Bart Siepelinga in Czech Republic

Field of study in Wageningen: Business and Consumer studies
Study period exchange: 01/02/2019 until 30/06/2019
Country (exchange): Czech Republic
City (exchange): Prague
University (exchange): Czech University of Life Sciences
Faculty (exchange): Faculty of Economics and Business

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go on study exchange?

For me it seemed like a really fun and cool way to fill in my minor.

What is the reason you chose for this country/university?

I knew Prague was a beautiful city already with lots of fun ways to spend your free time.

Also since it is in the middle of Europe, I knew there were a lot of travel opportunities.

3. Accessibility to reach destination

Do you have any tips to reach your exchange destination?

I travelled by plane and by bus, and both are honestly fine ways to get there

4. University and studying

Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?

How is the study formalized?

The study is different than at WU. It is a bit like high school, you have multiple courses at the same time, and then all of them have a few lectures each week. Furthermore there are block courses, which only take a fulltime week and after that week the course is done. The academic level is a bit lower than at WUR. Examination is pretty much the same, most courses also have a final exam.
The workload is quite low, at least in the economic faculty.
And all the lesson material is provided by the university.

What is the culture of the university?

The lecturers are more approachable than at WUR, also some of the courses have a way smaller class than in Wageningen. Engagement with local students is quite low, since they study mostly in Czech language.

What does the university offer the student additionally?

I did not live in the dorms, so I cannot tell much about those facilities. But in the university there is a Menza with pretty average but cheap food, furthermore there are 2 restaurants which are more expensive but have decent food. Sports facilities are nice, pretty much everything is there. If you want to rent a field, Google translate is going to be your best friend, because the people in the sports faculty barely speak English.

5. Housing-travelling-living

What are the possibilities for housing?

You can sign up for the dorms, but there are not enough dorm rooms, and because we are from a “richer” country, it is very likely that you will get turned down and have to either look at dorms from other universities, or private housing. The dorms are very cheap, around 150 Euro a month, and private housing ranges from 300 Euro to 500 Euro for a private room.

What is the culture of the country like?

Czech culture is a bit different than in the Netherlands, the English level of the locals is pretty low, and mostly they do not really want to speak English. Also waitresses are way less nice for some reason. The local cuisine is basically a lot of meat. But since I lived in Prague, I did not really ate Czech cuisine that much, since in the city you can eat any cuisine you want. A strange manner is also that the moment you have finished your plate, the waiter will get it away from you, even if the rest of the table is not done eating yet.

Could you give a general price indication of the place of residence compared to living in Wageningen?

It honestly really depends on your lifestyle, personally I did not ever cook at home but always ate out, and did a lot of stuff next to university. Therefore I spend way more money than back home. But in general, groceries are pretty much the same price as here. Restaurants, public transport and alcohol are way cheaper in Prague.

Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure?

Public transport is really good in Prague, the metro is perfect and busses and trams go very often and always on time. Public transport for students is really cheap, I think it was 13 Euro for 3 months, so 26 Euro for the whole semester basically. Travelling to university from the centre, is best to take the tram or the metro to station Dejvicka and then from there take a bus which takes about 15 minutes.

6. Free time

What are must-sees in the area? 

Letna Park is really nice, Vysehrad is another cool park, If the weather is nice, its also really cool to chill and drink on the river near Charles bridge while paddle boating. Also in the summer in the evening it is really nice to go to the Stalin statue cause there are always student parties near, just outside.

What does not appear in the travel guide, but is worth a visit?

Vysehrad is really cool and beautiful park that not many people visit. Also Divocka Sarka is a really cool nature area pretty close to uni as well.

Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time?

For predrinks I would recommend popocafe, it is in the middle of the centre and really cheap.

My favourite club was probably Lucerna, it is an 80’s and 90’s music club in the middle of the centre and is a lot of fun at Fridays and Saturdays

7. Challenges & best moment abroad

What was a challenge you have experienced?

Communicating with non-English speakers was quite a challenge.

What was your best memory abroad?

I cannot just pick one best memory, but going out a lot with everyone was really nice. Travelling with friends to other countries was also super fun, or just days of walking around the city and chilling in the park with friends.

8. Contact details

Would you like to ask more questions?

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