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27 posts categorized "Newsletters"

05/18/2018

Spring 2018 Issue III

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Two Overnight excursions to Terezín&Auschwitz and Munich&Dachau - The Holocaust in the Films and Literature of Arnošt Lustig

Students of The Holocaust in the Films and Literature of Arnošt Lustig course, along with their Professor Josef (Pepi) Lustig, had a unique opportunity to travel and participate in specially designed overnight class excursions. Some of them have shared their trip experience with us.

'The best experience of Pepi Lustig’s class was the excursion in Munich, to the Dachau Concentration Camp. This experience was the most touching because it was the first trip we went on as a group, so we really got to bond as a class and with Professor Lustig. His knowledge about the history of the Holocaust is unlimited, and it was an honor to listen to him speak about Dachau and the atrocities committed there. All excursions were especially touching because our class truly got a different view of the Holocaust and the camps, which is why I think this class is so special and important.' - Gabriella Hagedorn, DePauw University

The first overnight excursion was to Munich and Dachau. The group of students visited Munich as the first stop of the excursion and had a guided tour of the historical Nazi parts of the city. The guide was very well prepared with multiple documents, pictures and maps which all helped students have an even better experience of visiting the historical places. A part of the excursion was also a visit of the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism documenting and addressing the crimes of the Nazi dictatorship and their origins, manifestations and consequences right up to the present day. On the following day, the group led by professor Lustig visited the first concentration camp at Dachau. The Nazi government started the first concentration camp in Dachau, Germany, in March of 1933. It has been renovated and preserved as a memorial to those who suffered and died there between 1933 and its liberation in 1945. Dachau initially housed political prisoners; however, it eventually evolved into a death camp where thousands of Jews died from malnutrition, disease and overwork or were executed.

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Upon arriving in Dachau, the group was faced with weather that was all too fitting for the events that took place there in the past: with a fog so thick you could not see the building the group was walking to, cool breeze and sky so gloomy one could not help but feel the despair that still lingered in the air. Nevertheless, the students appreciated this weather even more since it gave them a very real glimpse into the suffering of the inmates that were once imprisoned there.

The second overnight excursion to Terezín and Auschwitz was pretty impressive as well. Students gained even more in depth knowledge about the Terezín work camp during a discussion with the Professor and also his aunt (on the day following the excursion). The next day in Auschwitz was full of moving adventures, from a visit of the Auschwitz concentration camp (where Professor Lustig's father himself was imprisoned for several years), walking around the Nazi Party headquarters to the visit of the concentration/extermination camp at Birkenau.

As students have said, visiting Dachau, Terezín and Auschwitz was an eye-opening experience in so many ways. For instance, Mrs. Hanna (Professor Lustig's aunt) provided our students with countless invaluable insights into what life in the camp was actually like since she had to endure the horrors of life in the camp herself. It is indispensable to visit the sites where these crimes against humanity were committed in order to understand the full extent of the Holocaust. All excursions with professor Lustig were a powerful experience.

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03/21/2018

Spring 2018 Issue II

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CIEE Prague Charitable Donations

In the previous semester, CIEE Prague organized the so-called Charity Date Auction as part of the Graduation Ball event for all of its programs, where all participants were the Fall'17 semester students. This Charity Date Auction has already been the third event of its kind in CIEE Prague history, and has been a part of the Graduation Ball event for the second time.

Founded in the year 2000, the Život dětem (Life for Children) Foundation is a non-profit organization, and the main goal of the Date Auction was to raise money that could then be donated to this NGO. CIEE Prague students had the opportunity to sign up for this event in advance, after having read more information about the Život dětem Foundation.

After a discussion with the Život dětem Foundation Director, CIEE Prague once again decided to donate all Date Auction proceeds to Karolínka. Seven years ago, this now 10-year-old girl was a victim of a horrific car accident, during which she suffered from multiple back injuries. This car accident has left Karolínka with paralyzed legs and incontinent. Despite the medical prognosis of never being able to walk again, she has made great progress. All proceeds from the previous Date Auction were used to buy her a brand new wheelchair, this time they will be used to provide her with the opportunity of rehabilitation abroad.

