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22 posts categorized "Prague"

01/10/2018

FALL 2017 ISSUE III

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Film Studies and Global Architecture and Design semester activities

It might seem that film and architecture are only remotely connected, however, the same cannot be said about students of CIEE Film Studies program, and students of CIEE Global Architecture and Design. Since the very beginning of the program, students have been invited to attend extra-curricular activities that would help them to understand to the Czech culture.

One group of the organized events have been Cultural Workshops. Through these three workshops, students were able to learn how to observe and interpret a new culture and apply this knowledge to the Czech traditions. Furthermore, they have been learning about Czech historical figures and also how to market their experience abroad.

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Students were observing their personal development through the “Czech-in session”, during which they have set their goals and expectations, reviewed them and in the end of the semester evaluated their growth for themselves.

Fun activities included visiting a home hockey game of Sparta, ice-skating, screening of the Czech movies, laser-tagging or events organized by flat buddies. Those have been for example visits of Czech museums, cooking lessons or escape games.

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Extra-curricular activities organized for these two programs are inseparable part of the stay of students. The aim is to help to students to immerse in the Czech culture and feel like home.

Fall 2017 ISSUE II

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TRIP TO SOUTH BOHEMIA

In order to get away from a daily rush in Prague, students of CIEE Film Studies have left Prague in October for one weekend. They spent the whole weekend in South Bohemia, visiting historic town Pisek and castle Zvikov.

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The main reason for going to Pisek was International Student Film Festival which is happening each year and attracts attention of not only student from the Czech Republic but the whole world. CIEE students had a chance to attend several blocks of festival films and also meet students from a local film academy (Filmova Akademie Miroslava Ondricka).

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Diving deeper into the South Bohemian culture, students have visited a traditional and famous restaurant U Reineru that has been founded in 19th century and represent the local food.

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On Sunday, before returning back to Prague, our little travelers have visited a castle Zvikov, its nature and also Zvikov’s brewery. This visit helped students to understand better the history of the Czech Republic and also the important of the cold beverage in the Czech culture. Overall trip broaden horizons of students and showed them life outside of Prague.

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10/10/2017

Fall 2017 ISSUE I

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A FRESH START IN PRAGUE!

The last August Monday has started the exciting one-semester-ride for students of the Film Studies and Global Architecture and Design Programs. Coming from great distances, all students were greeted at the airport, accommodated and the first week full of activities could commence! Although each program had its own Orientation week, some of the parts were interconnected between the two programs so that students could get to know each other.

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Besides the usual information on academics, student life and living in Prague, our students were also invited to the Welcome Get Together in the center of Prague. During this event, they had the opportunity to get to know each other better and hear the welcome speecch from the Center Director Jana Čemusová.

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Another fun activity was the weekend trip to the Karlštejn Castle for participants of both programs. A part of this weekend activity was a visit of the historic castle of Karlštejn, which is an important element in Czech history. In addition to that, our students could also taste the authentic Czech food and later on participate in the first Czech-in session in order to set their goals for the semester.

11/14/2016

A message from the Spring 2015 alumni

by Meg Logue (Whitman College)

I am very excited to publicly share the final cut of "Mezi Nami (Between Us)," a short film that I wrote and co-directed during my semester abroad in Prague during the Spring of 2015. As of last weekend the film completed its short festival run after showing at Mid Americon II and the TRIFI International Film Festival. This film is the product of four months of intensive work and collaboration between myself, my co-director Javier Torres (University of Rochester), and cinematographer Oliver Hamilton (Denison University). I would not be the filmmaker that I am today without these two, without the help of our FAMU and CIEE mentors and professors, or without the support of everyone who participated in the CIEE Prague Filmmaking program. Also, a huge thank you to our star, Linda Svobodová, who put up with shooting for three days wearing a sheet, and brought this script to life with her flawless talent. We had an incredible time creating this film, and I hope that you all enjoy the fruits of that labor!

 

10/03/2016

New perspective

by Tommy Petroskey (Fairfield University)

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Prague is really starting to allow me to explore my creative side.  Connecting with groups of people who share similar passions and hobbies as me has really put me in a new perspective of what this city is all about.  It is interesting to me that with such a neutral city in terms of politics, religion, and territory, the all-around attitude is a more accepting environment than the States.  I find myself looking more often for true Czech cultural experiences because ultimately I want to be absorbing as much from this experience as I can.  Living here for over a month now has really permitted me to find my groove here and its making increasing my interest about the program and the city more and more each day. 

08/30/2016

Fall 2016 semester has started

The Fall 2016 semester if off to a successful start and the Film Studies students enrolled in both tracks (Production, Screenwriting) are safely on site. Last week was dedicated to orientation which has been shortened into 2 days of sessions and walks to ease up students' struggle with jet leg. This week, students have already started learning the basics of survival Czech language with their teachers Luděk Brouček and Tereza Štichová. CIEE also scheduled some advising sessions in the afternoons and Czech buddies planned a variety of interest groups activities. We hope to be back with some updates and pictures soon!

CIEE Film Studies in Prague

Studying abroad the CIEE Film Studies program in Prague is truly a unique and life enriching opportunity! Check out the video that our Spring 2016 student Jackson Xia (University of Colorado at Boulder) created for us as a part of his volunteering project!

