Meet Lori Wilichowski (she/her/hers)

Program and Location:

Summer, NC State European Center in Prague: Prague, Czech Republic

Major/Minor:

Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology with Environmental Science, Science Communication minor

Why did you choose to study abroad?

I chose to study abroad because it was something that I had always wanted to do once I got to college. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and to experience a culture I was not familiar with. I also wanted to study abroad to meet new people through my program since I had transferred to NC State the prior semester.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned so much about myself while studying abroad which was why it was such an invaluable experience for me. I learned that I am extremely resilient through tackling a lot of the problems or issues that came up while I was abroad. I also learned that I am a lot more independent than I thought throughout my whole time in Prague. I ended up really enjoying the simple things like taking the tram to class every day or going to the grocery store to get food. When I first got to Prague, I was nervous to do both of those things but I really grew to love being self-sufficient even if it was in the simplest of ways.

What was one of your favorite parts of your program?

One of my favorite parts of my program was when we got to go on a planned excursion to Czech Switzerland which is a national park. We spent a few hours hiking which was extremely beautiful and scenic. After having lunch midday, we hiked back to where we started and got to go on a boat tour and learn about the history of the area which was so interesting and insightful.

How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at NC State? Did you take any field trips or do anything outside of the traditional classroom?

My classes were somewhat similar to what they would have been if I had taken them at NC State. One way they were different though that I really liked was that we went on a lot of field trips. For my philosophy class, we went to the Kafka Museum. For my history of jazz class we would go on field trips every week to see different jazz performances around the city.

What advice do you have for future study abroad students?

My number one piece of advice would always be to make the most of the time you have abroad. Get up early and try to go do something new or experience something new every day. Whether it be going to a new cafe to work on an assignment or visiting a cathedral nearby; anything is better than nothing. Also don’t be afraid to experience things alone or go to a student event by yourself. A lot of people are in the same boat if you don’t go into a study abroad experience already knowing someone in your program so everyone will be looking to make new friends. A lot of the time people in your program will also make GroupMes to go on weekend trips so definitely join those if you are looking to get to know new people.

Would you do it again?

I would do it again 10000%.