I am here to tell you all about my trip to Prague, Czech Republic which took place from September 8th to 25th, 2017. I was there for a school course that also included guided tours, lots of food, and maybe some indulgence in beer (I mean, it is cheaper than water there). So here is a bit of information about what I did, what I saw, and some tips and tricks if you want to visit and do bookish things (although I didn't do a tour of the sights in Daughter of Smoke and Bone cause I did not like that book)!
September 17th, 2017It was my 25th birthday and I went out for a nice brunch and spent the day working on my paper. Sure, that seems lame, but I really need to get this done if I want to graduate on time. I also realized that if I went out that night, I would be tired all week and we had a full schedule for my last week in Prague that I didn't want to miss out on because I was tired and hung over. One thing I will say about the actual course is that I felt like a lot of people forgot we were there for a course and school. I was representing my university and my country - I didn't want to be incapable of participating.
September 18th, 2017This was probably the most interesting day for me. We learned about Czech Republic Foreign Policy from two different sources: academic and from the Minister of Foreign Affairs himself. It was such a juxtaposition to see the differences in how someone who held office had to discuss the positions versus how someone who was free to critique did.
We were also given a tour of the Foreign Affairs building which was really cool. They had high ceilings and that is definitely something I love more than anything else in this world. I really enjoyed this day.
|Look at me really paying attention while also knowing the camera was on me and posing|
September 19th, 2017On Tuesday we discussed NATO and the US which was interesting to me. I liked seeing how Europeans viewed the US (and North America in general) because they have such a different perspective on the US's influence than what we do here in Canada. It was also really interesting to see how small states view NATO because Canada acts big in terms of global presence but should really have a smaller amount of influence than what we do.
|WORSHIP THIS OUTFIT|
|YOU GET TO SEE IT TWICE|
September 20th, 2017This day was probably the worst one for me - at least until we had the group activity at night. But the courses were dry and felt more like an advertisement for working with specific corporations rather than teaching us anything. There was also a bit of a divide between the people in the class about how we were treated by a professor, which was only exasperated further by the fact that we had a free afternoon followed by bowling where we had to be on teams.
|We were the champions (ish)|
But bowling was SO much fun! My team won the spirit award because we were so happy to be there and around one another. We cheered for each other no matter what because we knew we were terrible at bowling and not going to win based on score anyway. But we had a lot of fun and I really liked being able to spend time with people that are dear friends to me.
September 21st, 2017The lecture and workshop on Russia-EU relations was really intriguing because we learned about the EU sanctions and then had a mock session where we were each a different country and had to proclaim whether or not we would support continuing the sanctions. I was the Foreign Minister from Poland and gave a rousing speech about Poland's fear of occupation again after having been occupied by different countries and forces for 123 years. It made people shed tears... okay maybe not, but the professors really liked it and I really got into it, which made it fun.
|Just call me Witold Waszczykowski|
The afternoon was spent finishing up our group presentations because those were done the next day! My team decided to rename ourselves Team Gelato because we felt it was more fitting for Italy. I went out for dinner with everyone, then went back to work on my paper and presentation. I spent the night really emotional about people leaving me because our time was coming to a close.
September 22nd, 2017Team Gelato presented on the Migration Crisis and how it will impact Italy's upcoming election. It had a few issues in it but we finished and were presented with our certificates proclaiming we had completed the course.
|I like when I get to speak to people and present|
We had lunch together and then got to spend time doing whatever we wanted before going to the farewell dinner and spending the night partying together (and me crying) before everyone left for their respective countries.
|I have successfully completed the course!|
September 23rd, 2017
|So many bubbles in the background!|
September 24th, 2017I woke up early and two of my friends and I went back to the original brunch place we wanted to go to the day before and were lucky enough to get in! It was such a cute little place and we had a great meal. We spent some time at this cute market and I got a few last gifts for people before going back to the dorm to take a nap and pack because I was leaving at 6:00am the next day! We had a farewell dinner for the "Left Behind" at another place I found using a foodie map I had downloaded and it was just such a wonderful experience. I went to bed pretty early again because I had to be up so early to fly but I definitely loved my time in Prague!
|The view from our brunch table!|
|Aren't we cuties?|