CIEE Prague Director and Program Coordinator handed over the Date Auction proceeds directly to the Director of the Život dětem Foundation. They obtained a certificate related not only to the Date Auction proceeds, but also for having donated further $ 1,000. Every year, the CIEE headquarters in Portland run the so-called Charitable Giving Program that aims to support local, national or international organizations that are of a special importance to CIEE staff, which comprises of nearly 800 employees all around the world. Many CIEE Prague employees suggested numerous organizations, but it was CIEE Prague Program Coordinator Zuzana who was lucky to have won the second prize - $ 1,000 – for her suggested NGO Život dětem. This money will also go to Karolínka to help her make her first steps. We keep our fingers crossed for her!

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02/27/2018

SPRING 2018 Issue I

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Getting to know the Czech Republic

During the first weeks of Spring 2018 students' stay in the Czech Republic, CIEE Prague staff organized various different activities which enabled students to familiarize themselves with Czech culture, as it is crucial for students to learn about their host country so that they feel and can adapt better in terms of the culture shock.

Students had the opportunity to learn more about the Czech Republic in two lectures delivered by CIEE professors which were held during the on-site Orientation - Czech History Intro and Czech Republic Inside Out. Both of these lectures provided our students with the necessary background information in terms of Czech history and culture. For many students it was actually their very first time hearing about the creation of our country and our unique traditions and customs.

CIEE Prague staff also prepared an exceptional interactive competition for its students, as part of which they had the chance to test their knowledge related to the Czech Republic. An online orientation quiz was published at the end of the first week and students could compete against each other in terms of the facts covered during the Orientation. The winners received unique goodie bags full of Czech sweets and souvenirs.

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1st place – Klea Kalia (Barnard College)

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2nd place – Mary Koontz (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

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3rd place – Sam Rosenthal (Ursinus College)

Another way of introducing students to the Czech Republic was through an active exploration. At the end of the second week of the on-site Orientation day excursions outside Prague, as part of which students visited other regions of the country, were organized. The Czech Republic is often called the "land of castles" since it has the most castles and chateaus per square mile in the world. It is something that Czechs are very proud of and they enjoy spending their free time visiting these spectacular buildings. On the other hand, breweries and beer industry in general are key constituents of the Czech economy and beer itself plays an important part in Czech culture as well. During the day excursions students thus visited one of our beautiful castles and also had a tour of a local brewery. During the castle tours, they learned how the aristocrats lived in the past and also discovered how beer is made and what role it plays in the Czech economy. There were two different destinations students could choose from - the Sychrov Castle and the Svijany Brewery or the Křivoklát Castle and the Krušovice Brewery.

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A lot more activities enabling students to learn more about the Czech Republic will be organized during the semester and CIEE Prague truly believes that students will consider the Czech Republic to be their second home by the end of their study abroad adventure.

 

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!  

 

 

02/10/2017

Spring 2017, Issue I

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Helping the local community

CIEE Prague Study Center has organized a Charity Date Auction as part of the Graduation Ball event for all study programs, in which all participants were Fall 2016 students. It was the second Date Auction in CIEE Prague’s history and it was a well-anticipated charity get together event.

The main goal of the Auction was to collect money to support the Život dětem Foundation (Life to Children Foundation), a non-profit organization established in 2000. After a discussion with the director of the Život dětem Foundation, CIEE has decided to hand over the raised amount of money to Karolínka. This 9 year-old girl was a victim of a very bad car accident six years ago, after which she became incontinent and had several back injuries. Unfortunately, these injuries were so serious that Karolínka can´t feel her legs. The collected money (4 600 CZK) from the Date Auction went to Karolínka's new wheelchair.

CIEE Study Center Director and Program Coordinator handed over the money to the Director of the Život dětem Foundation and obtained a certificate about having donated. This meeting has also been a great success in relation to a new project called “Kolíbanky” (Lullabies) which will be a part of the volunteering program. Students will get the chance to write a short story about the place where they live and send their region's typical lullaby to the radio where Kolíbanky will be promoted to kids. Or students can come right to the radio and record their lullaby on site.

