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4 posts categorized "Buddy Program"

12/15/2017

FALL 2017 ISSUE III

CIEE Christmas Party

On the evening of December 11, CIEE Prague hosted its annual Christmas Party for all its students, professors, buddies, homestay families and CIEE Prague staff.

With Czech Christmas carols being played in the background and the delicious smell of some of the most traditional Czech Christmas dishes lingering in the air, the event started with the arrival of St. Nicholas, the patron of children and magical bringer of gifts, who was accompanied by Krampus, the Christmas Devil, and the Christmas Angel as one of the oldest Czech Christmas traditions dictates.
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After having been gifted small gifts from them, our students were invited to taste the Czech Christmas menu – fried carp, schnitzels, potato salad, mushroom-groats risotto dish called "Kuba", Christmas cookies and the Christmas bread (including gluten-free and vegan options).

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Students could also give a go to various Czech Christmas traditions and customs, as there were 4 Czech Christmas DIY stations. The 4 activities were ginger bread decorating, making of paper snowflakes and paper chains and floating walnut shells, an activity that Czechs do to tell each others' fortune.

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Students from all our 4 programs (Central European Studies Program, Communication, New Media & Journalism Program, Film Studies Program as well as the Global Architecture & Design Program) attended the event and had a jolly good time with all the other guests!

05/15/2017

Spring 2017, Issue III

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CIEE Prague HOUSING WEBINAR

CIEE Prague Housing Department is trying to get closer to millennial students. This is the reason why we've prepared three videos for students coming to Prague for Fall 2017 Study Abroad.

How did it go? We had a lot of fun!

Several students from the Spring 2017 programs participated in the filming process. They described what it's like to live in CIEE Prague Apartments, Residences and Czech Homestay, while being filmed at different CIEE Study Center locations (such as the Library, Student Lounge, staircase or the garden).

This video, for instance, shows what it looks look like inside the Apartments and Residences and also shows the neighborhood.

The Housing Webinar is meant to assist students with filling out the housing survey. They can learn more about each of the three options (CIEE Administered Apartment, CIEE Administered Residence and Czech Homestay).

We hope that these videos will make it easier for future students to choose their top preference!  

 

 

10/30/2015

My Mini Homestay

written by Michelle Goodman (University of California-EAP)

Last weekend I had the privilege of visiting my Czech buddy, Ivana’s hometown. She lives in a small town (or village, she says) called Trebon. I was welcomed into her home by her mother, father, and 19-year old brother, Jakub. Before going into detail, I just want to stress the importance of this experience in my life in gaining perspective on an entirely different lifestyle. If you have the opportunity to stay with a Czech family, even if it’s only for the weekend, you won’t regret it. Although I described it as different, I still managed to find some similarities in Ivana’s home life in comparison to mine.

We started the weekend by taking about a two hour train ride from Prague to Trebon. Surprisingly, I’ve actually never taken a train that has separate compartments with around six seats each. If you can’t imagine it, just think Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Express. We entered through platform 9¾ of course. It was magical. Whenever someone approached their stop, they would exit our small “room,” but not without saying “Nascheldano!” It felt comfortable and friendly. A great start to the weekend!

We arrived around 9PM at Ivana’s village where I greeted her father and mother who spoke no English. The language barrier was quite difficult to approach but I went in with a positive attitude. Her brother on the other hand is proficient in English and I was able to discuss his interests and hobbies with him. I found out that that he is just starting school in Prague, following his older sister’s footsteps. That night I ate bread and butter with meat and cheese for dinner. Back at home, this would be a quite strange and honestly, a somewhat dry meal for me. Ivana, however, explained to me that in her family and typical Czech tradition values lunch over every meal. That gave me hope. Her sister, who also studies in Prague, decided not to come home, so I was able to sleep in her room. I almost felt like her fill-in for the weekend.

The next day, Ivana, Jakub and I went on a bike ride around the whole town. We rode past the largest lake in the Czech Republic, passed through the larger than life Oak trees, and explored the small city which happened to be throwing an Apple Festival at the time. I tried the locally grown apples, apple cider, and honey liquor. We biked back home to a delicious lunch with pork, vegetables and sliced, baked potatoes. It definitely exceeded my expectations and confirmed what Ivana had mentioned to me about lunch the night before.

That night, we went to dinner and drinks with Ivana’s girlfriends from home and they welcomed me into their conversations. Here was where I felt the most similar and comfortable because they all spoke English and of course they gossiped and talked about boys. Sometimes they would speak in Czech to one another, but I did not mind because I knew I was experiencing their way of life. They let me into their group and for me, it was as if I was welcomed into their culture.

This weekend allowed me to peak into the authentic lives of Czech people. I noticed little things that allow me to grasp on to concepts of intercultural communication in terms of my relationships with the people I came across. With her parents, I understand the signs of respect and with her friends I caught onto the signs of peer to peer interaction. It was a great weekend and it really gave me insight on the world around me; exactly what I was seeking in my study abroad experience.   

  Trebon lake

Trebon sunset

Trebon!

10/02/2014

Fall 2014, Issue I

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The Importance of Being … Well Housed

Housing is an essential factor for a rewarding study abroad experience. Before coming to Prague, students fill out a housing survey which is crucial for their housing placement. Based on their profile and preferences, CES and CNMJ students are placed in one of the following housing options: homestay, dorm, or apartments. FS and GAD students’ housing is a little bit different in the sense that they have only the option to live in CIEE-administered apartments with other CIEE FS/GAD participants. This is due to the fact that they study outside of the CIEE Study Center (at FAMU/ARCHIP) and very often work on school projects together.

