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04/07/2016

Spring 2016, Issue II

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Midterms are over and we are back with some updates on Prague semester programs: Central European Studies (CES); Communication, New Media, and Journalism (CNMJ); Film Studies (FS); and Global Architecture and Design (GAD). Currently we have 230 students on site getting ready for the remaining time they have in Prague, enjoying the beautiful sunny spring weather.

We would like to focus this newsletter on new field trips out of Prague and also introduce new internship partnerships for the CNMJ program.

Central European Studies

Field trips out of Prague

Students visited two towns located a convenient distance from Prague. It was the first step onto non-Prague Czech soil for most of them. These trips at the beginning of the semester are essential for the students to realise the diversity of Czech Republic; no one is saying that a nearby town is a comprehensive example of this diversity, but it establishes that Prague is not an absolute specimen of the Czech Republic. Both of the towns house plenty of people who commute to the capital for work, yet they still retain a genuine and unique atmosphere.

Dobris is a town located south of Prague and has a stunning chateau with unique gardens surrounding it. It is used for special occasions and even as a shooting location for various motion pictures.

Melnik is known as the town at the confluence of the two most significant Czech rivers – Labe (Elbe) and Vltava (Moldau). Apart from this natural spectacle, it also has a stunning chateau.

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Students had the chance to explore the picturesque atmosphere of a Czech small town and to observe some old fashioned beauty, and hopefully enjoyed a satisfying meal.

Students’ feedback:  10/10 would recommend. Great trip! Very enjoyable!

Students’ highlights:  I leaned some new interesting facts. Making new friends. Had chance to practice Czech with locals. Highlight of the trip was learning information about Czech history through the chateau.

Communications, New Media and Journalism

 CIEE announces new internship partnerships

The Communication, New Media, and Journalism Program in Prague offers internships to its students that focus on communications, media, journalism, and public relations. Due to the increased number of students in Spring 2016, CIEE in Prague had to establish new partnerships with organizations seeking English native speakers. Some of the newly established partners are ARCHIP (Architectural Institute in Prague), CEVRO, Fleishman Hillard, Open House Prague Festival, Prague Black Panthers, Prague International Marathon, The Prague Visitor, and The Prague Concert Company. CIEE in Prague is proud to have established these partnerships and looks forward to cooperating with more local organizations in the future.

ARCHIP (Architectural Institute in Prague) is a college offering a three year bachelor’s program focused on Architecture and a two year master’s program in Architecture and Urbanism. Located in Prague 7, known as a “hipster area”, ARCHIP is very attractive for foreign students. The college currently hosts 65 students from 32 countries. Our interns Shira and Sydney are currently preparing an Open House that will take place on April 26th.

CEVRO Institute was founded in 2006 as a non-profit educational institution to provide bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the areas of public and private law, economics, politics, international relations, security studies etc. CEVRO Institute is linked to a number of foreign universities in order to foster academic cooperation. For example, CEVRO Institute is involved in the Erasmus exchange program (designed for foreign students who study one or two semesters at CEVRO Institute). Furthermore, CEVRO Institute is currently starting a new English-language master’s degree program in .  Over the past 10 years, it has become a well-known and respected educational institution in the field of education as well an active participant in major discussions on various political, economic, security, and legal issues within the public sphere. Our intern Sophie is providing assistance and cooperation on activities to develop their international educational programs designed for students from abroad.

FleishmanHillard is one of the world’s leading international communications consultancies with more than 2,500 employees in over 80+ offices around the globe. FH was founded 70 years ago and has since established a strong reputation for delivering meaningful, positive, and measurable impact for clients. They are widely recognized for exceptional service and quality standards as well as their long-term relationships with clients. Our interns Madison and Mackenzie work in the public relations department.

Open House Prague Festival presents a simple but powerful idea: making ordinarily inaccessible buildings in Prague accessible to the inquisitive and curious public. For one weekend throughout the whole year, they open company headquarters, offices, or modern technical buildings that people usually just pass by. The shape and appearance of these buildings affect us every day, they guide our steps but rarely do we have the chance to look within their walls. Our intern Debbie is currently preparing for the Open House Prague Festival that will take place in May.

Prague Black Panthers (PBP) is the most successful American football team in recent Czech history. It was founded in 2012 by merging the Prague Panthers (PP) and the Prague Black Hawks (PBH). The history of PP extends back to the 1990’s and the very beginning of American football in the Czech Republic. Its men’s team participates in both the Austrian league (one of two best club leagues in Europe) and the Czech league (PBP has won the championship every year since its beginning). The organization also has a children’s and a women’s team. Our intern Breanna works in the sports marketing and social media department. 

The Prague International Marathon originated in 1995 and has been on the fast track to international acclaim since then. Besides the Prague Marathon, the parent company RunCzech organizes other running events – in total 7 races in 5 cities of the Czech Republic. Among other events are half marathons in Prague, Karlovy Vary, České Budějovice, Olomouc and Ústí nad Labem and the Grand Prix in Prague. Our intern Margaret works in the international promotions department.

The Prague Visitor is a monthly arts, entertainment and events magazine aimed at tourists and ex-patriots in the Prague area. The publication is in English and distributed in area hotels, coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. The publication’s print run is 50,000 copies per month. The Prague Visitor is a new publication, founded by an American publisher who has over 20 years of media experience. Interns selected will be able to participate in launching the magazine’s inaugural issue and will be given lateral insight into a business start-up. Our interns Katherine and Natalia work in the editorial and social media department.

The Prague Concert Co. has been providing services to touring groups since 1994. The team of enthusiastic professional tour planners assist in creating the perfect concert tour, designing a rewarding study program, or facilitating visits to the great festivals, concert halls and opera houses of the Czech region. They believe in an individual approach to all their projects, with a focus on getting the details right and offering a personal service to all their clients. Our intern Corey is updating brochures for the company and helping with proof-reading.

Film Studies

Overnight field trip to Český Krumlov

The Spring 2016 Film Studies program academic overnight trip destination was Český Krumlov, famous UNESCO heritage site, where the One World documentary film festival on human rights took place on the weekend of March 18-20, 2016. One World is one of the cornerstones of the People in Need organization. Since its inception in 1999, it has become the most important festival of its kind in the world and in 2007 it won a special mention from UNESCO for its contribution to human rights education. This year’s theme was “Looking for home” and students had a chance to see three projections (Mallory, Under the Sun and The Swedish Theory of Love) followed by discussions with the main protagonists and/or filmmakers. They enjoyed both immensely.

A guided tour of the city was provided and students had the chance to admire the beautiful castle and view the city from its highest point – the castle tower.

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Since filmmakers are also curious about changes in perception, we took them to a Mirror Maze where they had a blast. Students also visited the 19th century photo studio Seidel, in which time stands still, for an interactive tour where they not only learned about the photo developing process, but also had their pictures taken in various costumes.

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The exhibits of the Josef and František Seidel studio surprise visitors with their authenticity, thousands of unique period photographic postcards, glass negatives, old functional cameras, and photographic darkroom equipment. Seidel’s personal notes, diaries, customer ledgers, and original furnishings make the overall collection even more appealing. Josef Seidel (1859-1935) ranked among the most outstanding photographers of his time. He documented everyday life in Český Krumlov and the Šumava mountains region. His son František (1908-1997) continued his father’s business. He was imprisoned by the Nazis during WWII and because of this he was allowed to stay in Krumlov even after all of his German relatives were transferred to Germany in 1945-46. Despite persecution by the Communists after 1948, he was able to maintain his father’s photographic archives until the fall of the Communist regime.

CIEE never forgets its mission, so immersion into local culture is a necessary part of the trip. And since one of the most effective ways to explore local culture is through the local cuisine, we offered a selection of various traditional Bohemian meals. This part of the Czech Republic is known for its delicious and fresh fish as well as pork or duck roast with sauerkraut and dumplings, schnitzels, soups (dill, potato, cabbage) or traditional “svíčková”, beef sirloin in a creamy root-vegetable sauce served with whipped cream, cranberries, and bread dumplings. Students learned the local way to eat trout, which is traditionally served whole in Czech lands, head and bones included. They also visited the House “U Dwau Maryí” (at two Maries’) built in late Middle Ages which offers Bohemian medieval cuisine, including puffed barley, buckwheat, millet, potato cake, dumplings, potato soup with daisies, smoked meat, roast carp with tarragon, pheasant, rabbit, sweet dumplings with forest fruits or poppy seeds, buckwheat gruel with honey, raisins, almonds and cinnamon and more.

