From Portugal to Prague, my experience living and working in Prague
by Joana Joano, on 24 August 2021 11:16:08 CEST
I always had a dream to take part in a student exchange programme such as Erasmus. I was determined to find an opportunity to work abroad. So when I began studying at ETIC_Faro in my home country of Portugal, I was quick to apply for their internship programme. I knew would be enriching. This led me to Prague!
Trust, luck and fate brought me here
Our final destination was chosen by our advisors at ETIC_Faro. We had to trust and hope that luck and fate would land us somewhere interesting.
When I found out I was heading to Prague I was surprised and worried, I knew nothing about the Czech Republic but my advisor assured me that I would love it.
Finally, after complications and delays due to the pandemic, I left with six other students from Algarve in Portugal. We met at the airport and together said goodbye to our comfort zone and embarked on the long-awaited adventure.
For this day to become a reality, there had to be many preparations and decisions.
When it came to choosing my internship and accommodation in Prague I decided to make these decisions myself. I researched and got in touch with my chosen company and the accommodation that I was interested in. I chose to stay in a student residence - Zeitraum, so I could get to know more people and hear about their lives and culture.
The company that I chose for my internship was Prague College (now Prague City University). PCU has an education partnership with my institution, ETIC_Faro. PCU and ETIC_Faro both have a very similar way of teaching and learning so I felt this would be a good match for me. I was also attracted to PCU’s international community and strong digital focus. It was easy to see that it would be a good internship that would integrate well with my studies in digital marketing. After securing my internship and accommodation it was just a matter of waiting for D-day to arrive. Until then, none of us had any idea how transformative it would be.
Living in Prague
With every day that passes the city of Prague has entered our hearts more, along with the diversity of cultures that it integrates. The naturalness that exists between the transition from urban to nature and its history rooted in the city's architecture and monuments is fascinating.
The ease of getting to know more countries with the starting point of Prague is exciting. We are in the center of Europe and the world seems a little smaller for traveling. Within the Czech Republic, I have seen many beautiful places with green landscapes that seem to have no end.
A 3-hour car journey took us to Austria and the city of Salzburg. I have never felt so small in the world as in Austria. The hugeness of monuments is something breathtaking. We are a very small piece in the history of humanity. Salzburg will be in my heart forever. I can say that it was one of the most beautiful places I've visited in my life with the most breathtaking landscapes. The thought that “this can't be the last time I see this in my life” doesn't leave my head. The beauty of nature is something so strong and I have seen so much more because of this opportunity given to me.
Internship at PCU
After the first month of my internship, I can say that the adaptation process was easy and one of the main reasons for this was the friendliness with which I was received. I'm from a Digital Marketing & Social Media programme so I have joined the university's marketing team. The internship allows me to learn more about marketing and the ways that the team works with their brand.
I was privileged to arrive at the time when Prague College was changing over to Prague City University so I saw the final transition process and had the opportunity to be part of the rebranding video created by PCU students.
I’ve had lots of opportunities to see the school operating from several different perspectives. I’ve been involved in student projects, exhibitions and helped set up events and campaigns on social media. I have photographed the Fine Art and Future Design Master’s exhibition and have worked across other departments getting to know how they all work together. I’ve also photographed exhibitions and conducted interviews to later share with the school community and wider public.
I'm halfway through my journey and the feeling of nostalgia has reached my heart. The opportunity to see the world and understand that we are small but can gain a lot by applying ourselves and with the support of good people is a feeling that will not end anytime soon. I am very grateful for the opportunity and for everything that was offered to me both professionally and personally.