Skip to main content

Meet Dillon Patel

Close-up photo of Dillon Patel sitting at the foot of a church


Fall Prague Classic 2022; Prague, Czech Republic



How is the day-to-day living in Prague?

I love day-to-day living in Prague. I wake up and go on a morning run through the city. I get back to shower and eat, then ride the tram to class. By doing this, I get to see the daily living of the Czech residents of Prague. I then have classes with my classmates whom I have known for three years. It is remarkable because we grew together, learned, and explored much in this new country. Then we do homework, grab something to eat, and talk back to the dorms. If we have enough time in the day, we might go out, and that is typically a day in Prague for me.

What is your favorite activity in Prague?

Going to outdoor restaurants is one of my favorite activities in Prague. Outdoor venues are social settings, and we meet many diverse types of people. Everyone is social. You can see beautiful city views and feel Prague’s great weather. The venues are inviting and cozy.

What are the differences between Czech culture and American culture that you noticed?

It is quite a different setting; the culture is vastly different from America. I have not driven a car in 2 months now and have not needed to because of public transportation. The Czech people are very reserved compared to Americans as a whole. It is excellent, and they are such fun people once you get to know them and crack their shells. It is one of the best experiences of living here. Czech food is delicious, and everything is so accessible because of how good their public transport is and how walkable the city is.

Why did you choose Prague?

Prague has been seamlessly integrated into my major’s program. We are initially told ahead of time that we are required to study abroad when we enter the school of design. The program laid out our courses to where Prague fits perfectly into the third year of our fall semester of architecture. So, this made it easy to choose Prague to study abroad in, and it is a beautiful city.

Did the size of Prague intimidate you at all?

The way that we were introduced to Prague was through a small setting. Meaning that we were at our dorms, and it was a 20-minute tram ride from our dorms to our classes and a 30-minute walk from our dorms to the Center. At first, that was the only part of Prague I was introduced to, so while it was daunting, they eased us into it, and then we could explore and see the rest of Prague in our own time. A lot of the exploring comes from our professors showing us around Prague for classes and assignments. 

What challenges have you encountered coming and being in the Czech Republic?

At first, it was a culture shock because I was used to being loud and not worrying about people staring at me. In Prague, if you are loud, people would look at you a certain way for being noisy on public transport. Certain Eating habits of mine, where I was used to eating at certain restaurants and buying certain foods, were limited. Still, I found other avenues and alternatives to navigate outside of that.

What is the most interesting fact you learned about The Czech Republic and culture?

I learned that about a third of Prague’s population still lives in socialist housing today. It might sound negative, but I visited those communities, which are so vibrant and welcoming. Even though they look like daunting communist blocks on the periphery of Prague, once you get closer, you realize people enjoy living in that type of housing and are not forced into being there.

The Prague Connect Fall’22 Journalism Scholarship recipient, Austin Robinson compiled this spotlight.

More From NC State European Center in Prague