Willamette World News

Willamette World News

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Czech Republic – “The Heart of Europe”

You would never guess that those contacts you put into your eyes every morning or the microwave in which you heat up your dinner originally come from this country. The Czech Republic is small. But it is full of history, natural monuments, music, art and cultural contrasts. Czech it out!!!



There once was a country in the middle of Europe; Czechoslovakia – an island of democracy and economic prosperity surrounded by countries of blooming Nazism and Communism.

People were eager for change after the Second World War, so they gave a chance to the Communist Party. Bad mistake. Forty years of crushing civil rights, censorship, no private property, no free enterprise, no freedom, and almost no hope followed.

Under the leadership of former president Vaclav Havel, the “Velvet Revolution” in 1989 changed things completely. In addition, in 1993 Czechoslovakia was divided in two independent countries – Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Although we still have a lot to accomplish before we can catch up with western civilization, nowadays, Czech Republic is a free and independent country with many cultural similarities to the United States.

Besides Czech music, people listen to American hip-hop, drive Jeeps (although they have no cup holders), wear Volcom hoodies, ride Burton snowboards and Harley-Davidson bikes, take pictures with their cell phones and enjoy high speed wireless internet.

My name is Jan Taborsky and I am 19 years old. During high school, I got the chance of a lifetime, and was awarded with a Rotary International Scholarship allowing me to study my junior year at a high school in Salem, Oregon.

I immediately felt in love with the Willamette Valley. Two years after my exchange program, while deciding about college, I knew Willamette was the place for me. Once again, good people have helped me along and I was admitted as a freshman for the current academic year.

I would like to pursue Willamette’s 3+2 International Business program, run my own business and make my ideas of trade between Czech and USA come true. This way I think I can also best serve my community, my country and repay all the good people who have helped me along.

I come from a town called Vsetin, with a population of thirty thousand people, situated in the mountains in northeast Czech. My life passion is mountain biking and rock climbing, and I also enjoy running, snowboarding, backpacking, hiking and swimming.

Czech Republic is about a third size of Oregon and has a population of about 10 million people. It amazes tourists with its beautiful historic cities, including Prague (the capital) or Cesky Krumlov. It also has dozens of medieval castles, historic spa towns, as well as beautiful mountains. The country is also famous for the Czech beers “Pilsner Urquell” and “Budweiser” (which actually tastes much better than the American beer that you call “Bud”).

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