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Summer 2016, Issue I

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This newsletter is written in a welcoming mood and shall reflect on the event, which occurred during the Session I, Summer programs in Prague

CIEE Picnic

The first weekend of session I CIEE staff organized CIEE picnic + Bake sale for all students. This event had 2 main reasons. First one was to get students together and let them meet each other through different way than classes. The second was to support local charity and include our students into this activity.

The picnic was organized by Short Programs Coordinator, Tereza Vicková, and by Program Assistant, Zuzana Zatloukalová. The bake sale was prepared by flat buddies, Czech students who live with CIEE students in apartments and help them with Czech immersion. Our flat buddies prepared different kinds of snacks and cakes which they were selling during the bake sale.

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The bake sale was prepared in the way to represent both American and Czech culture. Students were able to buy traditional Czech snacks like “bublanina” (cake with cherries or peaches), egg spread on a toast or “štrůdl” (Czech version of Apple pie). On the other side flat buddies were offering also typical American muffins with chocolate chips or homemade lemonade. Tereza and Zuzana than prepared also a big bowl of salad so all students, even those with special dietaries like gluten free, lactose intolerant or vegan would have a chance to taste something good and support the Bake sale.

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The Picnic was located at the garden of CIEE Study center in Prague. This private space gave students a chance to have fun and freely sit anywhere on the ground. CIEE was providing free blankets, pillows and chairs so everybody was comfortable. The weather was beautiful, sunny but not too hot, just perfect weather for outside activities.

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Tereza and Zuzana prepared charades tournament for students which was played during the afternoon. Students did not make teams but they were playing against each other. Some charades cards were pretty easy, but most of them were representing things typical for Czech Republic. These cards were including terms like draft beer, trdelník (famous Prague sweet), ice hockey, little Petřín tower etc. Sometimes Czech buddies were helping students, in case it was difficult for them to present the charade card by themselves.  Students had a lot of fun during this game and at the end we got 3 winners. The winner of the charades tournament was Hannah Crosby followed by Hailey Tylisz and Laura Van Schaik. Girls won some CIEE prizes like CIEE T-shirts or notepads with pictures of Prague.

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At the end of picnic everybody said they had an amazing time and we hope that we will be able to do more of these events in future. It was a great way how to connect students within each other and also with Czech buddies. The great benefit of this event was that we were able to collect more than 700CZK for Czech charity, which is a great success.

08/05/2015

Summer 2015, Issue III

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Intercultural Comparative Experience

The short-term summer program includes CIEE’s unique Intercultural Comparative Experience. Students’ partake in  special excursions across 28 study centers, travelling to over 30 global destinations.

 

During this immersive three-day weekend, students travel to another international city with fellow CIEE students to expand their global perspective and sharpen their cultural awareness. Visit museums and architectural masterpieces, go to a concert or performance, attend a cooking workshop or other cultural activity, and take part in service-learning projects focused on local issues. It’s a great way to develop cultural self-awareness, intercultural literacy, and the ability to bridge cultural gaps.

 

Intercultural Comparative Experience in Prague

During June 12-14, 82 students from four European destinations experienced Prague. During July 10-12, 39 students from Paris and during August 7-9, eight students from London also experience Prague for the Intercultural Comparative Experience weekend.

 

Students are accompanied by Prague staff from the airport to the hotel. After check in, a one hour-long onsite orientation follows. In the afternoon students are split into small groups, which are led by CIEE staff, CIEE buddies, and guides. In groups, students enjoy exploring the main architectural sites in Prague. Their walking tour also includes a museum visit.

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The first day is topped off with a welcome dinner that is held in Plzeňská restaurant at the Municipal House, an Art Nouveau architecture style building. Students enjoys Czech cuisine for the first time and have a unique opportunity to try traditional meals such as beef goulash with bread dumplings and chicken schnitzel with potato salad. Traditional Czech cakes are prepared as a dessert.

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On Saturday morning, students are split into interest groups, led by CIEE staff and CIEE buddies. The groups are prepared based on student sign-up for various cultural activities.

The following interest group activities were offered in Prague:

Czech cooking lesson – Students learn how to make potato pancakes (bramboráky), which is one of the traditional Czech meals. The interest group activity takes place in one of the CIEE apartments and is led by the CIEE flat buddy.

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Czech cooking lesson - Students learn how to make open sandwiches (chlebíčky), another typical Czech dish. Students try making few different kinds of (chlebíčky), and again the activity is held in one of the CIEE apartments.

