Archive for December, 2009

Merry Christmas

Only a few days left! Wow I cannot believe I only have a few days left in the Czech Republic…this semester flew by! We had our farewell dinnner last night downstairs : (  Finals are coming up so I am busy with homework. Last weekend in Prague too so busy packing and cleaning  as well. Still time for fun though…my roommates and I had a Christmas Party!

Merry Christmas from the Lounge!!!


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Las Palmas, Spain!

For our second and final break at the end of November, my friends and I went to Las Palmas de Gran Carnia Island, Spain. This island is off the coast of Africa and very far from Spain. I spent 8 days here, laying on the beach, eating good food, tanning, reading a lot of books, boogie boarding and swimming. It was beautiful and around 75 degrees everyday. They also have some sand dunes on the other side of the island that we checked out one day. All and all a great relaxing vacation!!! For a girl from ND, being at the beach in November cannot be beat!!! Here are some pictures, enjoy!

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So I was proudly say I LOVE MY LIFE IN PRAGUE! I have been having the time of my life here and I could have never imagine how much fun I’d be having before I came. A few things I’ve been up to…

Probably the best part of my program is the people that are here with me. Everyone gets along and goes out together and has a wonderful time living here in Prague. I am getting very sad that my time here is almost over : ( but I know I will look back on my study abroad experience with only fond memories. I really hope you consider checking out studying abroad if you can!

One of the fun things I’ve done this semester is do the local run in Prague. I recently did the 72nd annual Velke Hill run, which they were lying when they said Hills! Three hills, each so steep you had to use a rope to climb up…and also you had to run through 2 different streams of water. Well I actually think this stuff is pretty fun…a big group of us do this along with thousands of Czechs and afterwards go out for goulash and beer as a reward! Plus it keeps me in shape and despit all my beer drinking this semester, i’ve managed to lose 12 pounds! So all in all not too shabby!

Prague also has a great night life that caters to younger people. Lots of  people in Europe come to Prague because the price of food and drink here is very cheap. Drinking beer is a way of life in the Czech Republic and is very normal for Czechs to start drinking beer as early as 10AM. This picture is from my favorite club in Prague, Lucerna, which plays 80’s and 90’s music…so fun to dance to!

My roommates and I (above) like to have little get togethers for the people in our program. Since a lot of us were out of town for Halloween, we had a Halloween party a week later. I was Desert Rose, which if anyone watches “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia” you’ll understand. As you can see we had a range of costumes and had a lot of fun. You get really close with the kids in your program because you basically are with them everyday.

I was nervous to spend Thanksgiving away from home but a kid in my program from Texas mom came and cooked us a lovely meal! It was probably the best Thanksgiving you could have away from home. I was hard to find Turkey and the other fixings in Prague since as you know, Thanksgiving is an American holiday. Czech people weren’t too impressed with us that we were celebrating, but it was all good lol. Thanksgiving with my Prague family was a success!!!

My friends from home came to visit me recently!! Steph, Rambo, Hannah and Jaimiey – what a good time! It was so good to see my fellow NDer’s and to show them around Prague. I believe they had fun! Prague now has there Christmas markets up so the whole town is decorated and it is soo pretty!!! I really enjoyed sharing my experience in Prague with them and can’t wait to see them again when school starts!

We recently went to a bar called “The Pub” where you split off into teams of up to 10 people and sit at a table. Then your team races against other teams in the bar to see which table has consumed the most beer. Then the bar your at competes with other bars to see which bar was drank the most. It was a great time and a lot of fun to say the least!

I know what your thinking…all she talks about is beer! but I am actually enjoying my time in school and learning so much about Prague and the Czech Republic. My classes are great and finals week is starting soon!!! Wish me luck!!

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So its been awhile! I guess getting on the UND homepage really helps you to write a new post! Things have been so wonderful and fun here in Prague for me that I’ve completely forget to write in my blog! Studying Abroad this semester was one of the best things I’ve ever done! ok so a few cool things I’ve been up to lately:

First off, for my fall break at the end of October, my friends and I decided to do a 4 country trip in 9 days! We went to Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Poland…it was a whirlwind of traveling! We first flew into Malmo, Sweden and spent the afternoon there. I am 50 % Swedish, so it was really cool to actually be with “my people” haha ya something like that.  Sweden sad to say, did not capture our imagination for too long because later that day we hoped on a train across the Baltic Sea to Copenhagen, Denmark. I must say Copenhagen is one of the prettiest cities I have ever been too. Its also one of the most expensive! A beer alone cost $10 US dollars! Since of course all us college kids are on a tight budget, we were only able to go out one night and we ate at the grocery store everyday. That aside, Copenhagen treated us well. There is a website called couchsurfing.org, which I would encourage to anyone thinking of going abroad to check out. Its a network of people who let you stay at their house for free….I know, your thinking probably the same thing as my parents CREEPY!! but its really not, its very safe and a good way to see local culture and meet people.  My friends and I have had great couch surfing experiences and the best part of it is that its FREE! Anyways, Copenhagen is full of beautiful people and beautiful things to see. I would recommend checking out a place inside of Copenhagen called Freetown Christiania. Its a social experiment and the people who live there live in a co opt and have alternative lifestyles. Very cool.

Next, we flew to Berlin, Germany. This is my second time in Germany and I must say I love Germany! It was great food and friendly people. Berlin is by far one of my favorite cities I have been to in Europe. I think the reason I like it is that it is so historic. We went on a free walking tour done by a company called Sandeman’s New Europe. If you can ever take one of these tours I highly recommend it. and its free! We got to see so much history from WWII from Hitler’s bunker to the Holocaust Memorial. I have a better understanding of the Holocaust and Germany’s role in it after visiting Berlin. We also got to see the Berlin Wall. Well I was only a young pup, age 2, when the wall came down in November 1989, but just being able to see and touch one of the most important things in history was amazing. My favorite part was the East Side Gallery, where artist put pictures on the wall after the fall of Communism. The picture of the guys kissing is from this. After learning about Communism, I feel so so lucky to have grown up in the USA. Under Communism, Berlin was divided into East and West Berlin overnight. People were striked of their rights and were even unable to see family members. There are some really cool stories of people escaping to their freedom from East Berlin. And all of this only happened 20 years ago! Other than that, Berlin is a great city and I hope someday you will be able to visit. Food is cheap and one night we went on a pub crawl to some fun places around Berlin, which was also cheap!!

Next on our trip was Krakow, Poland, which we took the train to from Berlin. 12 hours of hell on the train! We did not have seats and both toilets in our train compartment overflowed and they locked us in so there was no way out! I do not know if I will ever be able to take the train again! So by the time we arrived in Poland, we were beat from traveling and the horror train ride, so we took it pretty easy. Poland use to be an extremely poor country and still is struggling today. We took it pretty easy in Poland. A few good things about Poland: its very very cheap as it is not on the Euro yet and the food was SOOO GOOD!! We ate like kings for around 5 dollars. On the last day of our trip, we took a bus to the Auschwitz Concentration camp, about 45 minutes outside of Krakow. This is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, confronting the horrors of the Holocaust. Over 1.1 MILLION people were killed at this location by the Nazis. So complete sad and pointless. Being at Auschwitz had a very eerie feeling that this was a horrible place. If you ever have a chance to go to a concentration camp you should and pay your respects to the men, women and children who lost their lives for no reason.

After our emotional day at Auschwitz, we hoped the train back to Prague (smooth sailing this time) and our 9 day adventure was over. It felt so good to be home but I had a great time exploring more of Europe!

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