That’s right everyone I have officially survived my first month here in Czechia. This past month has been one reflection, learning, and new experiences. It is one I am so beyond lucky to have enjoyed with my whole heart. There have been ups and downs for sure, but overall this first month has done nothing but make me more excited than ever before for my next nine months here.
Normally in my posts I simply tell you about what I’ve been up to lately and tell you how I’m feeling, but this one is going to be a little bit different. This post is going to focus more on various aspects of life on exchange: living with a host family, school, language , food. I will also include a few updates about my recent trip to Kutná Hora (which was AMAZING), but I feel like I should address a few things that I haven’t yet first.
Language: Okay, Czech is hard. It is very different from english in pretty much every way (sentence structure, verb tenses, pronunciation, alphabet), it is probably the most challenging part of exchange here in Czechia. Thankfully I’ve had lots of time over this past month to work on my Czech, so I can say that it is steadily improving and I am learning new things every single day. Right now, I find my understanding has come a long way from when I first arrived, my reading is a lot better both in terms of understanding the words I’m reading and being able to pronounce them and I’m getting better as well at understanding what people are saying around me and picking out key words. To be honest I doubt that Czech is a language you could learn effectively without being immersed in it. Just being around people who are speaking Czech makes such a huge difference, so while people still talk to me mainly in English, I hear so much Czech that my brain has started to adapt, which is pretty cool.
Host Family: I am lucky to have a really nice host family, they have been so welcoming and kind to me this past month. I am glad that I have ended up in their home. That’s not to say though that moving into another family’s home has been a totally smooth transition devoid of any weirdness or awkwardness. Honestly, I don’t think it matters who your host family is, moving into someone else’s home, in which they have pre-established routines and habits is going to be a bit strange. There have certainly been moments where I’ve felt kind of awkward or weird simply because it’s just such a big change to adjust to and it can be a lot to process when everything is taken into consideration. My family has really been great though with helping me understand daily routines and expectations and really taking me into their home with open arms.
Food: Food and meals are another thing that I’ve had to adjust to here because the structure of meals and the diet here are quite different from their counterparts in Canada. First of all, lunch here is the largest meal of the day as opposed to dinner, and breakfast tends to be quite small.