PITT HOME |FIND PEOPLE

Ashley Young

Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
2017
Home Institution: 
Waynesburg University
Heinz Programming Area: 
Children, youth, and Families
Study Abroad Country: 
Czech Republic
International Experience

Ashley Young was given the opportunity to travel to Prague, Czech Republic to learn about the Czech language and how social change can impact a culture. For five weeks, she lived in an apartment with a local Czech student, to whom she refers to as a “Czech Buddy” and took classes through CIEE. Ashley was enrolled in Psychology of Transformation and Transition and an Introduction to Czech Language course. Through her psychology course, she learned about the individuals of Czech Republic who have been influential who were influential since the end of World War II. The course also focused on learning about the current aid that is available in the Czech Republic for those who have a mental illness, a physical or mental disability and anyone who is homeless. During trips with her class, Ashley was able to talk with a woman who is wheelchair-bound and hear her explain how the system works in the country. The biggest eye opening experience she was given was getting a tour of the city by a woman who has been homeless for more than 15 years. During this tour, Ashley saw the city of Prague in a different way. She learned more about the daily struggles of a person who is homeless and what is all available, or not available to them. Ashley’s teacher for her language course was taught by a man named Ludek Broucek, who was enthusiastic about teaching the native language and sharing the country’s history with us. Outside of class, Ashley had the opportunity to talk at length with him about the Czech Republic’s change from a totalitarian government to a democratic one and to learn about his firsthand experience of it. Outside of class, Ashley enjoyed sitting by the river or in a park and exploring the city. Through the Czech buddies, Ashley got to experience what people her age enjoy doing in their free time: going to the soccer game, painting on the Lennon wall, and going to an opera. Ashley also had the opportunity to visit Bruno, Trunov and Křivoklát. Since Ashley was living in an apartment with other students, she spent a little more than she had planned on food and different toiletries. She had given herself a budget of $600 and spent about $750 by the end of her stay. To her, some things like buying food at the grocery store, seemed much cheaper than in America, but after having a conversation with one of the Czech buddies she learned that the city of Prague is actually rather expensive to live in for Czech residents. 

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