A scenic flight in a four-passenger plane over Bohemian
countryside, a hike through towering rock formations and a night in
a renovated castle sounds like a luxury vacation, but for Daniel
Crane, it has all been part of his study abroad experience this
“I was expecting (study abroad) to be a life-changing
experience, and so far it has been amazing and I am only two weeks
into my semester abroad,” Crane, a junior math major, wrote in an
Crane is one of 13 CSU students studying in Prague, Czech
Republic, this semester. There are also nine students from the
University of Denver and one from the University of
Colorado-Boulder with them.
“The best experience so far has been living in a foreign
country, but more specifically seeing the countryside of Prague
this weekend,” Crane wrote. “I saw some of the most amazing rock
spires I have ever seen. The beauty of the Bohemian Paradise would
rival Arches (National Park) back home.”
The Bohemian Paradise, located 60 miles northeast of Prague, was
the first protected natural area in the Czech Republic, according
Crane has been organizing other activities for the CSU students
in Prague. They have had paddleboat races on the Vltava River, gone
bowling and visited some of the local clubs.
Many students are hesitant to study abroad because of a lack of
language skills, said Crane’s adviser, Eugene Allgower, a math
professor at CSU.
Although Crane does not speak Czech, Allgower does not think it
will be a problem.
“I think he will probably learn,” Allgower said. “That’s the
point of (study abroad) – the contact with other students. I expect
him to have some skill in the Czech language by the time he comes
The language barrier has not prevented Crane and his fellow
students from exploring on their own.
“Everyone over here is very friendly if approached and just
about everyone speaks English or at least can understand what you
are asking,” Crane wrote.
Czech university students have also volunteered to help foreign
students learn about the city and get comfortable.
“I applied for the system because I wanted to practice my
English skills and also because I want to study abroad as well,”
wrote Alena Novakova, a junior university student from the Czech
Republic, in an e-mail.
The experience as a guide for foreign students will help build
her resume so she can apply for a grant to study abroad.
Some students are reluctant to study abroad because they do not
want to graduate any later than they already will, but this should
not discourage them, Allgower said.
“When (Crane) told me he had this scheme, I encouraged him by
all means to do it. He’ll be one semester behind, but the
experience will be well worth it,” he said.
Other students have been able to make sure they will still be
able to graduate on schedule.
“My adviser was really helpful in making sure that I could do
this and still graduate on time,” wrote Becky Goldbach, a junior
equine science and agricultural business major, in an e-mail.
Goldbach is in Prague for the semester.
Crane would recommend study abroad to anyone.
“I think everyone should study abroad,” he wrote. “It is a great
experience and something that no one should miss. This is the best
time in our lives to get out and see the world when it doesn’t
matter whether or not we are around for four months. It is a chance
to expand horizons and meet people from different countries.”
Goldbach also encouraged students considering study abroad.
“Do it,” she wrote. “It is an experience that you can’t pass