Czech Republic: Charles University, Prague (Council on International Educational Exchange)
Witness the political, social, and economic transformation of Central Europe though studying in Prague, Czech Republic. The city is an example of the steadily developing society that is still transitioning from its Communist past. In addition to its picturesque beauty and charm, Prague is a cultural center, a quality that CIEE acknowledges and promotes throughout the program with outings to operas, concerts, festivals, and more.
The CIEE program works in affiliation with Charles University, Central Europe’s oldest educational institution. All courses are taught (in English) by CU professors at the CIEE Study Center and are recognized by CU. Students have opportunities to take Charles University courses at the institution.
For students interested in film, CIEE works with the Prague Film and Television School of the Academy of the Performing Arts (FAMU). This is one of the most renowned film schools in Central Europe, boasting graduates such as Milos Forman and Agnieszka Holland.
Students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 and are recommended to have one semester of college-level European studies.
The Central European Studies Program offers students a variety of courses of all different academic backgrounds. Students are required to take a Czech language course in order to better immerse in the local culture. At the beginning of the semester during orientation, there is a two week intensive Czech language course. Students are required to take a minimum of two CIEE courses and may enroll in up to six credits outside of CIEE at FAMU or Charles University. Recommended credit is 16 to 17 per semester.
Students have the option of doing an internship while abroad. They can choose from positions with local, mostly non-governmental organizations. These could include: education, organization of international political conferences, local and global human rights issues, and work in the field of economics. Students record their experiences in a journal, which is evaluated weekly, and compose a final research paper including what they’ve learned during their internship.
CIEE provides an online pre-departure orientation to prep students for the adventure abroad, and an on-site orientation that includes an intensive language program and gives students the chance to explore the many nooks and crannies of Prague. Lunch sessions and afternoon activities are included during these two weeks.
Because the Czech culture is unlike other European cultures, CIEE makes an effort to help students with the immersion process. This is done through internship or volunteer opportunities. Students can volunteer with NGOs, schools, and orphanage, and English language training programs. Students living in apartments and in the dorms share their residence with Flat Buddies. These flat buddies are local Charles University students who live with the students, sharing day-to-day issues and helping students understand the local culture and norms. The Flat Buddies put together interest groups throughout the semester that integrate students into Prague culture and society. In the past, these have included going to soccer games, cooking traditional Czech cuisine, and visiting a local brewery.
The program includes several visits to historical and cultural sites such as Prague Castle, Old Town, and theater and the opera. There are field trips to locations in Bohemia and Moravia that are arranged in accordance with academic courses. CIEE Also works with a travel agency to organize optional guided field trips to Berlin, Vienna, and Krakow at an additional cost.
Homestay: Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves fully into the Czech culture by living with a Czech family. Breakfast and dinner are provided. This is a great option for students who want to enhance their Czech language skills.
Charles University Dormitory: Close to the CIEE study center is the Charles University Dormitory. Students reside among other CIEE participants as well as a small group of Czech students (CIEE Czech Buddies). Facilities include Internet access, and modest kitchenettes. Breakfast is included.
Apartments: Students share double rooms with other CIEE students and one Czech student (CIEE Flat Buddy). Apartments range in size and location; they are located in various neighborhoods throughout central Prague. Meals and internet fees are not included.