Coming to Prague: AAU Edition
New Student Orientation is less than a week away and many of you are arriving in Prague for the first time- are you ready? Whether you’re still packing or you want a head start on getting familiar with Prague, we’ve compiled a shortlist of things to consider when moving to the Czech Republic and starting your journey at AAU!
Documents and COVID-19
We hope you have been keeping up with your emails as important information regarding what documents you may need will be there! Ensure you have copies, or originals of whatever you need regarding visas, transcripts etc before coming to Prague unless specified otherwise. Should you have any questions, get in touch with the Admissions team or Student services depending on your inquiry!
While we are so excited to have students back on campus, we ask you to look out for the COVID-19 updates available on our website. AAU will require students to have evidence that they have either had the vaccination, recently recovered from COVID or a negative test. We are also happy to announce that vaccine certificates from third countries, eg the US, will be accepted by AAU and also the Czech government from August 21 onwards. However, they have to be vaccines registered by the EU or the WHO. Should you require any testing (antigen, PCR, etc), there are numerous testing sites around Prague which you can find here.
Like with regular traveling, it’s good to have some cash on you for when you arrive. The Czech Republic uses Czech crowns or “Koruna česká” as their currency, not Euros. However, if you have foreign currency and need to exchange it, check out Honest Guide. Alternatively, if you plan to withdraw money from your foreign account, get to know which ATMs offer better rates to avoid paying substantial fees.
Lastly, consider getting yourself a Revolut card. Revolt allows for fee-free currency exchange within its application and can be used as any other normal bank card. While it is wise to carry a little cash in Prague, you can use contactless in most places and Revolut doesn’t incur any charges for these transactions; however, you may still be charged for withdrawing from an ATM as you would with a foreign bank card!
Getting into Prague
There are a few options to get from the airport to the city center and they all differ in travel time and expense:
- Taxi: Most expensive but also the most convenient to get from A to B, download Uber or Bolt for the best rates but be prepared to pay around €27 if not more.
- Airport Shuttle Bus: It goes between the airport (Terminal 1) and the main train station Praha Hlavni Nadrazi and costs roughly €2.50 (60 CZK) there you can take metro line C (red)*.
- Bus and Metro: Buy your tickets inside the airport or if you have coins for a 90 minute €1.56 (40 CZK), at the machine by the bus stop outside the Terminal. You are looking to take bus 119 to Nadrazi Veleslavin where you transfer to metro line A (green) continue to downtown (Mustek) or any other station*. Alternatively, you can take bus 100 which goes to Zlicin (metro line B, yellow), and ride to the city center (Mustek) from there*.
*If you are going to AAU Student Housing – Zeitraum, U Průhonu 56, in Prague 7 and you are coming by bus/metro, you need metro line C (red) to Vltavskà stop. From there take the tram 1, 14, 25, or 12 in the direction of Maniny.
Packing a suitcase
When moving to study abroad, you can often end up with a long, large, heavy list of ‘moving to university’ essentials and ‘travel abroad’ essentials. Remember, it’s good to have enough to get you started but you will be able to buy anything you could need in IKEA, malls, shops, and corner stores around the city.
Here’s our take on what you need to get started:
Joining in Fall means needing a variety of clothing options. The weather can be very indecisive- one day could be hot, sunny and perfectly summery with the next day feeling wet and cold… therefore, make sure you have:
- Something waterproof: Umbrella and/or a waterproof jacket since the weather can turn at any moment
- Layers: T-shirts (short and long), sweaters, big socks, little socks, trousers, jeans, shorts- all of it!
- Walkable shoes: The streets of Prague are cobbled! This can be tricky for any shoe type that isn’t flat (especially if it has been raining as cobbles can be slippery!) Be kind to your feet with one pair of sensible shoes.
- Adapter: Handy for phones, laptops, hairdryers, or shavers! If you are coming from outside of Europe, it is wise to bring at least one adaptor. Here’s why- You need to charge your phone and oops, no outlets! Despite many outlets allowing for a USB connector, you may find yourself in a position without. Consider bringing a portable power bank or an adapter for the meantime before you purchase an EU plug with a USB cable outlet, a new EU plug, and cable for your laptop.
- Laptop: Essays, assignments, online course work, Netflix… need we say more?
Whether it’s TimTams, Goldfish, or a specific cosmetic product- bring it. Moving to Prague will be a big amazing adventure but it’s nice to have a couple of home reminders once in a while! They help when you’re feeling down or for making new friends by sharing a few of your cultural favorites.
For a more extensive list of what to consider when coming to Prague and how to prepare for your first semester, you can also check out our comprehensive Student Handbook and New Students Guide.
Welcome to Prague, welcome to AAU, and welcome home!