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Czeching In From Prague

 Dobry den
(that’s “hello” in Czech) from Prague, Her Campus readers! I hope you all have had a great start to the fall semester, besides for that little bump in the road also known as Hurricane Isaac. I’m spending the fall semester in Prague, Czech Republic and taking a break from writing my usual pop culture articles to blog about my abroad experiences.

To begin, I cannot believe I have already been in Prague for an entire month…it’s going by faster than I ever imagined. I’ve had quite a busy month in Prague full of exploring, sight-seeing, wine and food tasting, attempted Czech-learning and much more. Prague is easily one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, with many of the buildings still in tact from the 1500’s or ever earlier. Prague Castle sits atop a hill across the Charles Bridge, and when you reach the top, you can view the entire city of Prague; it’s absolutely breathtaking. Created much more recently is the Lennon Wall, which was made as a tribute to John Lennon, whose music was banned during the communist era. Graffiti of Beatles’ lyrics and drawings of John Lennon fill the wall, and continue to be repainted today. It’s a definite must-see in Prague.

Before coming to Prague, I was apprehensive about the food situation. Since traditional Czech cuisine is meat-heavy, and I’m a vegetarian, I was preparing myself to live on potatoes for four months abroad. After one day here, I quickly learned how wrong I was. The food here is UNBELIEVABLE. There’s dozens of Italian restaurants (my favorite), Mexican, Thai, little sandwich cafes, everything. I’ve also been cooking in my apartment as well, and grocery shopping in a supermarket when you can’t understand a single label makes for quite an interesting experience.

Prague attracts a large number of tourists from around the world, and since I’ve been here I’ve met people from countless countries. One person I met I will always remember, and I am so happy to have met this person the first week I was here. I was at a restaurant and began speaking to the people at the table next mine. After speaking with the young women, who I learned were from Russia, one of them looks at me and simply states, “You are so lucky to be from America.” I was immediately taken aback by such a serious statement while we were having a lighthearted conversation. Her words and this experience so far has made me realize that although we’re quick to find flaws with our homeland, people around the world envy the freedom we take for granted. While Europe is absolutely incredible and I adore the new culture and lifestyle, this experience is making me appreciate being an American more than I ever have.

Na shledanou (goodbye) until next time, Her Campus readers!

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