Skip to main content
Skip sub navigation

Czech Republic – Sasha

A group of students standing in front of a cathedral in BudapestA photo of student Sasha in Budapest

Student: Sasha
Course: Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of International Studies
Program: Masaryk University Winter School, Czech Republic, January 2023

Did you go on any memorable trips to explore your host country or maybe a nearby country?

During my study abroad program in the Czech Republic, we took a weekend trip to Budapest, Hungary. It was particularly memorable because we got to learn about Hungarian culture, food and politics whilst visiting different NGOs. We travelled to Budapest on a 4 hours bus trip, and visited the UNHCR when we entered the country. We learnt about the life of a refugee escaping war in eastern Europe and life as a stateless person. We then had the opportunity to sit in a roundtable with several non governmental organisations and discuss important issues facing minority groups in Hungary. This was particularly insightful because we were able to engage in more opinionated conversations about the lives of minority groups, whereas the UNHCR was more neutral and civil. That night, we attended the Budapest baths and had the opportunity to relax after a long day. The next morning, I had the opportunity to go on a running tour with a Budapest local, as well as a boat cruise in the evening across the Danube river. As part of the tours, we visited the Hungarian Parliament and the Holocaust Museum, which were emotional and confronting tours that enabled us to understand the history and life in Hungary. We also had some free time throughout the days to explore and understand the culture further. I was never expecting a weekend trip to Hungary to be so culturally informative and emotional – but I learnt so much on a 2 day trip!

How did you make friends and what sort of things did you do together?

I was very lucky to be placed in an apartment with 7 other girls – 4 from Switzerland and 3 from Australia. We sat down on the first day and talked about everything and anything over a home cooked meal and some wine. We proceeded to become very close over the few weeks and often cooked together and attended events together. We went out for food, partied together and spent time doing winter activities such as ice skating and curling together.

What's your one piece of advice for a student who is preparing to study abroad? How should they prepare?

One piece of advice I would give a student going abroad is to learn basic phrases in the country that you will be going to. I found it incredibly difficult to go around Czechia with minimal knowledge of the language, and a large amount of people I approached to order food, at the grocer and at train stations struggled to understand and respond to me in English. Even though I did a lot of Duolingo lessons, this was still not sufficient, so I would definitely keep a handbook of basic words and phrases that you are likely to use on a daily basis.

What is the one big thing you will always remember from your experience? Or one big lesson that you learnt?

I will always remember the effort that the host university staff took to ensure our safety, convenience and health during the time period I was there. They were the nicest people that I have ever came across, and even when partying at 1am there is always someone available to talk to before and after the event, as well as someone to pick you up from any venues if needed. I never felt uncomfortable asking for what I needed.

Learn more about studying in the Czech Republic

Last updated:
Page custodian: Student Services