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10/28/2015

Moravia

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

October 18, 2015

From the bottom of the gorge/canyon.

This past weekend we traveled to Moravia, first to Zlín, and then to Uherské Hradiště, where we stayed in an excellent hotel. The highlights of the trip were many, so I am forced to summarize. In Zlín, we learned a bit about Tomáš Baťa, who turned a $320 inheritance from his mother into an international manufacturing company with a strict moral code to take care of its workers. Some referred to him as the Henry Ford of Europe, and rightly so. His methods for shoe production reduced the cost of high quality shoes in Czechoslovakia and the surrounding regions drastically. As an employer, he took care of his own with very high moral and ethical standards. For example, when he learned that his employees had to walk multiple hours from home to the factory every day, twice a day, he decided to build inexpensive, subsidized housing for his employees. When people regarded him as charitable, he would disagree, stating instead that it made economic sense to allow the entire population (not just his employees) to profit from economic growth as much as possible. In his mind, hours were always too long, and wages always too low. It was his responsibility to remedy that. An interesting factoid about Baťa is that he was the first to introduce the “99” to the end of a price-tag. He understood that “199” looks intuitively better than “200.”

In Zlín we also learned a bit about multiple forms of animation, including two forms of 2D animation, pixel animation, and puppet stop motion animation.

20151010-20151010-IMG_4107Digital 2D Animation20151010-20151010-IMG_4167Traditional Cel 2D Animation

I found pixel animation particularly interesting. It involves using live actors as your subjects, and taking photos of them stop-motion style to produce interesting or impossible results. For example, you could have two people sitting on the floor with their arms raised to imaginary steering wheels, and have them move an inch at a time forward with each picture, creating the illusion that their bodies are “driving” across the floor.

20151010-20151010-IMG_4177Pixel Animation

My favorite part of the trip was the trip to the Punkva Caves. The caves themselves were stunningly beautiful, and millions of years old.

20151011-20151011-IMG_4329 Punkva Pic Punkva Caves

The tour ended with an underground boat ride, which was amazing! Albeit a little dangerous…lots of rocks.

20151011-20151011-IMG_4390Underground Boat Ride!!!!

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There is so much more to Moravia than I’ve just written, but you’ll have to take my word on that. Thanks for reading!

09/24/2015

Czech is a Difficult Lanuage

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

 September 17, 2015

Czech language professor Ludek Broucek.

I’ve been here three weeks and learned a fair bit of basic Czech, including general pronunciation, numbers, introductions, restaurants, and grocery stores. I’ve received compliments from Czechs on my accent and my ability to learn new words quickly. Unfortunately, I’m hopelessly far from understanding the grammar rules, let alone fluent communication.

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I think there are two key difficulties in learning Czech. The first is pronunciation. It’s true that Czech words are pronounced exactly as they are written. That helps. However, learning to pronounce the Czech alphabet properly can take some time, and some letters are pretty damn frustrating. For example, there’s the notorious “Ř.” This letter is pronounced like a rolled r muddled together with a sort of “zheh” sound. This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t commonly used, but sometimes it feels as though a word with this hell-spawn appears in nearly every other sentence.

The second major difficulty is grammar. The suffixes at the ends of words change depending on whether they are subjects or objects, singular or plural, masculine or feminine, etc. For example, to order two beers, you have to use the words for “two” (“Dva”) and “beer” (“pivo”). To say it properly, you must say, “Dvě piva.” You have to alter both the number and the object. Isn’t that lovely?

So basically, the bottom line is that I can get by saying everything improperly…people will understand. I’ll just sound like a small child, or a horribly illiterate young man.

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

04/26/2015

INSERT SARAH MCLACHLAN SONG HERE

by Emmy Weiner (Kenyon College)

April 5th, 2015

 

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Preterminal nostalgia has begun. This phrase (which I coined. And doesn’t actually make sense with an exact definition.) perfectly describes how I’ve been starting to feel recently. I know that technically there’s still a lot of time left…but I keep finding myself looking back fondly on this abroad experience as if it’s already over. As hard as I try to look forward to what’s still to come, it definitely makes me sad to know that my time here is dwindling. So, it’s time to make the most of these next six weeks.

