Rachel - Charles University

B. Commerce / Laws
Semester 1, 2015

Academic experience

To make up the required 30ECTs, I did 6 subjects. My subjects were: Contracts and Torts, Criminal Law, European Union Law, Environmental Law, Out of Court Dispute Resolution and Commercial Law/International Transactions (which was one subject).

The subjects are not very in depth (though there was an opportunity to sign up for some masters courses) but provided a broad overview of the law in that field. In terms of choice, there weren't too many subjects to choose from (especially if you do six subjects) so chances are you will have to do some subjects you don't like (I wasn't a fan of Environmental Law), but there are some really interesting ones. I do recommend European Union Law if you haven't done it at UQ, as I found it really interesting!

In terms of workload, six subjects sounded like a lot when I first started, but there were only lectures (no tutorials) so it was very manageable. Also, each of the subjects had three exam date options in case you had too many exams close together.. or already had travel plans. 
Saying that though, there were about 13 weeks of content, so don't leave your study to the absolute last minute (like we did). Some of the exams were quite easy whereas others focused on really specific points.

Personal experience

I really loved exchange and wish I could do it all over again!

The people: Everyone you meet on exchange is there to enjoy themselves, and everyone is friendly and lovely. You'll make friends that will become your family. And if you're lucky, like I was, they'll let you stay at their houses for a few days after exchange ends! 

Prague is a beautiful city but you should also make time to travel to other places in the Czech Republic - there are some real gems. In terms of travelling to other countries: there will be loads of opportunities before, during and after your exchange. Prague is a great spot to travel to and from - we caught buses to neighbouring countries on Thursday or Friday night and would casually spend the weekend exploring, before busing back home in time for class on Monday morning. If you were too lazy to plan your own trip or wanted to meet new people, there were also group trips organised by a student organisation in Prague. 

The language: Czech is infamous for being really difficult.. and I came back to Australia with about 5 Czech phrases. Many people in the Czech Republic don't really speak English (or don't want to) but there are usually English menus and if you learn a few basic phrases, make friends with your Czech buddy, can laugh at your own frustration and download a translating app on your phone (to find out what the food in the supermarket is) you should be fine. Also, I didn't take the course but there was an optional Czech language class offered at uni, which some of my friends took and found really enjoyable.


I lived in a university dorm which was about a 10 min walk and 15 min tram ride to uni. The Charles University dorms are not the best but are REALLY affordable. There are quite a few dorms which are available (though you are randomly placed in a dorm) and it is really a luck of the draw. I roomed with one of the other girls from UQ and we were fortunate enough to be given the (unofficial) best dorm. We managed to stick it out for the six months, with a lot of help from our Czech buddy, however, I know people in other dorms who left and found their own place. 

Staying in the dorm, however, allows you to meet so many people and you save money (that you can use for travelling and eating out!). If I stayed for a year, I would probably have liked to live in an apartment with some friends, however, six months in the dorm was fine. If you do decide to stay in a dorm, feel free to contact me and I can give you further info and tips!


Boating in Cesky Krumlov!
Boating in Cesky Krumlov!

Prague is a very affordable city.

In terms of food, there are quite a few grocery stores (Albert, Tesco, Lidl) where you can find everything you need. However, you will be able to afford to go out often - meals are about $10 for a decent meal and drinks are very cheap (think $3 cocktails at happy hour and if you drink beer, you're set for the semester). 

Transport is also very low priced when you're a student- as they have student cards which will give you unlimited travel around all of Prague (I think you could buy a 1 month, 3 month or 5-month ticket).Travelling to neighbouring countries was really cheap - you could travel on "Mein fern bus" or "Student Agency" for $50 and under, return (depending on where you go).

Rent at my dorm was just under $200 a month, however, some of the other dorms were even cheaper. I'm not sure how much accommodation was outside of the dorm but those that stayed out said it was still affordable (and cheaper than at home).

All in all, I would budget between $10 000 - $15 000 depending on how much travelling you wish to do, how much you wish to eat and drink out or if you wish to stay in a dorm or outside. I spent about $10 000 (not including my return flights) and I did a fair amount of travelling, a fair bit of shopping and ate out whenever I wanted. 

Professional development and employability

Being on exchange really broadens your mind and allows you to think of things from a different perspective. From the things you learn in the classroom to the people you meet, the languages your friends try to teach you and all the different cultures, you see so many different ways of life and so many different perspectives. 

As of this moment, I haven't started back at uni or applied for a new job, but I just finished some vacation work and it definitely made for interesting conversation! I know though, that the independence and the knowledge I gained, and my entire experience will help me in life.


I don't have one single highlight of my trip. When I look back, I remember movie nights, drinks with the girls, a lot of laughing, weekend trips away, incredible architecture, listening to lots of different languages in class, amazing food and the knowledge that I have made some friends for life.

Top tips

I know it's really scary going to live in another country (particularly one where they don't speak English) but it's really worth it. I was lucky that I wasn't alone when I went over, but even if you are, you'll make friends quickly as everyone is incredibly friendly. My top tip would be to save up as much as possible before you go, so you can say yes to as many things as you can!

Rachel - Charles University