The Czech Republic is also known for its beer brewing history (extending to the 10th century or even earlier). So on Sunday, we took students to a microbrewery just under the Zvíkov castle. Two friends made their dream come true when they established this brewery in 1994. The head brewer took students on a tour through the whole brewery: the brewing house with copper kettles, fermentation room with fermenting tubs, beer cellar with lager tanks, and racking room for the bottling and filling of barrels. They also had a chance to taste a small sample as well, accompanied by a delicious (and heavy) Bohemian dish.

On the way to the brewery, we stopped at the Crocodile Zoo Protivín which has had great success breeding endangered and critically endangered crocodile species. Students got to see crocodiles, gharials – including the only breeding pair of Indian gharials in Europe – caimans, and alligators, as well as few cobras.

Students’ feedback: 

Great trip!!! Really a blast. Thank you.                                                               

Everything was well organized & well spread out - overall great! *****                                                                           

I had a wonderful time!                                                                                                                            

This trip was stupendous.                                                                         

Such a beautiful and wonderful weekend! Thank you!! :)                                                                         

Beautiful town, great trip, great break from everything. 5 stars!            

 

Students’ highlights: 

The festival!!! All of the films were amazing.                                                                                                                  

Honestly all of it was so great! Especially loved the documentary screenings and the tower viewpoint.               

Tour of Český Krumlov + film festival.                                                                 

The pork belly we had was the best ever meal I've had.                                                                             

The time to explore Český Krumlov.                                                                                                                                    

Mirror Maze and photography studio.                                                                                              

The clocktower! And beauty of Český Krumlov.                                                                             

Photography tour/photo session.                                                                        

 

Global Architecture and Design

 

Technology trip

One of the integral parts of Global Architecture and Design program is the technology trips. These trips serve as a tool for broadening students’ knowledge for application in their projects. This semester, the five brave students visited two different places: Marine Engineering Company and Materió.

The Marine Engineering Company introduced students to the world of CNC technology. The company, located 20 minutes away from Prague, explained to students the steps involved in using CNC technology. As the title suggests, the company uses this process for building boats and, luckily for the Global AD squad, the actual cutting of boat parts was demonstrated.

The other trip organized within the beautiful city of Prague was to the Materió library of materials. Materió is a service that specializes in following material innovation all over the world. Their mission is to be constantly on the cutting edge with regard to emerging materials and technologies. This service is dedicated to all companies and individuals that are seeking to innovate, therefore ideal for our students. It is a perfect place not only for architects and designers, but also for creative people in general.

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12/18/2015

Fall 2015, Issue III

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GRADUATION BALL

On December 17, CIEE Prague study center organized an all programs graduation ball for Fall 2015 semester students. It was a first ball in CIEE Prague history and it was highly anticipated get together event.

Balls have long tradition in Czech culture. Their history reaches back to the beginnings of the 18th century, when they were organized by Czech national movement, which made their role not only social but also political. People coming to these events spoke Czech, which was quite unusual due to the influence of German-speaking countries at that time. Interestingly balls belonged not only to the nobles and higher society, but became the source of entertainment for lower classes. Nowadays balls remain still very popular among Czechs and there are inseparable part of Czech culture. Therefore CIEE Prague decided to start their own tradition of graduation balls and organized the first CIEE ball.

CIEE Prague ball was held in beautiful premises of National House Smíchov, which is conveniently located close to CIEE student apartments. National House Smíchov is Art Noveau monument, built between years 1906 and 1908 and belongs to one of the most popular locations for traditional balls. Its exteriors and interiors are richly decorated and are an outstanding example of Art Noveau architecture.

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The ball was organized to mark end of students’ one semester study abroad program. Students from all programs, namely: Central European Studies, Communication and New Media, Global Architecture and Design and Film Studies were invited along with their professors, Czech buddies and representatives from important institutions CIEE cooperates with. It was a formal event and all the guest were asked to come in formal attire. The theme of the ball was swing. Special live orchestra- Josef Hlavsa Orchestra performed well known swing melodies. Renowned swing dance group Groove cats had a swing dance performance. Dancers from the group were present during the whole ball and were teaching guests swing moves. In addition, during the ball there was a screening of two short films about art projects, which were done by CIEE professors: Petra Bidlasová and Pavla Jonssonová and their students.

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Important part of the ball was a student graduation ceremony. All students’ names were read and students were invited to the stage, where they were congratulated and received certificates. Special appreciation was given to those students who volunteered during their semester or had internship. They were awarded volunteering certificates. Most immersed student was announced during the evening as well as well as winner of the best flat buddy competition.

From 10 pm special treat was prepared for students, there was an after party with live DJ who played well known Czech and international music.

Small refreshment was provided. Guest could try traditional Czech open sandwiches ´chlebíčky´, which is popular choice at local balls and also some traditional Czech Christmas cookies. .

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11/25/2015

Fall 2015, Issue II

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Central European Studies

 

Overnight trip to Nuremberg- The Holocaust in the Films and Literature of Arnošt Lustig

Students of The Holocaust in the Films and Literature of Arnošt Lustig with Josef Lustig had a unique opportunity to travel participate in the specially designed academic over nigh field trip. They shared their experience of the trip with us.

"My entire life starting early on in my childhood I learned the horrors of the concentration camps the Nazis utilized. Prior to our journey to Flossenburg on the Nuremburg academic trip, I never could associate the knowledge with actual places; my mind somehow not completely connecting what I knew to reality because it is so unbelievable. However, upon visiting the site everything I learned in the past and was currently learning in class became almost too real.

 Upon arriving in Flossenburg we were faced with a climate that was all too fitting for the events that took place there with a fog so thick you could not see the building we were walking to, air so cold it bit through my pants, and sky so gloomy one could not help but feel the despair that still lingered in the air. In all honestly I preferred the weather of Flossenburg to a much greater extent not because I enjoyed it by any means, but because it gave me a very real glimpse into the suffering of the inmates that were once imprisoned there. The thought of having to get up before the sun rise and set to work in a quarry for 12 hours in that weather is unfathomable, but was the reality faced by many.

              Our stay our Nuremburg definitely made an impression as well. For starters, the hotel we stayed at and the dinner there were both out of this world! Following dinner we had a break down discussion of the day with the professor and his aunt, gaining further firsthand knowledge into the past. Afterwards, my peers and I decided to check out Nuremburg at night, leading us to a castle area that was converted into a center of nightlife for the city. The following day was accompanied by a series of adventures from walking the rally ground of the Nazi party, to visiting the Nuremburg courthouse where the trials took place, to walking into the depths of an old Nazi art bunker underneath the city.

Visiting Flossenburg and Nuremburg was an eye-opening experiences in so many ways. Being accompanied by Hanna (Professor Lustig’s aunt) on the trip, she provided invaluable insights of what life in the camp was actually like from someone who had to endure it herself. It moved something inside me to see that Hitler had not won his war against the Jews in it’s entirely. That there was survivors of his insanity that were able to start new lives (re-acclimate)  and bear witness to the evil of the past so it will never be repeated in such a systematic fashion in the future. I think it is critical to visit the sites that these crimes against humanity were committed in order to fully understand the extent of the Holocaust and just how something so unbelievable is to many really was. The Nuremburg academic trip was a powerful experience, an experience I definitely recommend for others to undertake."

Written by Chaz Hermanowski (Babson College)

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Communications, new media and journalism

 

Overnight trip to Brno with focus on Communications, Ethnic Minorities and the Media.

 

Students in CNMJ program with Martina and Lenka (CIEE Resident Staff in Prague) had the unique opportunity to participate in specially designed academic field trip to Brno. The objective of the trip was to explore Moravian culture, learn about student radio broadcasting run by students and discuss the image of ethnic minorities in media.

First stop was Radio R, local internet radio run by students at the Faculty of Social Science at Masaryk University. They are a non-commercial and non-profit radio. Their time and energy is voluntary. At Radio R they say many of them have experience from other radio and television programs, while many of them are not professionals in the field and therefore, Radio R is a hobby on the side of work or studies. More important for them than polished speech is enthusiasm, the desire to learn, and the potential to provide listeners with something interesting. Most of the CIEE students broadcasted for the very first time in their lives in Radio R.

Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic and the The Villa of Greta and Fritz Tugendhat from the years 1929–1930, designed by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is an installed monument to Modern architecture. It is the only exemplar of Modern architecture in the Czech Republic recorded on the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage. CIEE students were impressed to be able to visit the room where the decision on Czechoslovakian division was made at a rounded table.

Brno is the capital of Moravian region well-known for wine tasting. It is part of Czech culture to grow grapes and produce delicious wines. Wine connoisseur introduced us to different types of wines and homemade cheese in Wine Gallery. ”Škvarky“ (pork rind) is the typical dish served on traditional Czech bread to accompany the wine tasting.

Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons in the Czech Republic... when it is not raining. It was not when we were in Brno and that is why students loved the guided tour in Brno so much. The surroundings of Špilberk castle were covered with leaves of all kinds of colors. It was peaceful to walk in the park and enjoy the view.

At the end of the trip we visited the biggest Museum of Romani culture in Central Europe in a neighborhood that locals call „Bronx of Brno“. The fact that the museum was founded in Brno is well substantiated: in its activities, the Museum draws on the legacy of the then first Romani organization in Czechoslovakia – The Association of Gypsies-Roma (1969-1973) which had its headquarters in Brno. The Museum’s mission has remained the same from the very beginning: thorough documentation of the history, as well as the traditional and temporary culture of the Roma whom the Museum considers to be a world-wide ethnic group. CIEE students discussed current image of Roma in media with PR manager Radek Žák. The museum is also a community center and work with Roma children.

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Film Studies

 Overnight trip to Zlín, Uherské Hradiště and Punkva caves with focus on animation and Czech immersion

During the weekend of October 9-11, 2015, students enrolled in the CIEE Prague Film Studies attended an overnight trip to Moravia region. The trip was specifically designed for them, so the focus was on film animation which has a significant history in the Czech lands. But of course studying abroad is not only about growing academically, but also getting to know other culture(s) and one of the CIEE primary missions is to provide as immersive experience for our students as possible.

One of the program participants had shared his experiences from that weekend:

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We traveled to Moravia, first to Zlín, and then to Uherské Hradiště, where we stayed in an excellent hotel. The highlights of the trip were many, so I am forced to summarize. In Zlín, we learned a bit about Tomáš Baťa, who turned a $320 inheritance from his mother into an international manufacturing company with a strict moral code to take care of its workers. Some referred to him as the Henry Ford of Europe, and rightly so. His methods for shoe production reduced the cost of high quality shoes in Czechoslovakia and the surrounding regions drastically. As an employer, he took care of his own with very high moral and ethical standards. For example, when he learned that his employees had to walk multiple hours from home to the factory every day, twice a day, he decided to build inexpensive, subsidized housing for his employees. When people regarded him as charitable, he would disagree, stating instead that it made economic sense to allow the entire population (not just his employees) to profit from economic growth as much as possible. In his mind, hours were always too long, and wages always too low. It was his responsibility to remedy that. An interesting factoid about Baťa is that he was the first to introduce the “99” to the end of a price-tag. He understood that “199” looks intuitively better than “200.”

In Zlín we also learned a bit about multiple forms of animation, including two forms of 2D animation, pixel animation, and puppet stop motion animation.

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Digital 2D Animation

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Traditional Cel 2D Animation

I found pixel animation particularly interesting. It involves using live actors as your subjects, and taking photos of them stop-motion style to produce interesting or impossible results. For example, you could have two people sitting on the floor with their arms raised to imaginary steering wheels, and have them move an inch at a time forward with each picture, creating the illusion that their bodies are “driving” across the floor.

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Pixel Animation

My favorite part of the trip was the trip to the Punkva Caves. The caves themselves were stunningly beautiful, and millions of years old.

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The tour ended with an underground boat ride, which was amazing! Albeit a little dangerous…lots of rocks
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Underground Boat Ride!!!!

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There is so much more to Moravia than I’ve just written, but you’ll have to take my word on that.”

Written by Corey Palermo (Rice University/CIEE FAMU Film Studies Production track)

Some of the animation workshop results are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gcix1ipoisbw1pp/AAC-lZF_cKKV5ilG1nFtzZ_Ra?dl=0

In addition, students visited a local wine cellar as Moravia is traditionally a wine growing region. The winemaker, Mr. Vyhlíd, first shared the history of the “U Lisu” cellar – the first mention of the house and vineyard is from 1713! Yummy homemade dinner consisting of local specialties prepared by his wife was a highlight for many students, especially because it was accompanied by traditional Moravian life music. After the dinner, wine tasting followed and students got to learn about the winemaking process as well as about the traditional types of wine grown in the village of Mařatice and surroundings. Students were impressed by famous Moravian hospitality and Mr. Vyhlíd was happy to share his knowledge with such an interested and respectful group of young people.

Global Architecture and Design

Overnight trip to Berlin- Berlin Summit

 

Students from Global Architecture Design studio in Prague visited Berlin in early November in order to compare their study progress with students from Berlin and Barcelona studios. Find below impressions of one of our students, Allison Bettencourt.

On November 3rd, we arrived at Berlin around 15:00. We then navigated the metro system and got to the new CIEE building around 16:00 and were shown around the new building. We were then given packets with everything we would need for the week (room keys, schedules, emergency info, etc.). Free time began after all this and we went out to dinner as a group.

On November 4th, we got up early and all the GAD kids had breakfast together (provided by CIEE) while Maria Aiolova introduced herself and her work. It was very informative and nice of her. The food was good too. We then went outside and listened the speeches of the ribbon cutting ceremony. It was really interesting and surprising to see so many influential people in one place. The US Ambassador to Germany was there along with a member of the German Parliament. Seeing how security vetted the area before their arrival was also very interesting. After all of the festivities we went downstairs into the basement of the new CIEE facility and were able to sit and talk with Daniel Libeskind. That was a really memorable experience. We were all just sitting and asking questions to him. He was very personable and friendly; a truly amazing experience. After this we all gathered upstairs and went to the CIEE Conference at the Hilton Hotel. The teachers helped up get to the Hotel. The Conference had name tags for all of us and we were able to sit in reserved seated for the Daniel Libeskind speech. It was really interesting to see the difference in him and his topics between the more personal encounter and the formal speech. Both were amazing. He is a fantastic speaker. Once the conference was over, we were offered food and drinks. It was a very nice buffet of food and we were able to meet new people in the CIEE world.

On November 5th, we got up early and got our own breakfasts and coffee before our presentations. By 9 all GAD students were downstairs in the basement of the CIEE building preparing for our presentations. Maria Aiolova and the professors were also there. It was really nice having them there showing their support and interest in our projects. By 9:30 we were starting presentations. Berlin started off. They had mostly site analysis work and a very nice model. Then we went and answered some discussion questions that were asked after our presentations. And then Barcelona went. They had videos to show which were site analysis focused and nice. After this we went to lunch at the Market nearby and then were given free time.

On November 6th, we met downstairs by 9:15 to go to our tour of the Jewish Museum. It was a very nice tour (especially since we had just met with Daniel Libeskind). We then ate lunch at the café ad CIEE was nice enough to pay for it all. We then had a tour of the rest of Berlin with our professors and they did a very nice job. After that we were given free time.

We had free time on Saturday to explore the city ourselves and we left early Sunday. It was a very organized, fun, memorable experience.

Written by Allison Bettencourt (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo)

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09/24/2015

Fall 2015, Issue I

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CIEE Prague: Giving opportunity to young professionals

 At the beginning of September CIEE Prague decided to offer three internship positions to Daša, Kristýna, and Juraj who had previously worked with CIEE. They are all Charles University students and pursue experience in an international environment. We asked them why they wanted to become a part of the CIEE Prague team.

Daša Gardošíková

I became a CIEE intern in September although I joined CIEE in January 2015. It is actually my third position in CIEE Prague. During last semester I took the CIEE course “International Reporting” as a Bridging Perspectives student. I consider it as a great learning experience, not only in regard to the enthusiastic teacher but also because of that unique feeling to sit and study in a class with other American students. I am also part of the Buddy program in CIEE. I am originally from Slovakia, however I love an international environment and when I had the opportunity to become a Czech buddy for American students, I didn´t think twice.