It is here that I would like to give my sincerest apologies to all (both?) of my loyal blog followers (shout out: Hi, Mom and Dad!). Apparently I overestimated my blog posting abilities…which would explain why I’ve only posted two things while I’ve been here. Oops. So I think for the rest of this post, I’ll just give you some brief descriptions of notable things that have happened in the past month.

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We spent an entire day at the Hafan Animation Studios and animated a (very bizarre) movie about a man and his love affair with a horse. It was about as deep and emotionally riveting as a thirteen second movie about beastiality could be.

 

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I spent a weekend in Italy. The food was amazing (how are Italians not fat?), and Venice and Florence are both beautiful cities. We rented a car to drive from Venice to Florence and began our journey by driving for two hours…the complete wrong way. We learned that north and south are, apparently, not interchangeable directions. Who knew?

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In case you didn’t know (by the way, I have no idea who I’m talking to when I say “you.” For all I know, these blog posts are actually just being addressed to my parents.), I was an extra in House of Cards, season three (top left of this picture!). My debut was sensational, and I’m now constantly being harassed by Hollywood executives in response to my incredible talent of, what I like to call, “standing in the background for less than a second.”

I visited Ireland. Dublin is pretty cool, but I was actually a bigger fan of the Cliffs of Moher and Irish countryside, which is really as green and awesome as it looks in movies. It was also very nice to spend some time in an English-speaking location.

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I travelled to London (and spent a day in Paris with my family. And it was amazing. All six of us have such big personalities, and I honestly can’t think of a point in that trip when I wasn’t entertained. I’m still convinced that someone should make a reality show about us just interacting. That show could probably be at least as popular as my blog. Zach, Jake, and I learned that our southern accents were convincing enough to make random British people believe that we were from Texas.

I had about eight hours of turnaround time between my family trip and our program trip to Brno. We went to a clowning workshop and a wine tasting, which were both really fun. We also watched a movie about Pedophiles. That was less fun.

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And my last trip explanation: I went to Český Krumlov…a little town in the Czech countryside, and it was awesome. I went with three DoPs (Directors of Production. AKA camera guys), so fortunately, that meant I got to spend a lot of time modeling (and/or standing in front of a camera awkwardly). We were also reminded of the importance of turning off your car lights.

Our program went to the “Invisible Exhibition,” a really cool interactive museum where we were guided around for an hour in complete darkness. I’m already a pretty jumpy person when I have all of my senses…so hearing a lot of sudden noises without having my sight took some getting used to. And I may or may not have screamed in my tour guide’s face multiple times.

Final fun fact: Yesterday, I saw a man walking around with a mountain lion on a leash. I kid you not. Apparently it’s not an uncommon thing here, and the locals were confused by our confusion.

And that’s all I have for you. Tomorrow (AKA Easter Monday) is the day when the boys are supposed to whip the girls of Prague (something about fertility…?), so wish me luck!

02/13/2015

BEEN AROUND THE WORLD, DON’T SPEAK THE LANGUAGE

by Emmy Weiner (Kenyon College)

February 8th, 2015

Who knew that Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty to Me” could be so relevant? Well, you said it, Jason…after two weeks of intensive Czech, I certainly do not speak the language. Sure, there have been improvements, and I (probably) didn’t fail the test I took on Friday, but, guys…Czech is hard.

First of all, pronunciation. Whoever created this language has some severe vowel aversion and decided that life would be better if consonants ruled the world. I’m sure you think I’m being dramatic, so let me give you a few examples:

ice cream- zmrzlina, neck- krk, to shower- sprchovat se, Thursday- čtvrtek, separate- zvlášt

Yeah.

Next complaint: double negatives. Co nikdy neděláte? Translation: What do you never not do? Meaning: What don’t you do? Um…what? The grammar geek in me (and let’s face it, she’s a pretty big part of me) wants to cry and/or die when I try to make sense of the phrasing of that question. If someone asked me something like that in English, I think I’d just tilt my head to the side and stare judgmentally at said question-asker until either A) the question was rephrased, or B) he or she got offended by my hostility and walked away.

