Despite Discomfort: Adjusting to Everyday Things in Prague

Submitted by Margaret McNamara on the 2016 fall semester study abroad program in Prague, Czech Republic…

I’m one of those people that almost never gets sick, but I guess when you are in a new country, you are exposed to new germs and since you are having fun exploring and adventuring, it can all catch up with you. I woke up Monday morning not feeling my best to put it nicely. At home, I would have just walked over to student health and gotten some medicine, but, like everything else, it is a little different here.

First, I needed to find an English-speaking doctor. Pharmacies (or in Czech the “lékárna”) are for the most part the same, but again, they have their differences. Health insurance doesn’t work the same way as it does at home either. There’s a little more paper work on the patient’s end every time you see a doctor. Initially, it feels inconvenient. Granted, it’s not an overly difficult task, but it takes some figuring out.

So on Monday, I was sick and tired and it all felt a little frustrating, but I had a realization that in a small way this is what study abroad is about. It’s about experiencing everyday, ordinary things like getting sick and seeing a doctor, but having to adjust to the environment despite my discomfort.