STEP Study Abroad, Prague

Old Town Square, Prague

Old Town Square, Prague

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Name: MaryClare Doyle

Type of Project: Study Abroad

-My study abroad was a trip to Prague, Czech Republic during Maymester! The purpose of this trip was to learn about the agricultural and economic policies of the Czech Republic and it’s partners in the European Union. We spent time in the classroom hearing from Czech professors and also time out of the classroom on explorations around the country.

-I definitely learned a lot about myself on this trip. I had never been out of the country or away from Ohio for that long, so I got a little homesick. It was challenging for me to adapt and adjust to the cultural differences in Prague. I had been to Italy before, but there was even a huge difference between the culture of Central Europe and Western Europe. I am proud of myself for gaining this independence, and also teaching myself how to acclimate in extremely different environments. This skill will help me in the future when I have to move to new cities for jobs.

-What helped me transform was forcing myself to be self-sufficient. I made myself learn the public transportation system and figure out where my important stops were. I also tried to learn as much Czech as I could in order to attempt cultural immersion and show my effort and respect to the Czechs. These learning experiences and interactions were very tough and frustrating at times, but I am happy I did it in order to have the full experience.
I also learned how to ask for help. I usually pride myself of my extreme independence, but in order to get there in a brand new country, I had to ask for help first. I was lucky enough to have two great advisors to show me the way and help me get my feet on the ground.
Another aid in my transformation was all of the traveling as a group we did. We saw so many unique and rich cities that I never knew existed. Many of these places were tucked away and had their own sense of discovery. Even though these places were beautiful, it was evident they had many problems due to a lack of development and assistance. This made me realize how truly vast this world is, and how sometimes people like us can be self-centered and not realize how privileged we are for the government, health care, and educational systems we have.

– I think it is very important to be versatile in the ever-changing world today. Professionally, most things are usually never at a standstill. Being versatile to new technology and methods is a key to being successful in any profession. It is also an important skill to not become frustrated by these changes, and instead be calm, collected, and patient. I think the fact that I was able to acclimate and adjust in a country with a different language and completely different cultural practices will make any change that comes my way seem easy!