Everything you’ll learn studying abroad in Prague
Czech people may know English, but they don’t like speaking it
Studying in Prague in the Czech Republic is a unique experience. If you are lucky enough to go on an Erasmus programme here, you’ll become accustomed to the Czech way of life quicker than you may expect. These are the essential life lessons that you will learn from studying in this glorious city.
The temperature will vary
One minute it’s minus 15 degrees, the next it’s positively sub-Saharan. Being in central Europe, you get used to the fact that you may leave your flat in a parka, hat, gloves and scarves; then the next day, you’ll leave with factor 50 on and flip flops.
This is what’s so perfect about Prague, you get a Winter Wonderland mixed with a Summer paradise. You learn that preparing yourself for anything nature may throw at you is essential in surviving Czech temperatures.
It has a beautiful landscape
Prague is full of beautiful and uniquely Czech views; no other person studying abroad in another part of Europe will experience anything as stunning as Petrin Hill or Old Town Square, I guarantee you. You’ll get used to stumbling upon these perfect little pieces of beauty whilst wankered on a night out and stopping and thinking “wow, I’m so lucky.”
Prague will also teach you that every famous monument and views can be made better by a Pilsner.
Currency is odd, but easy to grasp
Koruna is surprisingly easy to get a hold of. Once you learn that the pound, pre-Brexit, was around 34CZK to the £1, and that a 100 note is around 3 pound, it becomes second nature.
You’ll learn to get used to this bizarre currency. Returning back to Britain and not paying for a 20 pack of fags with a 100 note will make you feel uneasy.
Czech service is shit
You’ll learn that everything is too much effort for them. From reaching for a packet of cigarettes, to helping you with directions to asking a Czech waiter to go get you another beer, they will make the effort to highlight that this is rather annoying. Bitchy side-eyes, long sighs and fake smiles galore. It becomes quite entertaining once you get used to the fact that life is clearly a struggle for this waiter. Oh, and they’ll take your plate away from you even if the other person isn’t finished. Yeah, that takes getting used to.
Czech food is surprisingly amazing, but get used to having dumplings with everything
DUMPLINGS ARE JUST SO TASTY. SO GOOD. You will learn that asking for dumplings instead of potatoes in a restaurant is the only thing the waiter doesn’t sigh about, they’ll nod at you approvingly. They know that you’re making a good life decision.
You’ll become a Beer connoisseur
For a pound a pint, you would think beer would be a Czech equivalent to “Carling” with less of the added piss smell but actually the beer goes down so smoothly and you start becoming that person on nights out who will only order their favourite type of Pilsner.
Learning to love beer is like learning to love Justin Bieber’s music: it may take a while to get into, but once you start giving it the time of day, you won’t look back. It’s the tastiest thing to come out of the Czech Republic since Petr Čech’s delectable goal-keeping skills.
Prague’s nightlife is significantly better than the UK
In Prague, you’ll genuinely start loving techno and deep house simply due to the huge popularity of it in this part of Europe. From dingy clubs in abandoned warehouses to state of the art, multi-million pound costing super-clubs, techno is inescapable but your original hatred for it will wear away, I guarantee you. There’s just something about Prague and this sort of dance music that is so perfect. But don’t you worry if that doesn’t float your boat, R&B, latino and cheese nights are commonplace.
You’ll learn that going out on 100 crowns is perfectly possible and night trams are a godsend when you’re too hammered and too stingy to pay for an Uber back home – that bus pass You’ll also get used to pre-ing until 2am in the morning and being out until 7-8am 3-4 nights a week. But hey, that’s just Europeans for you.
Czech people know English, but they don’t like speaking it
Most Czech people, particularly those who work in the city centre, speak a little bit of the ol’ mother tongue. But they would much prefer you to at least say ‘Dobrý den!’ (Hello!) before you ramble away at 1000 miles per hour that you want a 20 pack of 3 quid cigarettes.
Also, it’s common courtesy to say ‘Děkuji’ (thank you) when you receive your change. You learn that you won’t get a dirty look when being served, if you speak a bit of Czech.
Never cross the road unless it’s a green man
Jay-walking is illegal here. Don’t presume that because a policeman asks for your ID that he’s just checking up with the immigration police when he’s clearly seen you cross the road running for your tram. 2000kr fine for you up front – £60 fecking quid! Don’t get caught – trust me, it’s so irritating.
Czech people don’t care about your life
Two boys holding hands in the middle of Wenceslas Square won’t cause any funny looks or people to shout at you as may get in the UK. But speaking too loud on a metro or asking for directions when lost, they seem more like social taboos.
Czech people are liberal and open-minded once you get to know them, but you’ll soon discover that they keep themselves to themselves, so don’t be too over-bearing.
There are weird baby statues everywhere
Finally, there are weird statues of alien babies everywhere. You get used to it and climb aboard them and pose seductively every time. Standard #erasmus life.