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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.

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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04/06/2017

Spring 2017, Issue I

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Discovering the Czech Republic

Film Studies students not only spend their time in Prague, but also outside of it. During this semester, CIEE organized two academic trips and students had the opportunity to discover places such as Karlštejn, Český Krumlov or Písek.

On one of the Saturdays, Film Studies students together with the Program Coordinator visited the Karlštejn Castle. Located only thirty minutes away from Prague, the Karlštejn gothic Castle is a great part of Czech history as it served as the place for safekeeping the Imperial Regalia. Students had to climb up the hill in order to visit the castle and its surroundings. Even despite the cold weather and the fog, everyone has enjoyed the trip!


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Another trip took place in the middle of March when students travelled to South Bohemia. Besides the historical tour, the visit of the Seidel Photo Studio Museum or the mirror labyrinth, students also had the chance to visit One World Film Festival (human rights film festival). What did students think about the trip?

"For most of our time in the Czech Republic, we stay within the beautiful confines of Prague. That is why, when we travelled to Cesky Krumlov, I felt incredibly happy to explore other regions of the Czech Republic. These were places that we wouldn't have otherwise seen."

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"I loved exploring the city of Cesky Krumlov. We toured and explored the Krumlov Castle, as well as the St. Vitus church.  Musicians played Bohemian melodies on the bridges. Spring was just around the corner, so we even saw the infamous bears, Kateřina and Vok, strolling about the castle’s moat. The coats-of-arms of the lords of Rosenberg, bearing the sign of the five-petalled rose, embellished the sides of the buildings around us."

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"On the second day, we even went to the Seidel Photo Studio Museum. There, we developed our own pictures, and got the chance to recreate an early 20th century photograph of our whole group! There was also an international documentary film festival happening in the town. There, we loved not only watching the films, but afterwards skyping the director! The live-music event at the cinema’s cafe also was a beautiful end to the day. The atmosphere, the people, the food, the history and the sights made this trip one of the best I ever experienced“ wrote Anna, a student from the Film Studies Program.

12/01/2016

FALL 2016, ISSUE II (FILM STUDIES)

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Greetings from Praha!

The second half of the CIEE Film Studies semester at FAMU has started and while our students are busy with developing their screenplays before the pitch (Screenwriting track) and shooting their 16mm feature film projects (Production track), we are back with some updates on their academic trips in Fall 2016.

Screenwriting track's Intensive Czech & Bonding trip

 

As a part of their Intensive Beginning Czech Language course, our Screenwriting track enrollees had a unique opportunity of joining their Czech teacher for a trip to Bohemia (as we mentioned in our first semester newsletter). During their 5 days in the beautiful nature of Stráž nad Nežárkou, they did not only spend 3 hours each day intensively learning Czech, but also bonding with each other and immersing themselves into the local culture (among others by spending time with their peers from Charles University) and the Czech concept of "turistika" (tourism)... they also got their own hands-on production experience! You can enjoy the results here:

Courtesy of Luděk Brouček (CIEE Czech professor), Adam Turkel, Clayton Davis, Joey Lieberman, Max Nelson, Liam Driscoll, and Melissa Heineman.

Academic overnight trip to Bohemia (Písek and Zvíkov)

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For the weekend of October 21-23, Film Studies Resident Director Ivana Skenderija planned an overnight trip to Písek and Zvíkov. The first two days were focused on the academic aspect while day 3 was dedicated to immersion. Since 1996, this beautiful bohemian town with second oldest stone bridge in Central Europe, has been hosting an International Student Film Festival (MFSF) annually and we had the pleasure of attending the 16th round. CIEE's Global Architecture and Design Program Coordinator (Film Studies interim) Olga Pexídrová was born in Písek, so she provided a guided tour of the city (including and old power plant which gave the city public lighting as early as in 1888!). We tasted local dishes and met with local film students (who joined us for dinner and showed our students around). We also visited FAMO film school, so students had a chance to compare the differences between two major film schools in the Czech Republic. Of course that the students were also given a fair share of free time to be able to explore independently. On Sunday, we continued with a short hike to the beautiful castle of Zvíkov with mysterious Hliza tower (connected with many myths and legends). Students took some amazing pictures inside the castle as well as in the gorgeous park/forrest surrounding it. The trip was ended by a guided tour of a small brewery in Zvíkov - the founder and current owner showed us around and students appreciated his passion. 

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. 

09/08/2016

Fall 2016, Issue I (Film Studies)

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The Fall 2016 semester had begun and we have 21 students on site (14 enrolled in the Production track and 7 enrolled in the Screenwriting track). The 3-week orientation period is close to its end and students are enjoying new experiences while living in a foreign city. 

How was their first weeks?

Film Studies program is a practical program designed for active students whose passion is filmmaking. Especially for the Production track, image should be stronger than words...and Tommy Petroskey (Fairfield University) has proven it by sharing this wonderful video with his first impressions with us:

 

What's new?

The Film Studies orientation was shortened into two days (traditional sessions in the mornings and walks around the city after lunch) and it seems to be working great.

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Our student services team in cooperation of one of the Czech buddies prepared a new format of the orientation walk. This way students are more involved and in a scavenger hunt style they truly learn about the city of Prague and its transportation.

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 Students also enjoyed the welcome dinner on the boat immensely - the weather was amazing!

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Since the first weekend after arrival for free, buddies already planned some Interest Group Activities for the students: 

Cooking lesson - Czech pastries 

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and the Invisible Exhibition.

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High culture event

On Thursday, September 1st, students enjoyed the "Cube" dance performance at the New Scene of the National Theatre, Laterna Magika. This term we allowed students to pick a performance of their preference before they arrived on site, and we have to say all were happy with their choice!

Day trip to Křivoklát castle

On Saturday, September 3rd, both tracks attended a new UJOP trip to Křivoklát castle which was built in the 13th century. After a hike to the castle, they enjoyed the guided tour and a yummy Czech style lunch followed. This was a true Czech-style experience as this is exactly how many Czech families decide to spend their weekends!

Czech immersion trip

Screenwriting track is currently on a 4-day long Czech immersion trip at Charles University premises at the beautiful bohemian city Stráž nad Nežárkou. They are learning the language while enjoying the beauty of the ending summer. They are also working on a video project we hope we will be able to share on this platform soon!

Meet up party (September, 5th)

We added a special twist to our traditional first all get together event of this semester and it was a great success! Almost all students from all 4 programs visited the 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 card at the entrance and their task was to find a person who has the other part during the course of the evening. Once they found each other they had to introduce themselves and find out more about the person. Meanwhile everyone could be involved in bowling tournament and win Czech souvenirs. Rest of visitors 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 big success!

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Excursions

On Friday, September 9th, students will explore the famous Barrandov Film Studios and Hafan animation workshop will entertain them in the following two weekends.

Overall, it seems we are off to a successful start of the semester!

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!

 

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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