The day has finally come to say goodbye to the Czech Republic. The country and its capital, Prague, became our home for a month and opened its arms to this bunch of Americans to learn, explore and create friendships. This last day started unassumingly, like any other, with some of us traveling into the city for lunch or to buy last-minute souvenirs. Then, in the late afternoon, the whole OSU class and our Missouri friends gathered together for our farewell dinner and graduation ceremony. We toasted “Na zdravi” with Becherovka after some touching speeches by our faculty and staff, then received diplomas as a commemoration of the hard work accomplished over the last month. During dinner we shared memories of our trip and honored our Czech buddies who helped us along the way, then we headed back to our hotel to prepare for the evening’s boat cruise on the Vltava River.
That night, we dressed up and headed into Prague as a group for the last time, down to the riverbank and onto a massive boat that would be taking us up and down the river as we danced and joked and enjoyed the stunning views of the city. It was the perfect way to end the trip-all of us together with our new Czech friends celebrating our time abroad and our new relationships that will last for years to come.
Na Shledanou Praha! We will miss you!
Hi everyone! So today was our last Wednesday in Prague, as well as our last day of classes! Our professors discussed their closing thoughts on sustainability, economics, globalization, and rural development and summarized what we have learned over the past four weeks. After class many of us finished our final papers so that we could enjoy the next two free days in Prague.
This evening one of the Czech students brought us to “one of the best burger places in Prague,” LeBurger, for dinner because many of us were craving a good burger. To many of our surprise, the burgers were really good and definitely comparable to an American burger. After we finished dinner some of us went to Letna Park where we had an incredible view of the city and listened to live music. Then those of us who weren’t tired from the long day stayed out and enjoyed one of our last nights in Prague!
Today we went to class and discussed Czech literature. It was very interesting to see how these pieces of literature are very present in our country based off of how many people in our study abroad program have read the literature. This was a very interesting part of our day. However, the most interesting part of the day was lunch time. During lunch we had been served a beef stew with rice instead of potatoes! This is interesting because we literally get served some form of meat and potatoes every day. I am glad they had switched it up for us. The dining hall is always taking care of us.
After lunch we had one more class on Czech history and we were free for the day. When we had gotten out of class, some of us went shopping at the nearest mall which Is called the “Palladium” this mall has 200+ stores as well as 5 stories. The Palladium is truly an experience. While this was happening others napped until dinner. The dinner menu for tonight was Greek! The gyros were amazing and fries were even better when feta cheese is sprinkled on them. This was the farthest restaurant we have traveled to by public transport but it was all worth the food and company.
(This is the Metro station that we get off at to get to our dorm and where we started to ride for the Greek Restaurant)
Today was a great day. We first visited the Skoda factory about an hour away from Prague where we had an amazing tour guide. While walking feet away from the workers and cars, she passionately pointed out to us the different stages of the production process. The work is done in an assembly line and there are multiple stages that must be done quickly but accurately. I was surprised to learn that only about 7% of the work in the factory is automated while the rest is still done by real, hard-working people. She also told us that the workers there make more money than the average Czech worker and have good benefits.
The tour guide then took us into the museum where she showed us Skoda vehicles from the very beginning of the company in the early 20th century to present day. The company first produced bikes and then its production evolved to all sorts of cars. After visiting the museum we ate lunch at a nice restaurant where we had a delicious pasta and ice cream.
We then visited CZU’s vineyard which was a lot of fun. We tasted six types of wine and I was able to drink all of them, which is impressive for me as I rarely drank wine before this trip. The vineyard produces about 400,000 liters of wine per year. This week is pretty busy as we have 3 essays due on Thursday afternoon so I’m going to end the blog here and get to work.
It’s Rachel again, this weekend our group split up for the family stays! Each of us went to stay with a Czech student and their family in groups of two and three. Some students went to Slovakia, some to Pilsen, and others to smaller villages in the Czech Republic. Renee and I stayed with Jana and her family in a village in South Bohemia, near the Austrian border.
We drove down from Prague (about 2 hours), and stopped by a castle to have a picnic lunch. Afterwards we hiked to a small waterfall with Jana and her sister and then had a delicious barbeque with whole family. We grilled cheese, sausages, peppers and zucchini and everything was delicious. After the barbeque, we spent the evening playing pool and sharing stories. Her family was very welcoming and very good at pool!
In the morning, Renee and I woke up early to make an American breakfast, eggs and bacon! After breakfast, we took their dog Bruno with us and hiked “cow mountain” which had a gorgeous view of the countryside. Then we drove over to Lake Lapno, the largest lake in South Bohemia. At the lake, we went on a bob sledding ride (pictures below!) but unfortunately it started to rain so we couldn’t stay long. Instead of spending time at the lake we toured another nearby castle (they’re everywhere!) that belonged to the Rosenberg family, a Czech nobility family that had a lot of influence. Before taking the train back to Prague, we stopped in the capital of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, where Jana and her sister went to high school and tried some of their local raspberry beer.
Renee and I both had a great weekend with Jana and her family. While we were sad to leave, we enjoyed being back in Prague with the rest of our group and hearing about their family stays.
