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Meet Rowan Mladsi

Headshot of a Prague student to illustrate the spotlight

Program and Location:

Fall, NC State European Center in Prague: Fall Prague Connect: Prague, Czech Republic

Were you scared of coming to a different country?

I was intimidated about living in a different country when I didn’t know the language or about Prague. During the first few weeks of being here, the language barrier was something to overcome. Still, you pick up on common words and phrases.

Did the length of the program intimidate you at all?

I was worried about how short it was. It is less than a semester long. After attending classes for over half the semester, although the material is compressed, the professors give us course outlines and keep the classes fun and interesting.

A student, Rowan, standing in front of a huge historical building.

Did the size of Prague intimidate you at all?

The size of Prague was surprising at first. I only realized how big it was once I got here, and I still have yet to finish exploring. Public transportation is such a blessing and makes getting around very easy. The trams come all day, every day, and will take you across Prague. 

What’s your favorite activity you did in Prague?

My favorite activity in Prague is going to the different parks and drawing or hanging out with friends. I also enjoy all the various restaurants and types of food they have here. I also love going to different thrift stores and finding cool clothes. There are a lot of thrifting spots in Zizkov, and it’s fascinating to see how the style in Europe differs from America.

A student, Rowan, with two of her friends posing for a photo with a mime artist.

What was the type of bond you made over the semester with other students?

I have made some really close friends over the semester. I have gotten to know my roommate, and we’re excellent friends. When we return to NC State, I want to meet up with everyone in the program. We are all close, and we all have fun together.

How does this study abroad opportunity benefit you and your needs (Major, College, Personal Experience, and Career)?

The study abroad major helps me meet some of the required courses for my major. It also gives me credit hours so I can graduate with my graduating class even though I am enrolled for the spring semester. I’m also meeting many people in the same situation as me. We can talk about our worries and excitement about starting college life. I have learned so much about myself and my independence. I’ve learned what I need to do to succeed in school, keep healthy relationships, and live on my own. I am also extremely thankful to have a broader worldview. I have learned so much about different cultures and deeply appreciate my life and this experience. Finally, this experience has made me think about my future career and what I want. I want to continue to travel and have an impact on people.

A student, Rowan, posing for a picture in the night streets of Prague.

How did this experience help change you and your college experience?

It set me on a great start to college and made me motivated and excited for the years to come. I will be studying abroad again and taking advantage of the opportunities available to me when I return.