3rd Blog

Hi everyone! It is so wild to me that the semester is coming to an end in just a few short weeks! I wanted to reflect on one of the amazing experiences that I have had during my time here which has taught me so much about Prague and the Czech Republic.

I have been volunteering at a local high school in an English class, where the students are sixteen to seventeen years old. The school is known as a Gymnasium, which is more similar to a college preparatory school in the United States, and is located right next to my dorm, which is why my program has a connection with it! I go in once a week with another classmate of mine and we talk about a wide variety of topics both about the Czech Republic and the United States. The lead teacher in the class has been wonderful, and she emphasizes to us that one of the best ways the students can learn is through speaking with us in everyday conversation. They have all also had a chance to show off their English skills through the presentations they have given us about something they find interesting about the Czech Republic. Some of them spoke about inventions, famous people, landmarks, etc. and it is wonderful to learn about what they found interesting and cool about their home country. Even though the school is located in Prague, some of the students travel very far to attend a class every day as the school is very good, and so we can learn about what life is like outside of Prague. The students also have many questions about the United States which has been very fun for us to answer. Most of what they know about our lives is what they have seen through TV and movies, so I think it was a bit of a disappointment that my education experience was not like High School Musical, and I agree! As the semester has gone on, they have gotten more comfortable with asking us questions about harder topics, such as politics, racism, and gun violence in the United States. I have appreciated that they feel safe asking such questions even though unfortunately I do not have all the answers. Even so, it has been very interesting to see how they view the United States.

On a lighter note, one of the traditions we spoke about in class which I was fortunate enough to celebrate in person was Easter! The Czech Republic is not a very religious country, so Easter is celebrated mainly as a secular holiday and marks the beginning of Spring. Easter markets are set up around the city selling traditional food, drinks, and painted eggs, which of course I bought to bring home! Every day there were different performances celebrating the holiday and the start of warmer weather and it was great to see traditional music and dance played. It truly did feel like the start of Spring, and I cannot wait for the next few weeks of sun!

Pictures of Easter celebrations and the markets in Old Town Square!