Another 7 days have flown by and if I have learned anything, it is that putting my experience into words will never do it justice. From the highest towers in Prague to the comfiest corners in local cafes, this week my Czech Republic adventures have continued. Following orientation week, we had begun our Czech Intensive Language course that would be 6 hours of instruction for 2 weeks. But this intensive course did not stop any of us on the program from making the most of our study abroad experience. My friends and I had spent many of our nights watching the sunset at Letna Beer Garden, hiking up Petrin Tower, and peddle boating on the Charles River.
One of the best parts of studying abroad is trying foreign cuisine. I have had my fair share of experimenting with taste so far. Old Town Prague is filled with tourist traps, local and chain restaurants. Although “going out to eat every single day” phase has just passed, and everyone is beginning to be more aware of the money and health that seems to be sacrificed with it, I have been able to learn some very distinct Czech food and restaurant culture.
In Prague, you will have to seat yourself.
Do not stand around like a fool expecting a server or host to seat you or even wave you in. Scope out a table, sit yourselves and as soon as you know your order let the server know. They will not check up on you. However, this makes complete sense because most servers do not expect tip. Tipping culture in Prague really depends on whether the service truly was great or not. Great service deserves a 10% tip, minimum service (the usual) is no tip.
In Prague, beer is cheaper than water.
Water is not free…and significantly more expensive than beer. But, the tap water is perfectly safe to drink! So, we find carrying around our water bottles and refilling them at any sink works well to make sure we are staying hydrated.
In Prague, Czech food is not the healthiest…but it sure is delicious.
But then again what country is known for their healthy food. The most traditional Czech cuisine includes Gulas (chopped beef cubes in a gravy with potato dumplings), smazeny ser (fried cheese with french fries), and owocowe knedliky (fruit dumplings). Czech food is very heavy on meat and potatoes, so vegetable plates aren’t always the easiest to find. But despite that, it is delicious, and beautiful runs at Letna Park justify the calories!
As my first few weeks wrap up in Prague and actual classes are beginning next week, I am living day by day treasuring the moments I spend laughing with my new friends and getting lost in the narrow cobblestone streets.
Kasia Kolc ’19
Student, UConn School of Business
Kasia Kolc is a senior studying Accounting. She is writing this blog as part of her scholarship from the Global Business Programs Office. Kasia interned at PwC, a Big 4 public accounting firm, this past summer. She had also interned in Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch and Janney Montgomery Scott. A fun fact about Kasia is that she was a girl scout in the Polish Scouting Organization for 10 years.