A Letter to NYU Prague

August 24th, 2019. We each stepped foot in Prague, maybe for the first time, ready to call this new city home for the next four months. Our high expectations were matched by our high spirits.

Orientation week- an amalgamation of sessions overviewing resources, history, and what was to come. We tripped on cobblestones, tried our first (and last) tredelnik, and undoubtedly struggled to buy groceries labeled in Czech.

Our week without responsibilities ends, and classes begin. The struggle of three hour classes starts to take hold- we remind ourselves of the short pain we have to endure for five day weekends, every weekend.

We plan and take our first trip abroad. The exhilaration of exploring a new city with friends exudes feelings of liveliness, youth, and independence that we haven’t felt before.

The trips continue. Week after week, we book another overnight bus, another high-speed train, another budget airline to capitalize on our central location and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities within our reach.

Midterms come around and remind us that yes, we are still students, not just self-proclaimed world travelers. Our bodies are slowly (not surely) recovering from the all-night saga of Amsterdam Music Festival, and we frantically review marketing notes at any time and place.

Fall break- finally! What we’ve been waiting for since nearly the beginning of the semester. A week (or more) of our own to take a lengthy vacation prove to be well worth the hype. But they still come with consequences. Burnout begins, and we itch for some space from the travel companions we’ve spent every moment with for the past 7 weeks.

Daylight savings means shorter days. Class ends, and we leave Richtruv Dum to dark nights that only enhance the exhaustion we may feel. We may know we need to take a break but refuse to do so in pursuit of more adventures.

Thanksgiving rolls around, and homesickness kicks in. A holiday we share with family is now shared with a new family. Our desire to go back to familiarity begins to get stronger with each winter day that passes.

Christmas lights shining everywhere raise our spirits amidst schoolwork and missing our family. We try svarak and marvel at the lingering smell of cinnamon almonds around Old Town Square. December is really here, and our adventure is almost over.

We make the most of our last weeks. Our last trips abroad, our last meals at favorite restaurants, our last interactions with professors and RA’s.

Focusing on finals proves to be a difficult task. Packing, studying, exploring Prague for the last time, and saying see you soon to old and new friends make for a busy final few days. But it’s the good kind of busy.

4 months later. New friendships, new lessons, new places, and new perspectives that cannot be replaced. An experience that cannot be replaced.

Thank you, NYU Prague.

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