Trip Evaluation

Packing and Traveling

-What are you glad you packed from home?

– good headphones with long battery life(lots of travel time on planes,trains, and automobiles

-good backpack with lots of room

– playing cards

– neck pillow for sure, great for naps pretty much anywhere

-What do you wish you had left at home?

– some of my clothes, didn’t end up wearing a lot of them very much

– my hat, only wore it once

– I did not bring very much stuff so I didn’t really run into this problem of wishing i left something

-Do you have any travel tips to pass on (planning advice, safety considerations, guidebooks, train vs. bus, etc.)?

-don’t over plan your trip/weekend trips

– be open to going with the flow( a lot less stressful)

– don’t over pack, you don’t need as much as you think

-What places would you advise future students to see and why?

– Portugal = super good vibes and welcoming culture. And it is beautiful

– Austria/Hallstatt = very beautiful, the Alps, no where like it.

– Bowling in Olomouc = super cheap and a good time

–  Croatia- Plitvice National Park = one of the most beautiful places on this planet.

Social Life

-How did you meet students from your host country?

Just being social in public places, for example I met a guy at a pizza shop just buy asking him what a word meant and then we started talking. We ended up hanging out a few times throught my time there.

-How did you like to spend your free time and why? Is there anything you regret not doing more of in your free time?

I liked to go rock climbing with a few other american students on the trip. This was my favorite pass time when we had time to do it.

– I regret not exploring the city of Olomouc more. There is a lot of the city that we did not even see.

-What opportunities for social, recreational, and cultural events that the host university or program offered did you like best? Why?

– getting to know other erasmus students and nebraska travelers– my favorite part

-What piece of advice would you give future students regarding their non-academic life while abroad?

– Be open to start conversations with people living in your building. You’ll make lots of friends

School Work

-How did your academic experience abroad differ from your U.S. experiences concerning?

It was very lecture based at Palacky University. Not as interactive ( aside from Czech Language) as I would have liked.

-Relations with professors/classroom instruction?

professors are super friendly and social with us.

-seemed excited to be there teaching us

-Grading?

Grading was super nice. Not nearly as strict as it is at UNK

-Study habits?

Yes, you have to study a little bit. However it is really easy stuff.

-Library?

I don’t think anyone ever used the library in our group

-Computer access?

Most students had their own laptop with them and we had wifi in our dorms.

-What enabled/hindered your successful academic experience?

Having super helpful professors that worked with us was a big part of me doing better in Czech Language.

Money and Communications

-How much money in U.S. currency would you recommend students have at their disposal for their whole time abroad?

– I lived/traveled comfortably with about $6000,

– Some students only brought about $3000 and had a wonderful trip

– One girl was close to spending about $14000.

-How much money did you have in foreign currency when you left for your program? Was it enough?

I did not bring any foreign currency overseas with me. I Just used ATMs

-How did you manage your money (credit cards, traveler’s checks, bank accounts etc.)? How and where did you access your money?

I just made sure to check my money situation every few days to make sure I still had plenty. Tried not to spend too much every week and focused more of my money on traveling.

-How much money did you spend on:

Books?

  • $0

School supplies?

  • $10

Food?

  • $30 ish a week on food.

Entertainment?

  • Depends what you want to do
  • Maybe $10 per week if that.
  • Most stuff you do for entertainment you don’t pay for.

Local transportation?

  • Public transportation was super nice so we did not have to pay for transportation very much at all.

Travel?

  • A few thousand
  • Flights and living arrangements add up

Personal items (toiletries)?

  • $20 total

Postage?

 

  • $0

 

Airfare?

  • Probabaly about $1000

Laundry?

  • Roughly $8- 10 every time

-How did you communicate with the U.S.? What would you recommend to future students (e.g. calling card, set up e-mail account and where, etc.)?

