Uncertainty is the best word to describe the emotions of most students awaiting their opportunity to study abroad in the Fall 2021 semester. Personally, I didn’t think traveling abroad was going to happen. As a World Scholar, I signed up for the experience of studying abroad twice for a semester during my time at the University of Delaware (UD). During my first study abroad experience, I lived in Rome, Italy, in Fall 2019 and since then I have had the pleasure of studying abroad with CEA in Prague, Czech Republic, located in Eastern Europe – a region I’d never truly discovered until recently.
One of the very first weeks, a number of study abroad students went to Bohemian Switzerland for a hike. The name comes from the fact that Switzerland has some of the best mountain ranges and the region of Prague is considered Bohemia, so it was Prague’s version of the Swiss mountain ranges. As many of the hikes I’ve done seem to show me, the amount of strength and energy it takes to climb up is all worth it when you reach the top and take in the views. Bohemian Switzerland was nothing short of astonishing and continues to remind me of the beauty of nature that a city like Prague has to offer.
A couple times a month, CEA sponsors excursions. Some of these included visiting Karlštejn Castle, and watching an opera at the National Theatre. The Czech Republic has no shortage of castles and palaces; in fact, the university we study at, Anglo-American University, is a refurbished palace itself. The opera was an experience I had never had before, but students did not pass up the opportunity to dress up formally to attend The Bartered Bride in Czech with English subtitles. Since then, we have visited and toured underground salt mines in Kutna Hora and plan to explore the history of the Czech Republic during World War II and concentration camps in the area.
I have to say that Prague is one of the very few places where the views from any corner are absolutely breathtaking, especially during the fall season, whether it’s from the Prague Castle, the Petrin Tower (a look-alike version of the Eiffel Tower), or the Old Town Square Tower, with the famous astronomical clock.
I feel that I may have taken for granted the opportunity to study abroad, but especially after the pandemic, I have taken every opportunity to experience as much as I possibly can, given that the precursor to this whole experience was covered in uncertainty. Sometimes I can’t believe I’m abroad, let alone the fact that I only have a month left till I return. I continue to be grateful for the opportunity the Center for Global Programs and Services has offered me through my time as an undergraduate at UD.
Esha Shah is the Fall 2021 CEA MOJO Blogger in Prague, Czech Republic, and is currently studying at University of Delaware.