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Prague is the “new” France for CSU students studying abroad

In the last five years, more Colorado State students have studied abroad in the city of Prague than in the entire country of France, according to the Education Abroad office.

Prague has been more appealing to students due to its location, history and cost of living.

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“It is true that in Prague, beer is cheaper than water, and you can eat like a king for $5,” said Rae Richards, an international studies junior at CSU.

The statistics from CSU’s educational abroad office showed that about 47 students total chose to study abroad in Prague for the fall semester, and about 27 students total chose to study abroad in France for the fall semester.

According to Tripadvisor.com, Prague ranks #5 on the “Best Destinations in the World – Traveler’s Choice Awards. France is ranked #7 on the list.

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and is located in central Europe. According to CSU’s educational abroad program, Prague is known as the political, cultural and economic center of central Europe. It is also well known for its architectural and historic Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque style buildings and sites.

“I had no idea how immensely charming and historic this city would be,” Richards said. “You walk down streets and alleys and think, ‘Wow, the Velvet Revolution happened right here,’ and that is such a powerful experience.”

Andrew Woodrum, a natural resource recreation and tourism sophomore at CSU, is also studying abroad in Prague for the semester.

“I chose to study abroad in Prague because it is in central Europe, which makes it easy to travel on the weekends,” Woodrum said. “Prague also has a cheap cost of living, which is perfect for a student on a budget.”

Brittany Henry, a biomedical sciences sophomore at CSU, is planning on studying abroad elsewhere, but visited Prague in the spring of 2010. Henry traveled to Prague for a music tour, and said that as an American traveling to a foreign country, she felt as if the atmosphere was very friendly and welcoming.

“I’ve been to Prague before and loved it there,” Henry said. “It would just be hard for me to study abroad there because I wouldn’t know the language, but perhaps I could learn it easily.”

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The language barrier was also a struggle for Woodrum, who was concerned about the issue when he first arrived in Prague.

“When I first arrived, I thought ‘What the heck are these people saying?’” Woodrum said. “The language is like nothing I had heard before. It’s not the easiest language to learn, either.”

Richards also agrees that Czech is a difficult language to learn, however she believes that Prague has “so many faces to show and so many stories to tell.”

“The Czech Republic is absolutely charming and has so much to offer,” Richards said. “Fashion is a big deal here, and in the Moravian region, the wine is both tasty and cheap. The Czech people live in a city that has been shaped by so many outside forces and for so long – it is unlike anything I have ever experienced.”

Collegian Reporter Amanda Thompson can be reached at news@collegian.com or @amanduhh3003.

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