Facebook

– Snapchat

Other Comments/Tips:

Please also list the “Top 10 Must-Do Activities” to experience during your time abroad.  Please give as much detail as possible (i.e.- Be sure to go to XXXXXX and ask for Mr. XXXXX as he loves to chat with students from the U.S., or Take bus #XX to the final stop where you can see a view of the city.)

Don’t worry if you can’t come up with 10 activities…just list ones you feel strongly about! ; )

( in no particular order)

  1. Hallstatt, Austria
    1. Beautiful little small town in the middle of the mountains
  2. Plitvice National Park , Croatia
    1. One of the most beautiful places I have ever been to
  3. Bowling with some friends
    1. In the main mall in Olomouc on the top floor.
    2. Super cheap and a great time
  4. Scootering down a mountain!
    1. Day trip to a hydroelectric water plant and go to top of mountain
    2. Once there they have scooters you can rent for a 10 mile road down to the bottom of the mountain!
  5. Lisbon, Portugal
    1. One of my favorite places that I visited
    2. Beautiful city and friendly people and culture
  6. Paintball
    1. Paintballing in Olomouc was a blast
    2. Teresa set it all up for us so I don’t know any details]
  7. Explore Prague!
    1. Prague is one of my favorite cities that we visited and it was super cool to explore with just some friends

 

Bohemia Trip

To conclude our program in the Czech Republic we had one last class trip to Bohemia, the western half of the country. This was a 5 day trip that the whole class as well as our faculty guides went on together.

This trip was our longest class trip but went by super quick. To start the trip we went to a small town that I cannot remember the name of at the moment. However we while there we got to tour a castle with some amazing murals in it! Unfortunately we were unable to take photographs while inside/:

It was just a short stop at that little town before we were off to our the next town called Kutne Hora. We got to stay in an actual hotel while there so that was super nice! We had been so used to staying in hostels with small beds and multiple people to share a room. It was super nice to have bigger beds and our own private bathrooms for once. Regardless that is not the best part of Kutne Hora. While there one of the things that I really enjoyed was our tour through a silver mine. We got to go underground in these tight, and I mean tight, corridors of rock. In some places you could  not even stand up straight and other parts you could only fit through if you walked sideways. Luckily we were equipped with headlamps on hard hats. These were lifesavers because several of us kept hitting our heads. Also at one point our tour guide stopped us in a semi open part of the passage ways to talk to us for a bit. while there she instructed us all to turn off our headlamps. This caused everything to be pitch black. We could not see our own hands when we put them an inch from our own eyes. The guide explained that when the miners would loose their light source somehow when under ground, they would rely on the flow of air to find their way out of the mine.

We were in Kutne Hora for 2 days and I really enjoyed our time there.

From there we venture south to Cesky Krumlov. This was a beautiful town in southern Bohemia where we stayed for a couple days.

First I will talk about the castle we got to tour. This castle was really cool for the fact that they had a live bear outside the castle in an enclosure. This was because of tradition of the castle. I guess ever since the castle was built they had used a couple of bears that would be kept around the base of the castle to help protect it. In modern times the bears are not so much for protection but for sake of keeping up tradition. The bear’s name was Teresa I believe. As we walked through the castle we would see bear skin rugs in almost every room. These rugs were all once bears that were used to protect the castle. Everytime one on the bears died they turned it into a rug to put inside.

The castle also had wonderful views of the city from the windows and bridges.

The absolute highlight of this Bohemia trip was definitely the rafting!

The rafting was during the last day in Cesky Krumlov and it was something that all of us were looking forward to. We got to sit about 5 or 6 people per raft and then set off on a 3 or 4 hour raft ride down the river. It was just us students and the water. We got especially lucky because the day we went rafting was the first sunny day we had gotten in a long time. It worked out super well. While rafting there were stops you could get off at and hangout. I think most of the students would agree that their favorite part of rafting was when all 21 of us happened to stop at this one stop. At this stop there was a bar along with a bonfire and lots of seating around it. All of us ended up staying at the stop for well over an hour maybe even 2 hours. It was one of my favorite memories of the entire trip. Eventually our group guides waiting for us to finish rafting called the place and said that we were taking too long and that we had to get back on the river now or wait there for them to pick us up. Apparently there was a storm coming. So all of us as a group just ran back to our rafts and got back on the river. We still had about 2 hours of rafting left that I think a lot of us reflected on memories of the trip. At least my boat did. It was a really good time and we all got to look back and appreciate what we got to experience in the last three months.