Final thought on language: gender. There are actually a few examples of this, but I’ll just tell you the one that I find the craziest. Men and women have different last names. So, if a man’s last name is, for example, Sysa, his wife and daughters’ last name would be Sysova, implying some form of male ownership. Alright, feminists: go nuts.

And, now, update time. Life in Prague is still pretty great, and I find that I am constantly baffled by the beauty and novelty of everything I see. My sense of direction is absolutely miserable, but I’m starting to get familiar with specific areas (like where I live and where I go to school). There is, however, a lot more exploring to be done. Really, I want to try enough of everything (restaurants, cafes, bars, stores…everything), so that I can confidently pick my favorites. I’m still honeymooning hard (remember the culture shock phases?), but that could very possibly end tomorrow with the start of classes. BUT my classes actually have the potential to be pretty cool, and I’ve heard great things about the FAMU professors (and the book written by my main screenwriting teacher is kind of awesome)…so who knows?

And that’s all I have for you. I know long distance communication is not a strength of mine, so I apologize to anyone I haven’t been keeping in touch with. Hopefully these posts will serve as an adequate update until we see each other again. Na shledanou!

02/11/2015

CZECHING IN

by Emmy Weiner (Kenyon College)

January 25, 2015

I have found my soul mate. In the form of a country. Soul country? Country mate? Whatever…it’s here.IMG_3811

To be perfectly honest, I did very little research about Prague and general Czech customs before I got here. I was originally planning on going to London, but after dropping my double major, it made sense to come to Prague and take classes at FAMU (By the way…no idea if that’s an acronym. I feel like there aren’t enough letters in there for it to stand for “Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts,” but I feel relatively confident in saying that the “F” stands for “film”). So I headed to Prague, kind of ready to wing it. And what I’ve learned over the past few days has made me realize how in synch I am with the culture here. They hate loud noise. They hate small talk. They’re incredibly sarcastic. They wear dark clothes. Most importantly: THERE ARE SO MANY CZECH PUNS.

Ok, I have two things to clarify. 1. I realize that the above included some serious generalizations. I can’t be sure, but if I had to guess, I’d say that Czechs are also (probably) unique snowflakes of human beings. 2. I am not using this blog to superficially rave about the “extraordinary,” “eye-opening,” or otherwise “indescribable” (I hate that word. A. It promotes laziness in writing. B. The word “indescribable” is, in itself, a description.) experience. Although I’m currently in the “honeymoon phase” of the lovely culture shock chart the CIEE staff showed us, life here is obviously not perfect, and I will do my best to avoid creating a shallow highlight reel of social media.

And, after that fun rant, here are some actual updates on my life here. After struggling with the six hour time difference and having a few nights of truly miserable sleep, I have finally gained the ability to sleep for an entire night like a normal human being. It’s very exciting. My program consists of fourteen film students (only four of us are screenwriters), and we’ve all reverted to the freshmen mob mentality. It’s fun to hang out as a group, but we’ve gotten our fair share of weird looks when we walk around in a pack of fourteen loud Americans. We explore and eat all of our meals together (and in case anyone was wondering…The Czech Republic is not the most vegetarian-friendly country) and do school-related things, too. Last week was filled with intensive orientation, and now we’re moving on to two weeks of intensive Czech. It’s definitely an interesting language, but I suck at it. BUT I can say “hi,” “bye,” “please,” “thank you,” “coffee,” “wine,” and “beer.” So I’m pretty much all set. I know you can tell you’re truly fluent in a language when you dream in it, but I’ve had a few dreams in Czech accents, and I’m pretty sure that’s like the same thing (right???).

Ok, I’m done now. Sorry…brevity is not my specialty. Na shledanou for now!

12/22/2014

Fall 2014, Issue III

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The 3rd Issue of CIEE Prague Newsletter concentrates on the special projects which were prepared by CIEE students during the Fall 2014 semester. Students from our four programs, namely Central European Studies, Communications, New Media + Journalism, Film Studies and Global Architecture and Design, spent a considerable amount of time and put a lot of effort into creating those exciting and unique projects, which are discussed in this newsletter in detail.