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All CIEE Prague staff is involved in helping the local community continually throughout the year: some design volunteering programs and events, such as the Treasure Hunt for children from local orphanages and disadvantaged families, others support local businesses employing disabled or socially disadvantaged individuals by organizing program events in these cafes and restaurants. Apart from these long-term commitments, we also organize much bigger events to involve students, professors, buddies and staff. More people involved allows to collect much larger sums of money, which we can then use to help those who really need our support. It always warms our hearts to see that our efforts, no matter how big, make a real difference and brighten the lives of the less fortunate and motivates us to continue helping the local community.

12/16/2016

Fall 2016, Issue III

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Intercultural Communication and Leadership (ICL)

This course is a very unique opportunity for our students to develop skills, knowledge, and understanding that will help them communicate and engage more appropriately and effectively in the Czech Republic (Prague) as well as in other intercultural contexts.  One of the goals is to increase the student´s own cultural self-awareness and develop personal leadership skills to help them become more effective in an interdependent world. 

We asked our Fall 2016 students two questions:

  1. What was the biggest challenge during the ICL course?
  2. What was the highlight of the ICL course?
  1. The final video project
  2. The outclass trips (Invisible experience)

Morgan Albrecht

“This course was a great course and I would say it was one of the most interesting subjects I took while abroad. The biggest challenge I had in ICL was properly reflecting on certain experiences abroad. I had trouble articulating myself properly but over the course of the term I was able to harness the ability to do so and reflect on certain events in an appropriate manner.

The highlight of the ICL course was the outclass that took me and the rest of my peers to a "Blind Exhibition" where we learned what it was like being blind and went through a hands-on tour in complete darkness to experience the daily life of a blind person. The tour was guided by a very interesting individual who provided great insight on the daily life of a blind person. We reflected this tour in the following class and it was one of my favorite outclasses I have partaken in with CIEE.” Phillip Kerzhner

 

As a part of the course finals, all students had to create a video project. Some of them were happy to share it with us.

 

 

 

 

 

11/11/2016

Fall 2016, Issue II

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FORUM 2000, Prague 2016

“The idea for the Forum 2000 Conference originated in 1997, when former Czech President Václav Havel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, and philanthropist Yohei Sasakawa invited world leaders to Prague to discuss the challenges humanity was facing on the threshold of a new millennium. Since then, Forum 2000 evolved into a successful and widely recognized conference series, where distinguished guests continue to address a diverse international community on topics ranging from religious dialogue to human rights and national security.

According to former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell, “The best way to turn philosophy into action is to bring together the philosophers and actors as President Havel does at Forum 2000.” Over the years, Forum 2000 has also become a true Prague tradition, followed closely by the media, political, intellectual, and business elites, and the interested public.

Among the more than 700 personalities who have so far taken part in the Forum 2000 Conferences have been His Holiness the Dalai Lama (present this year) , Aung San Suu Kyi, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Elie Wiesel, Madeleine Albright, Mary Robinson, Rabbi Michael Melchior, José Ramos Horta, George Soros, Richard von Weizsäcker, Immanuel Wallerstein, Francis Fukuyama, Robert Cooper, Vartan Gregorian, Prince Hassan bin Talal, Grigory Yavlinsky, Henry Kissinger, Zygmunt Bauman, and Boutros Boutros-Ghali.” (Forum 2000 Conferences; (2016) Nadace Forum 2000)

Every year, CIEE Prague, seizes the opportunity to promote the Conference to all its students and many professors include Forum 2000 in their course syllabus to assure that students benefit from participating in such an important event. Some of the participating professors and one student that volunteered for 2 days at the conference shared their experience:

„I took my classes to the concluding festive evening of Forum 2000 at Archa Theater featuring a play by Flemish writer Pieter De Buysser that dealt with the legacy of Václav Havel, the first Czechoslovak and Czech President after the Velvet Revolution.
CIEE students debated the play afterwards with numerous public figures and prominent intellectuals including Michael Žantovský, the director of Václav Havel Library,
Martin Palouš, ex-Permanent Representative to the United Nations for the Czech Republic, and philantropist Karel Janeček.“

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PhDr Pavla Jonsson PhD (Contemporary Czech Culture: Alternative Literature, Music, and Lifestyles class)  

 “A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to volunteer at Forum 2000 Conference. My job was to take notes on the panels and discussions, and create a report to summarize the sessions. The reports were short, but they need to be a comprehensive summary of the panel, and written in less than two hours after the panel. I was assigned to three panels- one on China and India, another on the current state of Cuba, and the final on the legacy of Vaclav Havel. For the panel on Cuba, a member of the panel was a former Cuban political prisoner, and many observers were also Cuban political prisoners, making the panel particularly poignant. What I enjoyed about Forum 2000, and what made the conference so interesting to report on was the constructive and intellectual dialogue about current affairs, whether it was foreign relations, democracy, or human rights. I learned so much from Forum 2000, whether it was from the panel or how to structure and write a good, short report. While I had a supervisor, I had the liberty to make my reports my own. I am proud to say that I worked for not only a prestigious organization, but an organization that is promoting constructive change through dialogue and intellectualism.”