It is probably not very surprising that after two fascinating CIEE experiences, I wanted to continue and I was interested in working at CIEE as an intern.

I am still just 19 years old and earning my Bachelor´s degree in International Area Studies at Charles University. I feel that the internship in a study abroad organization like CIEE is an ideal opportunity to develop myself and become more aware of what I want to do, who I want to become, and where I want to move to in my life.

Daša Gardošíková

Kristýna Čámská

My first experience with CIEE was as an orientation guide. When I saw the job offer on the CIEE website,
I knew this was the right part-time job for me. I have a bachelor‘s degree in Management of Travel Tourism from the University of Hradec Králové and currently I study at Charles University in Prague to get my master´s degree in history of European Culture. The decision to study in another city than my hometown was one of the best decisions I ever made. I started to be more independent and responsible and I learned to fend for myself. Also, during my bachelor studies I went to Orléans in France as an Erasmus student.

When I responded to CIEE’s offer the first time I had no idea how great a decision it was. Not only did I get a new part-time job and met new friends but also gained a lot of new experience. I helped with the students’ orientation three times already! In September I applied for internship in CIEE and they took me (and two other people) for this position.

The main reason why to intern with CIEE is definitely meeting new (and mainly abroad) people and making new friends, using English every day, dealing with wide range of various situations and many others, which perfectly prepares me for my future life since I would love to work in tourism industry.

My other part-time job is Prague City Tourism, a company where I am at the front desk in the guide office. We prepare tours, transfers, trips, etc. for tourists from all over the world. I am using foreign languages more than my mother tongue and I just love it.

Briefly, the most important thing for me is working with people and doing interesting work that changes from time to time. My vision to the future is to work on development of tourism in the Czech Republic – preparing new strategies, products and to save our nature and country for future generations.

In my free time I am doing a lot of things. One of my hobbies is a choir. I have been singing since my childhood. Our choir is quite famous in the Czech Republic and I have a chance to go abroad with them. The biggest success for me was to sing at the Opera in National Theatre.

I am a very social person who loves people around me, I have a lot of friends and the best thing is going out with them, doing some sports or going for some trips. I like to spend my time actively I can hardly just relax and do nothing, so the CIEE internship is the best option for me because there is always a lot to do.

Kristýna

 

Juraj Varga

 Why did I decide to apply for the CIEE internship in Prague?

 First of all, I've started to be curious about the organization and its work culture, while working for them as Orientation Guide.

 After the first orientation week, I was amazed by the well trained professionalism with which the CIEE team members approached their tasks. The enthusiasm and readiness to provide not only a service, but a kindly assistance in every harsh situation, were very interesting to me. Not to mention the courtesy and politeness between each other that led me to work for them each time. After nearly a year spent working for them, I've gladly applied for the internship, when they informed me about the opening. These days my journey as an employee starts and I’m still impressed. The organization itself has a very long tradition and widespread connections around the globe that are starting to attract me even more. However, my close observation has just started, but for example the courtesy and newly found fairness are still there.

 Despite all of that or along with all of that, I have to mention that being a Ph.D. student of Czech and Slovak history at Charles University got me thinking also about the possible future prospects of becoming an educator in fascinating fields of historical and social sciences (not in the distant future) and also by omitting the fact that I occasionally lead workshops concerning the usage of public space in history classes.

 This all with an interest in better understanding of CIEE’s mission and my motive of beneficial contributing to transcultural connectedness, drive me to become a member. Maybe one day, I'll also become a valuable partner for their educational vision.

   Juraj

 

 

 

 

06/03/2015

Spring 2015, Issue III

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Academics

 

Spring 2015 semester has come to its end and Study Center Prague http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/czech-republic/prague/ is not only busy with Summer Central European Studies, Psychology and Communications, New Media and Journalism and Multi-Site (Prague-Paris: Art and Architecture, European Cinema, Psychoanalysis and Culture; Prague-Barcelona: Contemporary European Culture; Prague-Seville: Communications and New Media; Prague-St. Petersburg: Eastern European Cinema) programs arriving on site, but also planning for Fall 2015.

In addition, our Operations Manager Eva Tomišková, Program Assistant Alicja Nemoudry, and Student Services Assistant Lucia Klincová have been taking care of four Faculty-led and Custom Programs http://www.ciee.org/faculty-led-study-abroad/ (from Augsburg College, Columbia College, Mount Ida College and Susquehanna University) since May; you can look forward to a whole Summer newsletter dedicated to these!

But for now, let’s get back to the Spring 2015 semester and wrap up – from the perspective of the academics this time.

 Central European Studies & Communications, New Media and Journalism

 

CIEE Prague’s Academic Director Rick Stock is primarily responsible of the academic quality of Central European Studies (CES) and Communications, New Media and Journalism (CNMJ) programs. During the semester, he sits in on classes and provides CIEE professors with detailed feedback on their teaching style and methods. Every student is also given a feedback form on each course to (anonymously) fill out. This feedback is processed into a readable format and each professor receives it upon submitting student’s grades. Academic Director Rick reads through these feedbacks and includes students’ perspective in his feedback to professors.

 

But see for yourselves a fraction of the feedbacks received to see what Spring 2015 students had to share:

 

Art and Architecture of Prague – Marie Homerová

Marie was such a phenomenal resource, she is so knowledgeable and passionate about Prague and its history. I got a better understanding of the sites in Prague exclusively because of her tours.”

 

Collective Identity in a Totalitarian Regime – Vanda Thorne

This was perhaps my best class with CIEE. The readings and lectures were strong and I think I learned the most of any class I took. Good broad history + specific theories.”

Interesting, I learned quite a good deal + it was key to my immersion in Czech culture.”

 

Ethnic and Religious Identity and Prejudice in a CEC – Peter Zvagulis

I learned a lot about discrimination within the Czech Republic as well as a lot about research techniques. I was not as good of an interviewer that I am now because of this class.”

 

Gender in the ČR and Europe – Blanka Nyklová

Learned a lot, promoted thought and discussion, heavy workload, high expectations.”

The course was interesting and provoked me to think.”

 

Hollywood and Europe – Richard Nowell

"I found the course material to be both interesting and refreshing. I would have not been able to grasp all concepts learned entirely on my own and lecture/discussion was very valuable. I found my papers to pe appropriately graded with a large amount of helpful feedback."

"I feel I learned a lot in this course. Previously I have no experience with film courses but as a TV broadcast major I felt this helped develop my analytical skills of the larger media and think about it in a different spectrum. The course fed off thoughts and opinions we had which helped my own thoughts grow."

"This was my favorite class by far this semester. Richard is a great teacher and his class was genuinely interesting every week. I definitely view films in a different light after this class. "

 

Intercultural Communication and Leadership – Veronika Tobiašová

“Very organized and patient. Veronika helped stimulate discussion and created an environment that made everyone feel comfortable participating.”

 

International Reporting – Dinah Spritzer-Richter

"This class was great learning experience, I have learned a lot. Now I understand much better what journalism is about. This class helped me to clarify what I want to do later in my life. The professor was very helpful and receptive to student's comments all the time."

"Really great course, pushed me a lot and as a journalism major I think this is the best journalism class I've ever taken."

"This class has been crucial to my education -> Dinah was a great teacher and above all a mentor. She goes above and beyond what I expected."

"I learned very, very much. I appreciated the material assignments and trips/speakers as well as the environment. I think it was a great opportunity to take this class, here, with this professor.  It definitely promoted thought & discussion & exposed me to news stories & friends (beyond class material)."

 

Intro in the Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism – Josef Blaha

“Prof. Blaha completely changed the way I view religion & I consider myself a more spiritual person after taking this course. The reading were always relevant & the workload was manageable for an abroad student. Prof. Blaha has the kindest heart & cared about his students & their opinions more than any prof. I've had. He came to class everyday with enthusiasm and positivity that I radiated through all his students.”

“This course was very intellectually stimulating. My favourite class I've taken here by far. The class provoked so much thought & discussion.”

 

Modern Czech Literature – Jan Pospíšil

“Loved this course! The classes required me to think critically. In that, I discovered a newfound appreciation for not only Czech literature, but literature in general. Jan was always excited to be in class and I enjoyed having him as a professor.”