Enjoy reading about those outstanding special students´ projects!

Central European Studies

Special Immersion trip

Special Czech Immersion trip is an optional 3 day trip that our students can join. We prepared this trip last semester and because it was so successful, we decided to keep it. This trip is specific not only because just a small group of students attend (max. 10), but especially because our students do not stay in a hotel. They are accommodated with local families in Vodňany, a town in Southern Bohemia.

Students are accompanied by one of our Czech language teacher on behalf of CIEE. By preparing this trip we wished to give our students another opportunity for their immersion. And what is better than to take them to a small town far away from Prague and let them live with local families for a weekend?

On Friday, students visit a local high school, meet up with local students and spend an evening together. They meet their families for the weekend and also learn more about our culture. This semester students learned more about our St. Nicolas traditions and even decorated typical Czech ginger bread cookies. Saturday is spent with the families that prepare the program for the day.

On Sunday, students are taken to České Budějovice where they have a guided tour around the town and a brewery visit. After lunch, it is time to say good bye and head back to Prague.

This trip is an exceptional opportunity for students seeking to get more out of their study abroad experience, and we are that several students take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Feedbacks from our students:

“Fantastic! It was very well-organized and there was also time to explore the town with family. The high school was interesting and I enjoyed spending time with the students.”                                    

“The trip gave me a chance to interact with Czech people that I have not had yet this semester.”                                                          

“The trip was well organized and very interesting.”                                                         

“I had a wonderful weekend, and I am very glad that I came on this trip! Výborně!”                                                   

“My best experience in Czech Republic so far! Thank you!”                                                      

“This was the most growing and learning experience I have had here so far and I am so thankful!”                                                     

“This has been the highlight trip since I have been in the Czech Republic. It was an amazing experience.”                                                 

“I learned a lot and loved staying with a family. It was nice experiencing what short stay would be like.”                                                         

“I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone in the program, it was so fun and a real immersion experience.”     

“Loved it! Had an amazing time. Everything was great.”                            

Immersion trip 1

Immersion trip 2

Communications, New Media + Journalism

Internships

Motus:

Victoria Macoul spent her semester as an intern for Motus, an organization “helping to create and present new performances and other creative acts, run debates and workshops, and initiate events beyond theatre: cultural development activities for an open democratic society” (Motus website). Victoria had many tasks, but one of her favorites was participating in the Dia De Los Muertos/Day of the Dead festival:

„Motus, in cooperation with Puppets without Borders, brings a bit of Mexico to the Czech lands this year for the ninth time. Against the romantic background of Stromovka park children and their parents can learn these traditional practices, participate in a parade of lanterns, hear real live Mexican music, see performances for kids, shadow puppets and installations made of food – to eat!” (Motus website)

“I think the best part about working at the festival was being immersed in a setting where there were people from every generation. Sometimes as a student you find yourself surrounded solely by people your age, so it was nice to have interaction with families and young children.” Victoria Macoul, Communications Major, Virginia Wesleyan College

  Day of the dead 1

Day of the dead 2

Český Rozhlas, Radio Prague:

You can learn more here about Jelani Spencer-Joe’s (Public Relations Major/Broadcasting Minor, Susquehanna University) work at her internship with Český Rozhlas, Czech Republic’s public radio broadcaster in operation since 1923.

https://www.radio.cz/en/section/letter/a-new-yorkers-experience-with-the-czech-language

https://www.radio.cz/en/section/letter/eating-isnt-my-passion-but-its-a-close-second

https://www.radio.cz/en/section/letter/i-have-to-pay-for-what

https://www.radio.cz/en/section/letter/its-just-a-wall

The Prague Post:

Mara Natale, Film and Cinema Studies, Lafayette College had a chance to intern with The Prague Post and write about her passion: film.