Amsterdam

On my latest weekend trip I went to Amsterdam. It was Julian, his girlfriend, and myself. So naturally I ended up spending a lot of that weekend alone. Never the less I still enjoyed my time there. Julian’s girlfriend came very last minute and joined us on our weekend trip. I did not find out until the weekend before that she was even going to be in Europe, let alone stay in our room in Olomouc and join us on our weekend trip. That was okay though. We made everything work out fine and still had a good time with her there. Since she came on such a short notice she did not have a bed booked at the hostel in Amsterdam that we had booked for ourselves. So after looking at the website and seeing that it was completely booked Julian decided that we would just sneak her in to our room and hope not to get caught. We lucked out in that our hostel was in a different building that the reception so sneaking her in was pretty easy.

Okay so now on to our first day in the city was my favorite day that I was there. The reason for this was because of a museum we went to called the Moco Museum. The Moco Museum was basically a museum dedicated to one of my favorite artists Banksy. Banksy is a famous street artist based out of London but has works all around the globe. We actually saw one of his pieces on the side of a building in Poland! Anyway this museum featured sooo much of his work throughout his career and had some videos of him talking about some of the things he has done. He is such a ” i’ll do it because I want to” artist that puts a lot of meaning behind his work. For example in the early 2000’s he went into a variety of famous art museums including the Lauv, and hung up framed pieces of his work on the wall with a plaque saying the title of the work with his name. He did this and then kept track of how long it took people to realize it was up there where it wasn’t supposed to be. Sometimes his pieces would go unnoticed for weeks and others only a few days.  This museum was easily my favorite museum that I have been to in Europe so far.

The next day we went to another really cool museum that was dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh. This was another great museum that was hundreds of his pieces in it. This museum was huge so it took up most of the day. Once we made it out of there I set off to go see some parks. Amsterdam is home to some of the most beautiful parks that I have been to. I ended up walking around this one park for about 4 hours and I am not even sure that I saw it all. Everyplace I walked to there had another hidden little treasure of beauty.  I ended up getting lost in this garden neighbor hood for a while. There was only two entrances/exit to it and it was a huge garden with hedges, trees, small houses, yards, and gravel pathways. I walked around this neighborhood for over an hour before I tried to find my way out. Then it took me about another 45 minutes to figure out the maze that it was. That was one of the prettiest places that I have been to ever. It was a nice sunny day, everything was in full bloom, and it just made for some great views.

That pretty much concluded my trip to Amsterdam. It was a very fun weekend in a beautiful city.

 

Auschwitz

Time for the Auschwitz blog:

Poland was a trip I was looking forward to since coming to Europe for the soul reason of Auschwitz. It has always been super intriguing to me to learn about the nazis and what they did. I knew that it would be a heavy day going in but I was still excited to experience it for myself.

The day of Auschwitz was actually the last day in Poland. We stopped there on the way back home for our tour. Everyone had prepared for it the best they could but I don’t think anyone was truly ready for that place. As we toured  Auschwitz 1 we got to see collections of belongings such as shoes, pots,pans, suitcases, and other personal items, that belonged to the victims, just piled up in several rooms throughout different buildings. The ones that were the most moving for people were the room that featured the pile of children’s shoes and details about what happened to the children. That one was very moving. The room that was probably the hardest on people is the room with all the hair of female prisoners. There was just so much hair. It filled up an entire room display almost to the ceiling and it was only a small portion of the victims. During Auschwitz 1 we also learned about other things the nazi soldiers would do to prisoners on a day to day basis and got to see where they kept them. Another gruesome part of the tour is the execution wall, where thousands of prisoners were executed with a shot to the head in the same spot in front of this one wall. It was a very heavy day.