"This course was great and helped me understand Czech culture and history through a unique, primary way. I have a much better understanding of the Czech perspective now."

"My favorite class! Professor Pospišil was always fascinating to listen to and he balanced lecturing, humor and class discussion very masterfully. There was always a great environment in his classroom."

"Loved all of the readings, went through them thoroughly. Good combination of poems, short stories and books."

 

Nationalism, Democracy and Conflict in the Central Europe: The Czech Case – Peter Morée

"Course opened my mind up tremendously, feel more educated as a citizen of the world."

"I learned a lot about Czech history to the point where I feel confident speaking ot about it with Czech people. I can ask informed questions and learn more about the Czech perspective on their history."

"This class was intelectually stimulating. There were always good discussions and I learned more about the Czech Republic than I ever thought I would. Peter Morée is an excellent professor."

"This course felt very relevant to my studies and my home university. I enjoyed the discussions. Definitely my most stimulating course at CIEE."

 While CES students can take courses worth up to 6 credits out of CIEE (at FAMU https://www.famu.cz/eng and at Charles University – ECES http://eces.ff.cuni.cz/), CNMJ students can add up to 6 credits in an additional institution, the Faculty of Social Sciences http://fsveng.fsv.cuni.cz/FSVEN-12.html of Charles University. With the increasing enrollment numbers in Prague, we are constantly working on adding new options to the list. In Fall 2015, we will add the following courses to the CIEE Prague list:

  • Czech Architecture and Design in the Czech Republic since 1945
  • Franz Kafka: A Prague Writer
  • Language, Space, Identity: German Literature in the Czech Lands
  • Nazism and Communism Reflected in the Arts
  • Social Media’s Revolutionary Impact on Journalism and Society
  • Uses and Misuses of Propaganda in European Film

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 Film Studies

With students’ increasing interest in taking classes at FAMU, we started offering the Film Studies (FS) program consisting of two separate tracks (Production and Screenwriting) in Fall 2008. Film Studies is a direct enrollment program and all of the core and elective classes (with the exception of the Intensive Beginning Czech language) are designed and held solely at the Academy of Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). While FS Resident Director Ivana Skenderija plans orientation, trips and excursions, cultural workshops, and is responsible for organization, logistics and program development, the academics are the domain of FAMU-based Film Studies Academic Advisor and Acting professor, Mary Carmel Angiolillo http://international.famu.cz/page.php?page=69. Mary holds a doctorate from Northwestern University and back when she was a student, she happened to choose to study abroad with CIEE in Paris (where she later returned for a Fulbright program). The very reason why she originally decided to come to Prague was Prague Quadrennial http://www.pq.cz/en/.

 But now again, hear some feedback on FAMU courses from our Spring 2015 students:

Acting Theories – Mary Angiolillo (elective)

This class was loads of fun, and expanded my knowledge about various forms of acting.

But best of all, I got to hang out with Mary- a compassionate, charming, loving, empathic teacher, that every student should only be so lucky to encounter. Thank you for everything, Mary, you are a wonderful human being.

 Acting, Editing, Camera & Film Languages  - Mary Angiolillo, Bára Kopecká, Marek Jícha (units of Production and Screenwriting tracks cores)

All these courses were extremely useful.  Acting and Film Language were both highlights of my educational week.“

Overall, these were good classes, and it was really fun to have class together as a whole group. Acting specifically was really fun, and I could tell that a lot of what we learned carried over to how the directors talked to their actors.“

 Feature screenwriting – Jan Fleischer (Screenwriting track core)

Jan was one of the absolute best teachers I've ever had.  Incredibly knowledgeable, and incredibly kind.  Really pushed everyone in the class.”

The screenwriting track was great, and I definitely developed a lot as a writer this semester. Success in this track is strongly dependent on self-motivation, and if you have that it's very rewarding.”

 Filmmaking practicum and Mentorship – Bára Kopecká, Tonička Janková, Mirek Janek, Asmara Marek, George Cremaschi, Marek Jícha, Tomáš Daliman (Production track core)

I was really, really happy with both of my mentors- they made themselves available at every possible minute and devoted their attention and respect to our time and film.”

My group's mentors were super helpful, and I have learned so much from their guidance.”

“The strengths are that the academic classes offered were much more technical and informative than any classes offered at my school in the U.S. Because of that, I was able to learn a lot about techniques and rules of filmmaking and get the opportunity to learn about making a film using 16mm (something I never imagined I would do). Having the program centered around using 16mm is perfect because it really forces students to learn EXACTLY what we are doing when we change certain settings and decide how to set our exposure. It's one thing to experiment with digital, but knowing the reasoning behind each minute change is invaluable. I can't really think of any ways to improve the overall academics, I think it's fine.“

 

Film Form and Style – Petra Dominková (elective)

Petra is a kind, engaging teacher- always pushing her students, but always in a supportive manner. It was an absolute pleasure taking her class, and I would recommend it to everyone!!”

 Introduction to Intl Film / TV producing – Petr Sládeček (elective)

This class was very interesting and completely unlike any class that would be offered at my college in the U.S. I think Petr's teaching method was very effective because he found a balance between teaching us the concept, having us discuss in groups how we would apply the concept, and then giving feedback on the applications with the whole class. Definitely would recommend this class to anyone / everyone interested in the film world - even if you don't want to be a producer, there is a lot to learn about how to go about creating a film.“

 Script Analysis 1 – Pavel Jech (elective, unit of Screenwriting track core)

This class was definitely my favorite lecture-style class. The way the classes were broken up where one week is screening and the next is lecture works really well! Assignments and final exams were feasible, and he definitely prepared us for them.“

“I think that with class the experience very much depends on how much effort you are willing to put into it. I learned a lot about plot structure and how to analyze / make deductions about the film's message from that. A very interesting class and I would recommend it for sure.“

“I thought this class was really eye opening. Never taken one like it before.“

 Topics in Production – Bára Kopecká, George Cremaschi, Marek Jícha, Asmara Marek, Mary Angiolillo, Neil Andrews, Vidu Gunaratna, Tomáš Daliman (Production track core)

Professors made an effort to teach the class based on our particular films. This is very helpful. Examples shown in class to demonstrate a certain technique or portray a particular style often related to ways in which we could potentially make our movie. For example, we adopted an editing/shooting style for one of the trickiest shots in our movie as inspired by some of Bara's examples. I really found this style of teaching both helpful and relevant.“

“All of the courses which we were required to take for 'Topics in Production' were extremely rewarding and I learned a lot. I especially loved the Screenwriting class because I have never had such an in-depth exploration of how to write / create a story.“

 Visual Theory – Beth Lazroe (elective)

Loved it, new way of thinking

Tough, demanding, rewarding

 We also asked our students to comment on FS program's ability to help them develop their film production skills (both tracks are involved in the on-set production process):

Learning at FAMU under all these mentors was absolutely amazing. I feel so lucky to have been able to listen to their opinions and be taught by them. I have never learned so much about film in my entire school career back in the US.“

“The program is designed so the student as to be proactive which helps us take responsibility for our film“

“Already kind of said this above, but I think the program has given me an invaluable education in all of the stages of making a film. (...) I have learned a lot about how to write a script, how to make educated decisions in creating a story board, how to structure a shooting schedule to maximize efficiency, and how to edit a film effectively.“

“The program allowed me to focus solely on filmmaking. I was able to study cinematography much more in depth which made the program worthwhile.“

“The amount of knowledge I have gained here has been amazing.“

“Great. Filmmaking became an entire creative process from start to finish. The road for this film is longer than any other I have made, and it is rewarding to walk it through all the important and sometimes difficult stages.“

“Definitely learned technical and production skills, as well as how to properly tell a visual story. I was able to use equipment and the facilities not normally available to me, which is what I was hoping to do."

“It's a lot of "you get out of it what you put in" which was great for me.“

“Great to collaborate with everyone in the program - professors and students in both the production and the screenwriting tracks. I not only learned from my supervisors and mentors but also my peers!“

 

 

S15 FS students all

 Global Architecture and Design

Even though this program was not opened in Spring 2015, we are happy to announce that it will re-open in Fall 2015, so you can be looking forward to some updates from ARCHIP http://www.archip.eu/ (Architectural Institute of Prague) soon!

