Spring 2015, Issue III
Spring 2015 semester has come to its end and Study Center Prague https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/czech-republic/prague/ is not only busy with Summer Central European Studies, Psychology and Communications, New Media and Journalism and Multi-Site (Prague-Paris: Art and Architecture, European Cinema, Psychoanalysis and Culture; Prague-Barcelona: Contemporary European Culture; Prague-Seville: Communications and New Media; Prague-St. Petersburg: Eastern European Cinema) programs arriving on site, but also planning for Fall 2015.
In addition, our Operations Manager Eva Tomišková, Program Assistant Alicja Nemoudry, and Student Services Assistant Lucia Klincová have been taking care of four Faculty-led and Custom Programs https://www.ciee.org/faculty-led-study-abroad/ (from Augsburg College, Columbia College, Mount Ida College and Susquehanna University) since May; you can look forward to a whole Summer newsletter dedicated to these!
But for now, let’s get back to the Spring 2015 semester and wrap up – from the perspective of the academics this time.
Central European Studies & Communications, New Media and Journalism
CIEE Prague’s Academic Director Rick Stock is primarily responsible of the academic quality of Central European Studies (CES) and Communications, New Media and Journalism (CNMJ) programs. During the semester, he sits in on classes and provides CIEE professors with detailed feedback on their teaching style and methods. Every student is also given a feedback form on each course to (anonymously) fill out. This feedback is processed into a readable format and each professor receives it upon submitting student’s grades. Academic Director Rick reads through these feedbacks and includes students’ perspective in his feedback to professors.
But see for yourselves a fraction of the feedbacks received to see what Spring 2015 students had to share:
Art and Architecture of Prague – Marie Homerová
“Marie was such a phenomenal resource, she is so knowledgeable and passionate about Prague and its history. I got a better understanding of the sites in Prague exclusively because of her tours.”
Collective Identity in a Totalitarian Regime – Vanda Thorne
“This was perhaps my best class with CIEE. The readings and lectures were strong and I think I learned the most of any class I took. Good broad history + specific theories.”
“Interesting, I learned quite a good deal + it was key to my immersion in Czech culture.”
Ethnic and Religious Identity and Prejudice in a CEC – Peter Zvagulis
“I learned a lot about discrimination within the Czech Republic as well as a lot about research techniques. I was not as good of an interviewer that I am now because of this class.”
Gender in the ČR and Europe – Blanka Nyklová
“Learned a lot, promoted thought and discussion, heavy workload, high expectations.”
“The course was interesting and provoked me to think.”
Hollywood and Europe – Richard Nowell
"I found the course material to be both interesting and refreshing. I would have not been able to grasp all concepts learned entirely on my own and lecture/discussion was very valuable. I found my papers to pe appropriately graded with a large amount of helpful feedback."
"I feel I learned a lot in this course. Previously I have no experience with film courses but as a TV broadcast major I felt this helped develop my analytical skills of the larger media and think about it in a different spectrum. The course fed off thoughts and opinions we had which helped my own thoughts grow."
"This was my favorite class by far this semester. Richard is a great teacher and his class was genuinely interesting every week. I definitely view films in a different light after this class. "
Intercultural Communication and Leadership – Veronika Tobiašová
“Very organized and patient. Veronika helped stimulate discussion and created an environment that made everyone feel comfortable participating.”
International Reporting – Dinah Spritzer-Richter
"This class was great learning experience, I have learned a lot. Now I understand much better what journalism is about. This class helped me to clarify what I want to do later in my life. The professor was very helpful and receptive to student's comments all the time."
"Really great course, pushed me a lot and as a journalism major I think this is the best journalism class I've ever taken."
"This class has been crucial to my education -> Dinah was a great teacher and above all a mentor. She goes above and beyond what I expected."
"I learned very, very much. I appreciated the material assignments and trips/speakers as well as the environment. I think it was a great opportunity to take this class, here, with this professor. It definitely promoted thought & discussion & exposed me to news stories & friends (beyond class material)."
Intro in the Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism – Josef Blaha
“Prof. Blaha completely changed the way I view religion & I consider myself a more spiritual person after taking this course. The reading were always relevant & the workload was manageable for an abroad student. Prof. Blaha has the kindest heart & cared about his students & their opinions more than any prof. I've had. He came to class everyday with enthusiasm and positivity that I radiated through all his students.”
