Prague, Czech Republic
Program Site: The CIEE study center in central Prague, FAMU film school and Charles University, administered by the Council on International Education and Exchange (CIEE). Dornsife Overseas Studies currently only approves CIEE's Central European Studies track.
Eligibility: Open to students who will receive major credit for at least two courses. Cinematic Arts majors must take two film courses regardless of major credit approval. Minor credit does not apply. Minimum 3.0 cumulative USC GPA. No language requirement. Students should be able to demonstrate a genuine interest in the Czech Republic and Central Europe; background coursework is highly recommended.
Description: Located in the heart of Europe, the Czech Republic boasts over 1,000 years of history. Prague avoided the destruction that other European capitals suffered during WWII, and has maintained authentic architecture from many art styles and time periods. Today the city offers the best of European medieval charm with the energy of a modern city, and students can enjoy countless art galleries, festivals, concerts, musical performances, poetry readings, museums, and more.
The CIEE Prague Central European Studies program is designed for students with a strong interest in Czech language and culture. Program participants are American, but students have opportunities to interact with locals and become involved in the community.
Academics: Students can choose from English-taught courses at the CIEE center, Charles University, and the Film and Television Academy of the Performing Arts (FAMU). A wide variety of academic disciplines is available. Students who are interested in Judaic Studies and the history of Jews in Central Europe will find that CIEE and Prague offer excellent learning opportunities.
Independent learning and active participation in class are necessary for achieving satisfactory academic performance.
Sample CIEE courses:
- Czech and Central European History
- Europe and the United States: Transatlantic Relations Past and Present
- Czech New Wave Cinema
- Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought
Film students may choose from courses at FAMU, the oldest film school in Central Europe. (Note: Film majors must speak to their academic advisor about earning credit). These courses are offered to both local and international students and are taught in English; some have prerequisites. There are also opportunities to work on the film crews of full-time American students at FAMU.
Sample FAMU courses:
- Tools of Directing
- Cinematographer’s Influence
- Producer’s Craft
- Script Analysis
Students may also choose from selected humanities courses at Charles University, the oldest university in Central Europe. These courses are taught in English and are offered to international students.
Sample Charles University courses:
- Czech Short Stories
- Czech/European Culture - Readings in Czech/Bohemian Culture/From Kafka to Kundera
- Poetics vs. Politics: Chapters from the Czech Post-War Literature
- The Sacred and Mundane Landscape in Czech Literature
Course load and Credit: Students take five courses, one of which must be Czech language. The maximum number of units granted per semester is 16.
Activities and Other Program Features: There are excursions to Bohemia and Moravia and optional trips to Vienna and Berlin. There are also visits to sites in Prague such as Old Town, the Prague Castle, the theater and opera. The program also offers non-credit unpaid internships. Past placements have been in organizations ranging from radio stations to NGOs, schools and English language training programs.
Accommodations: Students have three housing options. Those who choose a homestay gain an invaluable insider’s view of Czech culture. At least one of the family members will speak English; breakfast and dinner are provided. The apartment option allows students to live with other CIEE participants and at least one Czech student. Apartments are fully furnished and rooms are doubles; meals are not included. Students who chose the Charles University dormitory option reside in single or double rooms with American or international students; breakfast is included. Note that the number of dormitory spaces is limited.
Dates: Fall, Spring or Year. Fall semester runs from early September to late December, spring semester runs from mid-January to mid-May.
Estimated Semester Cost:
Cost Updated: 4/24/14
Text Updated: 11/20/13
*Additional expenses include estimated costs for airfare, room and board, books and supplies, health insurance, and personal expenses (which can vary greatly from student to student). USC financial aid, scholarships, and tuition remission may be applied to program costs. Please visit the Office of Overseas Studies for more detailed cost information.