Around this time last year, I have just finished my first month in my study abroad program in the Czech Republic. I had spent four months studying agriculture in Prague and traveling around Central Europe. Although I learned much about European agriculture methods and regulations, that was not what I took away from my time across the sea. Here are my big lessons from Prague and Central Europe and how it help me in my career:
1. How to communicate with a barrier language
As much I tried, Czech was a very hard language to learn; I only mastered one word ‘dobry den’ or good day. Trying to get directions or even small talk was hard in all the languages since each country had their own tongue. The best way to communicate was to be patience, use a translating app, or find someone to help. I found that even if you can’t communicate, a smile is universal.
2. Adaptability: A completely different culture
I never experience culture shock, but I did experience a lot of difference than what I am used to. Getting use to the Czech culture of being a little late, the food, individualism was something to experience the whole country was something I had to adapt to. The Czech were very proud of their history and culture, it was something to experience. In many work places, it is a melting pot of a bunch of different backgrounds and cultures, whether its religion, heritage, or where you grew up. Learning to not crush those but embrace each culture and understand the importance to each worker.
3. How to do more with less
You never realize how much you don’t need when you try to travel to four countries in 10 days with everything you need on your back. Also, how to stretch your penny so you can have one more adventure. You figure out what is needed, prioritize, and organize. Like any go manager, being organize and understand the need to prioritize tasks. Each trip required a lot of planning on what to do, financial, and with planes/trains/bus trips.