Chloe – Czech Technical University – Czech Republic
Semester 1, 2023
Bachelor of Engineering and Mathematics
Going on exchange was the best decision I ever made and picking Prague was the second. From visiting over 12 European countries during my exchange I can easily say the Czech Republic and especially Prague was my favourite and the most beautiful place I have ever been. I originally chose Prague because of its location, culture and the affordability and it did not disappoint.
Making lifelong friends
The biggest highlights were the lifelong friends I have made from people all around the world. The international program at Czech technical university is massive and with a dorm lifestyle and lots of activities it was very easy making friends. When I was in Prague, I quickly found out that I was the only person from Australia out of all the international students and while at first this was very daunting it was definitely a blessing in disguise it encouraged me to interact and meet people from around the globe. So, if you are looking for a very culturally diverse program and a place to really branch out of your comfort zone, I would really recommend Prague.
Travelling in Prague
Another highlight of my exchange was the travel. Prague has an amazing location being very central in Europe so weekend trips were a must. I would say about every second weekend a few of my roommates or other friends I made would get on a bus or train to go visit the nearby cities in the Czech Republic but also countries like Germany, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, and Austria just to name a few. Traveling by bus and train made it super affordable especially during the off season. Another highlight is the affordability of Prague. While it is definitely not as cheap at what it used to be it is so affordable for a student to live in. Public transport is literally about $20 for the whole 6 months for unlimited transport in Prague. Going out on a night is so much cheaper than Australia. A drink out can cost as little as $3 and public transport runs all night so no need to pay an expensive uber.
Czech Technical University has an international student club (ISC) which is run by Czech and other international full-time students, and they organise many activities, trips and parties that really involve you into the university. I really recommend joining! They also run the buddy program. So as an international student you can sign up to get a buddy and they will pick you up from the airport, show you around and help you get settled and some even check up on you later in the semester as well. I didn’t sign up to get a buddy when I come to Prague and that is the one thing I would have done differently. Every single one of my friends had buddies and it just made the move in process so much easier, so I really recommend.
More on the Czech Technical University, academically it was very different then QUT. They have a system where the only grade that matters is the final exam grade but to be able to sit the final exam you have to complete homework tasks and assignments, but they are not graded rather you just need to pass. I actually really liked this system as I felt like a had a lot of time to travel and have fun rather then studying haha.
Some tips from my experience
Here are some more tips for an exchange semester in Prague.
- Visa: Even though I heard this over and over again I somehow decided that I would be fine and didn’t take anyone’s advice but I’m serious research the visa!!! I had so many problems with my visa, and it made for such a stressful few months before the exchange because I wasn’t certain if I would get my visa in time. So please get your documents prepared and translated early!
- Accommodation: I really recommend that if you are coming to Prague to study at the Czech technical university stay in the masarykova dormitory. This is where I stayed, and I had so much fun. I had roommates from Spain, USA, Canada, and Germany and that is the dormitory where all the international students live so you will meet so many people. Also, while it is not a hotel it is the nicest dormitory accommodation the universities offers so don’t expect anything fancy.
- Language: You do not need to learn Czech to get by in Prague. Almost everyone speaks English, and I never had a problem at all. But I would really recommend learning a little bit even just a few key phrases. It really makes a difference because it immerses yourself more into the culture and also a lot of tourists coming to Prague will not learn any so even just saying a Czech thankyou leaves a great impression on some of the people you will meet in Prague.
Overall, the exchange was such an amazing experience I have no regrets and wish I could do it all over again.
Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.