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12/16/2016

Fall 2016, Issue III

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Intercultural Communication and Leadership (ICL)

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

We asked our Fall 2016 students two questions:

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

Morgan Albrecht

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

12/09/2016

Internship Stories from Prague

Travis R Thomas - Intern at Locus Workspace

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Study Abroad Experience:
My name is Travis Thomas, I am a student studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic for the Fall semester of 2016. Originally from California, I have been conducting my studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Liberal Arts major in Communications with an emphasis in media. I’m delighted to be finishing my remaining qualifications for my Bachelors degree while being immersed in the culture of the Czech Republic.

Internship at Locus Workspace:
During my stay in Prague, I have dedicated my time to an internship position at a local coworking space called Locus Workspace. The mission statement of the company is to provide a productive atmosphere for freelancers, remote workers, digital nomads and other location-independent professionals to come and work alongside others. As a coworking company, Locus also hosts a number of social and professional-development events to facilitate goal achievement and social networking.

Intern Responsibilities:
As an intern at Locus, I’m responsible for different social media duties, event promotions and the photography of the workspace. Recently, I have been in charge of providing pictures that some of the other interns can use to post in our multiple social media outlets. Additionally, I have been in charge of the promotion and orchestration of recent social event plans for the workspace, such as our famous: Mafia Game Night and Pub Night in which the members of Locus are able to come together in the company of others while participating in fun games and activities.
I have also just recently collaborated with the Locus Manager - Lenka to construct new calendars and event newsletters for the benefit of the members in the workspace. This endeavour was quite time consuming but in the end everything worked out and now we have updated information about the workspace events. Other previous collaborations with interns have been aimed at integrating live streaming of Locus events for the purpose of updating our active YouTube events channel. These recent projects have resulted in a great increase of members at both the hosted events and those who are participating via online viewing.
Working at Locus has been a great opportunity and has readily equipped me with some of the essential tools and work ethic to pursue a professional career after graduation. I have been greatly honored to have such a positive learning experience alongside an amazing group of people. Thanks Locus!

Neil Brinckerhoff- Intern at Prague Shakespeare Company

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Theater Abroad

Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to be an intern with the Prague Shakespeare company, and I wanted to talk about my experiences through the internship.

After being paired with Prague Shakespeare Company, I went in for a meeting with them at the same time our classes began in September. Myself and 3 other interns from our study abroad program (One, Allie, was also an American studying through a different program) were then trained to work the box office shifts that all members of the company were expected to partake in. This included taking tickets/coats, handing out programs and handling the overall front of house duties during a show.

After this meeting we had the opportunity to speak with our advisor Kris regarding what types of tasks we would like to ideally work on, and see what fit would be best for us heading into the semester. As a Theater lover and communications major I was open to a variety of possibilities including marketing, social media, and production work. In the end I've had the opportunity to work at least in part on all of these aspects over my time as an intern with Prague Shakespeare Company.

The beginning work was fast paced because Prague Shakespeare Company is currently in the midst of “PSC 400” or the celebration of 400 years since Shakespeare's death. For this, they are aiming to perform every single work he has written within this year, and it looks like they are going to make it. Having shows so often (sometimes even three different performances a week) requires a lot of push to consistently bring in audiences. As interns with interest in marketing, we spent a lot of time looking at how PSC currently does their marketing and trying to come up with new ways to bring in Audiences. PSC is special because it is one of the few English speaking theater companies in Prague, so they need to reach a much different audience than other companies. The strategies we were thinking of, were in hopes of reaching those sorts of people in new ways. Luckily Prague does have a large expat community, so the options are larger than you may originally think. Ways that we were using to advertise were different email services to expats, english publications in Prague, and even utilizing the Ambassadors from England/US.

Beyond this, each of the interns were assigned specific shows to assist with marketing. Rob, a fellow intern, had the opportunity to work on a promotional film for a unique show that was going to take place in a boxing ring. I was working on some flyers to advertise shows held in their secondary venue - The Swan. The Swan is a bar/pub space located in the basement level of the same building as PSC, and they hold many types of events there including the “drunken” shows where the actors drink a lot and the audience's drink along with them. Since these shows are obviously very different that normal theatrical Shakespeare, they required different marketing ideas that I was pursuing. This included a flier that advertised three upcoming shows in the venue to be given with the program of all of the other shows in Divadlo Kolowrat. I designed this flyer for print, and it was a good experience to learn from.

