Are you ready to live/learn all over Europe?
Your journey begins with a week in London
There's never been a college neighborhood to rival London's Bloomsbury, where you'll live on The Catalyst. From our hostel, you'll be in the theatre district in 10 minutes and to the best museums, galleries and pubs in the world in about the same. Meanwhile, your coffee every morning is poured by people who love this neighborhood more than anywhere in the world. And why not? The leafy squares that dot Bloomsbury will be where you take a nap in the grass, like Virginia Woolf did when she lived here. And the amazing pulse of live music, outsider art and university students from around the world who call this slice of heaven home will insure that you never forget how it felt when your view of the world began to open wide. In London. where you'll live this summer.
Then you'll move to Paris for another amazing week
There are beautiful places to find your future. But there's never been a rival to Paris in this regard. That's why Thomas Jefferson, Van Gogh, Picasso, Hemingway, Joyce and so many others came here when it was their turn. The Catalyst calls the Bastille neighborhood home here. Meaning the Seine River, Notre Dame and the famous Latin Quarter are all 15 minutes away by foot. Even closer will be the kind of bakeries you'll dream about decades from this summer. And the sidewalk cafés that dot your evening walk with friends like perfect temptations, everywhere. A sometimes hard and often gorgeous history has been hammered into the heart of this place for 2 millennia, and you'll see its many markers everywhere you walk. In life there are places and things you return to over and over. But to come to Paris when you're young and hungry to meet the world? That you have a chance to do just once, this summer.
Next you'll call Berlin home for a week
No city in the world has been discovered anew more than this one. In the 1920's, the "lost generation" danced and partied here like nowhere else on the planet. The "Babylon Berlin" of that era--with its wild LGBTQ theaters, avant-garde arts and a film industry that eclipsed Hollywood--proved to be ephemeral. The rise of Hitler and the Nazi's machinery of murder buried that Berlin in rubble, bones and ash. But Berlin came back, as it always has. To be again the centerpiece of the creative world. Where start-up energy in tech is everywhere. And creatives squat in old factories, making the most breathtaking and heroic works of art in Europe. You'll see it all, from the pock-marked walls where American bombs pummeled this city in 1945. To the century-old biergartens and dancehalls that once entertained Stalin and his Iron-curtain cronies. As you make your home here in the neighborhood of old Friedrichshain, the confluence of past and future will surround you everywhere. Like the smells of amazing street food and the swirling beauty of Europe's most outrageous graffiti artists. And you may ask as others before you have too: does every Berliner travel with a 40 ounce beer everywhere they go?
And finally Prague will take and keep your heart
Generations of Catalyst students have agreed that Prague is the most beautiful city they've ever seen. This summer, you'll see why it's easy to agree. One of the few cities in Europe to have been spared bombing in World War II, Prague has a dusty and authentic pastel-gorgeousness that nobody can fully prepare for. That's why our professors allow extra time for walking through this crown-jewel of Eastern Europe. So you'll be able to take pictures of everything. A great city in the Medieval era, Prague has never really slowed down. Even its era behind the Iron Curtain of the Cold War was a hyper-rich moment for oppositional art and performance. The Catalyst calls central Prague's Vinohrady quarter home, a hilly and leafy sector of the city that once was a famous vineyard. It's a place where you'll be an expert in your own right, by the end of your Catalyst experience. So that when you cross the Charles Bridge for the last time this summer, you'll say what countless Catalyst alumni have before you: "I will be back here. I will absolutely return to this place again."