We then moved on to Auschwitz Birkrnau, the largest camp that the nazi’s had. During this part of the tour we walked down the same path the prisoners did when getting off the train. We walked down the same road where millions of walked on their way to the gas chambers. We got to see the remains of the blown up gas chambers and were told exactly how they worked.  Next we had a long walk through the camp walking right past all of the cabins that held all of the female prisoners. At the end we went inside and got a first hand look at the living conditions these people lived through. Very devastating to see up close and in person. We got to see different rooms where prisoners were executed/ experimented on.

One of the heaviest thing that we saw when we were there was just how big Birkenau actually is. It held so many prisoners. That was one of the most mind blowing things about the tour.

Auschwitz was definitely one of the most memorable things we did in Europe and is something that is hard to explain. You just have to experience it.

 

Day trips

We have been on a few day trips as a class to different places close by and I thought  I might summarize them and give you guys the highlights.

First lets talk about Znojmo. This was a fun little trip to this town. It is a beautiful landscape. We walked around and saw a few old churches and a castle if I remember right. After that we got to go underground and tour the tunnels that were made centuries ago during a way. It was one of the biggest underground tunnel system in central europe. We only toured a small portion of it but it was super cool. At the end we got to go into the Labrinth and find our own way out which was a lot fun. Especially when they killed all the lights and left us in pitch black darkness. Only for a few minutes though. We found our way out and all had a good time. To conclude our day we went wine tasting in a castle like building. This was my first wine tasting and I realized I don’t like most wines. Overall a good day.

Next was a day trip to castle not too far away from Olomouc. Once we got there we had about 30 minutes to hang our before our tour started so me and a group of us found a playground and just played around on it for a while. It was a lot of fun. Then right beofre the tour started we got to hold and pet Hawks and Owls. It was super interesting to be that close to those kinds of birds. They were super chill. Then the castle was also a pretty neat castle that we got to see. Very cold though. We were all excited to be outside in the sun again once it was over. Right before we left that day we found this place on the side of the mountain that had a zipline and carts you could ride down this long path down the side of the mountain. I ended up riding the cart down the mountain and was trying to go as fast as possible. On my last lap down I was doing pretty good until this one turn was a little too sharp for how fast I was going and I rolled the cart over and scraped up my need good. Did’t hurt too bad and had a good time doing it.

The last day trip we went on was to a water plant on top of a mountain. Honestly the tour of the plant was pretty boring and dull. However, the way I got down the mountain was one of my favorite parts of my entire trip. They gave us an option to ride an offroad scooter back down to where we started. This just so happened to be a 10 mile downhill road. Only three us decided to do it but it was a lot fun! It was all down hill with some beautiful views. Again one of my favorite experiences of my entire trip.

 

Mistakes that have been made.

Hey guys, thought I would share some things that have gone wrong or mistakes that I have experienced while on my trip.

To start off with I immediately lost my ISIC card and Tram pass on the first night we were in Olomouc. Now the ISIC card is our student ID card here that gives us discounts in a lot of places and often times needed to check in to certain places and to do different things. You need it to prove you are a student and is very convenient. Along with the ISIC card I had my tram pass with it. The tram pass is exactly what it sounds like. Just a card that is a semester pass that allows us to use the public transportation for free all semester. Now I lost both of these things on day 1. I don’t know how they got lost but I woke up the next day and they were not with the rest of my stuff in my wallet. I went a few days trying to retrace my steps until I finally conceded and told our advisors/guides that were in charge of us.  This ended up costing me about 450 czk, which is about $20, to replace these things. Don’t recommend losing these.

