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Topic: Study Abroad in Czech Republic  (Read 3155 times)
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Lrschic
« on: April 05, 2007 01:30:47 PM »

Hello craftsters!   Grin
I am a U.S. student who is going to study abroad Autumn 2007 in Brno, Czech Republic. I will live at a university there for 4 months. I am very excited, but I would like to be prepared!

I was wondering if anyone had any advice or travel tips? What should I wear, so I do not look like a tourist? Any cool places to visit?

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2007 11:15:29 AM »

Wear anything you want. Wink Really, you don't have to worry, people wear all kinds of clothes here. If you don't feel and behave like a tourist, you don't have to worry about it. (i.e. taking loads of photos like a fool would probably make you look like a tourist, more than wearing some clothes. However, you still can take loads of photos like a fool, because I do it, too. Grin)
If I pass the exams, I'm going to study in Brno, too. My sisters already are there.

In Brno you definitely should visit the Spilberk castle and the old town hall with "dragon" (a stuffed crocodile) and warped turret. And also the ZOO, for example. (Among other animals you can watch beavers in their burrow there. Wink)
http://www.brno.cz/index.php?lan=en
http://www.zoobrno.cz/

Very near to Brno there's Slavkov - Austerlitz, where the so called "battle of three emperors" took place - there's a memorial (which I never visited) and a nice little chateau with an exhibition dedicated to napoleonic wars. So it's mostly guns and such things, but also old uniforms, for example, which might be interesting for a craftster...
(The site is only in Czech right now...)

Other place I visited from Brno is Znojmo, with a famous chapel with wall paintings - very beautiful; I don't remember the exact date, but I think it's from 12th century. The whole town is very nice. There's also another chapel, newer one, that is also interesting, because it has two floors.
http://www.znojmo.eu/en/

And, if I can suggest you my own opinion... you should also visit Czech-Moravian Highlands, my favourite landscape in our country. Wink You can go to Zdar nad Sazavou and visit Zelena hora (a pilgrimage church from baroque era) - it's UNESCO protected site, very beautiful.
http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kostel_svat%C3%A9ho_Jana_Nepomuck%C3%A9ho_%28%C5%BD%C4%8F%C3%A1r_nad_S%C3%A1zavou%29  - that's in Czech, because there are more photos here. You can read it in English, too. (Warning: you can see trees around it on the photos, but recently we saw they had cut them, maybe to have the church well seen.)
http://www.zdarns.cz/en/o-meste.asp

Then there's also another UNESCO site, the area around chateau Lednice. I was a very small child when I visited it, so I don't remember much, but there should be a very beautiful and BIG park.
http://www.vitejte.cz/objekt.php?oid=636&j=en

Now I see there's a UNESCO site even in Brno itself... villa Tugendhat. It's a modern building, from 1920's or so. I haven't seen it, however.
http://www.tugendhat-villa.cz/html.en/index.html

My sisters might recommend more, like some good pubs in Brno or so.
Oh yes, that reminds me - there's also a Lithuanian centre in Brno (my sister studies Baltic studies.) They have some exhibitions, you can buy some great traditional things there; and learn about another European country. Smiley If I remember right, it's in one passage on the main square, but it's not for 100% sure.

I'm thinking about some other advices... I think you should buy a long-time tramway ticket, because you'll probably use the public transports a lot. If you wanted to make a lot of trips by train, there's the possibility to buy "kilometric bank" - generally it's a way of not to have to buy a ticket every time, but I don't remember the exact principle.
The usual meeting point in Brno is so called "under the clock" on Cesk street, quite near a big red church.

There's a chain of stores called Levne knihy, which translates cheap books; they have, of course, cheap books, but also DVD's, CD's, calendars etc. - it might be useful, too, maybe as a source of gifts or so.
There are, of course, crafty stores, but I don't know where. My sister has some favourites, however.

If you have any special interests, you could tell me and I could think about other places to visit, like some museums or so. There are also some theatres there, of course, but I guess the language would be a problem.

Well, that might be all... If you need maps and city plans, this is a good site: http://www.mapy.cz/#  And train and bus timetables are here: http://www.idos.cz/JRCis.asp  (Vlaky means trains, MHD means public transports in cities and towns.)
« Last Edit: April 24, 2007 12:35:29 PM by marmota-b » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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ScotSkipper402
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2007 11:35:16 AM »


What should I wear, so I do not look like a tourist?