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Paddle boats along the Vltava River – Students enjoy the nicest view of the Prague Castle from the river. From the paddle boats they admire castle complex, Charles Bridge, Žofín Island, and the National Theatre.

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Brewery tour – Students visited a brewery and learned about the historic Czech beer-making process. Students are introduced to the process of beer making and learned how the beer industry is an inseparable part of the Czech economy and Czech culture.

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Farmers market at Náplavka – Students had brunch at the unique farmers marker, located in the immediate proximity of the Vltava River, with a view of the Prague Castle. They tried locally produced food, fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, smoked meats, cheeses, pickled specialties, baked goods, koláč, desserts, and cakes!

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Invisible Exhibition – Students who sign up for the invisible exhibition have the opportunity to understand what life is like without one of the senses that provides us the most information: sight. They undertake an interactive journey to an invisible world, where in total darkness they have to find their way out only by touch, hearing, and smell.

DOX Contemporary Gallery – A visit to the gallery is another exciting activity planned for the morning. DOX is a hub of contemporary Czech Art. Prominent contemporary artists exhibit their works in this gallery. Today it ranks amongst the most progressive artistic institutions in the Czech Republic, and enjoys wide popularity amongst the public.

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Karel Zeman Museum of Special Effects workshop – This two-hour-long workshop teaches students about stop-motion paper cut or stop-motion clay puppet animation at the Karel Zeman Museum. Karel Zeman was a Czech film director, artist, production designer, and animator, best known for directing fantasy films that combined live-action footage with animation.

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The groups reunite for lunch which is held at U Medvídků, a traditional Czech beer hall-style pub since 1466 that has retained its traditional charm and is still a favorite with Czech locals. Students have a chance to taste traditional meals like Beef sirloin (svíčková), fried cheese with fries (smažák), or apple strudel as a dessert.

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In the afternoon students have free time so they can explore the city on their own. Local staff members and buddies provide students with tips on what places should be on their must-see list. In the evening, a cultural event is scheduled: an Organ Concert at the St. Francis Church that includes a selection of composers such as Schubert, Gounod, Mascagni, Mozart, Bach, Händel, Dvořák, Franck, and Bizet or a concert of Yvonne Sanchez, one of the best voices of jazz and blues nowadays, at the Cargo Gallery by the river.

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On Sunday, after check out, students can spend some more free time in lovely Prague before departure to their study centers in Berlin, Groningen, Barcelona, Paris, and London.

The Intercultural Comparative Experience weekend deserves special thanks to our amazing staff and buddies who help to prepare and lead it.

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07/30/2015

Praha

written by Fiza Khan

Prague is easily the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. Cobblestoned streets, red tiled rooftops, waterfront restaurants on the Vltava River… it’s all so dreamy, I could go on forever.

  Under the Bridge

View of the Vltava

But, while Prague is beautiful, and has amazing sites, I would first recommend exploring the history behind the city – as I don’t think you can fully appreciate where you are without doing so. Thanks to CIEE, I along with my peers had the honor of meeting Dr. Dagmar Lieblova, a holocaust survivor. I could not imagine ever having to face half the horrors she spoke of, which included living in the Terezin Ghetto and later Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Her story was a reminder to us all, of how privileged we are to be able to live and travel freely, and I feel extremely humbled by the experience.

 The day after our meeting with Dr. Lieblova, I made a trip to the Jewish Museum located in Old Town, Prague. The museum is a cluster of different historical sites, including synagogues and a cemetery. There, I learned a lot about the history of Jewish people

living in Prague, including their attempts to assimilate while observing their own culture, and about their resilience in the face of constant persecution. Not everyone has the chance to meet a holocaust survivor, but if you would like to deepen your understanding of the past and the world we live in today, I would highly recommend making a visit.

Synagogue

Prague is beautiful, but let us first not forget where we are walking.

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07/29/2015

written by Sarah Islam

Dobrý den from Praha! I have now been in this historical city for ten days, walked approximately 107,000 steps, and consumed a variety of cuisines. As a part of the Summer Psychology program, I spend my mornings studying psychoanalysis at the CIEE study center in Vyšehrad, and the rest of my days riding trams and metros to explore the great city of Prague.

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View of Prague from the CIEE Study Center

Since the program began I have been able to explore Queen Anne’s Summer Palace, the Royal Park, Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge, the Lennon Wall, Letná Park, and my personal favorite, the Old Town Square. Day or night, the square is filled with dancing, street performers, fire dancers, and of course, the tourist friendly Astronomical Clock. I also attended Phantom, a blacklight show at the theater-filled street of Karlova and an experience I recommend to any future CIEE students.

