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Preparing to Study Abroad: From Newfoundland, Canada to Prague, Czech Republic

Verge's first study abroad blogger gets ready for her upcoming semester in Europe.

My time left in Newfoundland is quickly coming to an end. On September 1, I fly home to Nova Scotia and then less than two weeks later, I board my 15 hour red-eye flight to Prague, Czech Republic.

I am currently a student at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) and will be studying in Prague through an international study abroad semester with the Faculty of Business Administration. I will be in Prague from September until December and my excitement is overwhelming.

My Youth Mobility Visa application is submitted, the roundtrip flight is purchased and I have registered for courses at the University of Economics. I am in no way wishing away my time here, but I am definitely excited to embark on my journey.

I’m really looking forward to the courses I have signed up for and I’m interested to see the different teaching styles. I have heard that studying in Europe is more hands-on than in Canada, which I am really looking forward to—I would much rather do projects and assignments than sit down and study for a midterm or final exam.

Why did I decide to study abroad?

Traveling is not something I have done much of yet. Small trips here and there within Canada are about it; visiting my sister in Vancouver has been my most recent excursion. I have been aching to travel for the past year and one day I just decided I wanted to get up and go, so I applied for the semester abroad.

I have been volunteering for the past year with an international exchange program, AIESEC Memorial, and it has really opened my eyes to the value of international experiences. I have not yet been able to go on an internship with AIESEC because of my very structured school program, so I took advantage of the study abroad program instead.

Why Prague?

I chose Prague because I have heard how incredibly gorgeous it is and I really want to see Europe. The Czech Republic allows you to see Europe and travel very easily, while offering cheaper options and a unique culture.

What challenges do I anticipate?

I know the language barrier could be problematic at times but I am really looking forward to the challenge. I am taking an introductory Czech course, which should help and I’ll also be matched with a buddy through the university. This buddy will pick me up at the airport, bring me to my dorm, help me run errands and find my way for the first few days. The buddy program also offers a variety of weekend trips throughout the Czech Republic and neighbouring countries.

I will get the chance to meet so many new people through this program, as well as through staying in residence with other international students. I think the buddy system will be a fantastic program and I’m extremely excited for the new friends and travels.

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Beth Saunders

Beth Saunders is a young Nova Scotian who studied Commerce at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. During a semester abroad at the University of Economics in Prague, Beth shares her overseas adventures with us.

Website: bethsaunders.wordpress.com/

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