When placing students, we do our best not to place students from the same home university in the same apartment/homestay (dorm might be an exception) to make students get to know new people and not just hang out with their friends from home.

Czech Homestay

This housing option offers a truly immersive experience. Our families live in residential areas of Prague and most of them have been in the program for several semesters or even years. Homestay students have a great opportunity to get out of their comfort zone. Apart from an enriching study abroad experience, homestay students get two meals per day and a single room! They are also assigned a “homestay buddy”, local university student, who helps them during orientation and shows them around during semester.

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What do students say about their homestay?

What´s the coolest thing about your housing?

 “Home cooked meals.” (CES student)

“Amazing food and the feeling of being part of a Czech family.” (CNMJ student)

 What do you think about the buddy program?

 “I think it's a great thing.” (CES student)

“Buddies are great for showing us around the city and introducing us to the real lives of the Czech.” (CNMJ student)

 What you like about your neighborhood?

 “I like that it's quiet.” (CES student)

“It is close to the metro and very safe.” (CNMJ student)

 What advantages do you see from living with a host family?

 “A house to really call home.” (CES student)“I’m getting much more assimilated into the culture, and get great food everyday!” (CNMJ student)

Available to the following programs: Central European Studies; Communications, New Media + Journalism

Apartments

Our apartments arelocated either by the river close to the both the Study Center and the city center, or in Vinohrady, a neighborhood popular with locals as well as expats (approx. 20 minute commute to the Study Center by tram/metro). Each apartment houses two to six CIEE students (in most cases three) as well as a flat buddy. The flat buddy is a Charles University students who, in exchange for free housing, helps students during orientation, with practical issues as well as cultural immersion throughout the semester.

Students living in apartments are responsible for their own meals as well as cleaning. This housing option is perfect for independent students. Around 75% of CIEE students live in apartments.

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What do students say about their apartments?

What´s the coolest thing about your housing?

 “I love my apartment and its location.” (CES student)

 “Living in an apartment gives me the independence and responsibility of really living in the city and all with the benefit of having awesome American roommates.” (CNMJ student)

“I have thoroughly enjoyed living with a Czech student. She has been so helpful in terms of adjusting to a new city and knowing a lot about the local culture.” (CNMJ student)

”Everything. I couldn't have asked for a better flat buddy and living situation. ” (FS student)

”The apartment and the people!” (FS student)

”I have a balcony in my room, that's great.” ( FS student)

Its roomy and has great qualities of light. Also it's nice that all gear has been provided (kitchen supplies, sheets, etc.)“(GAD student)

„The apartment itself/location has been great“ (GAD student)

 What do you think about the buddy program?

 “I LOVE my Czech buddy!“ (CES student)

„It's helpful having someone available who knows the city and the language to help if I need anything.“ (CES student)

“Love having my Czech buddy around.“ (CES student)

“Having a Czech buddy is a great way to avoid touristy destinations and discover local bars and restaurants.” (CNMJ student)

“I think the buddy program is great. It provides students with the opportunity to branch out and get to know some of the locals which otherwise might be more challenging.” (CNMJ student)

“I love my Czech buddy! They all make it so easy when you have questions and they are able to show you a "real" part of the city instead of just the parts where foreigners go.“ (FS student)

“My Czech buddy is awesome.“ (FS student)

 „I think it's great! They are so helpful and it's really nice having locals to spend time with. they make it much more authentic than other abroad programs.“(GAD student)

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What you like about your neighborhood?

 “Super close to a major public transportation spot. (CES student)

“It's charming and accessible to public transportation. (CES student)

“I love living in a neighborhood where I’ve gotten to know the local shopkeepers and I can used the Czech I’ve learned on daily errands.” (CNMJ student)

“I love how quiet my neighborhood is and how I can hear someone practicing clarinet every Tuesday. The woman from the minimart recognizes me and always makes an effort to communicate and smile at me.” (CNMJ student)

“I love the location! It is so easy to get anywhere in the city. Also, we are so close to the supermarket, tram stop, and metro.“ (FS student)

“Close to both tram and metro and parks.“ (FS student)

“Everything! “ (FS student)

It's a great location to get around the city by public transit or just walking about.“(GAD student)

„You can walk everywhere, and there's so much to do.“ (GAD student)

 Available to the following programs: Central European Studies; Communications, New Media + Journalism; Global Architecture & Design; Film Studies; all summer programs

Dorm

The dorm, located within a 10-minute walk up hill to the study center, accommodates usually around 32 CIEE students. Some of the most significant advantages of living in the dorm, apart from the location, are breakfast and cleaning service Monday to Friday. Students who choose this housing option do this mostly because of location and the comfort and safety of being surrounded by other CIEE students. Five dorm buddies are placed in the dorm to, once again, help students with practical issues, share Czech culture with them and help them not get trapped in the „American bubble“. The dorm is located in a neighborhood with many nice restaurants, cafes, and shops.

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 What do students say about the dorm?

What´s the coolest thing about your housing?

 “Close to school.” (CES student)

“Free breakfast.” (CES student)

“The dorm is very nice, and is centrally located.“(CES student)

“Having my own room and bathroom.“ (CNMJ student)

 What do you think about the buddy program?

 “It was nice having a student from the Czech Republic to help us get settled and show us around.“ (CES student)

“It's helpful having someone available who knows the city and the language to help if I need anything.“ (CES student)

 “Love it!“ (CNMJ student)

 What you like about your neighborhood?

  “Nice, safe, close to school.” (CES student)

“Safe, quiet, residential. Good food options around.” (CES student)

“There are endless things to see, I could wander for days on end and still find new things.” (CNMJ student)

 Available to the following programs: Central European Studies; Communications, New Media + Journalism