Studying abroad in Prague
Words by: Chloe O’Keeffe Photo from Pexels
It’s so strange thinking it’s nearing two and a half years since my Erasmus studies took place in Prague, Czech Republic. It was the time of my life, and I cannot wait until I can make a return visit. It’s opened my eyes up to living abroad. I can always see myself settle in Ireland, but my semester in Prague has definitely made me want to travel places and live there in short- term stints.
I went on my Erasmus studies solo, and though pre- Erasmus I would have died at the thought, I truly think it was the best thing I could have done. Immediately, I was pushed into having to make friends. Either that or I would have been all alone. On this new experience I made myself take a “yes” approach. There were group chats formed via Whatsapp by my host University. These group chats were a source for arranging meet ups. I decided anything that came up in the chat I would reply to with “Count me in!” or something similar. I moved the Prague about a week before the college semester started. Within days, I’d arranged to meet up with my fellow coursemate, people I made friends with for the whole semester.
The University I attended was the Metropolitan University Prague. It had three buildings all on different corners of the city of Prague, but luckily all my classes ended up being in the same building, the languages building. Along with some English and Media courses I enrolled in Czech class, which was such a fun and enjoyable experience. It was in this Czech class I made friends with one of my greatest friends from my Erasmus experience. The friends I made in the Czech class still have a Whatsapp group, and we chat frequently from all around the world.
Prague is such a beautiful city, and when I moved over in October the weather was quite nice. I was led to believe Prague was freezing, but the first few weeks it was actually pretty sunny. Come Winter snow was a regular occurrence. It was beautiful.
My social and nightlife was in a lot of underground bars, which was a vibe I never had seen before, but one I became very fond of. A favourite of mine was called Vzordkovna, or alternatively the Dog Bar. I’m not entirely sure why it was called the latter, but it was a really cool underground bar. You paid for tokens on entry, and then paid for your drinks in tokens. There were games such as foozball and it was all around a really cool bar. Another of my favourites was the Tiky Taky cocktail bar which was a super cool, pretty affordable cocktail bar.
Prague during Winter and Christmas is a glorious experience, and I’m very grateful that my semester abroad was during this time because the Winter Markets are the best thing I’ve ever seen. They are everywhere, and I’d never been to one before. So I went to them all! The more out of Prague 1 (main city) we went the better the markets, as they were more affordable.
Accommodation in Prague, I believe is quite easy to find if you are searching the right avenues. A lot of students went over and found their accommodation when they were there, but I felt more comfortable going through an agency, and staying in an Air BnB prior to moving into the apartment the agency had organized for me. Air BnBs are very popular in Prague, and a friend of mine actually stayed one in for her whole trip which is another thing to consider if you meet the right homeowner.
The transport system in Prague is next level, and I will always draw comparisons to it when talking about the Irish transport system which can leave a lot to desire in comparison. For a 3-month travel pass which covered buses, trams, night- buses, night- trams and the metro it was the equivalent of €14 and travel ID cost an extra €5. The transport is always on time, and getting from A to B has never been quicker, or easier.