Do students really benefit from studying abroad?

The world has changed dramatically over the last decades due to to the realities of globalization, which means that Czech universities have had to adapt to this trend. Quite a few higher education establishments in Prague attract students from different countries – for example, at UNYP we have students from over 60 countries and professors from over 25 countries. You might wonder whether students really benefit from studying abroad, but the answer is: absolutely!

We asked UNYP's new Student Council President Friederike Haag to share her experience of studying in UNYP's multicultural environment. Initially, from Germany, Friederike is currently enrolled in her third year of UNYP's Bachelor of Psychology program

In your opinion, why does UNYP attract students from abroad?

Beyond the attractive and affordable American degree option, I believe part of it is the fantastic city of Prague, reasonable living costs and the opportunity to study in smaller groups. Prague is a beautiful place to choose to study abroad, not only because of its history and beautiful architecture but also because of its vibrant city life, full of concerts, food festivals and more. 

Study abroad – make friends from all over the world!

The University of New York in Prague offers a more personal experience, with smaller class sizes instructed by qualified professors. After having studied in the University of Stuttgart, where class sizes are large, and it is difficult to find close friends and establish a connection with professors, UNYP is bliss. I have talked to several of my peers and discovered that many of them have had similar experiences and were attracted to UNYP for the same reason. 

How do students benefit from learning in a multicultural environment? 

One of the first classes everyone takes at UNYP is Intercultural Communication, and it provides an understanding of other people’s cultures and norms. Therefore, we firstly benefit through a personal experience of interacting with people from different cultures, which is a valuable asset for someone wanting to work with people in a globalized world. I also believe that it is this multicultural environment that brings a plethora of different viewpoints together in one classroom. Discussions are accordingly rich, with plenty of different ideas and perspectives, and so classes never get boring. Even outside of classes, it is interesting to take your classmates out for coffee and have conversations about the latest world issues. This is something I have started to do more regularly with my podcast club Mined Matter. 

What do you think are the main challenges of studying abroad?

Living on your own in a different country is, in my opinion, the most challenging thing about studying abroad. At first, you may miss your hometown (especially being understood if you don't speak the language) and it will be difficult to find friends, but I think this comes with time and a bit of courage. In a way, this is also the most important thing about studying abroad. It is almost like testing yourself, seeing whether or not you will be able to make it on your own in a big world. Finding a job, making connections and discovering space for your hobbies are all things you start to learn. Ultimately, those challenges you overcome when studying abroad just make you stronger even if you have to start with little and on your own.

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