When I decided to study abroad, I was super excited and I could not wait to start my program. Now that I am done with it though, I am able to look back and reflect about a few things I wish I had known, about both studying abroad in general and specifically about our program.
1. I know that this is pretty general information that everyone tells you, but definitely try to meet as many people as possible. Even if it is just having a conversation with some of your hostel roommates that you will probably never see again, you can gain something from every new acquaintance. The university that we studied at, Palacký, has many international students from all over the world. Just in my flat alone, there were people from four different countries! And also try to meet some Czech students as well, because they are a lot of fun and will give you a reason to go back to the Czech Republic someday.
2. When we went over there, I knew very little about our living spaces, so I thought it would be good to share what I learned. First of all, there is definitely no wifi in the rooms, so you will need an Ethernet cord to plug into your computer. Also, the rooms do not have closets, so there is no reason to bring hangers. I brought some not really knowing what our rooms would be like, and although they worked a little bit when I had to try and dry my clothes, it would have been better to bring a rope for hanging my clothes up outside.
3. Since you are going to be in another country, you will of course need a converter so you can plug in your electronics like your phone and laptop. However, I would recommend either getting two converters or getting one with the ability to plug two things into it at once, because I cannot count the number of times that I wished I could charge two of my devices at once and was not able to. Also, if you buy a splitter for your Ethernet cord in the US, you will need a converter so you can plug it in so both you and your roommate can be on the internet at once.
4. Try as many foods as possible. Every place we went was a new opportunity to try some new foods. Even just in Olomouc there are countless places where you can eat. I know I ate at quite a few places there, but I know there still more I never tried. It is also kind of fun to try some of the native food of a country that you visit. You might end up not liking it, but you can at least say you tried it anyway.
5. Last but not least, go to as many places as possible, but still leave time for Olomouc. Total, I was able to travel to 10 countries. It was so much fun to see how unique every place we went was, and if I could have, I would have gone more places. But I also enjoyed just spending time in Olomouc. It might not be a hopping tourist place like some of the major cities are, but it was still really fun and had a lot to offer. I would suggest at least taking one day, or a couple of mornings, and wandering through a few of the parks there, or maybe taking a random tram and seeing where you end up at. There is also a church and a zoo a little outside of town that I would recommend going to for a day trip if you are interested.
There are so many new experiences that can come with studying abroad. From new foods to new people to new places, there is always something amazing to try. So if you get the opportunity to study abroad, whether it be with this program or another one, definitely embrace it as much as possible, because it is a once of a lifetime experience that will stay with you forever.