Tara Doherty

Study Away

My name is Tara Doherty and I am a junior here at Keene State College.

Photo contributed by Tara Doherty

Photo contributed by Tara Doherty

This semester, I having been studying at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.

I am a part of the communication and news media journalism study away program.

I cannot believe my time in this beautiful place is halfway over.

Coming to Prague was somewhat of a last minute decision.

I originally wanted to go somewhere with a lot of people from Keene.

However, after a long chat with one of my communication professors, I decided to go somewhere on my own.

That was the best decision I have ever made.

I’m not going to lie,  the transition did not go as smoothly as I had expected.

The culture shock of the Czech culture was very intense.

I think it was also more difficult because I had no one from home with me to talk to about it.

Fortunately, after about two weeks, I met some amazing friends and the adjustment became very natural.

Living in the Czech Republic is nothing like I expected.

Photo contributed by Tara Doherty

Photo contributed by Tara Doherty

The way of life here is very different from my American lifestyle.

Luckily, after two months, I have become very comfortable with the social norms.

One of the best parts of my experience have been my classes.

My classes are based on communication and journalism concepts which is awesome.

A unique aspect of my program is that I get to be a public relations intern for the Fringe Festival.

The Prague Fringe is an international musical festival that takes place at the end of May.

Comparing American and Czech business aspects has been very interesting and an amazing opportunity.

Although I love spending relaxing weekends in Prague, I really enjoy traveling on the weekends.

I have always had a passion for traveling, so being in central Europe has been a dream.

So far, I have been to three countries and two cities in the Czech Republic.

Photo contributed by Tara Doherty

Photo contributed by Tara Doherty

Some of my favorite memories have been bungee jumping in the Swiss Alps, a cruise in Budapest and exploring Amsterdam.

I am looking forward to continuing my travels within the next two months. I am most excited to spend time with my family in Ireland after my program is finished. I am so thankful for the friends I have met here.

Without them, my experience would not be as crazy. Since being abroad, I have had some friends visit me, like Justine Murphy.

I felt so weird having a piece of home with me, but it was so exciting.

Being here has made me appreciate the amazing community we have at Keene.

I am also looking forward to my parents visiting in two weeks.

The biggest lesson I have learned since being abroad is that you truly do not know your strengths until you are 100 percent out of your comfort zone.

I have had my ups and down since being in Prague, but would not have it any other way.

I have learned so much about myself and the world around me in these short two months and am extremely excited for the next two.

Tara Doherty can be contacted at tara.doherty@ksc.keene.edu