 

05/06/2015

Spring 2015, Issue II

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Meet the CIEE Prague Study Center Staff

 Our staff are as diverse as the jobs they do. Read about what position they have at CIEE Prague, what makes their job unique, what they expect of students coming to Prague, and what their hobbies and interests are.

Amanda Bell

Communications, New Media, and Journalism Program and Summer Program Director, CIEE Prague

 Amanda started working at CIEE Prague in 2009 as the Housing Coordinator. After three years of taking care of apartment, homestays, dorm, and Buddies, Amanda started in a new position, launching the then-new Communications, New Media, and Journalism Program. Along with the coordination of the CNMJ Program, Amanda is responsible for summer programs and internships for credit. In terms of her expectations of students, Amanda hopes that they would like to try new non-American things and get outside of their comfort zone.

Fun fact: Amanda traveled through Armenia in 2007 and is pretty sure that she hung out with the local mafia. They had lots of vodka and food and shiny cars.

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Martina Břeňová

Office Manager, CIEE Prague

 

Martina Břeňová has worked for CIEE since December 2013 as Office Manager. Her main responsibility is to handle inquiries at the front desk and help with the overall administration of the program. Also, she coordinates syllabi submission and is involved in intercultural training and workshops.

Prior to joining CIEE, Martina gained a lot of experience in customer service and staff management as a Hotel Manager. As part of her studies at University, she did her internship in Madrid, where she worked in local non-profit organization in the Department of International Cooperation and Department of Education & Integration. Martina hopes students will learn and explore things when studying abroad in Prague with the same passion that children have with spontaneous play – focused, involved, loving what they do and purely happy about the small things. However, she also hopes they will learn how to stay on their feet and be adults at the same time.

Fun fact: Martina is a proud book sniffer and will most certainly explore your library first before she takes her shoes off in your house. Martina likes diversity in her life and appreciates different cultures. She loves eating paella, but she avoids most seafood. 

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Lucia Klincová

Student Services Assistant, CIEE Prague

 

Lucia has worked at the CIEE Study Center in Prague since June 2014 as Student Services Assistant. Previously, she was a Flat Buddy at CIEE Prague. She is responsible for study center official events planning, the organization and development of immersion opportunities, Guest Lectures, interest groups, tandems, the “Meet Czech Families” program, etc. She expects students to be willing to leave their comfort zone, to live the way the locals do, and to get as immersed as possible in the culture.

Lucia has a great passion for sport. She has been a competitive dancer for more than 10 years. She holds several national titles and the title of European Champion. She also enjoys running and wishes to run a marathon one day.

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Lenka Osičková

Housing Assistant, CIEE Prague

 

Lenka works at the CIEE Study Center in Prague as Housing Assistant. Her position comprises housing management and administration, student services, Buddy management, apartment check in and check out, monthly apartment cleanliness control, monthly apartment payments, updating Google accounts, etc. She expects students to experience the new culture's food and beverage specialties because it is one of the most dynamic aspects of traveling and learning more about different cultures. However, she counts on the fact that students will be responsible and tactful.

Lenka loves to keep old traditions, such as wearing traditional folklore costumes during celebrations and traditional dancing and singing. She is from South Moravia where the traditions are kept on a daily basis.

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Alicja Nemoudry

Program Assistant, CIEE Prague

 
Alicja started working at CIEE in January 2014 as Program Assistant.  In her role she assists the Operations Manager in the overall management of the Central European Studies program, day-to-day operations of the CIEE Study Center, program support, Academic Trips, excursions, coordination of the volunteering and non-credit internship programs, as well as administrative and editorial support. 

Alicja is originally from Poland, but moved to Czech Republic with her family when she was 4 years old. Prior to joining CIEE she lived in Scotland for 7 years, where she completed her degree in History of Art and Art and Business. Alicja had a number of rather peculiar jobs prior to working for CIEE; one of them was working for the Scottish prisons and courts as an interpreter.

As Alicja has spent many years living and working abroad, she has a good understanding of the apprehensions and also benefits of travelling overseas. She hopes students coming to Czech Republic will be open minded and will not be afraid to get out of their comfort zone in order to have real immersion into Czech culture.

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Veronika Tobiašová

Housing Manager, CIEE Prague

 Veronika works for the CIEE Study Center in Prague as a Housing Manager and she is mainly responsible for housing management (dorm, apartments, homestay), solving student issues, student mental issues, and the Buddy Program. She also teaches the Intercultural Communication and Leadership course.

 

Veronika received her Master’s degree in English and American Studies and Spanish Philology at Charles University in Prague, with a specialization in American and Argentinean literature. During high school, she was an exchange student in Madison, Wisconsin for one year. She also studied at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain for a year. Her previous working experience includes teaching English and Spanish in different language schools and a high school in Prague. She also worked for a trade promotion agency and the Peruvian Embassy. She expects CIEE students to be willing to step outside their comfort zone when living in a new culture. She also hopes they will show the best of themselves and their culture to local people.

 Veronika is originally from Eastern Slovakia. She loves (almost) everything related to Italy. Her dream is to one day read Dante in the original version and ride a Vespa. She has a love affair with Italian gelato.

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Eva Tomišková

Operations Manager, CIEE Prague

 

Eva has worked at the CIEE Study Center in Prague since July 2011 as Operations Manager. Her main responsibilities involve logistical coordination of the CES program including orientation, extracurricular programs, and Academic Trips. She also coordinates Custom and Faculty led programs and the Intercultural Comparative Experience during the summer. Eva expects that students will want to make the most of their experience in the Czech Republic by engaging with locals and learning about the local culture more than just on the surface level. Eva loves reading books, traveling, crocheting, and knitting. She also loves gluten free baking for her family and friends.

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Ivana Skenderija

Film Studies Resident Director, CIEE Prague

 

Ivana Skenderija has been working for CIEE Prague since May 2008. As Film Studies program coordinator, she is the main liaison between CIEE and the Prague Film and Television School at the Academy of the Performing Arts (FAMU). She assists and advises Film Studies students, works on program development and leads cultural workshops and academic excursions. Her responsibilities include site visit planning and CIEE course database testing and development.

 

Ivana has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities from Charles University and a background in drama, education, and film. In 2015, she will be finishing her master’s degree in general anthropology. Ivana appreciates involved, independent, self-driven, and open-minded students who are not afraid to explore. Ivana and her Bosnian husband Boris are raising their 2 year old daughter Johana and a dachshund named Sid Vicious. Aside from ethnographic field research and organizing conferences, Ivana has many other passions which include traveling, skiing, classical box, reading, cooking and eating spicy food. Her dream is to travel to Latin America and to Vietnam.

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Richard Stock

Academic Director, CIEE Prague

 

Rick started as Academic Director at CIEE Prague in January 2015. His responsibilities focus on the academic side of the program, setting up courses, managing curriculum, working with faculty, responding to student concerns, etc. At the same time he is the undercover Resident Director of the CES program, which gets him involved in other student issues not directly related to academics. His main field of teaching and research is contemporary American literature and literary theory, although he teaches a course on Franz Kafka at CIEE. Rick has an M.A. from the University of Illinois, another M.A. from the University of Reading, and a Ph.D. from Charles University.

 

Students coming to our program should realize that study abroad is a daunting, but surmountable, time-management challenge, according to Rick. In this way they can get the full academic and social/cultural experience. He also hopes that students realize that this is not the last chance they get in their lives to spend time in Prague or Europe: they can always come back to visit or even reside in Europe. But most likely they will not get the chance again to take courses like CIEE offers.

 Rick is originally from Chicago and has a Czech wife and three bi-cultural daughters. He has lived in the Czech Republic since 1998. He lives in a village called Hrusice, which is famous among Czechs for being the birthplace of a famous Czech artist and writer from the early 20th century named Josef Lada. This painting is by Lada and depicts a pub just down the hill from Rick’s house:

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Petra Uvírová

Registrar and Global AD Program Coordinator, CIEE Prague

Petra Uvírová joined CIEE Study Center in Prague in January 2014 and works as Global AD Coordinator and Registrar. Her primary responsibility is coordinating the Global Architecture and Design program with the two other cities running the Global AD program – Barcelona and Berlin. Petra is also responsible for the entire center´s enrollment, visa processing, class scheduling, and course registration. She recently took over the summer program at CIEE Prague.

