During my time abroad I have found it very useful to research not only the things you want to see before you go but also after you return from your trip. You will have pictures or memories of something you thought looked pretty cool and I am here to tell you that 98% of the time if it looks old, big, fancy, and is in Europe - there is an extremely interesting story behind it. During my school orientation they straight up told everyone that studying comes second while studying abroad. It is about the experience, the travel, and meeting new friends. This isn’t to say to blow off classes or anything but you will learn just as much, if not more, outside the classroom while abroad about Europe, history, people and yourself. For example, while Wikipedia isn’t the best website to get information to write a thesis paper, it is still very accurate when it comes to quick research about a place or city. It is as easy as using that Google website and typing in, “History of Florence” or “History of Corfu.” There are thousands of websites and books out there that are easily accessible and sometimes *gasp* fun to read.
Now when Aunt Fran asks the questions you will be able to respond that not only is the Prague Castle big but it was built around 880 AD, the basilica is known as St. Vitus Cathedral, it is the site of the torture of thousands of prisoners, it houses the Czech crown jewels, and any other information you can find (I don’t want to give too much away since you should check out the castle for yourself!!!).
So grab some wine or a beer and go through your pictures and start reading up on what you're about to be bragging about. When you're done you will feel like you learned something, got your euros worth, and maybe even a good buzz from that wine or beer you have!
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Keep Calm and Chive On,