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21 posts categorized "Cultural Immersion"

05/11/2018

CIEE Prague hosted its first interns and mentors get-together

The Internship team in Prague put together a special event for its Spring 2018 interns and their mentors from the host organizations which took place at CIEE Prague on May 2, 2018. The event provided the perfect opportunity for students and mentors alike to share their experiences and spend some time in an informal setting outside work while enjoying some nice refreshments.

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CIEE Prague Director Jana Čemusová and the Internship team were able to get interesting insights from the students as well as partner organizations that have already agreed to continue their involvement in the Internship program in the upcoming Summer and Fall terms.

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We are very proud of our interns and how hard they worked during their semester in Prague. We hope that you enjoyed your internships and that the experience and skills you have learned will help you in your future endeavors!

03/29/2018

Hands-on cultural immersion with Czech buddies

CIEE flat Buddies are Czech university students who share apartments with the CIEE students, serve as local guides, organize various cultural activities and help with different issues from doctor’s visits to housekeeping. Read a blog post by Veronika Rožnovská who is a Czech buddy for the CNMJ students:

“I have been participating in the CIEE program for more than two years now and I have gained a lot of experience and dozens of friends during that time. I had the chance to participate in several CIEE trips. In return, I invite my flatmates to visit me in my hometown to show them the area I grew up in.

I had a unique opportunity to invite my flatmates to a truly authentic event. My relatives organize a big family gathering once a year. Last year, they decided to be inventive and put together a ’themed’ celebration, something they used to do regularly thirty years ago and that you barely ever see nowadays (spoiler alert – following parts might be seen as inappropriate). We were invited to a pig slaughter.

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Pig slaughter is something our forebears did quite regularly at a time where supermarkets were not common. I mentioned to my flatmates something like this would be organized soon and, to my big surprise, they wanted to join in!

The day the pig slaughter took place, we all hopped on a train and went on a four-hour ride east of Prague where my family awaited us. When we arrived, everything was prepared for a big family gathering – cakes, soufflés, and pies. My flatmates described the whole event as the biggest feast they had ever seen.

After a warm welcome, we all sprang into work. My flatmates surprised me once more when they participated in minced meat and sausage production. After tasting all different kinds of pig products, we prepared dinner together consisting of, among others, schnitzels, meat loaves, and goulash.

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After being so stuffed from all the food we had had during the day, my family members decided to teach my flatmates some traditional dances. We danced until late at night! My friends intended to leave the next day in the morning but after the whole day filled with bewildering cultural experiences, they decided to extend their visit and stayed one more day.

I know some people might find the whole slaughter culture disgusting, however, it belongs to our heritage and I was glad that I had the chance to demonstrate my American friends the way people in the Czech Republic used to live in the past.”

02/19/2018

S18 CNMJ Newsletter 1

CIEE Prague welcomes the biggest group of CNMJ students so far!

CIEE Prague welcomed its biggest group of students of the Communications, New Media and Journalism program and successfully kicked off Spring 2018 semester. Over the past two weeks, all 40 students went through the orientation where they learned practical information to navigate through the semester and everyday life in Prague. They had the opportunity to meet their potential internship sponsors and chose their placement in various Czech organizations that complement their academic program. The survival Czech course equipped the students with basic Czech phrases and vocabulary to boost up their independence. 

Besides a series of lectures, the orientation included a trip outside the capital to allow the students to explore Czech culture hands-on. The guided tour of the beautiful neo-gothic Sychrov castle in northern Bohemia gave the students a glimpse into the centuries-long rich Czech history as well as some juicy 19th-century gossip about the French aristocrats who dwelled in the castle.

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The trip continued with a visit to the Svijany brewery. The students saw the beer-brewing process from hops to pint and learned about the history of local beer-brewing that dates back to the 16th century. The tour was concluded by a much-anticipated tasting of unfiltered beer.

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The orientation would not be complete without the Meet-Up Party, a perfect opportunity for the CNMJ students to socialize with students of other CIEE Prague programs. The bowling tournament, billiard, great food and ice-breaking games allowed everyone to find new friends, and gather energy ahead of the intense semester abroad. We wish you the best of luck!

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12/18/2017

Christmas time at CIEE Prague!

With the looming end of the semester, the CNMJ students concentrate on their final exams and the last few days they spent growing professionally in the internships. However, even during this hectic period, there is always some time left for fun and cultural immersion.

On December 11, CIEE Prague hosted the Christmas party. Students of all programs were invited together with professors, buddies, home-stay families and local staff members. According to the old Czech tradition, the students received gifts from St. Nicholas, the Christmas Devil, and the Christmas Angel.

