February 15th, 2023 | NEWS
In America, college basketball season typically takes place during both the fall and spring semesters. Therefore, I was unable to study abroad during my undergrad. This is one of the many reasons why the Victory Scholar program appealed to me, and I’ve definitely taken advantage of this opportunity over the past couple months. After exploring the attractions in Waterford as well as the rest of Ireland, I decided to branch out and explore even more of Europe.
At the start of Christmas break, I travelled to Prague with my fellow Victory Scholars, Freeman Brou and Scout Frame. Scout’s cousin currently attends university in Prague and was nice enough to let us crash at her apartment during our visit. We spent four days roaming the streets of Prague. We admired views from the Astronomical Tower, Charles Bridge, St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Lenin Wall, and many other tourist attraction sites. Prague was filled with art and history at every corner and cobblestone. My art history classes from undergrad came in handy as I recognized many styles we studied from the Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance periods. We even found a Banksy museum, which was really cool. Of course, we also had to check out the Christmas market in Prague, so we headed to Old Towne Square where Christmas decorations were adorned everywhere, and vendors set up booths filled with Czech goods. I ate a “trdelnik,” also known as a chimney cake, which was heavenly. We also ate other traditional Czech and European dishes like beef goulash, bread dumplings, grilované klobásy (grilled sausage), and schnitzel. Everything was delicious!
After coming back from Christmas break, I went on a short Victory Scholar girls trip to Hungary. Budapest was absolutely gorgeous! We went to a bunch of must-see spots including the Hungarian Parliament Building, Fisherman’s Bastion, Buda Castle, and St. Stephen’s Basilica. We also went to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths, which we learned was named after Camila’s great-great-great-great grandfather, Istvan Széchenyi. Turns out, her ancestor gifted the Chain Bridge to Buda and Pest, and afterwards, the city was known as Budapest. So, Camila is basically Hungarian royalty (no big deal). My favorite part of the trip was when we went on a nighttime boat cruise along the Danube River. All the buildings were lit up and everything turned soft gold. We each got a glass of wine to toast to the best girls trip ever!
As I pursue my master’s degree in international business and travel to other countries, I encounter a lot people from diverse backgrounds. Many of my fellow classmates are from other countries; two of my college teammates are from France, and half of the U14 Wildcats team I coach is from Spain. It’s very interesting to see all the cultural differences with every person that I interact with. Every day is an adventure!
As the basketball season comes to a close, I hope to do more traveling soon!