Next thing is to always validate your tickets for public transportation. This happened to me just recently and it did not make my day any better. I was on my way back from a weekend trip and going from the Prague airport and headed back to Olomouc. So I buy my ticket at the airport for the trains and head for the station. I did not see any validation machines so I figured they would be later on at the station. I was already not feeling great and had a pretty good headache so I was not in the best “paying attention” mindset. I completely forget about having to validate the ticket and hop on the train. It was not until I had to make a connecting train where I was waiting for it to arrive. So I am standing on the platform with another hundred people or so and this ticket officer just happens to single me out of the crowd and approaches me. I knew right away that I had forgotten to validate but thought maybe he would be cool about it and let me go. Nope, he was not a nice gentlemen but seemed very grumpy and demanding. Gave me a ticket for 35 euros that had to be paid on the spot. When I said that I did not know if I have that much on me he threatened to take me to immigration where a bigger fine would be waiting for me. This guy was not giving me any wiggle room. I searched and found I had exactly enough to cover the ticket and he finally went away. This did not make my day any better. Huge bummer.

Finally the most expensive thing to go wrong. The Barcelona trip…

The Barcelona trip is the one that I had planned out the most and was pretty excited for. I was going to meet up with my cousin and had bought tickets to do cool things while their. It was also the most expensive plane tickets that we had bought while being over here.  So friday evening comes along and we are packing our things to go. Our flight left at 10:30pm so we figured we would leave for Prague, about a 2 hour train ride, at around 5. So by the time we got to the train station it was about 5:30 and we are not worried by any means because we still had like 5 hours which is more than enough. Until I went and checked the flight again when I realized the flight left at 9:30. Inconvenient but we still had 4 hours to get there so we still were worried. Now the thing that really screwed us was the train. We bought tickets right at 5:30 for the soonest train to Prague. For some reason the train they gave us tickets for didn’t end up leaving until around 6:25. So now I am starting to worry. We board the train and we know it was going to be close. We get to Prague at around 8:45ish and think run out of the train station in search of a taxi to get us there in time. But the train station was about a 15 minute car ride so it was almost a lost cause. That didn’t even matter considering we got off at the wrong stop in Prague. And when we got out to the street there was no taxi’s in sight. We walked for about 10 minutes in search of one but found nothing. Our flight was about to leave and we were stranded about 30 minutes from the airport. We accepted defeat and ate supper and hopped back on the next train back to Olomouc.  We couldn’t get our money back so we lost about $300 each. ):

These were some of the bigger mistakes that I have learned from while on this trip…

Spring Break

Hey guys, thought I would share my spring break trip. I traveled around quite a bit and experience a lot of culture.

To start spring break for us was particularly cool for me because it started on my birthday. We were in Venice the night of the April 13th and that was the last day of our class trip before we were free to go our separate ways. Since the next day was my birthday me and a group of friends stayed up past midnight and had a drink to celebrate briefly. I say briefly because we were all very tired from all of the stuff we did in Venice the days prior. And as for me and my roommate Julian we had a 6 am flight to Spain to catch. So we called it a night early.

Julian and I’s first stop was in Seville, Spain. We get there and it’s like really hot there which was super nice at first but became somewhat annoying as it got too hot. Regardless we set off to explore the city and soon found that we were there during their Holy Week. Basically it was the one week of the year that their culture celebrates/ worships their religion with festivals and parades and such. Not knowing about this until we got there was interesting because it just took us by surprise by how busy it was. I think there was a parade everyday that we were there that lasted from sun up to sun down.

Since it was Holy Week everyone there was always dressing up super nice. All the men/male children were wearing suits and all the girls wore fancy dresses. It was very easy to spot the non locals and we were no exception.

What I took away from Spain, or at least Seville, was that they are an intimidating people. I felt like they weren’t as friendly as other places and just acted like they were better than outsiders. I enjoyed my time there a lot but it was not one of my favorite places.

On to Portugal,

From Seville we took a bus to Lisbon, Portugal. In Lisbon the culture was a lot different and a lot more inviting and friendly, at least in my opinion. I felt a lot more comfortable in Lisbon than I did in most other foreign cities that I have been to. I am  not sure what exactly it was but it had a different feel to it.

