Angelique - Charles University

B Arts
Semester 1, 2023
I loved Prague so much I happily extended my stay here all year, and perhaps I will stay longer.


Well, I've always wanted to live in Europe! Exchange is amazing for this, as you get to experience life in a new city whilst being surrounded by a community of other students who are all experiencing the same thing. The Czech Republic caught my eye as I had always wanted to visit Prague for years. I also really wanted to experience living in another country where the first language is not English. I really enjoy learning and teaching myself languages - particularly Slavic languages - and so the Czech Republic was a perfect choice for me. Being fully immersed in Czech in everyday life is a fantastic challenge - my language skills have improved so much. Being able to have even a basic conversation with locals in their native language is incredible.

Personal Development

I've learnt to be more open to anything and take any opportunity I get - whether that be a job, chatting to someone, or the chance to go on a last minute trip. Through this, I've met so many fantastic people and had so many unforgettable experiences. My language skills have improved, and I feel so much more confident living in a country where I am challenged (in a good way) by the language.

Academic Development

I applied for a reduced study load (6 UQ units) and took five courses at Charles - two english literature courses, a Czech modern history course, a film course, and a photojournalism course. I really loved my classes - they were very niche and taught by fantastic lecturers. They were also quite easy - most courses had an attendance component, a small quiz/presentation, and a 2500 word final essay. This was pretty manageable and also great as it allowed plenty of time for travel and an amazing social life. One thing I really loved was that there was so much more flexibility for the due dates of assessment, with a few of my courses not having set deadlines for final essay tasks. I found that there is so much more freedom when it comes to selecting topics to write about or research, which I personally really loved. However, this will obviously differ depending on what you study and your preferred approach to completing assessments. The biggest difference compared to UQ was that Charles Uni really pushes attendance, and this will impact your grade. Many of the courses within my faculty of Anglophone Literatures & Cultures had a limit of three absences, and acquiring any more than this resulted in a fail. There was a positive of this though, as it motivated me to go to class more.

Professional Development

My language skills have improved dramatically, and my ability to communicate with people from all over the world has improved too. In regards to employability, I have also participated in a few arts/cultural activities here that I can add to my future portfolio.


Life as a student in the Czech Republic is definitely cheaper than in Australia, but not as cheap as it once used to be. If you stay in the Charles University dorms, your rent will be really cheap, anywhere from $250-400 AUD per month, depending on if you share a room or not. If you are looking to spend money more on travel/other experiences instead of accommodation, I would recommend staying in the dorms. My initial plan was to live in the dorms, however, I found an excellent deal for a room in a shared flat, right in the heart of the city, so I took that instead. I paid $440 AUD per month for my flat ($110 AUD/week) - but this is quite rare nowadays, unfortunately. The rent for a room in Prague, especially short term rentals for students, is pretty expensive (for Prague) post-coronavirus. Though, if you join local real estate groups on Facebook, you can come across a good deal under $500/month. Transport is incredibly cheap, punctual, and excellent - costing about $25 AUD for a 3-month all-inclusive pass that allows you to take the metro, trams, and buses. Prague's public transport is among the best in the world. Groceries in Prague/Czech Republic are also definitely cheaper than in Australia. There is also a greater variety of grocery stores to shop at that cater to different budgets. Eating out is also much cheaper than in Australia. The university cafeterias have good lunches for around $6 AUD. A cappuccino at a cafe is usually between $3.50-4.00. Museums, theatres, and cinemas are a great price thanks to good student discounts, and going to the theatre/galleries/exhibitions is seen as a frequent social activity. Including travel to 14 different countries including Italy, Austria, Greece, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, France, Portugal, The Netherlands and more, overall, I spent around $9000 for this semester of exchange.


The funding provided by IGET was incredibly beneficial. It covered all of my rent and some groceries/transport costs over the semester.


If you are an Australian citizen applying for a Czech student visa, you need an accommodation contract to complete the process. The easiest way for this to happen is to obtain a contract from the Charles University student dorms, which are automatically assigned to incoming (exchange) students by the Charles international office. This was great as Charles guarantees a place in the dormitories for all international exchange students, so you don't need to worry about housing. I had many friends who lived in the dormitories, and they mostly enjoyed it. The dorms have very basic facilities - often shared rooms (though exceptions can be made), shared kitchens, and sometimes shared bathrooms. However, most of the people I met didn't mind living in the dorms as they are very, very social - there are always lots of fun gatherings there. I also knew people that moved into the dormitories for a few weeks, then moved into a flat once they were settled in Prague. I would suggest this option - definitely check out the dorms, settle into the city, and then decide if you want to stay there, or move. The dorms are cheap and have basic facilities, but some (particularly Kolej Hvezda) are extremely lively and social. However, the beauty of Prague is that no matter where you stay - dorm or flat - you will always meet fantastic people.


Every day of it! Although I did a lot of travel, mostly in the summer, my absolute favourite part was exploring Prague and living there day-to-day. Prague has so much to see and do: lots of beautiful castles, parks, cafes, galleries, theatres, bars, and more. I loved visiting other cities in countries nearby, including Berlin, Budapest, Vienna, Krakow, Lisbon, Paris, Athens, Florence, and others. I really loved exploring Prague the most, though, whether it be having a beer by the river, picnics in the beautiful parks, walking around the city with friends, dinner parties at friends' flats, going to plays, gigs, poetry readings, book launches, and so much more.

Advice/Top Tips

Choose Prague for exchange! I cannot speak more highly of it. It's a gem of a city - the perfect size, it's super social, it's always lively, there's so many great events to meet people at. It has incredible nightlife, it's affordable, the living standards are great, and the university courses are so interesting. The exchange community is unreal here - it feels like a big family. You will meet people from all over Europe. If you are planning on studying in Prague/the Czech Republic in general, sort your visa fully out before you go. There was a large delay in the processing of my visa so I left Australia without it approved, as I had already booked flights in advance. After having to post important documents across the world over the course of a few weeks, I finally got my visa two months or so after I left Australia. It's so much easier to apply as early as possible for the visa - the office is based in Sydney. I would suggest even taking a flight there, make a trip out of it, and go and apply in person. But other tips about exchange in general, don't be afraid to go on exchange in a country where English isn't the first language! So many people speak English but do appreciate you learning some of their native language. Do travel, but also really explore and get to know the city you're based in. And go to as many hangouts/gatherings as possible. I loved Prague so much I happily extended my stay here all year, and perhaps I will stay longer. The most important thing is that you'll have a great time on exchange no matter where you go.