International Connections

Katie Dukes

Major: Event Management

Year: Junior
Hometown, State: Iowa

Type of experience: Study Abroad
Experience: Experience Prague, Czech Republic the Awesome (AESHM) Way
Experience website:
Destination: Czech Republic

Overall experience..
Overall, this study abroad experience was amazing. I loved being immersed in the culture for two weeks and living in such a beautiful city. I learned a lot about architecture, food, language, money, etc. There are a lot of differences between our two cultures, so it was interesting to see the different ways that The Czech Republic does things. I also enjoyed learning about the history of the city a little bit while we were there; it definitely helped me have a better understanding of their culture. I did enjoy the event tours that we were able to do. I thought it was really cool to see how universal the industry is.

I learned...
I first heard about this opportunity in EVENT 371 from Prof. Rita McClain, the leader of the program.

An impact to my life...
After studying abroad in The Czech Republic, I have learned that I love to travel. I love to explore new places, eat and drink new things, and get to know other cultures. From a professional standpoint, this experience has taught me that it is important to pay attention to the details. For example, the standard size of paper in the Czech Republic is not 8.5"x11", but rather less wide and longer in length. Recognizing little things like that can go a long way when communicating with other cultures. In my future career, I will make it a point to research and learn cultural differences of my clients. This experience as a whole met my educational goals; I have always wanted to study abroad, but I never found the right fit, until this program came along.

My most valuable learning experience...
My favorite tour of all was the tour of Lobkowicz Palace. The event manager there gave us a tour of the event spaces within the palace and then showed us short videos from past events that have occurred. I enjoyed that she gave us the tour before she showed the videos because we were able to see the transformation of the space and imagine all of the work that went into making it happen.

I will never forget...
Our time spent at the Moravian winery was far and away the most memorable experience on the trip. The owners of the winery were incredible people who taught us a lot about wine. We started off the night with a homemade dinner in a super cute wine cellar with candles and unlimited wine. There was Moravian music playing in the background as well, it was beautiful. After dinner, we did a wine tasting, where we sampled many different wines and guessed what we thought it was made out of. Then, our tour guide taught us all how to do a Moravian dance, so we drank and danced the night away. It was simply amazing.

A surprising discovery...
I think the main thing that I didn't expect was how common walking is in other countries, and how far they walk. The first day that we toured the city, I felt like we walked everywhere! It was exhausting because it's not something that I am used to doing here in the US.

Advice for others...
Do it. There's no better way to learn about the world than to do it first-hand. You will meet so many new people and explore some incredible places. I think traveling abroad is important because it opens your eyes to what is out there beyond our borders.

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