Thursday, October 25

Classes so far

I have noticed several similarities and differences between classes here in Prague compared to classes back at University of Northern Colorado. First thing that I noticed was when I was registering for classes. The classes are split into a lecture portion and a seminar portion. The class lengths are the same as they are back home but you have more flexibility when scheduling. Another big difference I noticed was in class participation. It is very rare for people to raise their hands and participate in classes. Many Czech students told me that traditionally there education has not been very participation oriented but has been switching over to a more American approach recently. Most of the teachers I have try very hard to make their seminars more participative and group oriented so it’s very familiar to me but not the Czech students. Also I have been told by the local students that the classes without Americans usually have very low participation and discussion involved in them for many cultural reasons.

Sunday, October 14

Trip to Vienna!

Last weekend I traveled to Vienna, Austria! My friends and I experienced many amazing things while we were there. There was an awesome market outside of our hostel that sold a variety of different thing from delicious food, to clothes, to antiques and random junk. We decided to stop at a restaurant inside the market and we all experienced some of the best goulash we have ever had. The hostel we stayed at had a free tour Saturday morning and took us to all the main sites in the city. If you are ever going to stay in a hostel in Vienna I highly recommend The Wombat. It is by far the cleanest and most up to date hostel I have been in yet.  Anyway on our free tour we saw many cool sites such as the Parliament, massive cathedrals, an art school that kicked Hitler out, and many others. One of the Cathedrals we went into had a stairway all the way to the top of it so you could have a view of the entire city. It was breathtaking. Climbing to the top of the cathedral also gave you an up close view of all the hand painted artwork on the dome of Cathedral. I have definitely never seen anything like that in the United States. We also went to Schonbrunn Palace. Sadly it was raining the day we went but it still was amazing. The palace was huge and it had magnificent gardens outside surrounding it that went on for as far as the eye could see. 

Thursday, October 4

Weekend Trip to Budapest!!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to venture to Budapest, Hungary! My two friends and I decided to go last minute so we didn't make any definite plans before we left. We arrived at our hostel Friday night at 11:00 pm. We were exhausted from the 7 hour bus ride so we decided to have a relaxing night at a pub outside our hostel. The next morning we woke up and immediately began discovering the city. We went adventuring all over the city on Saturday seeing many of the sights that Budapest is known for. Just a few of the amazing spots we went was the Mathias Church, Budapest Castle, the Grand Market Hall and The Parliament. The Parliament's and the Mathias Church's architecture was especially breathtaking. That night our hostel had planned a cruise on the Danube River and we all thought this would be a great way to see Budapest at night. That night the view of the architecture with the lights hitting it so majestically was something you couldn't pull your eyes away from. There is definitely nothing like it in the United States. The next morning we got up and wanted to do something relaxing so we went to the thermal baths which is one of the things Hungary is known for. After relaxing there for three or four hours we went back to sight-seeing. We went to see Vajdahunyad Castle, Heroes Square, and The Citadel. While we were walking from the Castle to the Citadel that day we ran into a girl on her bachelorette party. Apparently it was tradition in her family for the woman to go out and draw pictures of random people and to ask them to pay as much as they thought it was worth. So she came up to our group and asked me if I was interested in having my picture drawn. I gave her permission and next thing I knew a band came out of nowhere and started playing music while she drew me. Budapest was definitely a trip that I won’t forget sometime soon.

Thursday, September 27

The Night We Called The Police

The night started out like any other night. My friends and I had jut got done eating dinner and began planning the rest of the night. We heard that some exchange students were going to a popular club called Sa Sa Zu, so we decided to join in. We left the dorms at 9:00 and met up with the rest of the exchange group and headed for the tram station. Once we got the club we had a great time and stayed there tell around 3:00A.M. On the way back to the dorms at this time were used to seeing drunk people stumble around, so I wasn't really expecting what happened next. We were on our way to our next tram stop when I saw a man from a distance fall down and I tapped on one of my buddies and said " Did you see that?" He wasn't paying attention and the man got up and walked five feet and fell again. We were all kind of confused a this point because we hadn't seen anyone this drunk on the streets at night on our trip yet. Then he got up one more time and fell once more. By this time we were only a few feet in front of him. We all walked by wondering if he was okay and then I decided to turn around to check on him. Well as I turn around I see the man start dripping blood on the ground. H was really hunched over so i couldn't tell where it was coming from. A girl nearby starts screaming for someone to call the cops. I was the only one with a Czech cell phone around so I dialed them and tossed it to my friend. I gave it to him because on the way to where we were I saw a cop car parked so I thought he would still be there. As I got to the cop car I  noticed he wasn't in there so I tried getting into the building next to it but the doors were locked. All the sudden I hear a door shaking a couple down and the cop was trying to get to me. I hand gestured for him to hurry. He finally found a way out and didn't speak English so I just moved my hands to follow me. When we got there the scene had calmed down a little and a man who spoke Czech and English had arrived at the scene and was telling us what happened. The story the man gave was that someone had jumped him with a knife and cut up the side of his face. After a while of hanging out at the crime scene we decided to call it a night. I hope this will be my last experience with the cops in Prague!

Saturday, September 22

Arrival to The Golden City!

As soon as I got off the train and exited the train station in Prague I knew I was in place that was like none I had ever seen before. The architecture was majestic. Every single building had a different look to offer which made every turn I would take a surprise! Everywhere you look here you see an incredible building whether it be the Prague castle in the distance or a magnificent church. Not only is the architecture amazing but so are the statues you can find here. I am going to visit the Charles Bridge soon where there are a lot of religious statues that are very beautiful. Tonight after all my exploring I went to a beer garden at the top of a hill that over looked the whole city. It was an incredible view having the entire city in front of you and the lights illuminating its architecture from a distance.

My first night I got to see this amazing view!

Thursday, September 13

Departure Approaching!!

I can not believe that my departure day is approaching so quickly!It still does not seem real to me that I will be flying too Europe in just two days! I keep waiting to get anxious about the trip but still am not. I think the excitement I have for leaving and experiencing the culture there does not allow me to get anxious or worry about anything. I'm sure once I get on the plane in two days it will finally hit me and feel like reality. To this point it doesn't feel like I'm leaving the country it just feels like it's going to be a normal semester here in the United States.



My name is Casey Z. I am a senior this year studying abroad in Prague at the University of Economics. The school i attend back in the states is the University of Northern Colorado and I go to the Monfort College of Business. I am majoring in business management and thought that studying abroad would be a great way to expand my knowledge of management techniques.