Studying Away Next Semester? Here's What You Need To Know If You're Going To NYU Prague

NYU prides itself on being a globally centered institution, specializing in offering students the opportunity to spend a semester abroad at one of their infamous study away sites. Not only will you get the chance to live in a different city, but you will have the opportunity to visit surrounding countries. As they say, traveling is the best form of education! Being a study abroad student myself, I have had the opportunity to live and breathe the wondrous air in the heart of the Czech Republic’s capital city, Prague. While this has been an invigorating, once in a lifetime experience, I have to admit there were some obstacles. Here are a few of my tips to prepare you for your journey away from home:

1. Get an ISIC Card

In Prague, students can get discounts if they sign up for an International Student Card! Unfortunately, NYU is not registered as a local university in the Czech Republic, making it hard for NYU to hand out ISIC cards to everyone who arrives. Get your forms in ASAP and it will help you get discounts in movie theaters, bus tickets, and even your phone plan!

2. Choose your phone company wisely

When arriving in the Czech Republic, there will be three options for phone companies. T-Mobile, Vodafone, and O2. At first, O2 may seem like they will give you a good deal, offering students 10 gigabytes of data and calling for $50 USD. Sounds like a dream, right? Their plan ensures that it will work in the range of the European Union, but small discrepancies like receiving a phone call when you’re on the border crossing into a country will cost you an additional hundred dollars. Be careful and wise when joining these phone companies, and always keep track of your bills!


3. Distribute your money

Europe in general is notorious for pick pockets. It is essential that you prepare yourself in the best way possible, by distributing money evenly in places thieves will not check. Always keep your money in a secure location, and carry only one credit card with you. If one is taken, you will at least have others stored away as back up! Extra pro tip: Wear leggings or jackets with hidden pockets and keep your cash and cards stored there!


4. Carry your backpack in front of you

Prague’s main mode of transportation is the tram or metro subway system, which has proven to be an efficient way of getting around in a quick and easy manner. However, the trams and metros have also been known for being the hub for pick pockets, with students getting their stuff taken on a daily basis. The best way to stay safe and avoid the pick pockets when going to and from school is to carry your backpack in front of you. That way it is always in sight, and no one will try to steal from you!

5. Always get a metro card (and validate it, if necessary!)

Unlike New York City, Prague’s tram and metro system does not require you to swipe your metro card every time you enter the station. However, the police do random checks, and if you don’t have your card on you or if you do and it is not validated, they will fine you around $33 USD.

6. Pack wisely

Studying abroad in Prague puts you smack in the center of Europe, making it easy to travel around the European Union and other surrounding areas for relatively cheap prices. Whether it be via bus, train, or airplane, make sure to pack wisely! Airlines for example only let you carry 17 pounds (approximately 8 kilograms) worth of a carry on bag, and check to see if the bags fit in the carry on size check compartments. Make sure to weigh your bag before you travel!


7. Keep track of your assignments

When exploring new cities and making new friends, it easy to forget that you’re still a student. Make sure to keep a planner or online calendar with your assignments so that you don’t fall behind! It’s easier than you think it is to forget when you’re having this much fun.

8. Learn some Czech

Czech people will appreciate it if you learn at least some of their language, even if it is just simple greetings such as “Dóbry Den”, “Na Stredenau”, “Dekuje”, and “Procime”. Inevitably they will respect you more and even serve you in kinder ways at restaurants! Image Sources: 0/1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8