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Inside the St. Vitus Cathedral3

Lennon Wall

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Old Town Square at Night

 

Our program was also lucky enough to travel to the city of Kutná Hora, known for its silver mines and “bone church.” Visiting the Sedlec Ossuary was a morbid and thrilling time, which we followed up with a mouth-watering lunch at a local German restaurant. We also got the opportunity to hear from a concentration camp survivor originally hailing from Kutná Hora, a humbling and eye-opening lecture that acquainted us with the realities of World War II beyond what any history book could ever tell us.

 

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Sedlec Ossuary at Kutná Hora

 On a lighter note, the food in Prague is the best I have ever had. With Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants around the corner from my apartment, I knew I would be set for my entire stay. However, my friends and I have also discovered Czech, Thai, and Italian restaurants all around the city that have convinced us that Prague can do no wrong. Of course there is always my local Albert supermarket to get me through my snack cravings, not to mention the abundance of gelato on every corner!

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Tortellini for Lunch

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Gamberetti for Dinner

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Czech Veggie Burger at the Old Town Square

This weekend we are taking a trip to Český Krumlov, where we get to stay in a local hotel, see the Egon Schiele Museum, and explore the city and castle tower for three whole days before returning to Prague. I am looking forward to comparing my time there with Prague and for the host of adventure I am sure the next couple weeks will bring!

07/09/2015

Summer in Praha

Ahoj! I’ve been in Prague for a little over a week now and have already seen and learned more than I expected to in my time here. I am here studying International Reporting and got the opportunity to travel to Teplice, a small town known for its healing spas, to conduct interviews. We spoke to the mayor, the spa owner, a human rights activist and citizens of the town to understand more about the growing Arab population in their community.

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We have definitely been staying busy here in the Czech Republic. Last weekend I went on a day trip with some other students in the program to Kutna Hora to visit the Bone Church, as well as another Cathedral and some local restaurants, and earlier this week we went on a pedal boat through the Vltava River. CIEE also paid for tickets to see Romeo and Juliet at the State Opera! Today my class went to Bloomberg News to speak to the editor about our futures in the field of journalism, and tomorrow we will be going to the town of Liberec to study modern art.

 We’ve met some interesting characters here (like some men from Italy who chased us with water guns on their segues), learned how to maneuver public transportation and had more fried cheese than I thought was possible. Now we’re leaving for one of our weekends trips… cau!

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Pedal Boating on the Vltava River

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Romeo and Juliet at the State Opera

07/08/2015

Summer 2015, Issue II

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Faculty-Led and Custom Programs – part II

 Susquehanna University

 Three faculty members and 22 students from Susquehanna University arrived to Prague in May 2015 for a faculty-led, custom program scheduled for 15 days. The Production and Design in Post-Communist Prague program took place not only in Prague but also in the unofficial Moravian capital Brno and the UNESCO heritage site, the city of Český Krumlov. The program objectives were to immerse the students in Czech culture through art and design in theatre, understanding the rich history of the Czech people from the medieval times through the 20th century, and to have direct interaction with Czech students and young professionals.

 The program started with an on-site orientation with CIEE Prague staff and a guided tour of Prague with Dr. Marie Homerová. The program included not only theatre-related activities but guest lectures related to Czech history and sightseeing visits as well.

 The first guest speaker was a Czech activist Monika MacDonagh-Pajerová who is the chairperson of the pro-European organization “ANO pro Evropu” (YES for Europe) and a lecturer at New York University in Prague. During the 1989 Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, Pajerová served as the official spokesperson for University Strike Committee and was a founding member of the Civic Forum. After 1989 she worked as a diplomat, serving at different times in the Czechoslovak embassy in Paris, a member of the Minister's private office, and an official spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Director of the Press Department.

 Another guest speaker was Dr. Petr Roubal, a researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History at the Czech Academy of Sciences.

 The program prepared for Susquehanna University was remarkable for its various workshops. Radka Tesárková, an actress, director, and script editor, prepared a performance with 10 teenage actors. The students and faculty could enjoy the performance which was done as a forum theatre and later, they could try a few acting activities themselves.

