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Student Post: Study abroad in Prague

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut. She is currently sharing her experiences in study abroad. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu

By Lisa Mitchell

We started our weekend on Friday with a trip to Lake Constance for our German History class. When we left in the morning it was pouring rain, so we were really fortunate to arrive to a beautifully sunny day! We got to tour around the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshaven to learn about the Hindenburg disaster. It's incredibly fascinating to learn about historical events that revolve around engineering, both the tragedies and the feats. Despite the peril caused by this event, Germany has truly led the world on many engineering fronts and I consider myself to be incredibly fortunate to study here. After the museum we got to explore the city and a fortress on the water front. Then we got to take a Bodensee (boat tour) around the lake. It was perfect. We had views of Austria, Switzerland and Germany from our boat tour. A breathtaking experience.

After the excursion finished up we took a train that left around 8pm and was due to arrive in Prague, Czech Republic, around noon the following day. When we made the reservations for the night train, we were not given an option for our seating, so we THOUGHT we would be reserving a couchette (a room with six beds bunked on top of each other). Instead, we got reclining chairs (making reservations with individuals who don't speak English is not very easy). It was sincerely uncomfortable, and you better believe the chair in front of me was broken, which meant I had even less leg room. Also, I do believe our train was constructed in the 1800s, so it was not the most luxurious modes of transportation BUT it got us there, which was the important part! And, we got to experience the "joys" of the night train. By the time we arrived in Prague the first thing we wanted to do was shower. So we all got cleaned up, then went for a meal in Old Town. Prague was beautiful. We fell in love the second we caught glimpse of the city when we came up the stairs from the train station. It's been rated  the most beautiful city in Europe, and it is very evident why!

Photos by Lisa Mitchell of her trip to Prague, Czech Republic, as part of her study abroad experience.

The restaurants in Prague are also amazing because they have "tourist menus," which are three-course meals that are traditional for the area for an extremely cheap price (typically 6-10 Euro!). So, not only are you receiving an extremely filling and delicious meal, you also aren't paying an arm and a leg for it (which was very refreshing after France and Switzerland)! We spent the rest of the day exploring the city, and I also came across a Thai Foot Massage that lasted an hour and only cost 10 Euro, so naturally, I got a foot massage in the middle of the day. It was heavenly, painful at times, but a necessary kind of painful that brought a lot of relief to my severely overused feet! (If you travel, bring good shoes. I sacrificed comfort for cute in one too many cities and I got stress fractures in both my feet throughout my time here, so believe me when I tell you, it's worth it to wear comfortable shoes). That night, we participated in a beer tasting event that was offered by our hostel. Then we explored the city night life, which was fantastic! Also on Saturday night, I met an individual who works for Continental Corporation and after getting into a conversation about what I'm studying and which company I work for, he gave Savannah and I his contact information and said we should contact him for a plant tour in Frankfurt, and also suggested we work for him when we graduate. (THAT is one of the many perks of traveling! Who knows, he may be my future boss in a year!)

The following day, we woke up around 9am and checked out of our hostel around 10 a.m. Then we explored the other side of the city (we went over the river) and climbed the Prague Castle which overlooked the entire city (beautiful!!). I was able to buy more street art (as I've been traveling, I've been buying street art from each city to hang in my future place). After that we went to an ice bar! Everything is made of ice, and they give you a warm poncho to wear while you are inside. We were able to stay in for 30 minutes, but we were fine not staying longer because Savannah and I were in dresses so our legs were decently cold by the end of it!  We spent the rest of the day exploring until we got to take the super comfortable night train back to Esslingen. We arrived the next morning, and luckily, were able to go home and shower and nap before we had class at 3:45. These adventures are so fun, but also very exhausting! It was an eventful weekend and we only had two days before we left for another trip to Barcelona, Spain.