Goodbye, Prague

Written by Paige Carlin, (Elon University) Student Correspondent CET Prague, Fall 2017

The time has come for me to say goodbye to Prague and I’m beyond grateful to be able to say that this semester has been everything I’d dreamed of and more. Sitting at the kitchen table in my Prague apartment one last time, I can’t help thinking about everything that’s happened around this table over the past four months.

RiverThis is where my jet-lagged roommates and I sat on our very first day in Prague with our welcome packets and our CET student handbooks. We were looking over the orientation schedule, installing our new Vodafone SIM cards and just starting to get to know each other.

This was where we sat with our laptops in September when we booked our first weekend away from Prague. We couldn’t decide where to go because there were so many cities that we wanted to visit in Europe, so we ended up spent hours looking up flights and hostels and such until we finally decided on a destination.

This was where we studied for our midterms in October in complete silence with our laptops open and our earphones in. Even though we were all sitting together, it was like we were in our own little worlds with our textbooks and notes piled high on the table around us.

This was where we sang “Happy Birthday” to Kathryn, one of our closest friends in the program who lived upstairs. We gathered around this table to watch her blow out the candles on her cake and celebrate her twentieth birthday.

This was the table where we celebrated Thanksgiving with a bunch of people in the program in November. We spent hours cooking a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, carefully set the table and told our friends it was “bring your own chair.”

This is where Misa helped me practice Czech for my oral exams. I would read what I had prepared for the exam, she would correct nearly every word and I would repeat after her until she said I was close enough. I was never great at Czech.

This was where we shared entirely too much instant coffee, tons of take-out, late nights, early mornings, a lot of laughter and even some tears. This was where people who began as strangers, became friends by sharing countless stories, moments and meals.

These are just the memories I made at my kitchen table during my semester abroad. I can’t even begin to explain the millions of memories I made while living in Prague and traveling around Europe this semester. The past four months have been nothing less than a whirlwind. Everyday, my life was filled with new sights, new sounds, new people and new challenges. And I wouldn’t trade this semester for the world.