 A discussion with Ewan McLaren, a live arts curator, producer, and director was scheduled at Alfréd ve dvoře theatre. After the discussion, two performances at this theatre followed, so the participants could get a chance to see alternative theatre pieces. The participants had a chance to experience other theater genres as well. One of the performances held in Prague was at the Image Theatre. The other performance, held at the Mahen theatre in Brno, was “Edith, the Little Sparrow from the Suburbs”, a dance musical about the famous singer, Edith Piaf.

 An all-day workshop at Cirqueon was divided into two parts. Themes that were addressed during the first part of the workshop included: the StB, the former communist secret police force in Czechoslovakia; samizdat, which were prohibited publications distributed illegally by hand during communist times, apartment theatre; or controversial performances done in private apartments during communism; theatre now and then; and overcoming borders. The second part of the workshop was learning circus skills like acrobatics or juggling, which you can see in the pictures below.

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For two half-days, the Susquehanna group had a chance to work with Dr. Lenka Remsová, a specialized assistant at the Social Pedagogy Department of the Faculty of Education of Masaryk University in Brno. Dr. Remsová deals with the use of dramatic education when dealing with disadvantaged groups. She specializes on the method of the theatre of the oppressed. She introduced the topic and students experienced forum theatre techniques. They even worked on their own performances which followed the basic methods of the theater of the oppressed.

 Filip Teller, an actor who graduated from the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in the field of creative acting and physical theatre in Brno, prepared a half-day improvisation workshop which included the basics of improvisation, singing improvisation, and improvisation games.

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Another improvisation workshop that followed was a workshop prepared by actress Dr. Mary Angiolillo. Mary received her Master’s Degree in Philosophy from Marquette University and a Ph.D in Theatre Arts from Northwestern University. She is twice recipient of a Fulbright Grant for research in Paris and for teaching in Prague and currently she teaches acting, directing actors, and thesis development at FAMU and DAMU.

Our program included a workshop with Lucie Loosová. Lucie is a set designer and creative artist who studied toy design at the School of Applied Arts in Prague and later gained her Master's degree from the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU), specializing in stage design. Her dissertation project was the décor and direction of Verdi's opera Rigoletto. Lucie discussed with students her field of expertise and she also brought illustrations of her tremendous work. She took the group to the workrooms of the National Theatre, where all the props are prepared for performances.

 In Brno, the group visited two local NGOs. Nesehnutí is a socio-ecological non-governmental organization that works on the basis of their belief that ecological and social problems have common causes and consequences. The objective of their activities is to show that a change of society based on respect towards people, animals, and nature is possible and has to come mainly from people.

 IQ Roma Servis is an independent, steady, transparent and a professional organization. The civil vision of IQ Roma Servis is society of cheerful and friendly relations between Roma and other people. A world where even Roma have dignified roles and respect as individuals and as a nation. The group not only met with representatives of IQ Roma Servis but also met local Roma children, who taught their traditional dances.

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One evening in Brno, students did enjoy a chance to meet with local Masaryk University students.

 Moravia is famous for its wine, therefore, the group could not avoid visiting a local wine cellar and tasting a few local wines. Students also had a chance to explore Lednice castle where they had a guided tour.

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Visiting Český Krumlov, a UNESCO heritage site, made students and faculty fall in love with the Czech Republic. This picturesque town charmed them and they enjoyed every minute during the town tour, castle tour, and the Baroque theatre visit. 

 A half-day trip to the Terezín Jewish ghetto World War 2 transit camp memorial was a part of the program as well.

The participants had many opportunities to taste local Czech cuisine.

 Columbia College Chicago

 “Creative Writers Abroad” was a faculty-led, custom program prepared for Columbia College Chicago in May and June 2015 in Prague. 17 students and two faculty started off the 38-day program with an on-site orientation with CIEE Prague staff and a guided tour of Prague with Dr. Marie Homerová.

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CIEE Prague provided classroom space for this program, so that the faculty could lead their lectures. The program included out-of-Prague excursions, museum visits, and tours.

One of the guided tours was around the Jewish Quarter with our professor Rabbi Ron Hoffberg and another tour was connected with Franz Kafka, his life and work. The participants also visited Franz Kafka Museum and the Museum of Communism in Prague.  

 A day trip to Terezín, the World War 2 transit camp memorial, was a part of the program as well. Students visited the Ghetto Muzeum, the Magdeburg Barracks, and the Small Fortress.

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In Kutná Hora, the participants explored the silver mines, enjoyed St. Barbara Church, the Valachian courtyards and the Sedlec Ossuary, otherwise known as the “bone church”.

 Český Krumlov is a gem that students enjoyed for one day and their program there included a town tour, castle tour, and a visit to the Baroque theatre.

