Erasmus+, GO Student Ambassadors

Leah Pickett

School of History, Archaeology and Religious Studies

Erasmus+ study placement

Where did you go?

I studied at Charles University in Prague for 10 months.

Why did you decide to study abroad?

I had really itchy feet in my second year, as I wanted to travel and explore more of the world. So, studying abroad and having it count towards my degree sounded perfect to me, especially considering I could receive funding for it.  So, it was definitely the idea of moving abroad that motivated me, but I gained so much more during my experience than I had ever anticipated!

What were your top three highlights from your year abroad?

The first highlight of my study abroad experience is definitely the people I met along the way! I made some great friends from all over the world. The general atmosphere is also great.  Everyone you meet who’s also studying abroad understands that time is limited so people are just friendly and want to have fun experiencing as much of the place and the culture as possible.

Secondly, I have to say just getting to explore Prague as a city, it’s definitely a city which is big enough to discover something new every day in and having the freedom to do so is great because the transport is so affordable. Most days my friends and I would go to somewhere new in the city whether it be a museum, club, monument or café. 

My last highlight was getting to travel to enhance my learning. As a history student, events, places and people play a huge role in my topic. For example, what better place to study subjects like the Iron Curtain and World War than in central Europe. Thus, I would say being able to do this reinvigorated the passion I have for my degree.

What would you say to a student who was unsure about spending a period abroad at university?

I would tell them that the university has given them an amazing opportunity by offering funding to undertake a global placement, one that not many people are able to have. Thus, you shouldn’t let fear stop you from doing things, because it is when we harness the fear and do the thing anyway that we truly grow as a person. If anything goes wrong, there is support from the university should you need it. Though ultimately if it’s really something you want to do and you do it, then your future self will most certainly thank you.

What are the top 3 things to do in Prague?

  1. On a sunny day take a ride on a pedal boat on the Vltava river with some friends. The Czech Republic may be landlocked but the best way to feel close to water in the city is to be gliding on the water, floating among beautiful architecture and under the city’s bridges.
  2. Visit the Havlicek Gardens and drink wine in the park. In my opinion this is the nicest but most underrated park in Prague. It has multiple pavilions, a small wine orchard and an outstanding alternative view of the city.
  3. Take a day trip because the public transport system is so cheap. I accidentally got on the wrong train once, it took me halfway across the country and only cost me £4! I would really recommend visiting Karlštejn Castle. It is only a short trip from Prague, but the castle is mesmerising, and its surroundings are beautiful too.

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