View frequently asked questions about Loyola University Maryland's Prague/Berlin Study Tour here:
Are Prague and Berlin safe?
Loyola does not allow student groups to travel to countries with State Department warnings. At this time, the State Department has no warnings concerning travel to Germany or the Czech Republic. However, given today’s environment, all travelers are urged to be alert. Pick pocketing occurs in areas popular with tourists. As in all metropolitan cities, one should be cautious. For additional information, see the State Department’s home page https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/czech-republic.html
What is the weather like?
In August, it will be late summer in Europe. The weather is typically lovely, ranging from the high 50’s at night, to the high 70’s during the day. Check the extended forecast days before travel to be sure there is no anticipated cold or warm front during our trip.
What is the food like?
Most people are familiar with Germany and its food -- from massive schnitzel and pretzels to giant steins of beer – but may be less familiar with foods commonly found in Prague.
Traditional Czech food is not exactly what one would call dietary, however it perfectly goes with the flavourful Czech beer. It mostly consists of pork or beef meat with sauce and a side dish, the most common and liked being dumplings. Dumplings (“knedliky”) are the Czech traditional side dish made from wheat or potato flour, boiled in water as a roll and then sliced and served hot.
Chicken, duck, turkey, fish, rabbit and lamb are also used in some very tasteful Czech dishes. A good choice can be the Guláš (read like in English, “goulash“), even though it basically belongs to traditional Hungarian cuisine.
If you are in a restaurant and you aren’t really in the mood to spent hours studying the menu, you can chose another Czech classical, that is Fried Cheese (Smažený Sýr, read “smazhenee seer”) garnished with potatoes (I recommend baked potatoes) and Tatarská Omáčka , read “tatarska omachka (Tartar sauce).
Famous are the Czech Pancakes (Palačinky – read “Palachinky”), filled with ice-cream, jam or fruits and coated in whipped-cream, almonds or sugar. Try also the traditional Fruit dumplings (Ovocné Knedlíky, read “ovotsne knedliky”) and the various forms of tasteful Czech cakes (Kolač – read “Kolach”) filled with different fruits, jams or curds .
Will I have any free time to explore, or will I be busy every minute?
This is a study tour, not a vacation. You will be quite busy with site visits, and gathering information for your final project. You will, however, have a significant amount of cultural immersion time available to learn first hand about the culture of the cities we visit. During this time you will have flexibility in terms of some of your explorations.
Do I need to speak German or Czech to make the trip an enjoyable and worthwhile experience?
No. You will find many locals in both countries speak English. That said, knowing the basics (hello, thank you, etc.) is a good idea.
I don’t have a passport: where can I go to get one? How soon should I begin this process?
You can go to the post office to get a passport if you start soon enough. You should begin the process as soon as you are sure you want to join the tour. The application process can take up to two months to complete. If you delay, you can drive to Washington D.C. and get an expedited passport.
How are roommate assignments made?
We will honor any roommate requests made by students. We anticipate sharing names of participants later in February, and that will afford you an opportunity to see who else is going on the trip and, perhaps, make a roommate choice. If you have no preference, the MBA Program Office will assist the Tour Leaders in making roommate assignments.
Can I get a single room if I want?
Yes, you may. The cost for a single supplement is $350 (the cost of the extra room).
What kind of clothes should I pack?
You will need professional or business casual attire for the site visits. You will also need casual attire for your free time. Plan on wearing the same outfit more than once. It might be wise to bring at least one professional outfit (jacket and tie for men). Bring at least one pair of comfortable shoes. We will discuss this more in class.
Are there any difficulties using my appliances?
European voltage is different from the U.S. voltage. Therefore, you will need converters to use your appliances (e.g., hair dryers, curling irons, etc). Your electronics will likely work on their voltage, but you will need an adaptor.
How much cash should I bring? Do I have to bring Euros?
I would bring a small amount of U.S. cash, just enough to pay for something to eat at the transit airport going and coming. Bring your ATM card and get Euros upon arrival. Use your credit card (this way you will obtain the best exchange rate) as much as possible (although credit card companies frequently charge a fee for international use). You might also consider something like a Capital One credit card which charges no foreign transaction fees.
Can I use my ATM card in Europe without difficulty?
Probably. You should check with your bank before leaving to make sure that your ATM card is authorized for international use, but most students have no difficulty using their ATM card in Europe just like they would at home. BE SURE TO CONTACT YOUR BANK(S) AHEAD OF TIME AND LET THEM KNOW YOUR CARD(S) WILL BE MAKING PURCHASES IN EUROPE.
Can I use my financial aid toward the cost of the trip?
Yes. To find out the specifics of how this works, you should speak to Danielle Ballantyne at 410-617-5205.
What happens if I change my mind after I have paid my $750 deposit?
If you change your mind after the balance is due on February 15th, you will forfeit your $750 deposit.
I would really like to participate in the 2017 Prague/Berlin Study Tour. To assure a spot in the class, how soon should I turn in the application?
This is hard to say. Typically, the tour closes out early in the registration process. To assure yourself a place on the tour, turn in your application on February 1st at 9 A.M.