The group loved trying local meals not only during the welcome and farewell dinners but throughout their long stay.

 University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

 Two faculty and 16 students from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, a faculty-led, custom program, will be held in July 2015 for 5 days. CIEE is preparing the logistics of the program, namely: hotel reservations, conference rooms, and restaurant bookings. This program was already held in Prague last year, and it is nice to see the USC group back again.

06/22/2015

Summer 2015, Issue I

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Faculty-Led and Custom Programs – part I

Study abroad programs are not one-size-fits-all. Sometimes it is simply the best to build a program that fits the university needs. CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange has the experience, resources, expertise, and in-country infrastructure to help to design a once-in-a lifetime program that will meet all of the objectives in a fully immersive, overseas framework.

In the first half of 2015, Prague hosted five successful Faculty-Led and Custom Programs.

Mount Ida College

In March 2015, Prague was selected to host Mount Ida College for a multisite faculty-led, custom program. 17 students and three faculty spent the first five days in Prague and then travelled to Berlin for four days for a program prepared by CIEE Berlin.

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Students were divided into two groups, based on their area of study. Two separate programs were planned for them in order to ensure that the program followed their academic needs.

 The Psychology of Evil and the Holocaust group had a guest lecture about the history of conflict and terror in the Czech Republic with Dr. Klára Pinerová, went on a half-day trip to Plzeň (this year’s European Capital of Culture), where they had a guided tour of the town and visited the Great Synagogue. The group also traveled to see Lidice, which is a village that was destroyed by the Nazis as retaliation during World War 2, and Terezín, which is a former Gestapo prison and Jewish transit camp that led to the death camps during World War 2.

 The program of the Global Design group included a tour around the National Library of Technology with architect Ondřej Hofmeister, a guest lecture about design and architecture in the Czech Republic with Dr. Daniela Karasová and a design workshop held at the Architectural institute in Prague, ARCHIP. Students also had a chance to visit one of the modern architectural gems in Prague the Dancing House and have a guided tour with one of the designers Vlado Milunić.

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The shared program in Prague included an on-site orientation with CIEE Prague staff at the beginning, a guided tour of Prague with Dr. Marie Homerová and a guided tour around the Jewish Quarter with Rabbi Ron Hoffberg. The group also had a chance to taste local meals during their welcome and farewell dinners.

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Augsburg College

 In May 2015, 22 students and two faculty members from Augsburg College arrived to Prague for their faculty-led, custom program “Vocation and the Meaning of Success”. This program was set for 16 days and during this time students also participated in an abroad excursion to Poland.

The program in Prague included an on-site orientation with CIEE Prague staff, a guided tour of Prague with Dr. Marie Homerová and a guided tour around the Jewish Quarter with Rabbi Ron Hoffberg.

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A core part of the program were guest lectures and site visits. Students and faculty had an amazing opportunity to meet the top experts in their fields: guest speakers Dr. Vanda Thorne, Dr. Peter Zvagulis, Jiří Holub, and Ian Levely.

 
In order to gain experience in the local business environment, CIEE Prague scheduled several site visits for Augsburg College. Students did not only visit local companies but also met with local representatives. The site visits were scheduled at the NGO People in Need, Freight Station Žižkov, Different City Experience, Czech National Bank exhibits and the Staropramen Brewery.

 One site visit to Phillip Morris International was a part of an out-of-Prague excursion to Kutná Hora. In Kutná Hora the participants also enjoyed sightseeing while exploring the St. Barbara Church, the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady and St. John the Baptist in Sedlec and the Sedlec Ossuary, otherwise known as the “bone church”.

 Another out-of-Prague excursion was to Karlovy Vary, a famous Czech spa town. The participants started with a guided tour and then met a representative of the Russian minority with whom they had a lively discussion.  

 The Krakow excursion, planned for 3 days, included a visit to a former concentration camp Auschwitz/Birkenau. The participants also had a tour around the salt mines Wieliczka. This mine, built in the 13th century, is one of the world's  oldest salt mines still in operation. The participants really enjoyed their stay in Krakow where they had a guided tour and later during their free time, an optional program was prepared for them including a visit to Schindler´s factory, made popular by the film Schindler’s List.

 A part of the program was also a high cultural event as these are an important part of Czech culture. The participants enjoyed the opera Carmen held at the State Opera House.

