by Natalia Zieba, LLB International Law Student (Final Year)
Before even arriving in Prague, I knew it was a good decision to go there. Applying and participating in Erasmus+ programme at the Charles University in Prague has definitely developed my research, team-working and presentation skills. Whilst living in student dorms, I had the opportunity of meeting lots of other international students and we could compare our experiences together. Participating in the programme and studying abroad has shown me how essential networking is, I have learnt how to communicate and participate in discussions better during seminars and lectures. Another great thing about studying in Prague was its beautiful location. Visiting the Prague castle, Vysehrad, the Charles Bridge and eating the Czech food were extraordinary and priceless experiences.
For me personally, the biggest advantage of studying abroad was the possibility of learning Czech. Sometimes student do not realise how easy it is to pick up some words and actually have a decent conversation in a foreign language, after living there for a year. As my mother tongue is Polish it was not that hard for me to learn the Czech fluently, which improves my employability and makes me stand out amongst other graduates.
What I think I liked the most of my studies was the fact we could choose all of the subject we wanted to do. I decided to study National Security and Labour Law, Czech Constitutional Law, Czech Environmental Law, Czech Private Law, National Resources Law, European Union Law in Czech Context plus the Czech language. I was very happy with my choices as some of the subjects I had already studied in Coventry during my first and second year of university and thus I could gain a new perspective. Additionally, I decided to take modules I had not studied before which was exciting and intriguing. Another great thing about studying abroad was the diversity among students and networking with them. During the 1st semester we had to present in front of the professors, analyse and compare different approaches to nuclear power law based on our nationality. It was a great way to dig into the topic and try to understand this complex issue of environmental, international and human rights law.
During my stay in Prague I was given another year to think about my future career. I am very interested in European Law which is a 2nd year module at Coventry University and I really enjoyed it. Studying the same module in Czech Republic has helped me decide that this is really want I want to do in the future and therefore what I want to focus on during my studies. I now have a much clearer mindset about my future after my degree.
One of the most valuable experiences that I had in Prague was meeting such a wide variety of people. Many of them where from Germany, which was great for me as I could practice my German. I also met friends from the Netherlands who helped me with doing my research into studying for a Masters Degree. I will also spend my New Year’s Eve in Paris with one of my best friends, who I met in Coventry where she participated in Erasmus+ programme.
I strongly recommend being a part of the student community who participate in the international exchange, there is nothing to lose but so much to gain and experience. If someone is not sure about participating and studying abroad, I suggest contacting university staff from both the Coventry University and the institution you apply to, as they are always happy to help. Try to reach students who have already studied abroad and go to events organised by the Centre of Global Engagement where you can ask all of the questions that you may have.
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