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Students also had a chance to try one of the Czech Christmas traditions such as gingerbread decorating, making of paper snowflakes etc. And what would be a proper Christmas party without delicious food? Students were invited to taste Czech Christmas meals such as potato salad, fried carp, schnitzels, Christmas bread and tons of cookies.

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Apart from the Christmas party, the students had a chance to participate in the group immersion activity they had chosen themselves. They spent a splendid night at the Christmas concert held at the gorgeous Mirror Chapel of Klementinum and grabbed a glass of mulled wine at the Old Town Square's Christmas market. Cheers!

11/09/2017

You're Gonna Miss Out

by Chen Yu, Tulane University and CNMJ Fall'17 Student

Whether you’re at your home school or at the orientation, everyone keeps telling you the ways to make the most out of your study abroad experience. But you know what, there is one thing I can tell you upfront. You’re going to miss out.

In the spring semester of my sophomore year, I was super pumped about the Film Studies program. I asked friends and writing tutors to read my application essays multiple times and met with my film professor whenever I could to discuss my portfolio. I was so ready to make the most out of it and become a kickass filmmaker. Then decision came in that I was not accepted by the Film Studies program, and I decided to switch to the CNMJ (Communication, New Media, and Journalism) program.

In the CNMJ program, I was so ready to “make the most out of it”. I wanted to take 18 credit hours (the requirement is 15 credits), become fluent in Czech (oh well that’s def not gonna happen), intern with a local organization every week, volunteer to blog and design the semester handbook for CIEE, audit two more film classes, offer to help on set with shooting for the Film Studies students, travel every single weekend outside of Prague whenever possible, go to every single excursion that CIEE plans, explore Prague as much as I could during the week, do all my readings and take detailed notes, and get straight A’s in all my classes. I soon realized that I was exhausting myself out: I was tired all the time, had very unhealthy sleep schedules, juggled multiple tasks, and was left with no time for myself.

I realized that there is a really intense peer pressure to compare how much you’ve explored Prague, the Czech Republic, and Europe. It seems like everyone is exploring new places and everyone’s constantly talking about the hidden places and cool places they’ve been to, and nobody wants to act like they’re missing out.

And there are so many excuses to exhaust yourself out. “When is the next time you visit Europe?” “It’s so cheap to travel.” “You’re studying abroad.” “You’re already in Europe.” But that’s just misleading.

You don’t travel just one semester in your life; you’re travelling all the time throughout your life. You’re constantly going to different places, and no one can possibly explore every corner of the world. Also, flights and bus tickets in Europe are not as cheap as we think, considering Europe isn’t even that big either. In the United States, the bus ticket from New Orleans to Houston can be as low as $1, and I got my flight from New Orleans to Chicago for $50. Instead of travelling as much as you can this semester, condensing the travel of your entire life to this semester and thinking that’s the only way to do it, can we make travelling more sustainable, still take good care of ourselves, and keep the curiosity wherever we go and even after we return to our home school? Can we explore new neighborhoods in our hometown, or go to other cities that we can easily go to by bus like we do in Europe?

I accepted the fact that I’m gonna miss out. And I’m missing out all the time. I don’t have time to audit film classes (well I might not even end up working in the film industry anyway), I won’t become fluent in Czech (probably not ever in my life), I won’t be able to visit every single country in Europe (but the world is so big and I can’t explore every country before I die so why should I overstress out about it?), I’m not gonna explore every single corner of Prague (well I don’t think locals can manage to do that either). I don’t want to be travelling the whole semester while I’m abroad. I want to live my life while I’m abroad.

So now this is what I do every day. I get 8 hours of sleep, do my readings and take detailed notes, drink a lot of hot water, eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, cook Chinese food, go jogging around the neighborhood, look up cool things to do in Prague, and just enjoy my presence in this city. I don’t feel obliged to drink or go out when I don’t feel like it. I know I’m missing out according to some people, but learning to live matters more to me.

10/31/2017

FALL 2017, ISSUE II

CNMJ students hitting Brno!

Excursions are an integral part of the CIEE courses in Prague. Adding to that, CNMJ program has its own trip to Brno that aims to introduce students to the local media industry, explore South-Moravian region and teach them about Roma minority. And, of course, have some fun time bonding together as a group. 

The students had a unique hands-on experience broadcasting at the Radio R - the biggest student-run radio in the Czech Republic. At the beginning, students were given vague scenarios of the actual radio shows and were encouraged to act both as the hosts and the guests. The student's performance was rated on multiple levels such as their originality or correct use of broadcasting techniques, just to name a few.  The students did their best, though only one of the groups could win. You can listen to all of the recordings here.

