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Meet Avery Kimball

Meet Avery Kimball, a motivated and inquisitive freshman from Raleigh, North Carolina, majoring in Biological Anthropology, who spent her first college semester in Prague.

A student smiling posing with Prague cityscape in the background.


Prague Connect, Fall 2023


Biological Anthropology, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Last fall, Avery embarked on an exciting adventure to Prague. As a Prague Connect student, she immersed herself in various captivating subjects, including astrology, biology, Czech language and culture, and sociology. Along the way, Avery had the privilege of learning from some brilliant and inspiring Czech professors, who sowed in her a profound appreciation for this captivating city’s rich history and culture. Avery is a true lover of history and an ardent admirer of Charles IV, whom she finds incredibly “cool.” Let’s follow her in her reflection on her stay in Prague.

Why did you choose the Prague Connect program?

I was at a complete loss when I was initially not accepted into State for the fall. I had always wanted to travel and even made a PowerPoint presentation in my freshman year in high school about all the places I wanted to go to the summer before college. Before I decided to accept my spot at another university for the fall semester, my mother found the Prague Connect Program. I was thrilled and applied immediately. I could not believe that, as a first-semester freshman in college, I would have the opportunity to live and study in Prague for three months. After being accepted into the Prague Connect Program, I knew that going abroad for the fall was my best decision. 

The best thing the Connect program did to help me prepare for being on campus was to teach me to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.

How did the Connect program prepare you for your time on campus at NC State?

The best thing the Connect program did to help me prepare for being on campus was to teach me to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. It is quite intimidating to start your first college semester thousands of miles away from home in a country that speaks a different language with 36 strangers. But this sort of situation forces you out of your comfort zone. It lets you start over with new people, escape your high school self, and become the person you want to be. 

The Connect program forced me out of my shell and taught me not to be afraid to make new friends, be open to new experiences, and say yes to new opportunities. Thanks to this experience, my transition from Prague to being on campus was very seamless. I chose to live with a random roommate and am so happy. I like my roommate, and she has introduced me to some of her friends, allowing my social circle to grow. 

After Prague, I am no longer afraid to talk to other students I see on campus, talk to my classmates, and meet new people. I can’t thank Prague and the Connect program enough for everything they taught me and I have experienced.

Avery in Vienna outside of the Hofburg palace, Austria.

Tell us about one or more friendships you made during your Prague program.

I became close friends with Audrey, my dorm mate (like an RA) from Cesky Krumlov, who studies at Charles University. We had movie nights, cooked together, and talked about Czech culture. Audrey introduced me to her friends, and we visited her home for a weekend. I miss her daily and the friends I made in Prague.

Avery in Copenhagen, Danemark.

What advice do you have for future Prague Connect students?

I advise saving up your money and travel as much as possible, whether throughout the Czech Republic or other European countries. Approach traveling to other countries with this mindset: What country can I visit easily now that I cannot travel to easily from the United States? What cities can I spend 2-4 days in? How does transportation work in said country and how does that affect how I travel? What country is closest to me that I can visit efficiently? Etc. With this mindset, you can visit many unique and beautiful places. For example, I have always wanted to go to Italy. But, I struggled to find cheap flights and realized that I would only be able to do some of what I wanted to do in 2-4 days. So, instead, I looked into tickets to Budapest, Brussels, Vienna, Luxembourg, Copenhagen, etc. All places I could spend my time efficiently and easily from Prague. Look up your city/country of choice and schedule the activities you want to do and the things you want to see. This way, you will see everything and will spend your time wisely.

The Connect program forced me out of my shell and taught me not to be afraid to make new friends, be open to new experiences, and say yes to new opportunities.

Another advice is to be open to traveling with more people in your program and not book all your trips with just one person. Everyone travels and enjoys their time differently, which you learn after traveling with others. Lastly, be open to opportunities, try new things, experience different cultures, and learn as much as possible. 

Tell us about your class schedule. How did you balance your academics with traveling, visiting museums, exploring the city, etc.?

I had classes four times a week from 9:00 am to 2:45 pm, with gaps between classes, depending on the day. The workload was easy to manage. For each of my classes, I had an essay and a presentation due. My professors did not give us quizzes or other tests, just a midterm and final test. After classes, I had ample time to walk around the city, go shopping, or hang out with friends. I traveled while I was in Prague. I went to 5 different countries independently, including an extra visit to Cesky Krumlov with my friend Audrey. During the week, I would go to a local coffee shop or the beautiful Baroque library to complete my assignments and study for my tests. By staying on top of my assignments and sticking to a schedule, I was able to free up my time on the weekends for travel. The Prague Connect Program is set up perfectly to allow you to travel and spend time in the city while managing your academics. I often had to remind myself that I was in Prague for school and not vacation, and because of this, I was academically successful and still able to travel to as many places in Europe as I could.