https://www.praguepost.com/cinema/42193-real-life-in-jihlava

https://www.praguepost.com/cinema/42845-film-festival-filmasia-hits-10-years

https://www.praguepost.com/component/content/article?id=42046:das-filmfest-returns

https://www.praguepost.com/cinema/42993-oko-marks-the-advent-in-adventure

Intercultural Communication & Leadership Course

Opened for the first time this semester, ICL is taught by Jana, our Center Director. Because the course touches on issues on intercultural communication issues, this course is offered as CNMJ course credit. Several CNMJ students took part and had to complete a „digital story.“ Alex Paxman, Communications Major, Bryant University would like to share hers with you:

 

The Happening

CNMJ’s very own Jake Weeks (Roger Williams University, Communications Major) was the Creative Director of The Happening and was instrumental in putting the event together. Here’s more about it in his own words:

“The first annual CIEE ‘Happening’ was a program for students to partner up with a Czech action artist and collaborate on a project. Cynthia, Ivanna, and I met with Tomáš Moravec, an artist turned viral video star after he hacked a wooden pallet to glide down the tram tracks of Bratislava, Slovakia, and over the course of the semester we carefully planned out our project. We would film the ‘action’; the students coming in and out of the CIEE door, and edit the footage together to form a construction. Later on the evening of December 8th, we projected this footage onto a cloud of steam outside the door to complete the reconstruction. The intention was to make a statement on how fast the semester goes, and how our time in Prague will soon fade away.” 

Insert video from Z:\CIEE Promotion\Newsletters\Fall 2014\Newsletter 3\CNMJ materials

Buddy Dance Video

“Honza is an awesome buddy for many reasons, but mostly because he's so fun to be around.  As you can see in the video, he's always a source of entertainment.  At the same time, I wouldn't have survived the first two weeks in Prague without Honza.  He was more than willing to drop everything at any time to help me find the post office, grocery store, or wherever I needed to go.  He is always willing to help and made my experience in the Czech Republic much easier and more enjoyable.” Joel Thom, University of California-Sacramento, Communications

 

Film Studies

Hafan animation studio workshop

Undoubtedly the most favorite excursion/workshop for the Film Studies program is HAFAN Studio Animation workshop. They split into groups of approximately 5 students and during one day they learn how to make a traditional animation short film with puppets. Only a couple of minutes of film can be created within the limited time, but all students agree it is definitely worth the experience.

Feedbacks from our students:

 “A great place to explore and helpful to get experience using professional expertize.”

“One of the coolest projects I got to work on!”

“Absolutely wonderful. I'd love to spend a day just watching the animators!”

See one of the outcomes of the Fall 2014 semester below:
 

Intensive Beginning Czech Language course

CIEE Prague makes sure that even the Intensive Beginning Czech Language course is designed specifically for filmmakers. Vocabulary and phrases learned are often time then used during the production process when Production track students occasionally get Czech actors to cooperate with them (if they choose to make their final film in Czech, subtitled to English). Our Czech teacher Luděk Brouček makes them work with the textbook Film Czech - Survival Czech Course for Students of Film and Photography published by Ilona Kořánová in 2013.

Feedbacks from our students:

 “It really helped with daily life in the Czech Republic and being able to at least try to communicate.”

“This was one of the best and most interactive language courses I have ever taken. We learned so much in such a short period of time.”

“I learned a lot in this course - Luděk is an amazing teacher and I was so impressed by how well he handled the whole class.”

To deepen the student experience, Luděk came up with a special video project: students had to come up with scenarios in which the got to use what they learnt. Again, see some of the results below:
 

 

Video blog

CIEE Film studies students are usually strongly motivated individuals with true passion for filmmaking. Therefore they often come up with short independent films during their study abroad experience. Aaron Barnett from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and James Cashman from Seattle University came up with a couple of videos for their CIEE film studies blog - do not forget to checkout previous entries:

Weeks 1-5 by James

Fall 2014 semester has begun by James

Film Studies Overnight trip to Písek: Kašperské hory hike by Aaron

Final films

And last, but definitely not least, - <List names> from <list film name> production gave us a permission to publish their 16mm feature film project they created as their program requirement this term. They managed to shoot this project within 48-72 hours. Enjoy a selection of what we saw on the Final Screening on Thursday, December 18th.

