Cat Sheldon

Czech Republic

Hometown:Seminole, Florida
School: St. Petersburg Collegiate High School
Sponsor District : District 6950
Sponsor Club:Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
Host District: District 6950
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Český Krumlov

 

 

My Bio


Hi, my name is Catherine Sheldon, Cat for short. I'm an outbound student to the Czech Republic. I'm currently 17 years old. I live with my mom, dad, brother, grandma, uncle and aunt. I attend St. Petersburg Collegiate High School in St. Petersburg, Florida. Some school activities I attend are International Club and Multicultural Club in these clubs I learn about different countries and a bit about their culture. I graduate this May (2014) with my high school diploma and my General A.A Degree. My major in college is linguistics so this exchange is perfect for me. I currently know some Spanish and ASL (American Sign Language). I'm taking ASL classes right now and will continue when I come back from this exchange program. I will also continue taking more Spanish classes and maybe Russian. I love learning new languages and about different cultures. That is one reason I want to be an exchange student. Some hobbies that I have are photography, painting, and makeup. I take pictures wherever I go. I love taking pictures of scenario the most. I paint using mostly acrylic and some water colors. I'm now getting into using oil pastels. Also, I love doing makeup I do my girlfriends makeup and I do mine whenever we hang out. I hope to accomplish over the year abroad learning the Czech language and about their culture. Also, make lifelong friends and create memories I will never forget. I'm a really friendly person and cannot wait to meet so many people and be immersed in the Czech culture. I have been told by other previous outbound student that this was the best year of their lives and I can’t wait for it to be my turn.

My first ice hockey game, it was in Prague!!

My first ice hockey game, it was in Prague!!

Some of us with our flags in Třebič!

Some of us with our flags in Třebič!

This is all the Czech inbounds in Prague!!!

This is all the Czech inbounds in Prague!!!

My Rotary club at Christmas time!!

My Rotary club at Christmas time!!

Me in a sombrero, with a Czech flag around me waiting for dinner haha!!! :)

Me in a sombrero, with a Czech flag around me waiting for dinner haha!!! :)

My first snowman!!

My first snowman!!

Journals: Cat - Czech Republic

  • Cat, outbound to Czech Republic

    So I have been here for over 200 days and everyday has been great in some way. In two weeks I will be going on Eurotour which is a trip for the inbound exchange students to Spain (Barcelona), Italy (Rome, Venice, Florence and Pompeii) and France (Paris). In preparation for this I’m learning some basic French, Italian and Spanish. I’ve noticed from visiting other countries that the local people will like it when you speak some of their language even if it’s just a “Thank you” or “Good day”. You might be thinking now why would I say “Good day” to somebody because we don’t say that in the United States well it’s used every day here.  You say it when you enter a store, restaurant and to your teachers at school. In Czech “Good day” is “Dobrý den” and in German it is “Guten tag”. It does translate to good day but to them it’s a very polite hello and probably the first thing you should learn to say in any language. A thing I have noticed about living abroad is no matter what, you will learn a few words in other languages.

    Before I moved to the Czech Republic I thought every country had only people of their nationality if that makes any sense. For example I thought the Czech Republic only had Czech people I didn’t realize how diverse it was. I have friends from the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria etc.. I just thought this would be something future exchange students might want to know. Also if you are near a border expect to visit that country a few times because I’ve been to Austria at least 3 times.

    So the Czech Republic has some AMAZING FOOD. I love their bread. It has to be my favorite food here and also their juice.  They have so many options for juice. The food here is so fresh, the bread is made every day fresh and it’s also healthier because they don’t put preservatives in it. They do put some in the sliced bread but that’s it as far as I know. There is some food I don’t really like. It sucks because its traditional dishes like Gulaš which is meat with dumpling and a sauce. Also for Christmas they have carp with potato salad. The potato salad is great but I just don’t like seafood so I don’t like the carp. But there are many kinds of food here a lot of Asian people immigrate to here so there are some Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants which are good. Where I live we have a couple burger places which have some of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Probably the last thing about food is don’t be surprised when you see a McDonalds, Burger king, Starbucks and even Subway in Europe. They have them here. There are very few but they are still here. I’ve only had McDonalds a couple times here and Starbucks and they are great. The Starbucks is the same they just have the name in a different language and at McDonalds they have some different menu items.

    You are going to walk so much when you are here or pretty much any country in Europe so bring a good pair of shoes. I’ve lost 15 kilograms (33 pounds) since I’ve been here and that is just from eating healthier and walking everywhere. You will enjoy walking because you get more of a chance to see everything and see the beauty of the country. Also, I’m from Florida so I’m use to the ground being flat and well it’s the opposite here there are so many mountains and hills. I’ve hiked up a few and man is so beautiful.

    So they celebrate some of the same holidays here but just a little different. Probably one of the most dramatically different holiday is Easter. How they celebrate Easter is the men walk around their neighborhood and they hit women in the butt and sing a short song and basically for the women and girls to stay young and to not get bitter it is quite a funny tradition. They do not hit you hard though, you’re not going to get beaten with a stick. It’s a light tap.

    On Christmas Eve the women typically cook all day and nobody eats until dinner. For dinner they have carp with potato salad and after dinner they open presents and how they do it is each person opens one at a time and they go in a circle it typically takes a long time depending on how many presents each person got. The presents I got were very personal. Just my spending time with them and they saw when I posted something on Facebook that I liked. I posted about how I liked wasabi peanuts and a certain kind of chips and they got me it. Also I was with my host mom shopping and I mention I wanted a hat that also covered my ear and she bought me one for Christmas, and they gave me money for my Eurotour and a bracelet the said “Pro Štěstí” which mean “For Luck” which I love and a few more things and each one was personal things they knew I would like. It’s a very personal holiday.

    They don’t celebrate Halloween here and obviously Thanksgiving because that is an American (United States) holiday. They have a few festivals throughout the year and right now they have a circus in town. Each town will depend on what you will have. My city is the second most visited city in the Czech Republic so we have some more things than some smaller cities or even villages.

    There are so many more things I could talk about and I will in my next journal but for the most part it’s so much better to experience it here. Whoever comes to this country will love it or any other country for that matter. I’ve been to a few countries already and am going to more this month and the ones I’ve already been to the people in them are really nice and eager to help if you need it. Keep studying your language and preparing for your exchange.


  • Cat, outbound to Czech Republic

    So, I have been here for 153 days so far and just moved to my second host family. So far I have traveled to Germany and Austria. They were great and very beautiful. They are not very different from the Czech Republic, only they use a different currency and the language.

    I missed having Thanksgiving with my family but me and my host family made it and had it. Christmas was great it didn’t snow until a couple days after Christmas. But I finally got my snow I’ve been waiting for. I’ve gone hiking a few times and I went snow sledding for the first time yesterday.

    Today for New Year’s Eve I will go to a bar/restaurant and just hangout and talk with friends and then at midnight people will set of fireworks and then we will just hangout for a couple more hours and then go home and sleep.

    The only tradition they have is to drink a lot and at midnight you kiss somebody.

    So far I am having a lot of fun and I’ve experienced so many new things. I’ve tried pheasant, deer, duck and a lot of new vegetables and fruit. I am having a great time here and am glad I picked the Czech Republic as my first choice. It’s amazingly beautiful and as I type this it is snowing and I love it.

    Well, I’m going to go have a snowball fight bye.



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