Czech Republic

While heritage, adventure, education and cuisine were all critical considerations in my choice to study abroad, I learned in the first three days of my trip that those reasons would have dissolved if I didn’t have a great support system. Ironically, the largest influence in my decision to move 5,993 miles away from my family…was my family.

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I don’t really know how I feel about the word accomplished. It takes me back to a Jane Austen novel where women were seen as accomplished if they could read, sing, sew and or play music. Am I accomplished? I am a third year college student, with a decent GPA and two part-time jobs. Also, I am studying abroad in Prague right now. So, I guess that I could say that I am accomplished for my age.

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If I said living in a new country was easy, I’d be lying. You always hear the stories of culture shock but, you’re not quite sure what it will look like once it begins to happen. Well, let me tell you. It can be ugly.

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Phil’s Day 2015 is a day to celebrate philanthropy and the impact it has on the University of Iowa. These are just a few of the many UI students who were able to study or conduct research abroad in the past year, gaining invaluable experiences and memories that enhanced their education and lives, thanks to the generosity of private donors. Read on to learn about their unique adventures and projects.

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November 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. Since that time, Slovakia has worked hard to overcome the communist legacy and become a modern state and part of the Euro-Atlantic democratic family. Pavol Demeš, a Slovak expert on international relations and civil society, will speak on Slovak contemporary foreign policy at a free public talk Wednesday, Nov. 12.

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I recently completed a 5-day field study to Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; and Bratislava, Slovakia. What an amazing way to learn about the different cultures. Here are some highlights form Budapest and Bratislava.

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Today I finished my Responding to Climate Change course. I took a final exam, turned in an 8-page paper and presented on the paper with PowerPoint. Whew. All done. When I passed around Belgium waffle cookies and chocolate crisps after we (all 2 of us students) turned everything in and completed our presentations, the professor said, “I hope this is not corruption.”

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Study Abroad blogger Kelsey Morfitt takes us through her first few days of her study abroad program in Prague: "I'm still recovering from jet lag, but Prague is beautiful. Two orientations down, one to go. So far, we've covered a lot of the city on foot and by tram, bus, and the metro (not to mention four flights of cement spiral stairs to our apartment). I was the only student without a suitcase, instead I had a travel pack on my back (35 lbs), and a backpack in the front (15 lbs) which certainly came in handy going up the stairs and over cobblestone roads."

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Kaleb Taylor was the first UI Master of Accountancy student to participate in the new Rotterdam exchange program. He spent six months enrolled in classes and absorbed the culture of Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands and home to the largest European port.

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Quinn Hejlik, a UI junior from Omaha, Neb., recently returned from studying abroad in Prague through the USAC program, which offered him an opportunity to learn Czech without any prior knowledge of the language. Quinn’s adventure began when he started learning Czech a week before his study abroad program. He understood that the Eastern European language would be difficult to learn, but he also knew it would be fascinating.

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