Caroline Carpenter

Caroline Carpenter
European Studies
Nordic Ski Team (2008-2012; Captain) Pi Sigma Alpha (2010-2012; Co-President) Study Abroad Fall 2010 Prague, Czech Republic

As a government major at St. Lawrence University I have been exposed to a variety of different political systems, perspectives, and historical events. Communism and the transitional governments of Eastern Europe after it have always been the strongest interest of mine. I furthered my interest by studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. While there I acquired a first hand perspective on life under a communist regime and how Czechoslovakia transitioned itself into the capitalist democracy of the Czech Republic. I was also fortunate enough to visit many other European countries: Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and England. As well as France, Italy, and the Netherlands on previous trips. My experiences and travels in Europe led me to minor in European Studies and further explore my interest in communism in the Czech Republic. My independent study SYE looks at the success and failures of the Czech Republic during the first years of transition following the collapse of the communist regime in 1989. I argue that the Czech Republic was not as successful in transitioning as it expected to be, due to the embedded culture of communism prevalent in all aspect of society that could not be overcome as instantly as the transition occurred.