NE senior Luke Seifert shares his study abroad experience in Prague.
When you first arrived in Prague, one of the first things you notice are massive yellow fields. They give the rolling countryside a bright contrast with the green of the large meadows and tree groves. The bright blue sky with some dots of clouds give the entirety of the outdoors a very pleasant appearance, so all the travel time feels much more pleasant than travel across a series of buildings.
Seeing the countryside was one of my personal favorite parts of the trip, though that was only the in-between portion of the trip.
The first half of the trip was spent with cultural experiences. These included going to Prague castle, seeing the Prague zoo, visiting the Temelin reactor, exploring a chemical processing plant, visiting a nuclear research institute, and traveling to Vienna to see IAEA headquarters.
At the IAEA headquarters, the guides showed us the lab where they train people to become inspectors, which was very interesting. Many of the sources used for training were uranium-235 sources from the USSR in 1989.
For the last portion of the trip, the VR-1 research reactor was used for a series of experiments every day. After each of these experiments, people would meet up to work on reports or get food. On some of these small excursions, you can visit small portions of the city where you are above the city and can see everything.
Overall, the trip was a great time, and I am very glad that I was able to go. Although covering a textbook worth of material in a week seems like a lot, when you have several members of a research reactor constantly around explaining things to you, it makes it much easier. Additionally, the experience of traveling around another country and learning its culture was new and very fun for me.