Henry - University of Economics, Prague

B Commerce/Economics
Semester 1, 2019
Exchange for me was filled with new experiences and friendships that I could never have even hoped for going into it.

Academic experience

I studied courses in finance and economics including some rather interesting niche courses such as ‘drugs and economics’ and ‘The economics of the Middle East and North Africa’. The teaching system is very flexible and gives considerable power to the professors to accommodate student needs. The enrolment process was a little bit complicated to start with but the student services team quickly came to save the day. The process is broken into pre-registration (to show interest), followed by actual course registration and then class registration all done on the online student portal.

Personal experience

VSE’s living arrangements, stacking over 250 exchange students into one building, is a fantastic opportunity to make friends also chasing a similar experience overseas. Coupling this with a flexible uni schedule which can make every weekend a long weekend is the perfect recipe for travelling to a different corner of the continent on any given weekend with a fun set of new friends. From this perspective VSE in Prague is undeniably superb.

Accommodation

VSE accommodation may have the physical appearance of a soviet prison and still at 20 mins travel to uni its location isn’t the best in the city, however it is affordable and certainly the best way to make friends on exchange. Renting an apartment closer to campus or in the city centre is an option however I personally would encourage anyone to try the VSE accommodation at Jarov.

Costs

Prague is an affordable city regarding any major costs that you need to budget for. From memory accommodation through VSE was around $2,500 for the whole semester and a meal at a restaurant was approximately two thirds of the price of what you might pay in Australia. I found that the majority of my costs were associated with travelling on weekends and after the semester so I would recommend to make $15-$20K available for the whole experience if you want to travel without being limited by your budget.

Challenge

Surprisingly, my experience was quite hassle free from start to finish. The greatest ‘challenge’ I really had to overcome was understanding the online systems for registering for courses and accommodation. A few emails to staff quickly cleared that up.

Professional Development

The primary professional skills that I feel have improved on exchange were my organisational skills. More than a few spreadsheets managed the details of my time there including travel plans, budgets to do lists. I also found myself dealing with new people from very different backgrounds every day, which is a skill in itself and also an opportunity to gain insights and interesting new perspectives.

Highlight

Undoubtedly the greatest highlight of my experience was the people I met and the friendships I’m planning to leverage for free accommodation for years to come. If I had to pick an individual experience over the last six months as my favourite it would have to be a ski trip to Austria in the first month of my time there with 3 other exchange students who would become my closest friends and travel buddies of the exchange.

Top tips

If you are considering VSE in Prague as a destination for your exchange my greatest advice is to just dive in and do it! VSE is a fantastic University with the flexibility to accommodate for your desires to travel and experience the city. The accommodation through VSE is second to none for meeting like minded exchange students ready to make friends and enjoy the semester. Prague itself is a beautiful, affordable and very connected city to use as the home for your time on exchange. Learning Czech is not necessary but attempting a few basic phrases can help get the locals onside.

Qualifications

2019