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 Furthermore, the CNMJ students learned about the history and the stereotypical depiction of Roma minority in local media. During a short workshop organized with Ms. Heráková, a local Roma journalist, they contemplated and discussed on how news about Roma relate to a much broader topic of fake news.

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Despite the rainy weather, the students were eager to learn about the history of Brno during the guided tour and even more eager to finish a busy day at the local wine bar that offers the best of products from local family-run vineyards.

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To pick one of their comments: “This is a great city, and it was nice coming here!“

We can't wait for more amazing time to come!

 

10/03/2017

FALL 2017, ISSUE I

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Busy two weeks for the new CNMJ students in Prague!

With the beginning of September, a group of 28 CNMJ students joined the ranks of CIEE Prague. First two weeks of their study abroad were far from being stereotypical!

The students got a first chance to gain a hands-on experience with a foreign culture and to enjoy numerous activities organized by the CIEE staff and their Czech flat buddies. These included the Meet-Up Party where the CNMJ students had a chance to get to know students from other programs of CIEE Prague and strengthen the sense of student community. Bowling tournament was a highlight of the party, both for those competing and for those who watched. Congrats to Zachary on winning!

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As students are encouraged to visit other parts of the Czech Republic apart from Prague, they were taken on a day trip to Konopiště Castle, the home of Archduke Franz Ferdinand whose assassination sparked the WWI and the Kozel brewery, one of the biggest beer production facilities of its kind.

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Students also underwent a number of comprehensive orientation sessions and the Czech Survival course to help them get the most out of the upcoming three months in Prague. We believe this will be a truly unforgettable experience!

 

04/03/2017

Spring 2017, Issue II

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Listen to our radio show!

Last weekend CIEE CNMJ students returned from an over-night trip in Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic. CIEE students learned about the history of Romani people in the Czech lands and discussed the image of Roma in Media with Vera Lacková, talented Romani filmmaker and photographer and a founder of production company called Media Voice.

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In addition, CIEE students visited the Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University in Brno and were introduced to the activities of Radio R, the biggest university radio in the Czech Republic. During a short workshop CIEE students had to prepare interviews based on scenarios from local journalism students. Below you can listen to the winning group show (Kylie, Tara, Hayden, McClane and Anthony):

Interview with train admirers by CIEE CNMJ students


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Brno is the main city of South Moravian wine region and we couldn´t leave the city without tasting traditional wines from local family-run vineyards.

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This trip not only exposed CIEE students to the Moravian culture and media industry in the Czech Republic but also helped CIEE Prague staff to connect with CNMJ students.

We have learned two very important lessons:

  1. "Women have small brains and therefore they cannot drive trains".
  2. "The ground is home".

Thank you CNMJ students!

12/08/2016

Fall 2016, Issue III

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Internship stories from Prague, Fall 2016.

Hey you! Get of your SOFFA!by Grace Strausser.

Looking through a lens - by Allison Oakes.

Intern at The Prague Visitor - by Tatiana Cirisano

Fulbright - by Meghana Killedar.

MeghannaMe at a Fulbright Event with Ambassador Schapiro.

When I first decided I wanted to study abroad, I had a decidedly different idea of what “abroad” meant. My first few weeks in Prague consisted of meeting more American students than Czech people and being proud of my language skills when I remembered to mumble “dobrý den” at the grocery store. My calendar was filled with trips I was going to take all across Europe, causing all my Facebook ads to scream travel deals at me whenever I logged on.
However, as I began settling into daily life, the reality that the Czech Republic was home for the next four months, and where I would be spending most of my time, began to set in. I suddenly had to remember to account adjusting to living, working and studying in Prague as “abroad” as well.
While the major cultural differences were easy enough to figure out, I soon recognized that there are also smaller disparities that can only be understood through experiences, sometimes awkward ones. While such interactions on the tram were useful, my time at my internship provided the initial entryway and overall foundation for my intercultural experience.
For the past semester, I worked as an intern at Fulbright Commission Czech Republic. As the Fulbright Program is an initiative under the US government, my transition into Czech life was made easier by the program’s frequent collaborations with the American Center. As a result, I was able to gain a deeper insight into the Czech perspective on many issues that I only had had an American’s viewpoint on, such as the election.
Additionally, working at Fulbright afforded me the unique opportunity to speak with the incoming English Teaching Assistants. The ETAs, who are only a year or two older, are living in cities and towns outside of Prague for an entire year completely on their own. Being able to discuss their unique challenges and triumphs with them allowed me to compare and contrast my own experience with theirs.
When I selected my internship, I had no idea how much the position would enhance my time in the Czech Republic, whether it was through the places I traveled or the people I met. It has allowed me to have a completely unique abroad experience and I look forward to applying the skills I’ve learned from it in my future relationships and career.

