I really am looking forward to seeing friends who I have not been with since last May. I definitely will share my favorite moments of abroad and compare them with those who have travelled abroad in the past. One of the biggest takeaways for me was how drastically different all European cities are. For my entire life, I addressed all people from Europe as Europeans and blindly grouped everyone into the same category. I now realize that it is exactly like the United States: people from New England are entirely different from people in the MidWest; people from the West Coast vary greatly from those on the East. Obviously, citizens from London are going to be different from those in Prague. That said, people from Prague are entirely different from people in Vienna, which were under the same empire for decades and are just a three hour train ride apart. I realize this is a bit naive of me to say, but I honestly did not know any better. I hope this realization will benefit me in my return to Colby as I learned to appreciate people for the little things: mannerisms, work habits, food interests, personalities, etc. These were characteristics that varied city to city and was an eye opening experience to witness so many in such different cities across Europe.
I am just days removed from the city of Prague and my friends and I have already begun discussing our return trip. We created so many memories and shared so many experiences that we know will be difficult to recreate. Although I do not plan on continuing to practice my Czech language skills, I do plan on staying engaged with Czech culture as well as European culture. There is more to the world than just what is happening domestically. Whether it is following global news sources or consistently following up on European affairs, I need to find a way to stay globally engaged and continue to develop my global understanding of other places.
I can guarantee that I will not be missing Czech cuisine like goulash or fried cheese dishes, but there is so much I will miss about the city of Prague. It is a city enriched with history as well as pristine beauty. My favorite fact to recite about Prague is that it was untouched throughout World War II. Practically no buildings were destroyed and henceforth, its historic sites and buildings date back centuries. I was grateful to be in my ‘Prague as a Living History’ course. Without it, I would not have seen half of what I did throughout the city. Although we would walk for an hour at a time, we ventured to corners of the city that I otherwise never would have found myself in. I was pleased with all of my courses, but this one was especially my favorite.
I really cannot say enough about my time spent this semester. It was by far and away the best college semester I have had so far. I am extremely grateful for having been able to do it. I encourage all students who have the opportunity to study abroad to do so. Although the time was short, it was 100 days of my life that I will never forget.