In the second half of this semester, the 4 interns have all begun working together on a larger project for PSC. In order to share the PSC 400 work in 2016 with others, Prague Shakespeare Company has decided to make a large booklet summarizing all of the performances in a nicely designed format. This requires a lot of information to be collected as there are facts, cast lists, and show information scattered across the internet in many locations. Once we have accumulated these, we needed to think of design concepts for the booklet, and begin selection pictures and solving all the small logistical problems that comes with a design project like this. It been extremely fast paced since a project like this is usually completed by some professionals and it even takes them months, but as as students are doing our best to create a tangible object for PSC before we finish our internship. I have been working on putting together a comprehensive list of every person who worked on each show to have some sort of “yearbook” section in the back of the booklet to show just how many people it took to do such an intensive season.

While we are still finishing up this project, I am very thankful for the opportunities to work with Prague Shakespeare company while here in Prague. I have always thought that there is no better way to learn than by actually doing, so here I am - living and learning. The Prague Shakespeare Company is doing something special for english speakers here in Prague, and while there are so many striking similarities with the theater work I have done in the past, it is fun and interesting to see the unique challenges presented doing theatrical work abroad. I have once again reaffirmed that marketing is not a passion for me, just a necessity for businesses, and I am thankful to continue to provide fuel into my burning love for theater while living here in Prague.

Ahoj.

11/11/2016

Fall 2016, Issue II

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FORUM 2000, Prague 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah Scott (Central European Studies student)

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

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PhDr Petr Hedbavny

09/15/2016

Fall 2016, Issue I

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Welcome dinner

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

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

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City orientation walk with buddies

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

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Meet up party

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

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05/13/2016

Spring 2016, Issue III

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

CHARITY DATE AUCTION

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

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

The organization is cooperating mainly with:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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TREASURE HUNT

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

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

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

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GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN PAVILON

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

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

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

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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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02/17/2016

Spring 2016, Issue I

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This newsletter is written in a welcoming mood and shall reflect on the major events, which occurred during the first days of the Spring 2016 semester.

New CES orientation

Arrivals were as always thrilling and thankfully successful. As per usual some students encountered certain issues with their luggage on the way, but at the moment everyone is comfortably housed in their respective accommodations.

First day was opened by CIEE’s Academic Director Dr. Richard Stock, Dr. Zdeňka Pražáková from Charles University and Katie Ford from ECES, these representatives have delivered welcome speeches at the Philosophical faculty of CU and afterwards the first 4 sessions of orientation were conducted (How to Stay Safe, Academics, Student Life and Housing)

Second day the students were shown the CIEE Study Center at Vyšehrad and bystander training was delivered. The day was topped off by welcome dinner which was held at the Municipal House, an Art Nouveau building.

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During the weekend break only a walk with the buddies was scheduled otherwise the students had free time to explore the city.

Third and the last day of orientation was composed of EXPO – a market of extracurricular activities, volunteering positions and staff meet & greet, where students had the opportunity to meet CIEE staff face to face.

In comparison with previous semesters, the orientation was significantly shortened, keeping only the most important sessions and allowing students to have as much time for exploring Prague as possible.

Students enjoyed the orientation- see their feedback below.

“I really liked both sessions and thought they were beneficial, informative, and engaging.“

“Great. Very informational and eye opening. “        

“Useful and entertaining. “    

New CNMJ orientation

CNMJ students arrived two days prior to the CES students and had separate orientation this semester. There were 37 students as opposed to 25 CNMJ students in previous semester. In spite of several delayed flights, all students arrived safely in Prague. One of the main features of the new CNMJ orientation were two free days that students have to visit local companies and be interviewed for the internship. All CNMJ students have mandatory internships as a part of their program.

The orientation was shortened drastically from the past semesters and lasted 2 days. Also, students visited Dobříš as a part of their Intensive Czech on Saturday, Feb 3. This trip was a half-day trip and the relevance of this trip was implied by the significant difference between Prague and the rest of the Republic. Since Prague is two and half times larger than the next largest city in Czech Republic, one can realize that the Prague environment will be severely different from the rest of the Czech lands. The trip to city not that far from Prague provide a diverse perspective on Czech culture, explore the folklore of non-Prague citizens and lets you expand your comprehension of the country.

FS orientation

Due to the Film Studies program specifics such as its size (maximum of 22 students – 16 in Production track and 6 in the Screenwriting track), Film and TV school of Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU https://www.famu.cz/eng) in Prague’s selectivity (which brings us hard-working and motivated young individuals), the orientation is slightly extended (3 days) in comparison with other Prague programs. In addition to traditional orientation sessions (Health and Safety, Bystander Intervention, Housing, Academics), we include few extra sessions (How to navigate Prague, How to deal with bureaucrats, How to survive in the Czech Republic, Goals for your semester abroad, Extracurricular opportunities, and two survival Czech language sessions) with the embedded intercultural training. With a smaller group of students, each session can be interactive, and there is plenty of space for Q and A.

