IFSA Butler





A Journey Through Prague and Beyond

  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Student Stories
  4. /
  5. A Journey Through Prague and Beyond

Embarking on an unforgettable semester abroad, Prague became not just a destination but a canvas painted with diverse experiences. Exploring the city’s unique charm and venturing beyond its borders unraveled moments that transcended mere education, enriching us with cultural treasures and lifelong friendships.

What’s the best thing about Prague?
Yiran: Strangely, my favorite aspect of Prague is the presence of our furry
companions—dogs. They’re everywhere, sometimes off-leash, yet incredibly well-behaved. Spotting them on trams or subways is a delight—they add to the city’s unique charm.

Wanda: For me, it’s the city’s accessibility. Public transportation is fantastic, and the city’s pedestrian-friendly vibe is fantastic. The vibrant culture and people’s dedication to work-life balance create a welcoming atmosphere. Plus, Prague feels safe, and the reasonable prices are a bonus.

What stood out to you the most about the courses this semester?
One of my favorite classes this semester was “Architecture and Design in Prague”. What made it special was how we learned—starting each week by chatting about the buildings we saw on our weekend trips. Then, our professor taught us about different architectural styles through presentations. Next, we’d go out on field trips in Prague to see these styles in real buildings. Seeing and feeling the architecture up close was the best way to learn. Prague is amazing because it preserves its history so well. You can spot every kind of architecture right here in the city, from different times in history.

I also loved our computer science courses—they include a unique element where we visit a company during the semester. We explored the workplaces of Al/ML companies, Simpli and Phrase, a network company called Telenet, and the venture builder Creative Dock. Stepping into their workspace and delving into their professional domain broadened our perspectives significantly. It wasn’t just about learning about these companies; it offered insights into the tech culture in Prague.

What stands out about the program?
The program’s standout feature is our wonderful student coordinator, Leah. From neighborhood
explorations to tasting Czech dishes like Svíčková na smetaně (Roast Sirloin in Sour Cream Sauce with
Dumplings) and Smažený sýr (Fried Cheese), she organized diverse experiences. We traveled to Český Krumlov and Plzeň and embraced local traditions like Mikulas Night during winter. These activities enriched our understanding of Czech culture, making our semester abroad incredibly memorable.

What’s your favorite part of studying abroad?
Before I came to Europe, I didn’t plan to travel much since IFSA had a lot of activities every week. But being surrounded by fellow students eager to explore ignited my wanderlust. I found myself organizing most of our trips, and it was an eye-opening experience. Prague’s central location made it easy for us to explore nearby cities. Traveling around Europe, I was captivated by the art, architecture, monuments, and sculptures—things I’d never seen anywhere else. Every cobblestone street and historical site felt like it had stories waiting to be discovered. It made me realize how vast the world is and how much there is to explore.

When I arrived in Prague, most of us didn’t know each other. In our small group of just ten people, we grew close, especially during our trips. From trying hot baths in Budapest to walking through Rome’s ancient Forum, watching ballets in Vienna, savoring delicious food in Paris, and staying in hostels across different cities, we created amazing memories. These experiences bonded us, and I know I’ll miss these friends when I return to school.

As my time in Prague concludes, I carry not just memories but a newfound appreciation for diverse cultures, immersive learning, and strong friendships while exploring. Prague wasn’t just a starting point; it was where I began my adventure across Europe. It wasn’t just about visiting new spots; it was about growing personally and creating lifelong connections.

Yiran Yang (University of Michigan) attended the Tech Career Accelerator Program in the Fall of 2023 through IFSA’s Prague, Czech Republic study abroad program.