 Local Charles University students joined Augsburg College students and faculty for a cooking lesson during which they did not only taste but also learned how to make traditional Czech meals (meatloaf with traditional potato salad, cake, and open-faced sandwiches). Furthermore, the group had a chance to try other local meals during their welcome and farewell dinners. CIEE Prague also provided a classroom space at the Study Center Prague for this program, so that the faculty could lead their lectures.

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07/23/2014

Paris

written by Danielle Corcione

I spent this past weekend in Paris. It was absolutely thrilling to experience a different European culture outside of the Czech Republic.

After checking in at our hostel by the Gard Du Nord metro stop, our group – including students from other CIEE locations, such as London and Berlin – to took a walking tour of the city. I learned about the famous sites and monument, including a brief history of the Catacombs of Paris, a series of organized tunnels under the city. Later that night, I walked to the Eiffel Tower with my classmates. At exactly eleven o’clock, the tower illuminated with flashing, bright lights all over for a few minutes; none of us knew about this tradition, so it was certainly a gorgeous surprise.

On Saturday, our group toured two museums: the world famous Louvre, so large that statistically it’d take three months to see the entire collection, and the Musée Du Quai Branly, or the Museum of the Other, dedicated to collections from Africa, Asia and Oceania. There was so much art and history throughout the afternoon from all different parts of the globe, not only France.

Another highlight of the trip was the food. After tasting macaroons from McDonald’s in between museum trips, I was eager to compare the taste to “real deal.” On Sunday, other students and I ventured to LaDurée, a luxury bakery located down the street from the Arc de Triomphe. At five euros per macaroon, it surely did not disappoint.

I had an amazing weekend in Paris and I can’t wait to return again. When I do, I hope to know a little more French. Until then, I am back in Prague, but only for another week. I don’t want to go home just yet, but I am looking forward to the rest of my time in the Czech Republic.

Summer 2014 Newsletter, Issue II

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It is our fine pleasure to introduce to you our newest CIEE Prague team members! Read on to find out more about these fabulous and interesting people.

Lucia Klincová: Student Services Assistant

Lucia

What does your position comprise of and what do you enjoy about working for CIEE?

My position at CIEE (Student Services Assistant) is mostly about helping our students getting as immersed as possible in the Czech Republic. I organize guest lectures, prepare official events and extracurricular activities.

I like how every day at CIEE is different. We always have an event to be excited about or an inspiring guest lecture to discuss. I also enjoy the international environment that makes me more open-minded.

What did you do before CIEE and how does this add to your expertise?

Before starting at CIEE, I studied International Relations at Charles University, George Mason University, Georgetown University and Université Libre de Bruxelles. I think it is very helpful that I have the „study abroad“ experience, as I can easily relate to our students and their issues.

I actually cooperated with CIEE before, as a flat buddy. Those 4 semesters living with the US students in one apartment gave me an idea of what their everyday life is about. I think it also makes me a better employee, because I know what students like to do outside the study center. 

What should a CIEE Prague student not miss out on when in the Czech Republic? (place, experience, cultural event, ect.)

I defitinely recommend visiting the farmer's market at Náplavka. It is one of my favorite events in Prague, as it combines great food, live music and a good mixture of locals and expats.

What do you like to do when not at work?

When not at work, I like to relax actively. I love sports and I want to run a marathon one day. That is why I try to go for at least a short run every day after work. I also love to cook and I enjoy having little dinner parties with my friends.

 

Martina Břeňová: Office Manager

Martina

What does your position comprise of and what do you enjoy about working for CIEE? 

I am responsible for handling the front desk inquiries, building maintenance and library management. I also coordinate the syllabi submission and assist the Resident Director. Recently, I have been involved in cultural workshop presentations.

Working for CIEE means using English on a daily basis, which is extremely challenging if you want to become fluent as I do. CIEE is an international community promoting education and study abroad of young people, something that has always been my personal interest. I believe that we all learn and develop for the entire life. Also, CIEE gives you a chance to travel, to meet new people from different countries which is an asset in today's world.   

What did you do before CIEE and how does this add to your expertise?

I worked as a front desk and hotel manager which helped me to better understand the international community of people coming to the Czech Republic. The variety of individual human stories, points of view and characters. Furthermore, it improved my managerial skills and ability to work in and lead a group of people.

What should a CIEE Prague student not miss out on when in the Czech Republic? (place, experience, cultural event, ect.)

You should definitely visit Olomouc (the town where I come from). Furthermore, spend one night at "chalupa" (typical Czech summer house).

What do you like to do when not at work?

