My experience at Czech Technical University has been nothing short of an amazing and exciting one. One might think this is all a coincidence. Going white water rafting with you and your friends on a whim to an intimate house party with friends in your last week sounds like the perfect concoction for a memorable experience, However, I believe that taking risks, developing an open-minded attitude towards learning and experiencing the spontaneity in a different country have all contributed to making my experience at Czech Technical University so special.

For those likely to follow in my footsteps next year, here are my tips on making the most of your exchange: 

So who are you? If you are reading this, I would guess you are a student embarking on an exciting journey of studying abroad at Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague. This experience will not only expose you to a new culture but also give you a chance to learn from esteemed professors and peers in the field of computer science.

One of the most important aspects of studying abroad is to make connections and find opportunities that will enhance your learning experience and open doors for your future career. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

Get involved in student clubs and organizations: CTU has a wide range of student clubs and organizations that cater to various interests. Joining one or more of these groups will not only help you meet new people but also give you a chance to learn new skills and gain valuable experience. I personally joined the CrossFit club and also the international exchange student club ISC. They often organise hikes and day trips outside of Prague like the one below.

Attend events and workshops: CTU hosts a variety of events and workshops throughout the year, which provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about the field of computer science and network with professionals in the industry. Admittedly, this was one aspect that I did not do so well in. However, there are tons of events for you to learn more about culture and also computer science. Besides career fairs, there are also talks by industry professionals about machine learning. 

Take advantage of office hours: Don’t be afraid to take advantage of your professors’ office hours. This is a great way to build relationships with them and gain insights on the subject matter. I had such a great experience with my professors and they are all such friendly people with a lot to offer. 

Look for internships and job opportunities: Prague is home to a number of tech companies and startups, many of which offer internships and job opportunities for students in computer science. Take advantage of this by searching for opportunities and reaching out to companies that interest you. I personally did not get an internship there, but there are many exciting initiatives there. One caveat is to be careful of your VISA restrictions on working part-time.

Network with other international students: You’re not the only one studying abroad at CTU. Make an effort to connect with other international students and learn about their experiences. They may also be able to provide valuable insights and connections for you. 

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making the most of your exchange experience at CTU. Remember, studying abroad is not just about getting good grades, but also about building relationships and gaining valuable experience that will help you in your future career. So, make the most of it and enjoy your time in Prague (or anywhere you are headed next)!

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