1. I have a niece now! I’ve loved coming home to Los Angeles to visit family and hang with my brother’s daughter during Christmas break. It’s only a matter of time before she’s 6’7” and playing basketball in high school. Born four weeks ago, it’s the little things that have changed while I’ve been gone…
2. I’ve missed being able to interact with strangers on the street all the time. There’s something about a friendly smile and a hello that helps me feel connected to the people around me in my community. It was much harder for me to do that in Prague.
3. I’m really going to miss going to Hany Bany, my favorite student cafe. I’ll miss the fried cheese, inexpensive coffee, and cool atmosphere that is just a two minute walk from school.
4. I definitely think that Americans buy more things they don’t need compared to people in Europe. You can see it by looking at how things are marketed, how people talk about buying stuff, and the way things are organized and placed on shelves at stores. Buying and having things seem much less important to me.
5. I probably won’t ever get a better education than I did at Charles University. Having had some of the best teachers I’ve ever had, I’m going to really try and seek out higher quality teachers when I get back home.
6. Traveling state-to-state around the US feels as easy as taking a walk down the street. Having adjusted to living in another country, I feel much more prepared to move out of Florida and adjust to a new state, wherever life takes me.
7. I feel much more capable when it comes to languages. Coming back from constantly being around dozens of new languages, I’ve realized how limited I am in communicating with people from other countries. That being said, I hope to work on my Spanish in the coming year.
8. It’s nice to be able to listen in on conversations being spoken around me. I’m sure there have been plenty of times in Prague where Czech people have had really interesting conversations nearby me or have blatantly spoken about me and my friends—and we haven’t been any the wiser. Living around people who all speak my language makes me feel much more powerful in interacting and engaging with people around me.
9. I discovered a love for walking. Coming from Prague back to the US, I find myself wanting to continue walking places even when I have access to a car. I find a lot of joy in taking in some fresh air, moving my body, and actively enjoying the commute, rather than only focusing solely on getting somewhere.
10. I feel a big drive to give back to future study abroad students. Maybe it’s because I hopelessly want to stay in the study abroad mindset; maybe it’s separation anxiety. Whatever it is, I’d like to do something in helping other students have amazing, impactful experiences studying abroad.
Shout out to American Institute for Study Abroad for curating a challenging yet safe environment for me to take on Prague. I couldn’t have asked for better staff at my program.
And of course, a huge thank you to the Fund for Education Abroad for supporting my journey abroad.
It wouldn’t have happened without you.
Thanks for coming with me on my journey,