 

 

Global Architecture and Design

This semester´s final projects of Global Architecture and Design students explored the island of Štvanice and proposed various ‘‘Amphibious Structures'' for the new festival ground. <insert GAD  Photo Stvanice>  This area with lot of commercial and urban potential became quite isolated and unused over the years. Our students presented new concepts for its future development.

In particular, students focused on opportunities to use the island´s full potential, especially for commercial use. The main focus was on the entertainment aspect of the island´s urban development. Nowadays, festivals are becoming major contributors to local and global economy as they have the ability to revitalize specific urban context and internationally promote the city as a rich-program destination.

Each student was given a specific area which they had to research and present a new idea of its future development. They had to face several challenges. The necessity for self-sufficient public space and infrastructure of future cities, they succeeded to propose a unique typology and technological intervention that can have profound impact not only on local surrounding, but can be applied on any context with similar challenges.

During the three core courses of Global Architecture and Design, the students were taught new technologies, methods and ways of thinking by leading figures of the contemporary scene of Czech architecture in order to successfully complete their special tasks.

 

 

 

CIEE Study Center Prague wishes you Happy Holidays!

PF 2014

11/18/2014

Písek Hike

During the weekend of October 17th-19th, 2014, CIEE Film Studies program spent a weekend in Bohemia on an excursion. On Friday, we had a guided tour of the city of Písek followed by a tour of Písek film schools. Local students joined us for dinner and the Opening ceremony of the 14th International Student Film Festival Písek 2014 ended the day. Saturday was dedicated to film projections and on Sunday, students got some fresh air while hiking, geocaching and mushroom picking in Kašperské mountains. Enjoy a video that Aaron Barnett from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington shared with us:

 

 

10/02/2014

Fall 2014, Issue I

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The Importance of Being … Well Housed

Housing is an essential factor for a rewarding study abroad experience. Before coming to Prague, students fill out a housing survey which is crucial for their housing placement. Based on their profile and preferences, CES and CNMJ students are placed in one of the following housing options: homestay, dorm, or apartments. FS and GAD students’ housing is a little bit different in the sense that they have only the option to live in CIEE-administered apartments with other CIEE FS/GAD participants. This is due to the fact that they study outside of the CIEE Study Center (at FAMU/ARCHIP) and very often work on school projects together.

When placing students, we do our best not to place students from the same home university in the same apartment/homestay (dorm might be an exception) to make students get to know new people and not just hang out with their friends from home.

Czech Homestay

This housing option offers a truly immersive experience. Our families live in residential areas of Prague and most of them have been in the program for several semesters or even years. Homestay students have a great opportunity to get out of their comfort zone. Apart from an enriching study abroad experience, homestay students get two meals per day and a single room! They are also assigned a “homestay buddy”, local university student, who helps them during orientation and shows them around during semester.

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What do students say about their homestay?

What´s the coolest thing about your housing?

 “Home cooked meals.” (CES student)

“Amazing food and the feeling of being part of a Czech family.” (CNMJ student)

 What do you think about the buddy program?

 “I think it's a great thing.” (CES student)

“Buddies are great for showing us around the city and introducing us to the real lives of the Czech.” (CNMJ student)

 What you like about your neighborhood?

 “I like that it's quiet.” (CES student)

“It is close to the metro and very safe.” (CNMJ student)

 What advantages do you see from living with a host family?

 “A house to really call home.” (CES student)“I’m getting much more assimilated into the culture, and get great food everyday!” (CNMJ student)

Available to the following programs: Central European Studies; Communications, New Media + Journalism

Apartments

Our apartments arelocated either by the river close to the both the Study Center and the city center, or in Vinohrady, a neighborhood popular with locals as well as expats (approx. 20 minute commute to the Study Center by tram/metro). Each apartment houses two to six CIEE students (in most cases three) as well as a flat buddy. The flat buddy is a Charles University students who, in exchange for free housing, helps students during orientation, with practical issues as well as cultural immersion throughout the semester.

