buy something for breakfast. Then I would take tram number 14 in the station Tusarova to go to the next station Masarykovo Nadrazi where I changed to tram number 26. The latter took me to Husinecka, the closest stop to my university, University of Economics in Prague or VSE. I attended class everyday from 9:15 am to 4:00 pm. After classes I always had a different plan, wherever you walk you will find something amazing. Prague is a beautiful city, its cultural and historic richness is fascinating. Around 6:00 pm I usually went to one of the several "beer gardens" to meet with some friends and watch the sunset with an incredible sightseeing of the city. Then I would finish my day by cooking dinner at home, doing school work and going to sleep.
How Was Life Different in Prague?
One of the things that I loved about Prague is that you don’t depend on a car to go everywhere. Public transportation is really efficient and the tram takes you everywhere. You can easily go from one side of the city to another in less than 20 min by public transportation.
Something really different from my home country is the impressive architecture. Influenced by architects from all Europe, Czech Republic is a mixture of architectural styles and periods. The city itself is a museum, having buildings from Gothic, Neoclassic, Renaissance and Contemporary periods.
The language was definitely something really interesting too. Everyone in Czech Republic speak Czech, it is considered as one of the most difficult languages to learn.