I like sports (yoga, dance, jogging, collective games), culture (theatre, movies) and I love to spend time with my friends.

 

Lenka Osičková: Housing Assistant

Lenka

What does your position comprise of and what do you enjoy about working for CIEE?

My position comprises of housing management and administration, student services, buddy control and assistance with flat buddy meetings, checking individual apartment contracts, housing check in and check out, calling in cleaning services if necessary,  to prepare monthly apartment payments, receives utility bils from landlords, update Google accounts - Emergency, Buddies, week or month activity report control, preparing keys, collecting housing forms and others.

I enjoy the communication between staff, students and buddies. I feel that position of the housing assistant will be never boring, because it is very diverse. I am the person that doesn´t like to be sitting and doing the same paper work the whole day.

What did you do before CIEE and how does this add to your expertise?

I was working abroad in Canada and in Portugal. I had the opportunity to improve on languages, learn about other cultures, become more open minded and to deal with stressful situations.

What should a CIEE Prague student not miss out on when in the Czech Republic? (place, experience, cultural event, ect.)

For sure students shouldn´t miss Český Krumlov, Krkonoše and some spa town as Luhačovice or Karlovy Vary. There are so many authentic castles and ruins in the Czech Republic that still reflect the time period when they were built.

What do you like to do when not at work?

I love to travel, anytime, anywhere. I really enjoy cooking diferent cuisines from different countries, for example, Portuguese, Spanish, Indonesian, Italian, Czech and so on. I like to go to the cinema, read a book, watch some nice movie or just relax at home. Because I am from the region of south Moravia, I like to keep old traditions, such as wearing traditional folklore costumes during celebrations, traditional dancing and singing.

 

Alicja Nemoudry: Program Assistant

Alicja

What does your position comprise of and what do you enjoy about working for CIEE?

As a program assistant my main responsibility is to assist the Program Coordinator in the overall management of Central European Studies program. I am primary responsible for the day-to-day operations of the CIEE Study Centre, program support, field trips, excursions as well as administrative and editorial support. There are many things I enjoy about working for CIEE. One of them is the working environment. Our CIEE study center is based in a beautiful old presbytery at Vyšehrad, where we have stunning panoramic views of Prague. It is a pleasure to be a part of CIEE Prague team. I am surrounded by great people, friendly and dedicated staff members and most importantly students, who are eager to learn new things and come to Czech Republic to learn about our culture and history.

What did you do before CIEE and how does this add to your expertise?

Prior to joining CIEE I have spent many years living and working abroad so I have a good understanding of the apprehensions and also benefits of travelling overseas. I have a undergraduate degree in History of Art and postgraduate diploma in Art and Business from the University of Aberdeen. I have several years of experience in customer service sector, which I gained during my work in the Scottish art galleries and auction house.

What should a CIEE Prague student not miss out on when in the Czech Republic? (place, experience, cultural event, ect.)

As a art lover I would recommend students to visit one of the Prague´s art galleries. One not to miss is Prague Castle Art Galleries. Paintings of the famous collection of the emperor Rudolph II are displayed there. Visitors can see masterpieces of 17th century Flemish, Italian, German and Dutch artists. This is definitely my favorite one! Students should add it to their bucket list!

What do you like to do when not at work?

I love travelling. Whenever I have a day off I pack my bags and try to go somewhere. There are still so many countries I want to visit. I enjoy discovering new places, cultures and meeting people from all around the world. Travelling is a great way for me to relax.

06/24/2014

Summer 2014 Newsletter, Issue I

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Intercultural Comparative Experience: Berlin

Summer just got even better for 2014’s summer participants! Students get a lot from traveling to countries outside of their study center, but sometimes a deeper look at that culture is lacking. With the Intercultural Comparative Experience CIEE is organizing for the very first time unique weekend trips abroad. In Europe, students have a chance during each session to go to Berlin, London, Barcelona, or Paris. Built in is a cultural training which aims to heighten students’awareness of cultural differences. This new aspect of our summer programs is an added benefit for our students and a way for us to promote CIEE’s mission.

Here is an account of Berlin from a CIEE staff perspective:

We boarded the bus for Berlin with 31 CIEE Prague students shortly before 8am. Since Berlin is practically our neighbor, many of us from the staff were happy to return: Jana (Center Director), Klára (Student Services Assistant), and Amanda (Summer Programs Coordinator) go to Berlin regularly; Roman (Housing Assistant) and Eva (CES Resident Director) were first timers. The ride was not so long, so we arrived to Berlin shortly after noon. We were greeted by CIEE Berlin staff at the centrally located hostel in Mitte, just steps away from the New Synagogue and Alexanderplatz.

