Alumni Spotlight: Niko Zivanovich

Niko Zivanovich is a 21 year old college student from Santa Cruz, California and is currently attending California State University, Chico with a Major in Business Information Systems and a Minor in International Management.

Day in the Life of Niko Zivanovich - Prague, Czech Republic

Highlights: Starting each day waking up at K17, the nickname for the USAC study abroad students' residences on Krizikova Street #17, is always interesting and promising. Through the USAC Prague program there are currently 3 buildings in which students are housed, all within close proximity to each other. In my program there are around 60 students who come from all over the United States, and even 2 girls from South Korea. USAC does a very good job of helping out all the students with getting situated and comfortable when arriving so that the transition to the study abroad life is as seamless as possible.

Niko pouring Turkish tea in Istanbul

Morning: A typical day in my life in Prague usually consists of waking up around 8 in the morning and getting ready for my classes which are usually one or two a day, Monday through Thursday. Although there are many students who just take all of their classes two days a week so that they can travel, I would not recommend it. I typically get out of class in the early afternoon and from then on I have the rest of the day free. After class I take the 15 minute metro ride back to Florenc, the district that I live in, and go to the Pivovarsky Klub for lunch.

The Pivovarsky Klub is a beautiful establishment that has the largest selection of beer available in the Czech Republic, it is also a great place to go for lunch with their lunch specials being around 5 US dollars. Eating out for lunch in Prague is one of the best options for those students who have a tight budget to stick to, mostly all restaurants have some sort of lunch special and you will never walk out hungry or have a much lighter wallet afterwards.

Afternoon: The time after lunch is filled with many different possibilities depending on the time of year, and the weather of the day. During the winter it is a little hard to find a wide variety of activities as it is usually very cold and gets dark early. One of the most popular activities was to find great microbrewery pubs and spend the afternoon trying to practice our Czech with locals and discuss current events.

One thing I should make very clear is that drinking beer in the Czech republic is not seen in even remotely the same way as it is in the United States. Czechs believe that one or two beers a day is great for your health, and they rarely drink to get drunk, but rather for the social aspects of a common thing that brings people together. The warmer months open up a much wider variety of things to do including: parks, pools, exploring, and probably the most common for the locals would be beautiful outdoor beer gardens.

Evening: The evenings in the Czech republic have a wide offer of activities to choose from ranging from concerts & plays to sporting events all of which are very cheap in price and always entertaining. Personally I have enjoyed the Ice Hockey and Football games the most, mainly because of my love of sports. One of the most important things about studying abroad is the people who you share your experiences with, and USAC has gone to great lengths to make sure that the people working for them in Prague are some of the best and they are willing to help you out in what ever way they can. Simply put, living in Prague has been one of the best experiences in my life, and day in and day out I realize that no matter what I might be doing.