 

Petra studied at the Metropolitan University of Prague and graduated with a Masters degree in International Relations and European Studies. Petra brought her experience in international education from the U.S. where she lived for 5 years. Prior to joining CIEE, she gained knowledge and awareness of providing excellent customer service such as university counseling and introducing American culture to international students as International Student Advisor in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

Petra appreciates students who are independent, not afraid to get out of their comfort zone to confront and challenge themselves while studying abroad. She likes students with sense of humor, irony, and ability to self reflect. Petra likes the Czech countryside and certain aspects of Czech culture like great wine, camping anywhere you like, beer spa, cultural diversity of the main three regions (Moravia, Silesia, and Bohemia), and many others. She also loves living in a foreign country, especially by the ocean.

 Fun fact: When Petra was a young child she used to catch hedgehogs and push them in a stroller.  

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Petr “Franky” Zak

Financial and Information Services Coordinator

 Franky is responsible for IT/Communication innovations and IT support for staff, professors, students and other study centers in Europe (Berlin, Amsterdam). He also provides financial and accounting support. He was the project manager responsible for moving from the old CIEE Prague Study Center to the new one in summer 2013. Last year he implemented and now maintains the Moodle LMS to help professors and students create and participate in online courses with a focus on interaction and collaborative construction of content and its continual evolution.

Franky appreciates independent students willing to do more than what is expected.

Prior to joining CIEE as a full-time employee, Franky worked in several IT companies (software development, CRM consulting) and financial companies (financial advisor for private clients). Franky received a B.A. in Economics from Charles University and previously worked with CIEE as a Flat Buddy to CIEE students. He now does a research in quantitative finance, especially predicting the exchange rate EUR/CZK. He plays the drums with two Czech bands.

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03/17/2015

Spring 2015, Issue I

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Orientation to Prague

As soon as students land in Prague, we start orientating them to their environment. This term, orientation, is appropriate, since it is not a process of mastering or being completely comfortable with your surroundings, but rather just being able to know where you are and why. Orientation is an important time for students. It is when they gather their first impressions of the city, staff, fellow participants, and buddies. As we all know, first impressions are important.

Our orientation lasts for about three weeks, going through several stages, but at the beginning the most important thing is to force students to recover from jet lag as soon as possible!

We have three programs here in Prague, and each program’s orientation is a bit different. Some activities are done together, some are done separate.

Central European Studies Program Orientation

Each semester we review and improve our orientation programs. This semester our orientation was our best yet!

The first day is arrival and students are taken from the airport directly to their housing. Students receive introductory information from their Charles University student buddies or Czech host families.

On Tuesday, students meet all staff for the first time and sessions start. We cover the basics: housing, safety, survival Czech, local transportation and we give cell phones to our students. The whole day is topped off by a welcome dinner and students can try typical Czech cuisine.

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n  This picture is from the first session of the day, held in a large lecture hall at Charles University. Students stumbled in, tired and excited, at 11:00 for the session. Other sessions were in small groups in classrooms throughout the Faculty of Arts building.

On Wednesday and Thursday, students are divided into groups and they switch for sessions. We present sessions all day, but students either have do sessions in the morning and have free time in the afternoon, or vice versa. The activities that we cover are sessions about the local culture, events and activities for the upcoming semester and an orientation walk through Prague with our buddies.

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Students being oriented to the famous Charles Bridge in Prague.

Friday is dedicated to our academic sessions where students learn about our academic program and find out for which courses they are pre-registered. Students also work on setting their goals for their study abroad semester.

These sessions are potentially the most important, but they are not as visually attractive, so we do not provide any pictures of these!

Communications, New Media and Journalism Program Orientation

Compared to our big brother Central European Studies, CNMJ is a much smaller and tight-knit program, so it is precisely during orientation when we form our bonds and set ourselves apart from the other programs.

Orientation for CNMJ is held over a three-day period. We cover the same important topics, such as safety and housing, but with additional sessions fundamental to our niche program. For example, students learn the ins and outs of academics and how to balance three different schedules from CIEE, Charles University/Faculty of Social Sciences, and FAMU. Additionally, we prepare them for their upcoming internships and the much awaited interviews which start immediately the week after orientation. These first busy days are concluded with a tour of Vyšehrad and Prague Castle, plus a welcome dinner at CIEE staff’s favorite local restaurant. All and all, not a bad way to settle into Prague and to start the semester!

CNMJ orientation

CNMJ Orientation session

CNMJ Tour of Vysehrad + Prague Castle

FS orientation

Similarly to Communication, New Media and Journalism program, Film Studies is a program with limited number of participants (the maximum of 6 accepted into the Screenwriting track and the maximum of 16 accepted into the Production track). FAMU is a quite selective institution, so we currently have 14 students enrolled in the FS program (4 screenwriters, 10 filmmakers) on site.

Film Studies courses are designed and held at FAMU (except for the Intensive Beginning Czech Language course), therefore we try to divide orientation sessions between FAMU and CIEE buildings. This way students get acquainted with their host institution and have an opportunity to use their CIEE resources at the same time. Orientation for FS is held over a 3-day period, and it includes basic sessions in-class (safety, bystander intervention, housing, how to deal with bureaucrats, academics, extracurricular opportunities, survival Czech language, goals setting, navigation in Prague and tour of CIEE and FAMU buildings) as well as orientation walk, scavenger hunt and guided tour of Prague Castle.

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FS Orientation session

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Smaller enrollment number allows us to make the orientation sessions more interactive

The highlight was most certainly welcome dinner which took place at U Šemíka and where students were officially welcomed by both CIEE and FAMU representatives.

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FS welcome dinner buffet

Orientation is followed by 2 weeks of Intensive Czech language courses as well as Advising sessions and Story Pitches meetings for the Production track. Production students already formed 4 shooting teams this term and we are looking forward to the upcoming Film pitch session scheduled for Monday, February 23rd!

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n  FAMU Academic Advising on elective courses was held on Thursday, February 5th, 2015. The chair of FAMU International Department, Vít Janeček, introduced both courses and professors. FS Academic Advisor Mary Angiolillo and FS Program Coordinator Ivana Skenderija were also present to answer questions concerning administrative details (such as Add and Drop procedure)

But of course studying abroad is not only about academics, but also about exploration of local culture and personal growth. In the 1st three weeks, students are getting used to co-living in apartments with one another as well as their Czech buddies. They learn how to make their bed Czech style, how to operate European style ovens, dishwashers and washing machines, why Czechs wear slippers at home, what are Czech dining habits (including differences in silverware usage and tipping) and much more. Czech buddies prepare interest groups activities throughout the whole semester.

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Buddy Bára already taught FS students how to make a Czech specialities: fried edam cheese (similar to mozarella sticks) and fried cauliflower with tartar sauce and boiled potatoes – and they had a blast!

12/22/2014

Fall 2014, Issue III

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The 3rd Issue of CIEE Prague Newsletter concentrates on the special projects which were prepared by CIEE students during the Fall 2014 semester. Students from our four programs, namely Central European Studies, Communications, New Media + Journalism, Film Studies and Global Architecture and Design, spent a considerable amount of time and put a lot of effort into creating those exciting and unique projects, which are discussed in this newsletter in detail.

Enjoy reading about those outstanding special students´ projects!

Central European Studies

Special Immersion trip

Special Czech Immersion trip is an optional 3 day trip that our students can join. We prepared this trip last semester and because it was so successful, we decided to keep it. This trip is specific not only because just a small group of students attend (max. 10), but especially because our students do not stay in a hotel. They are accommodated with local families in Vodňany, a town in Southern Bohemia.

Students are accompanied by one of our Czech language teacher on behalf of CIEE. By preparing this trip we wished to give our students another opportunity for their immersion. And what is better than to take them to a small town far away from Prague and let them live with local families for a weekend?

On Friday, students visit a local high school, meet up with local students and spend an evening together. They meet their families for the weekend and also learn more about our culture. This semester students learned more about our St. Nicolas traditions and even decorated typical Czech ginger bread cookies. Saturday is spent with the families that prepare the program for the day.

On Sunday, students are taken to České Budějovice where they have a guided tour around the town and a brewery visit. After lunch, it is time to say good bye and head back to Prague.