Can't beat marmota's advice on where to go. 

Based on some experience in Paris, here's what to wear: black. And dark colors and jeans.

Big honking white American sport shoes are a giveaway -- see if you can get good walking shoes that don't scream USA! USA!

Put your big money in a good dark plain coat that's a little dressier than you'd wear here.

But bring a bunch of US stuff like tees -- to swap.

Lucky you!
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2007 12:34:03 PM »

Based on some experience in Paris, here's what to wear: black. And dark colors and jeans.

Big honking white American sport shoes are a giveaway -- see if you can get good walking shoes that don't scream USA! USA!

Put your big money in a good dark plain coat that's a little dressier than you'd wear here.

But bring a bunch of US stuff like tees -- to swap.

Lucky you!

Well, you really don't have to worry about the colours. France is different than Czech Republic. My classmates definitely don't wear much of black (let alone me, a beige and blue girl...), however if you wear it, it doesn't scream out either. The only advice about colours might be to think a bit about matching them.
But black coat might be a good idea. It's neutral and you can wear it almost anywhere and with almost anything, if it's not too warm for it. Wink Plus such coats usually last for more than just one season, so it's not such a bad idea to invest in it.
Good walking shoes (generally some comfortable ones) are really good advice. All the trips are walking ones, unless you have a car (which you won't have, I think.) And you'll probably walk a lot in Brno, too, because it's quite a small city and many places are accessible by walk.

When I think about the clothes more, I think you should have both something that could be worn in nature (comfortable and in the worst case also ready to be torn or stained... because you never know what can happen on a trip or barbecue or something like that, and you hopefully will get an opportunity to participate on such things with a group of friends!) and something maybe a bit classier, in case you get the opportunity to go to a special event. Like a dress or skirt and nice blouse, or so. It doesn't have to be much luxurious, just to have a feeling it's a bit special - matching clothes properly (colours, style) is definitely more important than their price, and a little piece of nice, if just cheap jewellery works, too. And, an important warning, if you go to theatre, you should wear something nicer than jeans. That's what my sister was most surprised about in the US, that people go to theatres in jeans and such clothes... (Don't confuse theatre and cinema. To cinema you can wear just what you wear to school.) And then have something in the middle, of course. Everyday wear is very open to different styles.

And if you sit an exam, you should also wear something nicer, I think. It's such tradition here. Not so important, especially for foreign students, I think, but you cannot do anything wrong if you keep it. So wear something nice, what you like wearing, and you'll also feel better yourself. Smiley

Let's hope I didn't make you much confused with this... I think you don't have to worry too much. Just wear what you like wearing and feel good in it, that's the most important thing. Wink Plus you can always buy something in Brno, if you realise we wear something you don't have and would like to have... I think you can find a lot of good cheap shops here.

I hope you'll find good friends in Brno, who'll show you all the great places and take you to all the great events!

Oh yes, to the public transports and timetables... in Brno, in night, there's a special thing called "rozjezd" - it means, all buses and tramways go in certain times (once an hour, I think) in night, starting from the railway station and going to all their prescribed courses. It's good to know, because when you don't catch rozjezd, you have to wait a lot... so you could ask someone from Brno about it to know for sure. I'm sure there'll be someone to help you there, foreign students usually get local students as advisors and guides.
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And my original Czech blog, nowadays updated VERY occasionally...
http://marmota-b.blog.cz
Lrschic
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2007 07:44:40 AM »

Wow, marmota-b! Thanks for all of the amazing tips! I will definitely visit the places you've mentioned, and I look forward to experiencing Czech culture. If I think of any more questions I will be sure to ask.
Thanks also ScotSkipper!
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2007 08:06:15 AM »

Wow, marmota-b! Thanks for all of the amazing tips! I will definitely visit the places you've mentioned, and I look forward to experiencing Czech culture. If I think of any more questions I will be sure to ask.
Thanks also ScotSkipper!

You're welcome! I'm really glad that you go to Brno, because I'm going to study there, too, so I know quite a lot about it. Wink And Brno is also a bit better for experiencing Czech culture than Prague, because Prague is quite international - the capital city and the main tourist destination...
If you wanted, I could PM you contacts to my sister(s), who study in Brno already, so they might know much more.
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And my original Czech blog, nowadays updated VERY occasionally...
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