Prague Trip Expands Learning Well Beyond Classroom

October 20, 2008

Filed Under: Students

This past summer under the direction of Professor Cecil Greek, Criminology and Criminal Justice major Aaron Labreque studied comparative criminology and visual criminology in Prague through FSU International Programs. Upon arriving in the Czech Republic, Aaron\’s first impression was “What have I gotten myself into? I was dropped off at my apartment in the morning and told I\’d be picked up at 5 p.m., and it was a little nerve racking at first because I wasn’t sure what to do. But then I quickly got my bearings and everything was fine!”

His coursework included visiting a prison, court house, and seeing a Czech swat team in training, as well as going to concentration camps. One of his assignments included collecting data, which were visual images, to study social control theory. In addition to coursework, Labreque had many exciting experiences studying and touring abroad such as meeting people from different countries, learning to navigate a subway (at midnight in Budapest without a ticket or any local currency) and eating interesting food. “Everyone in the group was so excited to find a Mexican restaurant in Prague. The food was good and so we decided to order dessert too. We ordered a banana split, which we were expecting to be an American-style banana split with ice cream, banana, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream. But what we got was a banana, literally split in half, with chocolate sauce on top.”

For other students considering participating in the international program, Labreque has some advice, “Just go for it and even though you might not know what to expect, just push yourself to do it and see what comes from the experience. It is really the intangible aspects of the experience that you\’ll take back home with you and will never forget. But you will never realize what those intangibles are if you don\’t approach any situation with an open mind. That’s the mystery of it, the surprise that facing your fear and just going for it may lead to one of the best experiences of your life!”