Alexanderplatz

After checking into our rooms, we met with all of the students from other CIEE study centers and CIEE staff for a short orientation. There was some woohooing as different study center groups were asked to “introduce themselves”. Later students remarked that this mixing of students from other study centers was one of the highlights of their weekend. After an enlightening speech about the dichotomies of Berlin life and history from Benjamin Lorch, Center Director of CIEE Berlin, we were broken up into small, manageable groups. My group had 9 students (light green group represent!) all from different study centers: Palma Mallorca, Istanbul, and Amsterdam. We headed out into the streets of Berlin and over to the U-Bahn.

Orientation

Our first task was to acquaint ourselves with the city: not just in an orientation and sightseeing sense, but from a historical perspective as well. We did this through a city tour. Our guide was an energetic girl from Dresden named Franziska. She started us out in front of Brandenburger Tor; made us get lost in the imposing Jewish Memorial and then made us reflect on it; we took a look at a parking lot – not just any parking lot – but one where Hitler had his bunker and then committed suicide; we saw a piece of the Berlin Wall and were told a heart wrenching story about Franziska’s aunt who had to decide whether to stay in the West or go back home to the East on the day the wall went up. We learned a lot. Even if it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Afterwards we had a traditional German dinner at a non-traditional restaurant: Umspannwerk Ost, a former electrical transformer station built in 1900. Afterwards, students (and staffJ) had free time; the majority sought out a tv to watch the World Cup.

Jewish Memorial

On Saturday, my group started its day in the interesting neighborhood of Kreuzberg. We were taken around for a community engagement activity, seeing various sustainable and grassroots projects that had took root in this mostly working class, largely Turkish neighborhood. The highlight for me was visiting Prinzessinnen Garden, a large community-run garden in the heart of the district.

Prinzessinnen Garten

After this activity, we headed back to Mitte for lunch, to peruse Checkpoint Charlie, and finally over to the Topography of Terror. Located on the former site of the Nazi SS headquarters, this museum also boarders a remaining section of the Berlin Wall and is a powerful reminder of horrors of the 12 years of fascist Nazi rule. Students were given free time after this; many of them needed a breather especially after the Topography of Terror.

Berlin Wall

We met up again for dinner at the hostel and then later in the evening for an amazing acrobatic performance, Flip, at the impressive Chameleon Theater.

 

Sunday was a free day. A lot of students ventured to the weekly flea market at Mauer Park, to the East Side Gallery, and to the Reichstag. All and all, we had a chance to see the many faces of Berlin: hip and posh, old and new, weird and cool.

07/24/2013

Summer 2013, Issue II

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Zdravíme z Prahy/Greetings from Prague! Our second summer session has come to an end, but oh what a ride it’s been. Check out our second summer session – a photo montage  –  from start to finish!

Arrival & Orientation

  ArrivalSummer session II students fresh off the plane, heading to their CIEE apartments! Most are multi-site students coming straight from Barcelona and Paris.

  WelcomeWelcome dinner for summer session II students, buddies, and staff. It was their first time tasting Czech traditional dishes like dumplings and gulash.

Trips & Class Excursions

  Vary

BečovFor the overnight summer II trip, students went to the world renowned Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (http://www.kviff.com/en/news/) and to see the unique shrine of St. Maurus in Bečov (http://www.zamek-becov.cz/the-shrine-st-maurus/).

 

Terezin Students of Art and Architecture, along with students of Psychoanalysis and Society explored Terezín as an integral part of these courses. Terezín served as a transit camp to other concentration camps during World War II and the town itself was turned into a ghetto for those interned by the Nazi regime.

Buddy-organized Activities

  Petřín ParkPetřín Park. One of the most beautiful parks in the heart of the city. Picnics were a favorite activity of summer II students and buddies.

 

Riegrovy sadyHanging out at Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden and experiencing a vital part of Czech culture – pivo/beer!

  Marylin exhibit

A little piece of home at the Prague Castle – an exhibit of Marilyn Monroe’s wardrobe.

  Prague castleJust another day in Prague – taking in the Prague Castle with a flat buddy.

Farewell BBQ


Farewell  Klobása, potatoe pancakes, honey cake, and more. Students, professors, buddies, and CIEE staff stuff themselves with Czech goodies and say their good byes! Šťastnou cestu/Have a safe trip home!