Alumni Spotlight: Larissa Szyszka


Why did you choose this program?

With an area studies focus of post-USSR Eastern and Central Europe, my geographic limitations combined with my university’s previously approved programs provided me with a small pool of options. Luckily, CET Prague was one of them and I jumped at the chance!

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

CET organized the visa, living arrangements, and course outline. I pretty much just booked my flight and packed what they told me to!

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Try to get in touch with people on your program ahead of time and coordinate roommate situations if allowed!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Wake up and either make breakfast or grab it from a cafe if you have time on your way to class in the morning. I would walk and only sometimes take the tram to class. Classes are at the CET building off of Wenceslas Square, which is a nice place to be during the day, with lots of lunch options to explore with fellow classmates. Classes tend to be long - 3 hours once a week for some of them. Weekends were half spent exploring Prague, half spent jet setting through the rest of Europe!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

I was most worried about going on a program where I didn’t previously know anymore. And while I did make friends with my classmates, I also had to learn to enjoy spending time with just myself, and discovered the differences between being lonely and being alone.

Did you travel outside of your host country while studying abroad?

All over! The Traveling Seminar that was a part of the CET Prague program took us to Budapest, Vienna, Auschwitz & Birkenau, Krakow, and into Moravia. On my own, I took trips to Slovenia, Barcelona, Istanbul, and Croatia, along with exploring the Czech Republic in general.