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An update from Val Zaward in Prague

April 2012

In the February edition, we mentioned that one of the SAU theatre students is currently studying abroad. Valerie Zawada '13 has been living in Prague, Czech Republic (map it) for the past month, and says "she could not be happier. I've already learned so much about another culture, met so many people, and made some great memories."

Zawada is attending the University of Economics, to complete courses for her second major, International Business. When asked about life in Prague, Zawada responded that "It does not feel much different than home actually. I go to class, hang out with friends, all the usual stuff. The only difference is how much is available to me. There are hundreds of museums and galleries, almost too much to cover in the few short months I have!" 

So far, Zawada has been on several day trips outside of Prague and attended the Ballet Giselle and a Czech Folk performance. She has also visited several museums–including the Museum of Communism, her favorite so far. 

"That is also a huge difference, how the city and people are rebounding from the somewhat recent fall of communism," she says. "You can see traces of it everywhere: in architecture, literature, even in the pre and post-communist generation gap."  

The Czech Republic became free from Soviet rule in 1989 in what is known as The Velvet Revolution. "It's a pretty amazing and influential history," Zawada says.

Zawada will be buying tickets to her first theatrical performance this week, "The Legends of Magic Prague."

"'Magic Prague' is a magic lantern show that I am very excited to see," she says. "It uses multimedia and dance to tell the story." 

Zawada will also be purchasing tickets for Shakespeare's King Lear and Eugene Ionescos' "Rhinoceros" in the near future. Both performances will be in the Czech language so that will be "interesting, to say the least," she says. 

Zawada also has been sampling Czech cuisine, as well as the famous pivo, or beer, and she says that it "lives up to the legend–delicious."  

When asked about homesickness, Zawada replied that "I am not so much homesick for the U.S., but for the people in it. I definitely miss my SAU theatre family!"

We wish Zawada luck in her continued travels and look forward to next month's update. If you are interested, Zawada is also writing a blog while abroad. Email her for the link.

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