My overall experience in Prague, Czech Republic couldn't have been more eye-opening for both my personal growth and educational growth. I experienced an energy I have never felt before and have never felt since leaving Prague. The way life is lived by the people in Prague is something I want to be surrounded by for the rest of my life because I have felt myself evolve into a different person thanks to this experience.
The most valuable learning experience was the visit to the Lobkowicz Palace. We learned about the history of the palace as a whole and the history of individual rooms of the palace, the type of events they hold, we saw preparations for a real event taking place that night, and we learned of internships at the palace which I will definitely keep in mind.
The most memorable experience is hard to choose because there were so many amazing things we took part in, but I would have to choose the Punkva Caves and Abyss in Brno. Learning about how the caves were formed, and walking into the abyss had to have been the most breathtaking thing I have ever seen. It brought tears to my eyes. The only way I can explain the feeling, was like I was in a Jurassic Park movie. It felt like it was too beautiful to be here on earth. I felt so privileged to see what I was seeing.
What did you not expect?
I learned that being overly friendly isn't actually desired in a lot of places when it comes to your profession. Especially when meeting new people, I learned that in Prague it is important to be friendly, but to remain reserved and not over the top. The fake-ness can put people off and make you seem not trustworthy. I will definitely remember this throughout my career because talking to people and interacting with them is a huge portion of what we do in the event field.
What advice would you give?
Take the risk and do it!!! Prague may not be a first choice of many people, but it seriously should be! The nature, the architecture, the people and the way they live, is all so different from what are used to experiencing in America. If you want to feel ~truly European~ Prague is the place to go. It's unbelievably classy with a history unlike anywhere else.
How has this experience impacted your life?
This experience has impacted my life by changing the way I look at myself, and the world. While in Prague, I felt a huge sense of individuality despite being a foreigner in a big group. The energy of being in a foreign country and getting the opportunities to visit different cities and venues that were important to my education made me feel like, "wow. I am here, and I can truly be anything and go anywhere as long as I take the initiative to do so." In Prague, I felt my future in my career field become a true possibility for the first time ever, instead of just a dream. This trip has ignited a fire under me to do more and go above and beyond for what I want to accomplish for the rest of my time at State.
How did you learn about this experience?
I learned about this international opportunity from an email sent to me by Iowa State.International Connections