Sarah Scott (Central European Studies student)

 “Forum 2000 offers a unique opportunity to meet former, current and future presidents. There are not many places around the globe where one can meet so many outstanding figures from many continents and cultures at once. I have attended this event since 1999 and I always draw inspiration from it from the rest of the year, until the next Forum. It is fascinating to see that Forum’s organizers have succeeded in upholding the high standard and excellence for so many years. This year I took my students to an intellectual exchange between Professor Zimbardo and Gary Kasparov. Some students also attended the lecture delivered by Jerzy Buzek, a former head of the European Parliament. This experience was particularly interesting as they could interact with a politician from the post-Soviet space who found himself in a high-ranking position in the EU.”

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PhDr Petr Hedbavny

09/15/2016

Fall 2016, Issue I

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Welcome dinner

What a better way to celebrate the beginning of the new semester than by having delicious dinner on a cruise boat on Vltava River? Due to its success it now became a tradition to hold fall semester welcome dinners on the boat. Welcome dinner is a first event for the Central European studies students, it is their chance to meet each other, CIEE staff members, buddies, and homestay families and spend time together in more informal environment than classrooms space.

The event took place on Šumava boat which is named after one of the regions in the Czech Republic. It is one of the largest boats of the Prague Steamboat Company with a capacity of 390 people. The river cruise took two hours and during this time schnitzels, apple strudel and other traditional Czech dishes were served. The weather was at its best which allowed guests to spend time on the deck and enjoy one the last summer days.

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City orientation walk with buddies

As a part of our orientation walk students explored Prague with their buddies. This semester a new concept for the walk was created. Students were divided into small groups according to their housing and their buddies showed them the most important places they will need during their study abroad in Prague. Students visited the study center, a local post office, a health center, train and bus stations and number of other essential locations. They had a quiz that they were to complete during the walk and they had an opportunity to participate in a selfie challenge. Many of them took part in the selfie competition and CIEE Prague Instagram was flooded with photos of full of energy students exploring a beautiful capital. The team which posted the highest amount of selfies and got the most points from the quiz won a sweet prize.

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Meet up party

We added a special twist to our traditional first all program get together event of this semester and it was a great success! Almost all students from all four programs visited our Meet up party and had a chance to meet buddies, staff but also other study abroad students and locals. All visitors were given a half of a card at the entrance and their task was to find a person who had the other part during the evening. Once they found each other they had to introduce themselves and find out more about each other. Meanwhile, everyone could be involved in a bowling tournament and win Czech souvenirs. The rest of participants could play billiard, darts, table football and many other games. We are looking forward to our next get together event and hope it will be another awesome evening!

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05/13/2016

Spring 2016, Issue III

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Spring semester is almost over and we would like to share with you the new exciting events which took place in CIEE study center in Prague. This semester was unique as new projects were introduced and new extracurricular opportunities were offered to students. This newsletter highlights these special events and celebrates their success.

CHARITY DATE AUCTION

On April 19, CIEE Prague study center organized a Charity Date Auction for students of all programs from the Spring 2016 semester. It was the first Date Auction in CIEE Prague history and it was a much anticipated charity get together event.

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The main goal of the Auction was to collect money to support the Život dětem (Life for Children) foundation, helping children who have suffered serious illness or injury and children who do not have family. Život dětem foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2000.

The organization is cooperating mainly with:

  • Parents who need help for their children, especially children who need financial help for their health equipment, rehabilitation, treatment, and recovery stay.
  • Hospitals, where collected money is donated for children’s departments.
  • Children centers such as orphanages, institutes for handicapped children, social care facilities, infant homes, and child care centers.

