What was the best place you visited outside of your study abroad city?
Isabelle: Vienna would definitely be top on the list of my favorite cities. The beautiful old architecture that surrounds you makes you feel like you've been transported to a different century.
In my opinion, Vienna is one of the most elegant and dreamlike cities that I have ever visited. There is a nice similarity between Vienna and Prague, Prague being a little more young and hip, but both have a wonderful taste of romance and history.
Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.
Isabelle: As a film student, the production at FAMU in Prague was every filmmaker’s dream. The program consisted in writing, producing and finalizing a short movie with the help of professional teacher s and students in a professional environment.
The experience exposed me to the reality of the production world , as well as the excitement and difficulty of it. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity so early on in my studies at home, but after experiencing it, I believe it has opened my eyes to my future choices.
Tell us about anything interesting cultural tidbits you noticed about your country.
Isabelle: On the tram, and mostly everywhere, I found the Czech people to be quiet and reserved, which made it easy to point out the tourists! The Czechs have a strong cultural history, and everywhere you walk, you can hear classical music coming from their windows. They also have a particular sense of humor... and they love their beer!
Do you think your program changed you as a person?
Isabelle: Definitely! Since my return to the US, I feel like a different person. I felt that I matured tremendously during my semester in Prague. Being far away from a routine that I was used to has helped me concentrate more on my work and on myself. I now have new priorities with a greater dedication and energy towards my work.
Describe a goal you set and how you went about accomplishing it.
Isabelle: Before starting the program, I had promised myself, and everyone that wouldn't be there with me, that I would keep a diary. Throughout my stay, I collected every single item I could of every place I visited, traveled to, etc. I wrote down the best events and the most exciting things that I experienced each day as well as the whole process of the film production, step by step.
Today, now that it is all put together and glued down, I am so happy that I did it from the beginning to the end. It includes every moment of the wonderful experience I had abroad. The manual/book aspect of the diary keeps it personal but can be shared, in a somewhat old fashioned way, with others that weren't there with me.