With a full four weeks of class under my belt at Anglo-American University, I’m now capable of reflecting on my schedule, my individual classes, and how I study in Prague. Since I’m studying both journalism and English/Creative Writing, my current classes go to the electives I need, plus two gen eds, so I’m enrolled in a wide range of topics.
Taking classes like Art and Architecture, History of the Cold War and Media in A Democracy abroad help me gain knowledge in a global context that I wouldn’t be able to receive at home. Three of my professors are from Britain, Germany, and Australia, and my classmates include citizens of Morocco, Belgium, Ukraine, the Netherlands, as well as from around the United States. Meeting students my age and asking them about their home, what brought them to study abroad in Prague, what their country thinks of America, etc. are so informative and valuable. It brings meaning to a quote one of my professors recently ended class with: only by looking through the point of view of someone else can you understand how limited your own universe is. That thought certainly had my mind spinning at 9 p.m. on a Monday. My other professor also always insists on heading to a pub after class and talking with students in a more casual setting. Above is a picture from our most recent post-class drink.
The information of the classes themselves is taught from a global context, using examples and historical references from different countries other than the U.S., which allows me to begin to look at the world from a different perspective, not just as an American. My History of the Cold War course, in a just a few classes, has radically changed my understanding of America’s role in it because it’s not a class centered around the U.S.
My media classes also delve into ethical issues faced in Europe and in other parts of the world. This is especially useful because as any media or global studies student knows, the world is becoming increasingly connected and intertwined.
Despite taking a full course load of five classes, my friends from home like to joke and ask if I’m taking “real classes,” and the answer is yes, they are very much real classes! I just took my first midterm exam, gave a presentation a week earlier, and have a museum report due next week—typical fourth week of class when several bigger assignments are due at the same time. Classes and the preparation they demand are very similar to the classes I’ve taken at home.
That said, the format of my schedule is different from back in the States. All of my classes are once a week for just under three hours. I have class Monday-Wednesday, opening up the weekends for traveling outside of Prague. This also affects my studying, as I try to get assignments done during the week so I can enjoy any travels.
Traveling throughout Europe, as well as studying its history and cultural and societal norms, is more eye-opening than I can write. It’s been a great first month here—now I have to pack!