I've been asked to write a “semester in review” blog post to summarize and finalize the semester. What can I say that hasn't already been said? I have seen a great deal of what D.C. has to offer, travelled all over the Eastern part of the country, been exposed to literary and academic works that I wouldn't have been exposed to in Prague, and finally, made friends that I will remember long after leaving George Washington.
If you are an avid reader of my blog, you have already heard about my adventures around the Eastern and Central time zones. The semester was a lot of work and long nights. However, I did manage to find some time to see the biggest and most famous cities in the U.S. My first trip was to Philadelphia for a day and then to Hartford, CT. Philadelphia speaks for itself, and I was actually there twice, so I can speak a great deal about it too. You might question why Hartford. While it does not have the international fame that Philadelphia, New York or Boston does, Hartford has been home to a number of writers though the ages from Mark Twain to Jack Kerouac. I couldn't pass up a pilgrimage of sorts like that. Over spring break, I saw two much more famous cities: Chicago and Boston. I was instantly in love with Chicago, and while D.C. will always be my U.S. “home” Chicago is my favourite city. Full of interesting architecture and art, it was teeming with life. After Chicago, it was a short flight to Boston, which I found to have many similarities to European cities, and is one of the most historical place I visited in the U.S. Honourable mentions go to New York and Philadelphia. Philadelphia was also full of life, art and very interesting people that were really living by the city's reputation as the city of brotherly love. And New York completely speaks for itself. It is like no other place on earth.
As I’ve made mention to before, the semester was demanding in terms of the workload. I wrote approximately 230 pages (or about 70,000 words) in total for all my courses. The courses gave me insights into both what I had been studying as well as new areas that I can incorporate into my studies when I return to Prague. One of my goals in coming to study at George Washington was to increase my knowledge and broaden my sources for my work on my thesis for Charles University. My time at George Washington has more than fulfilled its expectations in this area.
While D.C. was a great place to live and all the travel in the U.S. was amazing, the thing I will be most sad about leaving is the friends I have made. I formed close bonds with my room mates, the other students in the exchange programme and also some four-year George Washington students. We shared experiences all over the city and country and they know whenever they want, there is a couch waiting for them in Prague.