The Pros and Cons of Prague: My Two Month Czech-in

Tomorrow marks two months since I arrived in Prague, and the halfway point of my time here. I can’t make up my mind whether I feel like I’ve been here a longer or shorter time than that. Time feels like it passes differently for me while I’m over here. I think this is because I am so far out of my normal routine.

I think missing home is natural, and my occasional moments of brooding have inspired me to compile a list (in no particular order) of what I’ve been missing most from home. To keep things balanced, and to avoid this post being just a negative rant, I will follow with a list of things that I definitely do not miss.

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Don’t Even Try to Escape the World Cup

Let me start off by mentioning that the country that I am living in (Ecuador) did not qualify for this year’s World Cup. That being said, talk of soccer is still heavily present in every conversation and every inch of this country. If there’s not a game being played at the time, there will be conversations surrounding yesterday’s unbelievable game, or the anticipation for tomorrow’s game.

Got somewhere to go? You don’t even have to worry about missing the game when you leave the house, because it will be broadcasted on the radio in the car on your way over. And I can say with certainty that it is being shown at your destination. If there is a television showing the World Cup, you will find people flocking to watch, even if they are not customers. Everyone is invited to take part. And surprisingly, I have never seen anyone turned away from watching even without a purchase.

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Weihnachtsmärkte in Deutschland (Christmas Markets in Germany)

My first actual winter, what a cool experience! (see what I did there? 😉 )

Christmas is just around the corner and it is getting cold here with snow falling pretty often. But throughout the country of Germany, there are many towns that host a Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt). They are unlike anything I’ve seen in the U.S.

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My Italian Thanksgiving

One drawback of studying abroad is not being able to be with family during the holiday season, which makes it a little more difficult not to miss home this time of year. Unfortunately I was not able to go home and celebrate with any of my family this year. It honestly made me sad to think that my family was all together (one of the two holidays where this is the case) and I missed out on the occasion.

But, luckily, something happened the weekend before that made up for it every single bit.

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Holidays Away from Home

It’s cliche to say, but the holidays really are my favorite time of year.

Many of you are probably still eating leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner. I would ask you to save me some, but I’m not sure they’ll make it to next month (let alone next week). Now that Thanksgiving is over, Christmas lights and decorations will finally be making an appearance in parks and shops back in the states! Spoiler alert. They’ve been up since the beginning of November here in the U.K. I know, crazy talk!

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Experiencing New Years in Rome

Hello from Rome, Italy! Our group of students from San Diego State arrived here on New Years Eve, and though we were unbelievably jet lagged and exhausted, we stayed awake and celebrated the holiday in a different country. We were lucky enough to witness fireworks over the Coliseum – a once in a lifetime experience. There were thousands of people around the Coliseum, and you could feel the excitement in the air as the New Year approached. People cheered and more fireworks went off once the countdown ended. This was more than a great start to our two-week faculty-led study abroad program.

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