Summer 2023 was my first time going to Europe and I did not want to come back. The International Business Seminars’ (IBS) Summer MBA program took place in Munich and Prague this year. It was amazing! My favorite city was Prague; now I understand why it has been named one of the prettiest cities for years in a row. Truthfully, the most random locations are incredibly beautiful. I could not tell you where in Prague I took this picture, but I am more than sure that you can find spots this stunning all around. The city is clean, and the people truly do not care how lost you may look. People are used to tourists, as Prague is well known around the world.
It felt incredibly safe walking around on my own when we had free time. There are a lot of free slots incorporated into the program because IBS understands you would also want to explore the cities you visit. My advice is to walk around with your friends and find new spots. IBS provides train passes with unlimited uses; take advantage of those! Even if you go out on your own, it will feel amazing. Do not fear the trains being in a different language, trust me, you will be able to figure them out. Most trains translate everything to English, which is super helpful. Also, Google provides excellent directions. They helped me get out of tough situations a handful of times.
Even if you do get lost, do not freak out. There is a high probability that the people around you speak English. Prague is not one of the cities that you must worry about language, which makes it a lot better. Munich is also similar; I cannot remember struggling at communicating with a single person there. Do not be afraid to ask, what are the chances that you are seeing this person again anyway. While both of these cities are not going to make you feel unsafe, keep in mind that every place in the world carries
its own risk. No matter how safe it feels, always be on the lookout. We are still foreigners and our gawking faces area a dead giveaway.
If you are not the adventurous type and would rather stay near the hotels, I have great news for you! The hotels we stay at are in great areas. You will not be let down by just exploring the shops around the hotels. The picture on the right is a restaurant located at a walking distance from the hotel we were staying at in Prague. Both hotels were located fairly close to heavily touristic spots. Seriously, you can easily walk downtown and look around!
I found that another good way to explore is by walking around the areas of the business visits already included in the program. Here is a picture of the castle that we toured in Prague for one of the group activities.
For some reason, the Starbucks in this place had the best pink drink I have ever tried before. It might have been the killer view that made it taste a lot better. It undoubtedly made it to be the best “holding my cup” photo you will see though. They also wrote my name correctly, which is definitely a plus. Most of these places hold a lot
of history to them, while also being absolutely stunning to look at. There are plenty of shops to buy souvenirs at too, so you do not have to worry about finding something for your loved ones in the city. Prague, in particular, is quite an affordable place. Something which I did not expect from any of the cities visited. We were told that inflation has affected it greatly, but for Americans, it still felt relatively cheap.
Obviously, I would not be able to wrap this up without mentioning the food in Prague. Are you a foodie? Because I know I am. Something you cannot leave without trying is the famous Trdelnik. It is this amazing cylinder shaped dough baked and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. It is normally eaten with ice cream and you can have various fillings. My favorite one was Nutella. I can still taste the smoothness of the ice cream and how incredible the nutella mixed with the doughnut tasting cone was. I wish I could get myself one right now. They are all around Prague, so it is definitely not hard to get your hands on them.
Although, if you are craving something a bit less sweet, and maybe you are a huge fruit lover, there are fruit stalls all around. You will see these in both Munich and Prague, they are quite common for some reason. The fruit looks amazing and it was hard to hold myself back from buying three pounds of strawberries everytime I walked past them. I mean look at them, you do not see strawberries this beautiful everday, do you? They are quite affordable and taste amazing. If you are a big fan, go ahead. Just keep in mind that you have to take these back to the hotel. Just put them inside the mini fridge. It is a great snack for when you go back, that is for sure!
The last meal I would like to spotlight is the amazing strawberry dumplings I had at Potrefená husa Na Verandách . They are most probably not the dumplings you expect, but you should definitely give them a try if you have a sweet tooth. The filling of these was amazing. The sweet strawberries perfectly accentuated the doughy texture of the outside. The yogurt would balance the sweetness, while also making the dough less thick; it completed the dish. I am never forgetting this dessert!
The traditional dishes from Munich and Prague were pretty much the same. Considering they are so close to each other, this was expected. A dish I adored from both countries was the Schnitzel. I tried it various times and it never let me down. It reminded me a lot of the Argentinan dish, Milanesa. It was so good, I tried it with the fried cheese. It is normally served with a traditional potato salad, which is also great.
Something to keep in mind while going out to eat is that Europeans smoke a lot. From the moment you sit down, you are probably going to have cigarette smoke hitting your face. If you dislike that, or think it might make you nauseous, keep that in mind when eating out in Europe.
Munich and Prague were breathtaking! The people you will meet on your trip will make the experience so much better. You will probably feel like time flies by, that is how it felt for me. Yet, the IBS program incorporates a variety of activities that are both entertaining and academically nurturing. In just a week, you will have seen a great share of historic landmarks from both cities. Go ahead and take the chance! It will be an unforgettable experience and an easy topic to bring up in interviews.