It’s Liam Martin, for today’s blog I’ll be talking about the family home stay that I experienced last weekend with two other students and two Czech students. The name of the two Czech students that took us for the weekend were Klara and Katerina, we went to Klara’s grandparents summer cottage. The cottage was about 45 minutes outside of Prague towards Brno. The cottage was nestled in a quiet village in some countryside foothills, from what Klara said most of the other cottages around her grandparents place were also summer cottages. As soon as we got there we went to a castle nearby the village called Konopiště. This Chateau is famous because it was the home of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who is famous for being assassinated and subsequently starting World War 1. Franz Ferdinand was an avid hunter and up until his death he was hunting all over the world and all had over 20,000 trophies. These days the chateau hosts around 2000 specimens ranging from bobcats and bear to varied fowl all with the location and date of bagging them displayed on a placard. The rest of the chateau is richly furnished with furniture from all over Europe falling mostly between the 17th and 18th century. After the castle, we went back to the cottage and then walked about a half kilometer down the road to a clearing near river where there was live music being played, of course beer being sold, and tons of people were swimming in the bend of the river. It was relaxing place to spend the evening before dinner and I’d love a similar place in Columbus, where I’m from. After the river Klara’s grandfather made us Chinese food and we played cards late into the night. Sunday, we went to another castle and went to the Staropramen brewery and what our friends described as the “Czech Grand Canyon”, it wasn’t that big haha.
Dobry den this is Jenna! I’m writing about last day of the study tour which was Thursday. Our group arrived at an organic farm Thursday morning. We got to do some very interesting things from listening to how the milk pipelines are regulated to maintain organic labels, to milking a cow. Some of the people in our group got to personally milk a cow using an automatic milker, but some opted out. After getting to participate in milking the cows, our group stumbled around to see the breeding bull. It was interesting listening to the farmer explain the difference between organic and non-organic farms when it came to breeding.
After some delicious snacks at the organic dairy farm; our group headed off to get some pizza. Our driver got lost, causing our group to come an hour later than the reservations said. We managed to get our seats and the pizza still. The original plan was to go to a WWII memorial site, but with such a rigorously planned schedule, our group had to skip it. We finally arrived again in Prague, and our group set off to a barbecue. The food was excellent and was much needed, since the day before we had a 16-mile hike through northern Moravia. At the barbecue, we played some games with students from Texas, Oklahoma State, California, and of course the Czech Republic. Thursday was a great way to end the study tour!
^^that’s me on a mountain!!
Hi, it’s Nicole again!! Today was a pretty relaxed day since we got back from the study tour yesterday, but it was still pretty fun. We started the day with classes about the agricultural policy in Europe and global water scarcity, all of which were very interesting. After class, two of the Czech students took Alaina and I to the mall so we could shop for the first time since we’ve been here and I got to visit the store with my last name – MANGO – and I even bought a dress there!
Tonight I will be staying in because we leave bright and early in the morning for our family stays with the Czech students. I’ll be heading to Pilsen with a couple other students where I’ll be able to do some hiking and possibly go horseback riding! I am so excited to visit a new place and to experience everyday life in Czech Republic.
Okay, I guess that’s it for now! Oh, and hi mom and dad, I’ll see you in a week 🙂
Hi, this is Etienne again. I’m writing about Tuesday, the second day of our study tour. That day was very interesting! The first place we visited was called TOKO, and they repair large farm equipment at their shop or on the spot at the farm. Toko is a multi-purpose business owning a juice making company called Ovocnak, and vending machines that work with farmers to sell milk at lower prices. After visiting TOKO our group visited a sustainable village. The main source of income at the sustainable village was the cider they make and sell. They also have a pre- school; snake house, orchard, and use sawdust from their local mill to power the pre-school.
While the group was exploring the sustainable village, we were getting a new bus. The night before and in the morning the bus was smoking all over the place, and spilling water on the ground every time we would stop. We eventually got a new bus allowing us to leave for our next stop around 3. After several hours, our group arrived at a hotel which was in Northern Moravia near Poland. This area is where our group went hiking the next day. The hotel we stayed at was kind of creepy since it was in the mountains with the smog slowly creeping up, and nobody else was there except us, and the hotel staff. It kind of reminded us of the movie The Shining. But, overall I think this day of the study tour was a success!
This week in Czech, the group was able to travel the country and see a number of different businesses. The study tour included visiting a sustainable village as well as an organic cattle farm. The group was also able to hike the second highest mountain in Moravia.
On Monday of the study tour, we were taken to a sustainable farm. This farm was interesting in that it creates all of its own fertilizer and power domestically. The grain and organic material was put into a fermenter to create a biogas and then the biogas is used to power a generator and create electricity. The sustainable farm also has a greenhouse that is powered by electricity created from the biogas.
After visiting the sustainable farm, the group was taken to a local vineyard to experience different wines. The local vineyard produces its own wine and we were able to taste multiple different white and red wines. This was an interesting event and provided the students with information into the Czech culture of wine.
This week in Czech was a great hands on way to learn more about the country. Traveling and seeing these different places enabled the students to be engaged in what they are learning while also having fun. The picture below is of the greenhouse at the sustainable farm.