JULY 27, 2013

CityU in Prague – The Start of a New Adventure!

CityU in Prague – The Start of a New Adventure!

By Lakeisha Jackson

Prague!In the heart of Europe, lies a country so very welcoming and so very beautiful that it will take your breath away – The Czech Republic! Full of hope, warmth and possibility Prague/VSFS (the University of Finance and Administration) has welcomed 41 students and three staff chaperones to this wonderful university, city and county.  Upon my arrival at the Prague International Airport on July 11, I was greeted by VSFS staff members Zuzana Heranova and Petr Castka. As they were taking me to the Domyno (the lodging accommodations for our stay) I gave into the jet-lag that soon set in…

On Friday, July 12 VSFS provided an orientation for our group of students and staff chaperons. We Group pic - orientationstarted at the Domyno, and then made our way by bus, metro and tram over to the VSFS campus. It is always an exciting, yet nervous experience being in a new place/city/country and learning to navigate transportation, dining menus, and general customs. Thankfully, the VSFS staff were very accommodating in helping us all make the transition. Petr kindly met us and traveled from the Domyno to the campus—this was a tremendous help in getting accustomed to the transportation system in Prague. At the university campus, staff and faculty greeted us in a presentation, followed by a brief reception. After touring the campus and lunch, we all headed to city centre to see the national museum building which is being refurbished. This is also the location of the main shopping and various tourist attractions. Shortly thereafter, we all went our own ways to explore!

Group pic - teambuildingThe next day (July 13) we all traveled together to city centre and met up with VSFS staff. We then hiked, I mean took a LONG inclining walk, up to a park at the peak of a high point in the city. The view was breathtaking. There in the park we shared snacks at picnic tables and had a variety of conversation. The staff members led a series of getting-to-know-you activities and teambuilding exercises (see pictures). It was great fun and exhausting – in a good way! This was a great setting to have conversations with students about why they chose to come to Prague, what they hoped to gain during their time here and how it compares to their study aboard to Seattle last summer. It was a good bonding time! So then, back down that mountain we all went…

On Sunday (July 14), it was time to rise early and take a two hour bus ride to Cesky Krumlov – a very charming town located just over a hundred miles south of Prague. The town name translates to “Bohemian Crumlaw”. The views in CeskyStudents in Cesky Krumlov Krumlov are awe-inspiring! We explored the town, toured the famed castle (the second largest in the Czech Republic), and learned quite a bit about Bohemian culture. We also had time to freely explore the gardens and the town centre. All and all Cesky Krumlov is a charming town that draws in locals and tourists alike. The charm and homeliness is not something that can be bottled up and taken to a big city – you have to go there and get lost in the beauty that is the small bohemian town!

Cesky Krumlov

At the end of that 12-hour day we headed back to Prague to the Domyno so that the students could rest up and begin their course at VSFS the following morning. As we drove back in the bus I reflected on what an amazing experience it is for the students and staff that CityU of Seattle provides such a structured, safe study abroad program that allows students to step out of the comfort zone of their home country and to dive into education, business and cultural exploration halfway across the world. I knew in that moment, in that reflection, that I indeed was in for a unique experience…

…Stay tuned for more!

Keisha

>>Keisha is a CityU intern assisting with this program. If you have questions about this program, please email Antonio Esqueda Flores at aesqueda@cityu.edu


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