During the event we provided some extra attractions where students who are not participating in the Date Auction could also donate to the charity:

  • BAKE SALE – homemade cupcakes were available for a donation to the foundation.
  • GIFT SALE – souvenirs from Život dětem foundation (magnets, plastic hearts, bracelets)
  • CIEE AWARDS – 2 rounds of nominations in 6 categories: Miss CIEE, Mister CIEE, Best Couple, Best Singer, Best Dancer, Best Buddy.

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The Charity Date Auction is a fundraiser event to benefit a local nonprofit organization. Bidders have the opportunity to “purchase” a date for dinner in a Czech restaurant. The dates are volunteers who have agreed to be auctioned off and to accompany the winning bidder to the dinner. This is a fun way to meet new people and raise money for a good cause!

Students from all programs—Central European Studies, Communication and New Media, Global Architecture and Design, and Film Studies—were invited along with Czech buddies. Included with the invitation was promotional material about the evening accompanied with videos about sick children from Život dětem foundation. The video had English subtitles and were provided to students on the Facebook page. The promotion also included a picture of Date Auction participant and nominees for the CIEE Awards.

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The Charity Date Auction was held in a beautiful club near the CIEE Study Centre, which has a stage and a big screen. Everyone wishing to bid obtained a badge with a number, which they used for bidding. Overall, the Auction was very popular and we collected more money than we expected. During the evening more people signed up to be auctioned; in total 19 people were auctioned. The event was the result of our hard work during the past few months and the final amount of collected money was 15 300 CZK ($645). 

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The Study Center Director and Program Assistant handed over the money to the Director of the Život dětem foundation and obtained a certificate in thanks for the donation.

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TREASURE HUNT

On April 20th, in cooperation with the local non-governmental organization New School, CIEE organized a special volunteering afternoon for students and local children from disadvantaged families. New School is one of the oldest NGOs operating in the Czech Republic, it was established in 1991. New School creates opportunities for minorities and children from disadvantaged homes within the Czech education system, working to change the education system to be more open. It provides afterschool program for children, offers tutoring in many subjects, and also organizes free time activities. CIEE was thrilled to organize the treasure hunt with this NGO. The event was created to meet the increasing demand of students wishing to participate in one off volunteering activities. Many of our students would like to volunteer during their semester abroad, however, due to their busy course schedule, internships, and other extracurricular activities they find it difficult to commit to volunteering on a regular basis. The treasure hunt was an ideal opportunity for them to volunteer and help the local community. All semester students as well as flat buddies could sign up for the Treasure Hunt and compete in teams together with children from the New School in this fun activity.

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The Treasure Hunt took place on the premises of CIEE study center and the Vyšehrad complex. All participants were split into groups, which competed against each other to find the “lost treasure of Vyšehrad”. They had to follow the clues, complete several tasks, find hidden stands, and answer quiz questions about Vyšehrad’s history and legends. The groups were specifically composed, so that each group had American students as well as Czech children and they would have to communicate in English as well as in Czech. The tricky part was that some clues were written in Czech and some in English, therefore team members had to communicate together to help overcome the language barrier. The winning team won special prizes. In the end, all teams worked together to find a hidden treasure, which was buried in CIEE study center’s garden. This unique activity was organized for the first time and was highly anticipated.

The event was very successful. Students and children alike enjoyed the fun-filled afternoon and they appreciated the fact they could converse in a foreign language and meet new friends. CIEE is planning to organize this special volunteering afternoon on a regular basis.

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GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN PAVILON

 The first week of May will be forever remembered by a group of five Global AD students. After previous sleepless nights and countless hours of work, they were able to return once again to Třeboň for their final project exhibition. During first three days of their visit, they built an interactive Pavilion as a part of the Anifilm program (http://www.anifilm.cz). Anifilm is an International Festival of Animated Films hosted by the beautiful historical city of Třeboň, located in South of Bohemia.

The pavilion was situated in the castle park and noticed by many visitors of the Film Festival. People of a range of ages, from groups of young children to older couples, wandered around the pavilion and discovered the beauty of speculative architecture.

Global Architecture and Design in Prague would like to invite everyone to visit the Pavilion in Prague during its exhibition in June at Residence RoSa (Střelničná 1680/8, Praha 8).

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