Written by Taylor Eilers (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Student Correspondent for CET Prague, Fall 2019
Currently, I am sitting in a café a block from my beautiful apartment with my new friend Lilith. In this short time, I have met some amazing people with such different backgrounds. I have also had the opportunity to reconnect with two Czech students from my previous exchange. I will give you a brief overview of these stunning people. Lilith is in the Jewish Studies program within CET. She is who I confide in with problems ranging from my anxiety about meeting so many new people to if my black shoes look good with the rest of my black outfit. One of my roommate’s name is Eliza, she talks more than I, which is quite impressive. She’s what one would call a free spirit. We are completely different, but she is too kind and bubbly to ever get irritated with. We live with a Czech roommate. Her name is Anna and he is also unbelievable. She is 25 so I call her maminko (mom) and she calls us her děti (children). Anna studies law and psychology and works for a law office, while also working for CET. She is so sweet and funny, and we have wonderful morning talks because we are both early risers. There are so many people that I have met that deserve and introduction. It just stands that a large part of this program and experience is the wonderful people.
Last week I was able to meet with Martin, who is the one of the best friends I made while on exchange in Brno 3 years ago. He came and visited me for a night on Sunday and it was so amazing to see him after so long. He had grown so much, and it took me by surprise. I was afraid that we would feel distant or at least different since so much time had passed during such times of growth in our lives…if that makes any sense. However, it was as if no time had passed and our laughter and conversation reminded me or even exposed to me what an impact he had on my year. I will forever be grateful for his friendship and kindness when I was at my most vulnerable. I know that this is cheesy but it’s really hard to put into words. It stands to show that the friendships made while abroad can stand the test of time and provide a further connection to the city and country that you studied abroad in.
Last weekend CET took all of the students to Česky Krumlov, a beautiful renaissance town with a castle and surrounded by a river. It was unbelievably beautiful. Traveling to amazing places with amazing people always makes the experience so much more memorable, so it was wonderful that everyone in the program was there. We did many tours during the day and at night we drank wine on the riverbed and then went dancing in the one and only club in the small Harry Potter-like village. Earlier this week, we were also able to go paddle boarding on the Vltava river. Since there were very few paddle boats left, my inexperienced group took a rowboat. This adventure resulted in the four of us spending an hour rowing in circles for the most part, but they were beautiful circles.