My name is Malachy. I am from a small town in the mountains of northern California and I am currently doing my exchange year in Prague. After being here around six and a half months, I can say it has been completely transformative. I believe I have learned so much by living here. I have learned about the culture, but also I feel I have learned an enormous amount about myself as well. This is due to the fact that I have been forced out of my comfort zone so many ways. I feel like being forced into different social situations has made me extremely more adaptable.
What adds to the level of difficulty is having to socialize and make friends in a new language. I believe this is one of the greatest challenges I have had. This also provides a lot of motivation for learning Czech though, because the more I understand and can communicate, the more entertaining it is. Weather it be taking part in conversations, listening to stories, or even just understanding jokes told to a group. I would say there is a direct correlation to speaking better Czech, and having a better time, and making more friends.
Another wonderful thing about being on exchange is just how many opportunities you have to do amazing things, whether it be traveling or other activities. For example, I was able to go on a school trip to Israel and Jordan, which has been a dream of mine since I was very little. It was two weeks of getting to see most of the most famous sites within the two countries with some of my closest friends. I have also got to experience going skiing in the Italian alps. There is something new and interesting to do almost every single day. This year so far has been unbelievable and possibly the best year of my life.