On my first glimpse at my home for the next year, I noticed how different the landscape was when I compared it to New Zealand. It was at that point I realised that over the next months I would experience so many new and different things that I had never even imagined. Living in New Zealand, and being fairly separate from the rest of the world, I had minimal experience with another culture or language. So, over my first few days in the Czech Republic, I was overwhelmed (in a good way) with new and exciting things!
Of course, the biggest thing, though, was the language. It was strange for me not to understand at first however, as the days went on I began learning and understanding more and more. Immediately I began learning in the hope that I would speak as soon as possible. Honestly, it is a lot harder than I first expected as English is my only language although; I am pleased with my progress so far.
The start of school was great. My classmates were really welcoming, eager to learn about New Zealand and to show me around the town. The classes however, have been challenging and also boring at times with my limited understanding. But the teachers are very understanding and patient!
The food is another big change. In New Zealand it is common to eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables however, in the Czech Republic, I have been eating more bread and meat. This took some getting used to, but I really like the Czech food- particularly bakery!
Both the natural landscape (trees, hills, animals etc) and cultural landscape (buildings and people) in the Czech Republic is very different to the landscape in New Zealand. The biggest difference being the houses in which people live. In New Zealand most people live in a house with a garden, both inside and outside of the city. However, here I have noticed that in the city it is more common for people to live in a flat. It is only in smaller towns that people live in houses.
These are the most prominent differences I have noticed in my time here so far. I am looking forward to the rest of my exchange here where I will continue to learn Czech and explore the country. This exchange has already given me so many opportunities and experiences! I can’t wait for the last half!