This trip is an exceptional opportunity for students seeking to get more out of their study abroad experience, and we are that several students take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Feedbacks from our students:

“Fantastic! It was very well-organized and there was also time to explore the town with family. The high school was interesting and I enjoyed spending time with the students.”                                    

“The trip gave me a chance to interact with Czech people that I have not had yet this semester.”                                                          

“The trip was well organized and very interesting.”                                                         

“I had a wonderful weekend, and I am very glad that I came on this trip! Výborně!”                                                   

“My best experience in Czech Republic so far! Thank you!”                                                      

“This was the most growing and learning experience I have had here so far and I am so thankful!”                                                     

“This has been the highlight trip since I have been in the Czech Republic. It was an amazing experience.”                                                 

“I learned a lot and loved staying with a family. It was nice experiencing what short stay would be like.”                                                         

“I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone in the program, it was so fun and a real immersion experience.”     

“Loved it! Had an amazing time. Everything was great.”                            

Immersion trip 1

Immersion trip 2

Communications, New Media + Journalism

Internships

Motus:

Victoria Macoul spent her semester as an intern for Motus, an organization “helping to create and present new performances and other creative acts, run debates and workshops, and initiate events beyond theatre: cultural development activities for an open democratic society” (Motus website). Victoria had many tasks, but one of her favorites was participating in the Dia De Los Muertos/Day of the Dead festival:

„Motus, in cooperation with Puppets without Borders, brings a bit of Mexico to the Czech lands this year for the ninth time. Against the romantic background of Stromovka park children and their parents can learn these traditional practices, participate in a parade of lanterns, hear real live Mexican music, see performances for kids, shadow puppets and installations made of food – to eat!” (Motus website)

“I think the best part about working at the festival was being immersed in a setting where there were people from every generation. Sometimes as a student you find yourself surrounded solely by people your age, so it was nice to have interaction with families and young children.” Victoria Macoul, Communications Major, Virginia Wesleyan College

  Day of the dead 1

Day of the dead 2

Český Rozhlas, Radio Prague:

You can learn more here about Jelani Spencer-Joe’s (Public Relations Major/Broadcasting Minor, Susquehanna University) work at her internship with Český Rozhlas, Czech Republic’s public radio broadcaster in operation since 1923.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/letter/a-new-yorkers-experience-with-the-czech-language

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/letter/eating-isnt-my-passion-but-its-a-close-second

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/letter/i-have-to-pay-for-what

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/letter/its-just-a-wall

The Prague Post:

Mara Natale, Film and Cinema Studies, Lafayette College had a chance to intern with The Prague Post and write about her passion: film.

http://www.praguepost.com/cinema/42193-real-life-in-jihlava

http://www.praguepost.com/cinema/42845-film-festival-filmasia-hits-10-years

http://www.praguepost.com/component/content/article?id=42046:das-filmfest-returns

http://www.praguepost.com/cinema/42993-oko-marks-the-advent-in-adventure

Intercultural Communication & Leadership Course

Opened for the first time this semester, ICL is taught by Jana, our Center Director. Because the course touches on issues on intercultural communication issues, this course is offered as CNMJ course credit. Several CNMJ students took part and had to complete a „digital story.“ Alex Paxman, Communications Major, Bryant University would like to share hers with you:

 

The Happening

CNMJ’s very own Jake Weeks (Roger Williams University, Communications Major) was the Creative Director of The Happening and was instrumental in putting the event together. Here’s more about it in his own words:

“The first annual CIEE ‘Happening’ was a program for students to partner up with a Czech action artist and collaborate on a project. Cynthia, Ivanna, and I met with Tomáš Moravec, an artist turned viral video star after he hacked a wooden pallet to glide down the tram tracks of Bratislava, Slovakia, and over the course of the semester we carefully planned out our project. We would film the ‘action’; the students coming in and out of the CIEE door, and edit the footage together to form a construction. Later on the evening of December 8th, we projected this footage onto a cloud of steam outside the door to complete the reconstruction. The intention was to make a statement on how fast the semester goes, and how our time in Prague will soon fade away.” 

Insert video from Z:\CIEE Promotion\Newsletters\Fall 2014\Newsletter 3\CNMJ materials

Buddy Dance Video

“Honza is an awesome buddy for many reasons, but mostly because he's so fun to be around.  As you can see in the video, he's always a source of entertainment.  At the same time, I wouldn't have survived the first two weeks in Prague without Honza.  He was more than willing to drop everything at any time to help me find the post office, grocery store, or wherever I needed to go.  He is always willing to help and made my experience in the Czech Republic much easier and more enjoyable.” Joel Thom, University of California-Sacramento, Communications

 

Film Studies

Hafan animation studio workshop

Undoubtedly the most favorite excursion/workshop for the Film Studies program is HAFAN Studio Animation workshop. They split into groups of approximately 5 students and during one day they learn how to make a traditional animation short film with puppets. Only a couple of minutes of film can be created within the limited time, but all students agree it is definitely worth the experience.

Feedbacks from our students:

 “A great place to explore and helpful to get experience using professional expertize.”

“One of the coolest projects I got to work on!”

“Absolutely wonderful. I'd love to spend a day just watching the animators!”

See one of the outcomes of the Fall 2014 semester below:
 

Intensive Beginning Czech Language course

CIEE Prague makes sure that even the Intensive Beginning Czech Language course is designed specifically for filmmakers. Vocabulary and phrases learned are often time then used during the production process when Production track students occasionally get Czech actors to cooperate with them (if they choose to make their final film in Czech, subtitled to English). Our Czech teacher Luděk Brouček makes them work with the textbook Film Czech - Survival Czech Course for Students of Film and Photography published by Ilona Kořánová in 2013.

Feedbacks from our students:

 “It really helped with daily life in the Czech Republic and being able to at least try to communicate.”

“This was one of the best and most interactive language courses I have ever taken. We learned so much in such a short period of time.”

“I learned a lot in this course - Luděk is an amazing teacher and I was so impressed by how well he handled the whole class.”

To deepen the student experience, Luděk came up with a special video project: students had to come up with scenarios in which the got to use what they learnt. Again, see some of the results below:
 

 

Video blog

CIEE Film studies students are usually strongly motivated individuals with true passion for filmmaking. Therefore they often come up with short independent films during their study abroad experience. Aaron Barnett from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and James Cashman from Seattle University came up with a couple of videos for their CIEE film studies blog - do not forget to checkout previous entries:

Weeks 1-5 by James

Fall 2014 semester has begun by James

Film Studies Overnight trip to Písek: Kašperské hory hike by Aaron

Final films

And last, but definitely not least, - <List names> from <list film name> production gave us a permission to publish their 16mm feature film project they created as their program requirement this term. They managed to shoot this project within 48-72 hours. Enjoy a selection of what we saw on the Final Screening on Thursday, December 18th.

 

 

Global Architecture and Design

This semester´s final projects of Global Architecture and Design students explored the island of Štvanice and proposed various ‘‘Amphibious Structures'' for the new festival ground. <insert GAD  Photo Stvanice>  This area with lot of commercial and urban potential became quite isolated and unused over the years. Our students presented new concepts for its future development.

In particular, students focused on opportunities to use the island´s full potential, especially for commercial use. The main focus was on the entertainment aspect of the island´s urban development. Nowadays, festivals are becoming major contributors to local and global economy as they have the ability to revitalize specific urban context and internationally promote the city as a rich-program destination.

Each student was given a specific area which they had to research and present a new idea of its future development. They had to face several challenges. The necessity for self-sufficient public space and infrastructure of future cities, they succeeded to propose a unique typology and technological intervention that can have profound impact not only on local surrounding, but can be applied on any context with similar challenges.

During the three core courses of Global Architecture and Design, the students were taught new technologies, methods and ways of thinking by leading figures of the contemporary scene of Czech architecture in order to successfully complete their special tasks.

 

 

 

CIEE Study Center Prague wishes you Happy Holidays!

PF 2014

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

05/23/2014

Spring 2014, Issue III

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CIEE Prague Highlights 2014!

 

Central European Studies (CES)

 

 

Film Studies (FS)

 

 

Communication, New Media + Journalism (CNMJ)

 

 

Global Architecture and Design (GAD)