Name: Juan Pablo Quintero
Year: Junior (2017)
Majors: Finance & Marketing
1. Where are you studying abroad? Why did you chose that city?
I chose Prague as I consider it the most unique study abroad site in Europe. I wanted to explore something off the beaten path (Paris, London) and learn more about a place I knew absolutely nothing about.
2. What seems to be trending in your city?
The Czech Republic is the world capital for beer (don’t worry, you’re probably legal there), is the home to Pilsner beer, and has wonderful nightlife. Prague is also the historical capital of Central Europe – you can see 600 years of history standing in Old Town Square – and has seen Nazism and Communism in the past 100 years. Everything is incredibly well preserved, which you can’t say the same for similar cities like Dresden or Munich which were decimated in World War 2.
As for the student culture, NYU Prague is dominated by the music, Film/TV, and Stern students that make up the majority of the student body. It’s fun to get outside of your social circles and meet musicians and artists!
3. Any cool ads you’ve seen?
Advertisements in the Czech Republic are pretty much the most explicit and controversial in the world. For example, there was a campaign for an educational website where they paid some Roma construction workers (the most discriminated against minority in the country) to wear t-shirts that said “I should have gone to school” while they worked. This campaign received national coverage and won numerous awards in the country.
I took an “Advertising and Society” class with a Czech professor and my classmates couldn't really understand how racism and excessive nudity in advertisements was accepted. The defense the Czechs gave was that they are such a “free country” that they can say anything they want without risking censorship like in the US or Western Europe.
4. What classes are you taking?
During my time in Prague I took Modern Dissent, Advertising and Society, OrgComm and German and East European History/Politics. NYU Prague literally has the most overqualified history/politics staff – many of my professors were personally involved in overthrowing the communist government in 1989 and were integral in the birth of free Czechoslovakia. Taking history lessons from people in history is a surreal experience.
5. Advice for students looking to study abroad
The Study abroad site you choose is more important than the classes you take. You are living there for 4 months and your experience is shaped by the world around you much more than academics. Do your research and make sure the culture of your Study Abroad site matches up with what you are looking to get out of it!