Molly Sarver waterway 750

No Longer Stuck

Molly Sarver was a small town girl from Blairsville, Pennsylvania, with big dreams. Much like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, she searched for "adventure in the great wide somewhere"—and she found it. During the 2015 fall semester, when she was browsing study abroad opportunities, she never dreamed she would end up in Prague, Czech Republic. With a few Chinese classes under her belt, she saw herself holding chopsticks and exploring great walls.

Molly Sarver A recommendation from a friend, however, turned her thoughts westward. Through the encouragement of her friends and family, and help from the Cook Achievement Fund, Molly finally arrived in Prague 5, the residential part of the city, on May 26, 2016. She lived in an apartment with six roommates—three men and three women from various parts of the globe. Even without knowing "a lick of Czech," as she put it, she managed very well—especially since the university she attended there, Anglo-American University, was taught by English-speaking professors and attended by English-speaking, though still international, students.

Molly's courses were "Post-Totalitarian Europe" and "Prague Art and Architecture." The former completed her PLSC minor requirement, and the latter fulfilled a required elective.

Molly Sarver vertical waterway 737During her two months in the Czech Republic, Molly was able to visit many other countries. She traveled to Dresden, Germany; Venice, Italy; Vienna, Austria; Sopron, Hungary; Budapest, Hungary; and Bratislava, Slovakia. She learned so much during her experience, both from her classes and through her many travels.

"It made me realize I don't have to be stuck in a rut," Molly reflected. "It gave me a deeper appreciation for humanity despite the craziness going on in the world right now."

Her advice to other students?Do what you can when you can—college is a time when these options are available to you, so don't waste it. "You don't have to justify a learning experience."

She debated going to the Czech Republic because she wasn't a European history major, wasn't studying the language, and, on the surface, it didn't fit into her academic goals. After visiting the Czech-Republic, however, she realized how silly those apprehensions were. "Knowing I can go and do things has widened my horizons."