This summer I have been given the amazing opportunity to intern in Prague, Czech Republic. I will be interning at Cerge-EI, which is the economic institute here. I will be working alongside the Deputy Director of PR and Development on implementing Institutes and PR strategies. To say I’m excited to start this Monday would be an understatement! I arrived in Prague on Monday and am already in love with city. My roommates are three girls from KU that I met prior to this trip and we are having so much fun in our adorable apartment situated in a great area outside Old Town.
Once we got settled on Monday, we took our first trip to the local grocery store which was definitely an experience considering none of us know Czech. We had to explore every aisle of the store because we had no idea where everything would be. We ended up finishing off the night at a local restaurant around the corner and naturally I ordered a wine. Not being carded felt great considering not even a few days prior I was carded at Walmart buying an “R” rated movie with my sister because apparently I don’t look 17.
Tuesday was a full day of orientation for my program. We met at 9 am and went over various things such as Czech culture, what to expect in our internships, health/safety information, and a short Czech language lesson. Once this orientation was over my roommates and I explored the nearby area and came across a great shopping mall. I was surprised to find many American stores such as Nike, H&M, Victoria’s Secret, and even Sephora. After walking around for a bit and picking up some essentials (toaster, fan, hair tools, etc) we decided it was time to head back to our apartment. We were about to leave the mall when we realized it was POURING rain outside. This presented an opportunity to try out Czech Uber for the first time. We ordered the Uber and waited for Jan to show up in a car type that none of us had ever heard of. Once we could see on the map our driver was almost there (and after we googled his car type so we knew what to look for) we went outside to wait for Jan to arrive. Just across the street we saw a car that fit out Uber exactly and it had its hazards on so we walked over to the car assuming it was our Uber. We walked literally right up to the car and waited for the driver to roll down his window or something to let us know he was our Uber driver or something and it never happened. We were standing outside of this man’s car and realized he might not even be our Uber because he didn’t say anything or seem phased by our presence or that we were very clearly standing outside of his car. For the next five minutes or so we frantically looked around for another potential Uber and could not find him anywhere. Finally we came to the conclusion that this man had to be our Uber and we approached his car very close and kinda waived and the man finally rolled down his window a little and was like, “JESSICA?!?” FINALLY found our Uber driver and it was the very first guy we thought it was. So just an FWI in case you ever need to get an Uber in Prague, they don’t roll down their windows or do anything to let you know they’re an Uber so just use your best judgement :-).
Wednesday has been my favorite day BY FAR because I finally got to explore all of Old Town and it was absolutely breathtaking. I had friends tell me that Prague was like Disneyland before I came, and I can confirm that statement wholeheartedly. It is covered in cobble stones and beautifully designed multicolored buildings that truly make it look enchanted. We had around a two hour tour around the city with an amazing tour guide who covered so much about the history of the city.We saw the Astronomical Clock (which was very lucky since they will be starting construction on it in the next few days), Charle’s Bridge, a beautiful church, and other cute places in the area. Once our tour was over my roommates and I found a nice outdoor area and ordered (of course) Pilsner beers to add to the Czech experience. Around 6:30 we met up with the other interns, as well as program directors and ate a traditional Czech meal they had planned for us inside the gorgeous Municipal House. This included a four course meal, drinks, and life music. The scenery wasn’t too shabby either!! After this meal my friends and I walked back through the square, got a table on top of the Hotel U Prince, and enjoyed drinks while watching the sun set over the beautiful city I get to cal home for the next two months.
Today was a much more low-key day as we navigated the metro for the first time and picked up our official transportation passes which will be used for busses, the tram, and metro. My roommates and I also booked our train tickets and hostel for our weekend trip to Budapest, Hungary next weekend. I’ve wanted to go to Budapest for a long time and am so excited it’s finally happening. Prague is an amazing place and I can already tell this is going to be an unforgettable summer filled with lots of adventures. I can’t wait to blog all of my experiences and adventures while here because I know it will definitely be a trip of a lifetime. The amazing city of Praha already has my heart.