Anyways we took day one there and explore the city for a bit and went site seeing and what not. They actually have the twin bridge to the Golden Gate bridge in California. The same architect built another one just like it in Lisbon. Lisbon also has something really similar to the Jesus statue in Brazil. However the one in Lisbon is a lot smaller.

Lisbon was just a beautiful city in general and had a lot of really cool neighborhoods to check out. We also ran into another kid from Kearney at our hostel who just happened to be traveling through the city at the same time.  Him and some other Americans we hung out with while we were there that made the stay a lot more fun.

Lisbon was probably one of the top places I have been to.

After Lisbon, we flew back to Czech Republic and one more free day to relax back in Olomouc before classes on that Monday, which was much needed.

Venice, Italy

Hello,

I’d just like to give you a summary of my trip to Venice that I went on a few weeks ago!

We got to Venice and had a long walk to get to our hostel. With 21 of us  walking the crowded and narrow street of Venice with all of our luggage/backpacks, it was not hard to tell that we were tourists. Our hostel which was almost on the other side of the island was quite comfortable and cozy. However we did not spend a whole lot of time there.

Once morning came around we all went to Saint Mark’s square, which is a real site to see, and hung out there for a bit. We noticed all of these knee high tables stacked everywhere throughout the square. We learned that these were for when the square flooded so people could still make their way around the square walking on the tables. This is something that happens somewhat often their that I had not thought about. Then we heard that they were predicting it was supposed to flood while we were there, however it did not. I think it would have been pretty interesting to see it flooded but oh well.

We got lucky with the weather in that it was cloudy and a little cold the entire time we were there. Now that’s usually not a good thing but it meant that there was far less people visiting during those days. There was still a lot of people everywhere you went but from what we heard we got really lucky. We heard stories of how it could take about an hour to walk across St. Mark square due to all the people. Luckily we had no problems getting everywhere we needed.

Things we saw.

First up the Church in the square, St Mark’s Basilica, which was one of the finest building in Europe. We were told it took 5 centuries to construct! We were not allowed to take pictures so that was sad. oh well.

Next up was a Museum of Art. This was another really fancy museum which was worth seeing.

Finally , in my opinion was the coolest thing to see was the Guggenheim modern art museum. The Guggenheim museums are some of the most famous museums in the world. I got to see several pieces from historical artists such as Picasso, Kandinksy, and even some Pollocks. I got to see some pieces there that are pictured in some of my textbooks back in Kearney. I thought that was really neat to see in person.

Overall thoughts of the city were pretty good. However it does have its downfalls. First off the food.
The variety of food was not very good. If you wanted to go eat somewhere the only options were pretty much pasta or seafood.  And not liking seafood, the pasta got old pretty quick. Although the pasta was really good.

Next downfall was that its too touristy. Everywhere you looked was just souvenir shops and such. It almost doesn’t seem like a city that people actually live in. People just go there to visit.

Last was the lack of nature, I know that it is built on water so I understand why there was almost no grass, trees, or plants, but I just got kind of tired of seeing concrete/ rock everywhere. Made me appreciate grass and trees more.

Anyway, I did really enjoy my trip to Venice.

Oh and the last night of Venice I got to celebrate my 21st birthday!

Vienna Trip

Hey everyone, here is a summary of my our trip to Vienna, Austria and Venice, Italy.

Upon arrival in Vienna, after a few hours on bus, we checked into our hostel. This hostel is actually one of my favorite hostels that  I have stayed at so far! I got to share a room with my boys Julian, Griffin, Seth, and Logan which is always a fun time. 

