Hello everyone, my name is David Hardesty and I am currently in the middle of a short 4 week study abroad session here in Prague, Czech Republic. Much like the other posts I have read about trips abroad, mine began quite terribly. The first night I was here someone climbed through our dorm window and stole my laptop and my roommates phone. After that start I was sure this trip was a mistake, however things eventually turned around. After two days in Prague I took a one week trip to Amsterdam and after that things started to get much better. While in Amsterdam I learned how to navigate the preferred method of European transportation, the tram system. Being from Louisville I have never ridden any form of public transportation, I had always jumped in my car and driven myself wherever I wanted to go. Now I’m a pro at navigating public transportation even when I cannot read the language.
I have seen some awesome things while in Europe, met some great people and have had a very enjoyable experience while I have been here. However, the culture shock we were warned about was very real. I can remember talking with my fian?ee about the school warning us about it and laughing at the notion. But I can attest it is quite shocking. Being immersed in a place where you do not hear English spoken, see any English signs or writing, and must adapt to a completely different social and cultural atmosphere can be quite a challenge, especially when you are all alone and do not have anybody to experience it with. Once everything set in and the homesickness subsided a bit (never fully going away though) things got much better.
I would definitely recommend a study abroad trip to anyone that wanted to get out of their usual comfort zone and try something new and adventurous. I have learned a great deal about myself while I have been abroad and have experienced personal growth that I did not think possible at my age (we’ll just say I’m older than your typical college student). I have experienced things I never imagined I would, have seen things I have only seen on television or the internet, and have gained some extremely valuable global perspective and personal growth.
I will be posting again about my experience in my classes and will include some photographs and videos I have accumulated while here in Europe. Thanks for reading,