Soffa Magazine - by Bridget Keane.

Bridget KeaneWorking as an intern at SOFFA magazine has taught me a lot, especially about myself.  I never thought my first internship experience would be in another country, completely out of my comfort zone. However, this was the best way to start out my professional career.  The majority of people who work at SOFFA are Czech. Therefore, interning at SOFFA as an American student studying abroad helped to push me to enhance my intercultural skills. I learned that people, especially from another country, may not always do things or work in the way that I would.  There are different customs of each culture that shape the work environment, and I learned to adapt to ones that are different than my own. I remained open-minded and curious throughout my semester at SOFFA, willing to learn how the company operates and bridge any cultural differences. This was especially important because SOFFA revolves a lot around teamwork.  I think I have grown a lot more confident in sharing my opinions and ideas at the SOFFA meetings, and I learned that you have to put yourself and your ideas out there to make the magazine the best it can be. Even if it is just the smallest suggestion, every person’s opinion can go a long way.  However, I have also learned the importance of communication skills and listening to others’ opinions. When two people’s opinions clash about a certain issue, it is important to talk it out and come to a compromise. Throughout my experience as an intern at SOFFA, I have also become much more independent. I know my duties, and I do them without being told. I am self-motivated and open to any challenges that SOFFA has presented to me. I have loved interning at SOFFA, and I am excited to use what I have learned at SOFFA at future internships and in my career.

The Prague Visitor - by Helen Lee (see portfolio). 

Helen LeeLooking back on an entire semester abroad can be overwhelming. How could I possibly sum up everything I learned and experienced? With less than two weeks left in Prague, I feel anxious about leaving my life here behind and returning to the states. In around four months, I’ve adjusted to a semi-Czech way of life. I am quiet on public transportation, I avoid eye contact, and I don’t feel the need to smile at every person I pass. I have my favorite coffee shops, my classic gelato scoops, and I have an established daily schedule. And as it becomes more and more alarmingly clear that I’m approaching a week of “lasts” – last day of class, last day at my internship, last weekend trip – I feel a looming dread.
I learned a lot about myself here. We all heard the clichés before we arrived in Prague: study abroad will change your life! You learn so much! You gain independence! And as much as I’d like to stray away from these clichés, they only proved to be true.
I grew immensely as an intern for The Prague Visitor. I’ve learned how to manage myself in a professional environment. I have become more confident in my abilities and am more inclined to speak up with ideas I have. I’ve learned a great deal about the magazine industry and its place in the overall media spectrum. And after past internships at large companies, it was a nice change to work for a small office.
One of the most important lessons I learned is that it is possible to find work you are passionate about. Over the years, it’s been hard to be a journalism student and hear left and right about the decline of journalism. I’ve considered switching to public relations and communications more times than I can count. But after spending my semester doing work I love, I am re-committed to pursuing journalism work in the future.

Nydrle - by Brigitte Legallet.

Brigitte Legalet I sat down with my academic advisor told me, “You can either go to Prague or Budapest to study abroad whilst completing your major on time” or something along those lines. I have been lucky enough to travel around the world growing up, but my families adventures never brought us around Europe. So Prague was the answer to those options and here I am… happier than I have ever been living in a culture which is quite opposite from anything I experience at home.
I have had a few internships back at home, but my internship with Nydrle was different. At home, I was often running for coffee or analyzing data, just doing basic work that my superiors needed to get out of the way. Here in Prague… at Nydrle, I am an active researcher where I get to use platforms that are familiar to me. I often suffer from this disease called “impatience” and sometimes it is very difficult for me to adapt to new and unfamiliar surroundings. Entering the Nydrle office on the first day was shockingly uncomfortable, there was little to no English and no one that seemed to want to engage. And this was just something I had to get used to. The language barrier often presented an issue in my involvement because I wasn’t able to engage in basic conversation or discussion. I learned to embrace my new environment and do the work that I was assigned.
Often my boss and I would communicate through email in order to make sure we were on the same page with tasks. I learned this value of patience not only with my boss, but my self as well. I was able to learn how to communicate on a level and through a medium that was easy for us instead of face to face because the tasks would often be difficult to understand. I spent a lot of time alone in the office working on my own projects, as most people do, and it taught me to not always be concerned with being around people. I learned that I really do like to be left alone when I am working and I am much more productive.
Overall, I learned a lot about the Czech culture and about myself. I feel that I have grown mentally by working in another country. I felt this internship experience was what truly immersed me in so many ways.

