Alumni Spotlight: Nicole Devencenzi


Nicole Devencenzi is a 28 year old Gender Studies student at California State University Stanislaus in Turlock, California. She was born and raised in Stockton, CA where she currently lives and works.

Highlights: Studying abroad is hands down the best experience I have had thus far. The opportunity to completely immerse myself in another culture was priceless and will have lasting effects that I am so grateful for. Studying in central Europe provided me with the amazing opportunity to travel all over Europe. I was able to visit 9 countries and see amazing places which would have been nearly impossible for me to do if I didn't study abroad. In addition to the travel opportunities that study abroad provided, the best thing I took away from the experience was the lifelong friends I made from across the globe. My time abroad brought so much out of me that otherwise would have remained hidden, and for that I am most indebted to USAC, the city of Prague (to which I hope to return one day), and the incredible people who I met along the way and experienced it all with.

Morning: I am not much of a morning person, and luckily for me Prague didn't mind. If I wasn't sleeping from a long night the previous day, my mornings generally consisted of spending time in a local cafe trying to learn Czech or planning an adventure for the coming weekend. If I was off on an already planned adventure, the mornings would usually be the time I would be catching the train, bus, or a plane, and there were many days that started this way. During the weekdays, I would be catching up on some homework before class or trying to connect with friends and family from back home for a quick Skype chat. For the most part my mornings in Prague involved coffee, croissants, and leisure time.

Afternoon: The afternoon was when my days would usually get started. Two days a week I would have class in the afternoon, but that didn't necessarily mean I was in a classroom. We took many field trips to museums, gallery openings, city walks, restaurants, historical places, movies, and other fascinating occurrences and places around Prague. On non-school days I would usually spend my afternoons exploring the city either by walking or using one of the many public transportation systems. Often my roommate and I would set out upon the city by foot walking for hours, stopping along the way to admire the city views or head into a pub to quench our thirst. This was one of my favorite things to do. There is so much to see and explore in Prague that I never had trouble finding new places and was always eager to return to places I had visited before.

Evening: Evenings in Prague are the most magical time. There is so much life in the city that it is difficult to find yourself with nothing to do on any given night. Most evenings, a group of us would set out to try a new restaurant of the many diverse types that the city boasts. The lively crowds that took to the city at night were bound to steer us to a local happening that was sure to be a good time. After dinner, which was usually around 9 or so, we took our dose of spontaneous local culture and took to the night life. Prague offered many different ways to enjoy the night. Whether it be a small local pub, a low-key non-stop, a large nightclub, or any of the huge array of offerings in between there was never a shortage of exciting nights.