“This course was very intellectually stimulating. My favourite class I've taken here by far. The class provoked so much thought & discussion.”
Modern Czech Literature – Jan Pospíšil
“Loved this course! The classes required me to think critically. In that, I discovered a newfound appreciation for not only Czech literature, but literature in general. Jan was always excited to be in class and I enjoyed having him as a professor.”
"This course was great and helped me understand Czech culture and history through a unique, primary way. I have a much better understanding of the Czech perspective now."
"My favorite class! Professor Pospišil was always fascinating to listen to and he balanced lecturing, humor and class discussion very masterfully. There was always a great environment in his classroom."
"Loved all of the readings, went through them thoroughly. Good combination of poems, short stories and books."
Nationalism, Democracy and Conflict in the Central Europe: The Czech Case – Peter Morée
"Course opened my mind up tremendously, feel more educated as a citizen of the world."
"I learned a lot about Czech history to the point where I feel confident speaking ot about it with Czech people. I can ask informed questions and learn more about the Czech perspective on their history."
"This class was intelectually stimulating. There were always good discussions and I learned more about the Czech Republic than I ever thought I would. Peter Morée is an excellent professor."
"This course felt very relevant to my studies and my home university. I enjoyed the discussions. Definitely my most stimulating course at CIEE."
While CES students can take courses worth up to 6 credits out of CIEE (at FAMU https://www.famu.cz/eng and at Charles University – ECES https://eces.ff.cuni.cz/), CNMJ students can add up to 6 credits in an additional institution, the Faculty of Social Sciences https://fsveng.fsv.cuni.cz/FSVEN-12.html of Charles University. With the increasing enrollment numbers in Prague, we are constantly working on adding new options to the list. In Fall 2015, we will add the following courses to the CIEE Prague list:
- Czech Architecture and Design in the Czech Republic since 1945
- Franz Kafka: A Prague Writer
- Language, Space, Identity: German Literature in the Czech Lands
- Nazism and Communism Reflected in the Arts
- Social Media’s Revolutionary Impact on Journalism and Society
- Uses and Misuses of Propaganda in European Film
With students’ increasing interest in taking classes at FAMU, we started offering the Film Studies (FS) program consisting of two separate tracks (Production and Screenwriting) in Fall 2008. Film Studies is a direct enrollment program and all of the core and elective classes (with the exception of the Intensive Beginning Czech language) are designed and held solely at the Academy of Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). While FS Resident Director Ivana Skenderija plans orientation, trips and excursions, cultural workshops, and is responsible for organization, logistics and program development, the academics are the domain of FAMU-based Film Studies Academic Advisor and Acting professor, Mary Carmel Angiolillo https://international.famu.cz/page.php?page=69. Mary holds a doctorate from Northwestern University and back when she was a student, she happened to choose to study abroad with CIEE in Paris (where she later returned for a Fulbright program). The very reason why she originally decided to come to Prague was Prague Quadrennial https://www.pq.cz/en/.
But now again, hear some feedback on FAMU courses from our Spring 2015 students:
Acting Theories – Mary Angiolillo (elective)
“This class was loads of fun, and expanded my knowledge about various forms of acting.
But best of all, I got to hang out with Mary- a compassionate, charming, loving, empathic teacher, that every student should only be so lucky to encounter. Thank you for everything, Mary, you are a wonderful human being. “
Acting, Editing, Camera & Film Languages - Mary Angiolillo, Bára Kopecká, Marek Jícha (units of Production and Screenwriting tracks cores)
“All these courses were extremely useful. Acting and Film Language were both highlights of my educational week.“
“Overall, these were good classes, and it was really fun to have class together as a whole group. Acting specifically was really fun, and I could tell that a lot of what we learned carried over to how the directors talked to their actors.“
Feature screenwriting – Jan Fleischer (Screenwriting track core)
“Jan was one of the absolute best teachers I've ever had. Incredibly knowledgeable, and incredibly kind. Really pushed everyone in the class.”
“The screenwriting track was great, and I definitely developed a lot as a writer this semester. Success in this track is strongly dependent on self-motivation, and if you have that it's very rewarding.”
Filmmaking practicum and Mentorship – Bára Kopecká, Tonička Janková, Mirek Janek, Asmara Marek, George Cremaschi, Marek Jícha, Tomáš Daliman (Production track core)
“I was really, really happy with both of my mentors- they made themselves available at every possible minute and devoted their attention and respect to our time and film.”
