Made A New Home In Prague Past Review

By (Political Science and Government., Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/02/2013 to 12/20/2013 with

CIEE: Prague - Communications, New Media + Journalism

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a new Czech family that I can go back and visit any time and newfound perspective that can only come from studying abroad. Very worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

There was little consistency among classes in terms of academic expectations from the professors.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a homestay with a Czech family of four and it was far and away the best part of my study abroad experience.

* Food:

Food provide by host family was delicious and authentic. Meals and snacks organized by the program was also pretty good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The combination of a host family, an CIEE-assigned Czech buddy, and Czech professors made for a well-rounded cultural integration.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Prague is one of the safest cities to get lost in…and one of the most fun.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save up before the program in order to have more flexibility for travel.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

A beginner, semester-long Czech course was mandatory for all CIEE students.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Use short phrases with every restaurant/store interaction.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host family
  • Prague's size/beauty/cosmopolitanism
* What could be improved?
  • More relaxed atmosphere at external program office.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Expect to travel outside your host country and budget for that accordingly.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Internship 3003

Course Department: Interdisciplinary
Instructor: Jana Cemusova
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Students participation in a Prague-based internship in the communications sector was a prerequisite for this course. This course addressed various types of internships and the challenges that come with them. We discussed the roles of NGOs, non-profits, public offices, as well as private entities and their relevance in the Czech Republic and the United States. Weekly discussion-based classes and readings were part of the course structure. Students talked about their ongoing experiences in the Czech workplace and the cultural differences that it entailed. A 15 page research paper and oral defense covering some aspect of your internship was required for all students final project.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A
Course Name/Rating:

Media Impact in Central Europe

Course Department: Film & Media Culture/Communications
Instructor: Petr Zargulis
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Lectures were not this course's strong suit. Although we took field trips to Radio Free Europe, where our professor had worked during the Velvet Revolution. Another trip was to Czech Television. We toured their newsroom and various studios.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A
Course Name/Rating:

Politics & Economics of the European Union

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Jiri Holoub
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The professor was the most animated and engaging of all my professors at CIEE. He spoke upwards of 6 languages and was able to offer insight on the history of the EU as well as current issues involving member and candidate states. A midterm and final exam were the main modes of work evaluation. The prompt for the class's final paper was too broad, but it did allow students an opportunity to explore an area of their interest.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A
Course Name/Rating:

Nation, Power, & Money: Seduction & Propaganda

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Salim Murad
Instruction Language: English
Comments: We analyzed numerous advertisements, political campaigns, and videos and their methods for swaying public opinion. The course's weakness was that at times we strayed a little too far from the syllabus and spent too much time on somewhat unrelated material. In terms of assessment, we had midterm and final exams, a 10-page research paper, and weekly written responses to readings.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A
Course Name/Rating:

Beginner Czech

Course Department: Foreign Language
Instructor: Ludek Broucek
Instruction Language: Czech/English
Comments: This course was extremely practical for my time in the Czech Republic. We learned phrases, vocabulary, and grammar of the Czech language. Readings and written assignments were a regular part of the class. Quizzes (both written and oral), midterm and final exams, plus class presentations and participation were incorporated into the class structure. Overall a great class with a capable professor.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A