Students living in apartments are responsible for their own meals as well as cleaning. This housing option is perfect for independent students. Around 75% of CIEE students live in apartments.

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What do students say about their apartments?

What´s the coolest thing about your housing?

“I love my apartment and its location.” (CES student)

 “Living in an apartment gives me the independence and responsibility of really living in the city and all with the benefit of having awesome American roommates.” (CNMJ student)

“I have thoroughly enjoyed living with a Czech student. She has been so helpful in terms of adjusting to a new city and knowing a lot about the local culture.” (CNMJ student)

”Everything. I couldn't have asked for a better flat buddy and living situation. ” (FS student)

”The apartment and the people!” (FS student)

”I have a balcony in my room, that's great.” ( FS student)

Its roomy and has great qualities of light. Also it's nice that all gear has been provided (kitchen supplies, sheets, etc.)“(GAD student)

„The apartment itself/location has been great“ (GAD student)

What do you think about the buddy program?

“I LOVE my Czech buddy!“ (CES student)

„It's helpful having someone available who knows the city and the language to help if I need anything.“ (CES student)

“Love having my Czech buddy around.“ (CES student)

“Having a Czech buddy is a great way to avoid touristy destinations and discover local bars and restaurants.” (CNMJ student)

“I think the buddy program is great. It provides students with the opportunity to branch out and get to know some of the locals which otherwise might be more challenging.” (CNMJ student)

“I love my Czech buddy! They all make it so easy when you have questions and they are able to show you a "real" part of the city instead of just the parts where foreigners go.“ (FS student)

“My Czech buddy is awesome.“ (FS student)

 „I think it's great! They are so helpful and it's really nice having locals to spend time with. they make it much more authentic than other abroad programs.“(GAD student)

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What you like about your neighborhood?

 “Super close to a major public transportation spot. (CES student)

“It's charming and accessible to public transportation. (CES student)

“I love living in a neighborhood where I’ve gotten to know the local shopkeepers and I can used the Czech I’ve learned on daily errands.” (CNMJ student)

“I love how quiet my neighborhood is and how I can hear someone practicing clarinet every Tuesday. The woman from the minimart recognizes me and always makes an effort to communicate and smile at me.” (CNMJ student)

“I love the location! It is so easy to get anywhere in the city. Also, we are so close to the supermarket, tram stop, and metro.“ (FS student)

“Close to both tram and metro and parks.“ (FS student)

“Everything! “ (FS student)

It's a great location to get around the city by public transit or just walking about.“(GAD student)

„You can walk everywhere, and there's so much to do.“ (GAD student)

 Available to the following programs: Central European Studies; Communications, New Media + Journalism; Global Architecture & Design; Film Studies; all summer programs

 Dorm

The dorm, located within a 10-minute walk up hill to the study center, accommodates usually around 32 CIEE students. Some of the most significant advantages of living in the dorm, apart from the location, are breakfast and cleaning service Monday to Friday. Students who choose this housing option do this mostly because of location and the comfort and safety of being surrounded by other CIEE students. Five dorm buddies are placed in the dorm to, once again, help students with practical issues, share Czech culture with them and help them not get trapped in the „American bubble“. The dorm is located in a neighborhood with many nice restaurants, cafes, and shops.

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What do students say about the dorm?

What´s the coolest thing about your housing?

 “Close to school.” (CES student)

“Free breakfast.” (CES student)

“The dorm is very nice, and is centrally located.“(CES student)

“Having my own room and bathroom.“ (CNMJ student)

 What do you think about the buddy program?

 “It was nice having a student from the Czech Republic to help us get settled and show us around.“ (CES student)

“It's helpful having someone available who knows the city and the language to help if I need anything.“ (CES student)

 “Love it!“ (CNMJ student)

 What you like about your neighborhood?

  “Nice, safe, close to school.” (CES student)

“Safe, quiet, residential. Good food options around.” (CES student)

“There are endless things to see, I could wander for days on end and still find new things.” (CNMJ student)

 Available to the following programs: Central European Studies; Communications, New Media + Journalism