“My group's mentors were super helpful, and I have learned so much from their guidance.”
“The strengths are that the academic classes offered were much more technical and informative than any classes offered at my school in the U.S. Because of that, I was able to learn a lot about techniques and rules of filmmaking and get the opportunity to learn about making a film using 16mm (something I never imagined I would do). Having the program centered around using 16mm is perfect because it really forces students to learn EXACTLY what we are doing when we change certain settings and decide how to set our exposure. It's one thing to experiment with digital, but knowing the reasoning behind each minute change is invaluable. I can't really think of any ways to improve the overall academics, I think it's fine.“
Film Form and Style – Petra Dominková (elective)
“Petra is a kind, engaging teacher- always pushing her students, but always in a supportive manner. It was an absolute pleasure taking her class, and I would recommend it to everyone!!”
Introduction to Intl Film / TV producing – Petr Sládeček (elective)
“This class was very interesting and completely unlike any class that would be offered at my college in the U.S. I think Petr's teaching method was very effective because he found a balance between teaching us the concept, having us discuss in groups how we would apply the concept, and then giving feedback on the applications with the whole class. Definitely would recommend this class to anyone / everyone interested in the film world - even if you don't want to be a producer, there is a lot to learn about how to go about creating a film.“
Script Analysis 1 – Pavel Jech (elective, unit of Screenwriting track core)
“This class was definitely my favorite lecture-style class. The way the classes were broken up where one week is screening and the next is lecture works really well! Assignments and final exams were feasible, and he definitely prepared us for them.“
“I think that with class the experience very much depends on how much effort you are willing to put into it. I learned a lot about plot structure and how to analyze / make deductions about the film's message from that. A very interesting class and I would recommend it for sure.“
“I thought this class was really eye opening. Never taken one like it before.“
Topics in Production – Bára Kopecká, George Cremaschi, Marek Jícha, Asmara Marek, Mary Angiolillo, Neil Andrews, Vidu Gunaratna, Tomáš Daliman (Production track core)
“Professors made an effort to teach the class based on our particular films. This is very helpful. Examples shown in class to demonstrate a certain technique or portray a particular style often related to ways in which we could potentially make our movie. For example, we adopted an editing/shooting style for one of the trickiest shots in our movie as inspired by some of Bara's examples. I really found this style of teaching both helpful and relevant.“
“All of the courses which we were required to take for 'Topics in Production' were extremely rewarding and I learned a lot. I especially loved the Screenwriting class because I have never had such an in-depth exploration of how to write / create a story.“
Visual Theory – Beth Lazroe (elective)
“Loved it, new way of thinking“
“Tough, demanding, rewarding“
We also asked our students to comment on FS program's ability to help them develop their film production skills (both tracks are involved in the on-set production process):
“Learning at FAMU under all these mentors was absolutely amazing. I feel so lucky to have been able to listen to their opinions and be taught by them. I have never learned so much about film in my entire school career back in the US.“
“The program is designed so the student as to be proactive which helps us take responsibility for our film“
“Already kind of said this above, but I think the program has given me an invaluable education in all of the stages of making a film. (...) I have learned a lot about how to write a script, how to make educated decisions in creating a story board, how to structure a shooting schedule to maximize efficiency, and how to edit a film effectively.“
“The program allowed me to focus solely on filmmaking. I was able to study cinematography much more in depth which made the program worthwhile.“
“The amount of knowledge I have gained here has been amazing.“
“Great. Filmmaking became an entire creative process from start to finish. The road for this film is longer than any other I have made, and it is rewarding to walk it through all the important and sometimes difficult stages.“
“Definitely learned technical and production skills, as well as how to properly tell a visual story. I was able to use equipment and the facilities not normally available to me, which is what I was hoping to do."
“It's a lot of "you get out of it what you put in" which was great for me.“
“Great to collaborate with everyone in the program - professors and students in both the production and the screenwriting tracks. I not only learned from my supervisors and mentors but also my peers!“
Global Architecture and Design
Even though this program was not opened in Spring 2015, we are happy to announce that it will re-open in Fall 2015, so you can be looking forward to some updates from ARCHIP https://www.archip.eu/ (Architectural Institute of Prague) soon!