I honestly could not have asked for a better experience studying abroad. I went to Prague with AIFS during the summer of 2010, and the six week program was everything I had hoped for and more. Not only did I have an incredible cultural experience, I came out with lifelong friends and a group of 22 people we all still fondly refer to as our "Prague Family."
During my time there, I took an art history class and a Central European history class. Both classes provided a different look at the city I was living in; history was academically challenging and the professor was phenomenal, while art history utilized an experiential teaching method with tours of museums, galleries, churches, and so forth. However, AIFS is a program that balances work and play perfectly, ensuring that we experienced all of the culture that Prague has to offer. While in the city, we had the opportunity to partake in trips to historical cafes, tours of the city and castles, etc. Zdenek Benes, a.k.a. "Z," who accompanied us on our travel excursions and led our tours, is the most knowledgeable man I may have ever met. He knows all there is to know about Prague and enriched our experience very much!
Honestly, all of the staff at AIFS Prague are incredibly helpful, knowledgable, and friendly. The excursions planned by the staff were exceptional; we met in London, traveled through Moravia (historical Czech wine country), visited Krakow and Auchswitz, and went to Vienna. In each location, our itineraries balanced planned activities with free time to explore, and these trips were unbelievably fun. I think our travel opportunities were very special, as I know many other programs don't provide as many changes to explore Europe.
My advice for anyone considering traveling to Prague through AIFS:
First, go on as many excusions as possible! I was fortunate enough to be able to go on all of them, and am so thankful. These are when the group bonds the most, and you get to experience places that you may never have a chance to visit otherwise. I know that people who missed out on them were disappointed. Second, get to know the staff. (Especially Z and Jana, if they're still there!) They're there to help you in any situation, and you want to be comfortable with them. Take it from someone who had to go to a doctor, who spoke no English, while in Prague- you want the staff as backup when you're in a pickle. Third, learn basic phrases and try to use the language as much as possible. This not only makes it easier to navigate the city and interact with the locals, but the locals really appreciate it. Even if you're terrible, the mere fact that you respect their language and don't assume they speak English is good. Fourth, take public transportation. The metro is fantastic in Prague and AIFS gives you a pass! And finally, eat the goulash. Every day.
Bottom line: Go to Prague with AIFS. It will be the best decision you ever make.