How to be a good citizen abroad

Over the past few years, we’ve shared many useful tips for students interested in study abroad in Prague. Every semester, we are delighted to welcome a new class of international UNYP students  to the Czech capital, and because of this, we feel responsible for letting you know how you can help keep your Study Abroad destination a better, friendlier and more liveable city. After all, cities are made up of people – that’s what “civilization” means. While city authorities set the tone, the city is ultimately what the residents make of it. 

Tips for being a good neighbor and resident while you study abroad in Prague. 

1. Keep it clean. 

You might only be here for a few months, but that doesn’t mean that you have to forget your good recycling habits. UNYP campus is equipped with plastic and paper recycling bins, and you can find out the locations of the recycling containers around your neighborhood by following this link. There are containers for glass, paper, plastic, electronics, and clothing at locations around Prague.  

2. Be considerate on public transport. 

Prague’s trams, metro trains and buses are often packed with passengers, especially during rush hour. There's nothing wrong with taking a seat while listening to music on your headphones, but do try to pay attention to people around you. Show some compassion and offer your seat to elderly, pregnant and disabled people, and parents with small kids. And take care that you don’t whack people with your backpack!

3. Share the road.

Bikes and scooters are a great and green way to get around Prague, but please be considerate of pedestrians. Prague is not fully equipped with cycle lanes, but you should not ride scooters and bikes on the sidewalk, even if it seems safer and more convenient than riding on the road with cars. You don’t want to hurt a toddler or an old lady, and they won’t be able to react quickly if you lose control or fail to notice them. Just as importantly, make sure you learn the rules of the road! 

4. Respect quiet hours – not everybody is a party person! 

Of course, we know you’ll be out partying with your UNYP friends for birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or simply Friday night. But please remember that in residential areas of Prague, the law mandates quiet hours from 10 pm to 6 am. Nobody wants to stop you having fun, but try to moderate the volume of your laughter and conversation as you walk home from the bar at 3 am. In addition, your favorite bar or club could be in trouble for excessive noise when you go outside with your friends to smoke. Children are sleeping, and even at the weekend there are people who have to work the next day – everyone has the right to rest.

5. Don’t add to the architecture – no love locks. 

We believe that UNYP students would never vandalize a historic site or any city property. But sometimes even cute little gestures can cause harm when repeated thousands of times. Janek Rubeš (creator of the Honest Guide YouTube channel) brought our attention to the global problem of "love locks" to bridges,  during his speech at UNYP's Orientation Week. This trend started in Paris, and the cumulative weight of the locks caused the famous Pont des Arts to collapse in 2015. Please don’t put padlocks on any of the bridges in Prague – while it might be romantic to you. The locks cause damage to the structure. And we know that UNYP students can dream up some far more original, less clichéd and less damaging ways to express their love! 

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