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And this seems to be working well for the Film Studies students – see feedback they shared with us:

All info for today seemed very helpful and practical.”

Very satisfied, wish the survival in the Czech Republic was longer.”

“Everything was great and helpful.”

I really like how you guys organize the information and schedule for us.”

Handbook will be very helpful.”

I know so little Czech, but I will get there. Studuju češtinu!”

Students even asked for an additional session: Czech Republic in a Nutshell (Minorities, Genders, Czech History and Current issues), so we added a discussion over a brunch on these topics.

Each afternoon of the 3 day orientation is dedicated to orientation walks: one with Czech buddies, another is a scavenger hunt and the third one is a guided walk of the city.

After a free weekend, students start a 2-week intensive Czech language course – the vocabulary is focused on survival words and phrases as well as film language. In addition, immersive component is implemented in the curriculum. In Spring 2016 semester, students had an opportunity to attend ballet performance “Valmont” (http://www.narodni-divadlo.cz/en/show/7444) at the Estates Theatre (where W.A. Mozart had many of his premieres). They also had a half-day out-of-Prague excursion organized by Charles University’s Institute for Language and Preparatory Studies (UJOP) to the beautiful Dobříš chateau (http://www.zamekdobris.cz/en/) and its English park. Czech language teacher Luděk took students for the afternoon walk and a lunch (which they ordered solely in Czech) as well as to Žižkov television tower (http://towerpark.cz/en/) with its magnificent view of Prague and famous David Černý’s “Babies” sculptures. And he even managed to offer a unique opportunity: Jan Švankmajer’s (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0840905/) exhibition visit!

GAD orientation

 As a part of the orientation in the morning of 22nd January, four students of the Global Architecture and Design, together with faculty members departed to Třeboň for an adventure that would enrich their knowledge and broaden their horizons.

Mainly though, they hoped to discover the site that will be utilised as a semester project.

Třeboň is a town in the region of South Bohemia with rich and intriguing past that goes as far back as to the 12th century. The town's cultural life is as lively as its history, so it comes as no surprise that it will be hosting ANIFILM festival -- an international festival of animated films that will gather participants from all over the world. A group of our brave students set of to the beginnings of their journey, as they will be contributing to the event that takes place from 3rd to 8th May this year. 

Despite the cold weather and rather not anticipated amount of snow, the students have enjoyed walking around the city, they paid a visit to Museum of Nature, where they found out not only about the nature of Třeboň and its surroundings, but its human-tied roots.

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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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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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11/04/2015

The Czech Republic's Banksy

written by Graham Marema (Davidson College)

My parents decided to take advantage of my semester abroad and came to visit me last week. They’ve  always wanted to go to Prague but it’s not something they’ve ever been able to prioritize, so this trip was big for them. I’m sure seeing me was a perk.

 They came armed with Rick Steve’s Guide to Prague, where they read all about the sights - the Prague Castle, the Lennon Wall, the Charles Bridge, the astronomical clock. When they got here, I said, “Yeah, yeah, that stuff’s cool, but here’s the game plan: I’m going to take you around the city and show you all of David Cerny’s artwork.”

 

When I first got here, it took a manner of days before I heard David Cerny’s name. Now he seems to be everywhere. To me, this is something that defines the city just as much as the Prague Castle sitting perpetually in the background every time you look up at the skyline. His art represents a lot of what I think is cool about the Czech Republic. Cerny’s first big stunt was painting a huge Soviet tank - a memorial to the country’s liberation in 1945 - bright pink. Since then his stunts have gotten bigger, crazier, and, nowadays, a bit more legal. But no less shocking.

 The Czech Republic has a history that is dark at times, even darker at others, and constantly under change and reformation. While to some it may seem that David Cerny just takes every possible opportunity to thumb his nose at society, I see his art as a new way to commemorate the past, making it brighter and more noticeable, humorous and honest.

 I’m sure my parents raised their eyebrows at a few of the things I showed them. But it’s important, when visiting a new city, to embrace the strange, lesser-known parts of the culture - the giant babies with screens for faces clawing their way up the TV tower, the sculpture of a dead upside down horse ridden by St. Wenceslas, and a few others which the reader can Google on their own time. And afterwards my parents managed to see the castle and the John Lennon Wall as well.