I recently had the opportunity of a lifetime — studying abroad in Prague, the Czech Republic. I spent six weeks studying, traveling and discovering Western Europe and making memories that will put a smile on my face till the day I die.
Of the six weeks in Europe, four of them were spent in Prague while taking an Introduction to Financial Accounting (yikes, huh?) course. I was fortunate only to need to take one class while all of the other students took two, so I was finished with school by 9:20 a.m. Monday through Thursday. I was then able to roam the streets for hours by myself, finding the nooks and crannies of that beautiful city.
One of the great things our summer abroad tuition and fees included were these business trips the students took as a group. We met with CEOs and executive directors of businesses that vary from a five-year-old start-up to a well-known international company. They provided information on what their job involves and how they reached their current positions. At the end of the speaker’s presentation, we asked open-ended questions and conversed with these professionals. They were inspiring and motivational.
Our weekends were free of class commitments. We had the option to pick travel destinations, how to travel to-and-from and where to stay on our own. I took complete advantage of this, visiting a different place every weekend. The first weekend was a trip to Vienna, Austria which was incredibly beautiful and entertaining. For the second weekend, a group of the students including myself traveled to Berlin, Germany. Berlin wasn’t as great as I had hoped,but it was still fun to see all of its history. The third weekend was entire group’s trip to Moravia, which is the lowest part of the Czech Republic. We had a great time here going to various wineries and vineyards. The fourth and final weekend of the program was our visit to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Amsterdam was a magnificent city with so much diversity and excitement. One of my greatest memories of Amsterdam was traveling along the water channels on bicycles.
By this point, the program with Texas State had finished and I was free to travel to backpack through cities for the next 10 days without worrying about school. I and five other students from the program then traveled from Amsterdam to Brussels, Belgium. I was extremely surprised and pleased to find that Brussels is a large city that is well-developed without taking away its history and culture. After Brussels, I made my way south to the Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, where my sister’s boyfriend was located for work. I was able to stay at his place while taking day trips nearby cities and towns.
After five weeks of endless travel, by the end of the last week I was starting to get exhausted. As much fun and life-changing as this trip was, it still takes a beating on you carrying around a large suitcase, a carry-on and a backpack. But it makes it that much more worth it in the end. I will never forget the things I discovered while studying abroad in Europe and will cherish the memories I made.
— Harrison Holt