 

09/24/2015

Funny and Interesting Things

by Corey Palermo, Rice University - CIEE FAMU Film Studies Production track

 September 8, 2015

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I’ve been surprised by the sights in Prague more than a few times during my stay thus far. The least significant of them being the very unusual image of Nicholas Cage’s head attached to a goat body (“koza” means “goat”) found nearby the Lennon wall. This post is dedicated to a few interesting tidbits. Please remember that the following are based on my experiences here, as I perceived them. Not all of my perceptions nor my generalizations are necessarily accurate, and they are limited to Prague.

  1. Customer service in Czech Republic need not be all smiles and pleasant interactions. In fact, it’s more common to be greeted rather brusquely or even coldly as disgruntled store clerks and deli counter workers slog through their work day.
  2. Not one person has said anything to me to get me to move out of their way. The phrases for “excuse me” or “may I pass” are readily available, but even moms with their baby strollers have quietly waited behind me, expecting me to eventually notice their intentions and move out of the way. Otherwise, people just lightly shove each other instead of politely communicating.
  3. Beggars are often seen kneeling on the ground, head bowed, holding out a baseball cap for change. Most of the time they do not speak or even look up.
  4. Behavior by men that would be interpreted as sexual harassment in the States is often interpreted here as “normal” flirtation. Several of my female classmates have been somewhat awkwardly touched or even “grabbed” by men interested in them. Somewhat contradictorily, a bright smile and direct eye contact is more than enough to indicate to a man or woman that you are interested. One need not stoop to vulgar and invasive physical contact.
  5. Medical School here is pretty much tuition-free and lasts 6 years. There is no “bachelor’s degree” required for Medical School here. The whole program, theory through to clinical work, is 6 years long, and culminates with a state exam to receive your (master’s) degree in medicine. If a student decides to leave medical school to pursue something else, they leave with no degree–not even a bachelor’s.
  6. The diet here is very heavy on fatty meats, sauces, dumplings, and breads. Despite this diet, there aren’t too many obese people. My Slovak flat buddy Bara claims this is due to smaller portion sizes compared to the U.S., combined with a lot more walking.
  7. Czechs are generally impressed and grateful when I try to speak their language. Generally they know it’s a difficult language and do their best to communicate, rather than getting annoyed or insulting. I think this is different from the U.S., where we often insult foreigners for speaking English poorly relative to a native English speaker.
  8. Segways are incredibly annoying and I dislike them. So many segway tours. So. Many.
  9. The river going right through Prague is called Vltava (“vultahva”) by Czechs, and they generally don’t like the name “Moldau” for it. The Moldau is the Vltava’s anglicized name.
  10. Food and beer are cheap, but clothes are very expensive, comparable to Western European prices.
  11. There’s pretty significant air pollution in Prague, and one can see a cloud of smog hovering over Petrin hill pretty clearly. Contact lenses can be kind of a hassle because of the smog.
  12. There are many little independent cinemas here, screening both new and old films and often serving food and alcohol.

That’s all for this post! Cau!

09/17/2015

First Impressions: Prague and it’s People

by Corey Palermo, Rice University - CIEE FAMU Film Studies Production track

 August 31, 2015

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Arriving in Prague, I could not help but feel a bit overwhelmed by the age of this city. Everything in America is pretty young, and even the oldest buildings are only about 200 years old. Many of Prague’s medieval buildings are over 600 years old, including the Charles Bridge, which was started in 1357. As time has past, the architecture has developed to reflect both old and new tastes, making Prague a cosmopolitan metropolis as well as a sort of “crown jewel” for the old Europe.

Prague has seen much in the past century. Occupied by both the Nazis and the Soviets, the Czech people have learned to be skeptical, and as a people they are generally more withdrawn than Americans. Czechs are often quite reserved and rarely initiate conversation with strangers. They also tend to avoid direct confrontation. If, for example, they go to a restaurant and receive bad service, they will quietly complain amongst themselves but it is extremely rare for them to complain to the waiter or manager. However, when choosing between honesty and “saving face,” Czechs will choose honesty. This means that if you ask a Czech how he or she is, that person will respond honestly and directly. This is radically different from America, where we are expected to remain “pleasant” or “nice.”

As time goes on in the next few months, I look forward to hanging out with more Czechs and getting out of the American “bubble.” I will share my most interesting experiences on this blog, and I’m thankful to all who would choose to read it.

Until next time!

-Corey

05/06/2015

Spring 2015, Issue II

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Meet the CIEE Prague Study Center Staff

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

 Amanda Bell

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

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

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

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Martina Břeňová

Office Manager, CIEE Prague

 

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

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

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

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Lucia Klincová

Student Services Assistant, CIEE Prague

 

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

Lucia has a great passion for sport. She has been a competitive dancer for more than 10 years. She holds several national titles and the title of European Champion. She also enjoys running and wishes to run a marathon one day. Lucia 3

Lenka Osičková

Housing Assistant, CIEE Prague

 

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

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

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Alicja Nemoudry

Program Assistant, CIEE Prague

 

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

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

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

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Veronika Tobiašová

Housing Manager, CIEE Prague

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Eva Tomišková

Operations Manager, CIEE Prague

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

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Ivana Skenderija

Film Studies Resident Director, CIEE Prague

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

 

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

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Richard Stock

Academic Director, CIEE Prague

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

 

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

 

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

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Petra Uvírová

Registrar and Global AD Program Coordinator, CIEE Prague

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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Petr “Franky” Zak

Financial and Information Services Coordinator

 

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

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

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

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