Anyway, we quickly started our day with a walk to the treasury.  We had a few brief stops for some quick history from our coordinator Martin. As we got to the treasury we found out that it was actually closed that day. ): Next we tried to save the day with some museums just across the street. Sadly they were also closed that day. So with that being the only things we had scheduled for that day we had free time until the next day. Most of us went out explored the city and did various things. Unfortunately I had been feeling pretty sick the last couple days and that day was no exception. I decided it would be best for me to go rest and hopefully get over whatever it was that I had. So as the rest of the group was out and about I took some medicine and good nap.

A good majority of our group went to this aquarium in town that was built in an old military bunker type thing. After hearing what they had to say about it and seeing the pictures I was sad I was unable to go with them. However, after spring break was over I was back in Vienna had a few hours to kill. So I went through the aquarium and got to see everything. It was so cool. It was an 8 story building with different varieties of fish/ reptiles on each floor. It was unique in how it was built because it is not a very big building but once you went inside it seemed huge. There was also this exhibition room with monkeys that were free to roam around. They would be running along the railing right next to you. I had never seen that before in a zoo so that was really interesting.

Okay, so on to day 2 we set out for the treasury and it was open this time. Inside there were countless treasures such as Crowns, robes, sculptures, vases and everything of that sort that had significant historical meaning. The piece that was really interesting to me was this relic that had inside what is thought to be one of the nails that was pounded through Jesus Christ’s hand on the the cross. That was crazy to see in person.

Next up on the list was the Natural History museum just across the street. This museum was pretty cool and all but wasn’t anything special in the exhibitions. They were pretty typical natural history museum stuff. What made this museum stand out was the architecture of the building itself. This building was a masterpiece and absolutely gorgeous. My friends and I were often looking at the ceiling and walls more than the exhibits.

After these trips to the museums and treasury we had free time the rest of the evening. With our free time I decided to go get some food in the street market. Right next to our hostel there is this huge street market that has almost everything you could think of food wise, and several shops. I ended up eating at this local burger stand they had in there. Don’t worry, we did eat a few meals of traditional food while there as well.

Luckily for me my sickness did go away for the most part while in Vienna and I really enjoyed my time there. On the next morning we had to get up somewhat early to get on the bus to Venice. I will touch on that in my next blog.

Thanks

Language issues ( so far)

Hey everyone, today I just wanted to talk about he language barrier that us American deal with on the day to day basis while over here in the Czech.

The Czech have their own language and is quite difficult to learn. They have several more letters than we do and use sounds that are particularly tough to make. Another thing about their alphabet is that some of their letters look the same as some of ours but make different sounds. Such as ” S ” ( with a v placed over top) ( apologies for lack of actual letter, don’t have that option on my laptop)  makes the ” sh” sound not the “s” sound. That might be a little confusing or hard to follow but there are many variations of letters similar to each other like that, that are pronounced differently.

Anyway, we are enrolled in a Czech language class. It is pretty difficult but it is actually my favorite class. I think that most of the Americans in the class would also agree. We have learned quite a few phrases and greetings so far. Things like a formal greeting, “Dobry den”, and informal greeting, “Ahoj” or “cua.” Also we can say ” how are you ?” with ” jak se mate?” we can answer that same question with ” Vyborne”, very good, or “Dobre”, just good, or “Spatne” , which means bad or very bad. We are learning many more phrases and numbers and what not but I am not gonna go into all of it for the sake of not writing 2000 words in this post.

Day to day I like to speak Czech with the locals as much as I can but that is also a struggle sometimes. When entering a shop or restaurant I will greet with the “Dobry Den” and they will say it back with a lot of other Czech words( probably asking what I would like to eat or what not) that I do not understand. It is always an awkward moment where I just stand there confused for a second before asking them if they can speak English. Most of the time they just smile and can speak enough English to take our order and get the job done.  If they cannot speak it themselves there is always someone else nearby that helps translate and gets us what we need.

Different situations like that happen all the time and it always works out. I find it pretty amusing trying to go as long as I can in Czech until I run out of words. I think the locals appreciate the effort when we try out best but are happy to speak English if they need to.

That is all for now, I will be posting again at some point!

Bye