Updated: Sep 18, 2019
Yesterday marked the end of my first week in Prague! I successfully ordered my food in Czech, then went blank-faced when they asked me a follow-up question. But hey--we're making Prague-ress!
These last 7 days have been jam packed with new foods, people, adventures, and learning experiences! Paying for the bathroom? Alright! Water is more expensive than alcohol? OK! Waiting 30+ minutes for your tram to come and ended up walking home? Yes, this did happen. Let's just say that this week has been nothing short of interesting!
During our orientation, our program coordinator Leah, or Prague Mom, organized a scavenger hunt where we raced through the historic downtown of Prague! In a total of 2 hours, we were able to walk across the Charles Bridge, spot the Prague castle, admire Old Town Square, and photo-bomb family pictures (it was one of our tasks, so we had to!). After burning off calories on the scavenger hunt, we refueled with traditional Czech food! Our meal consisted off beef tar tar (raw beef), head cheese (meat pieces in gelatin), pig knuckle, and beer--of course! The food might not sound as appealing, but it was delicious! Na zdravi (cheers)!
The next morning, we took a 3-hour bus ride to a town south of Prague. Cesky Krumlov is a small bohemian town that makes you feel like you're on the set of a movie! We got to visit the Chateau Cesky Krumlov (State Castle) and learned about one of the most well-preserved castles in Europe! As we walked around the town, we took advantage of every photo opp! With a view like this--how can you not?
Where there are hills, there are valleys. Aside from the breath-taking views and exhilarating adventures, this week has been challenging. Along with getting acquainted to the transportation system and the culture, I've also had to navigate the challenges of working in a new country! I started my internship the Monday after we got back from Cesky Krumlov. My tasks as an intern are to establish social media platforms and marketing strategies for a small E-commerce company called ADDITEQ. Although I had just completed an internship this past summer, the corporate environment is drastically different than the environment at ADDITEQ. The other employees have been so kind and welcoming! I've been able to connect on a one-on-one level with my colleagues and have the opportunity to take initiative on my projects. The ability to create my own project plan is not something that I'm used to but if I want to run a business and be my own boss, I better get used to the independence!
The beauty--and the beast--of living in a new country for 3 months is handling ambiguity. When you travel or live in another country for a long period of time, you're faced with a lot of challenges! I've learned to be comfortable with the uncomfortable instead of always depending on structure. The challenges of ambiguity have pushed me to be a better problem solver both professionally and socially. The ability to think critically in different situations has taught me to cultivate courage in times of pressure instead of being overwhelmed by anxiety--which is something I haven't been able to fully grasp until my time abroad. Along with the open-mindedness to exploration, the curiosity of cultures, and communication across different language barriers, being able to navigate ambiguity will be a skill that will benefit my life in the long run!
Whew! What a week! That's all for now, but stay in touch for my adventures next week in... Copenhagen, Denmark!