Cinema Belongs To Us - by Kendall Marianacci.

KendallYou would think that working an internship abroad would be hard. That everything would be in a different language and that you would just have to figure it out. Well, at Ciee they make the process fairly simple. For me, I interned at an organization called Cinema Belongs to Us. Cinema Belongs To Us is a film company that does film consulting. However, while I interned there they started developing a product called Kinovat. Kinovat was going to be their startup business that would allow anyone creative to make their product anywhere by creating a network of skilled creative people, think LinkedIn meets the film industry. As for me, I love all things startup so this a was a perfect fit. My mentor at CBTU was a woman named Asmara, Asmara happened to be American and is one of the only Americans to go to the prestigious FAMU. Therefore, language barrier was a nonissue. We would meet weekly and do a ton of research about other startups, the film industry, and startup processes. The other intern and I actually had a viable position and our ideas contributed to Asmara’s envisioned product. We helped her to organize her head to help her create the functionalities that would make up the minimal viable product. Soon, Asmara realized she needed visuals. Therefore, we were able to spend a lot of time going through all of our notes and data to create the first version prototype. This was a really awesome experience because we were able to put her ideas onto a document in the most raw form, which she will later bring to designers and developers to make something real! Overall, I learned a lot about what it takes to create a startup this semester. I hope to stay involved and continue working on startups in the future! 

Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival - by Hannah Johnson. 

Hannah JohnsonI am climbing one of the many structures the festival put up around Jihlava!

As I’m sadly already started to prepare for my return to the United States and school, I have taken a lot of time to reflect on the many learning experiences I have had here in Prague. In addition to everything I have learned in the classroom, some of my most valuable learning has happened exploring the city streets, travelling streets and trying every Czech food imaginable. While all of these experiences were incredibly valuable, my internship with the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival was one of the best ways I immersed myself in Czech culture and society.
My internship provided me with a great opportunity to not only learn about Czech workplace culture, but also about how an international film festival is run. Both at the festival’s office and at the actual event in Jihlava, I was usually the only American in the room, and while it was often a little bit intimidating, this forced me to use creative problem solving and assertiveness to get the job at hand completed. At the festival, I interacted with festival employees and moviegoers from dozens of countries, which helped me learn about how to communicate across cultures and language barriers. It was also a source for laughter, as I probably said “Nerezumim Cesky” (“I don’t understand Czech”) hundreds of times. Furthermore, I experienced working in a fast-paced, high stress environment that is an international documentary film festival and realized the importance of every single team player in this situation, even a lowly American intern like myself!
I’m very thankful that I got the opportunity to work at JIDFF and plan on keeping in touch with my co-workers in the future. Before I worked at the festival, I loved documentaries, but did not know anything about the importance of international film festivals in this community. After completing my internship, I have a greater understanding and appreciation for the international documentary film community and all the work that is needed to make a film festival like Jihlava happen.

FleishmanHillard - by Selina Xiaowen.

SelinaI started working at FleishmanHillard in September, and it has been one of the most remarkable experience I had during my time in Prague. FleishmanHillard is a global advertising agency and working in a marketing agency has always been something I wanted to do for my future career.
The first week of work was an exciting but also nerve-racking one. I entered the office without knowing anyone and without knowing the language that everyone’s speaking. However, fortunate enough, my supervisor immediately introduced me to everyone and went to meals with me during lunch breaks so to help me better adapt to the new work place. Now, I’m close with most of the people in the office (there are around 20 of them), and would even hangout with each other outside of work. This was definitely something that I did not anticipate when I just started my work.
During my time at FleishmanHillard, I participated in several projects, including brainstorming event and campaign ideas for P&G, writing up articles in advertising effort of South Park’s Season 20 Premiere, organizing Lenovo’s public conference of its new smart phone line with my team etc. It was great that I get to take part in a lot of projects since FleishmanHillard has a lot of global project with English speaking clients. All these projects taught me more about marketing campaigns as well as the unique advertising method in Czech Republic. I made use of my creativity and came up with several innovative strategies for clients while brainstorming with my team. I made use of some of the knowledge I gained during my internship United States and China so to give them a more global perspective and some inspirations. I also learnt that marketing campaigns in Czech Republic still focus more on traditional media reports rather than digital campaigns.
It was an amazing experience that helped me grow both personally and intellectually. This internship helped me further gain a global understanding about marketing and became more attentive to details. Beside the skills I gained, the friendship I gained at FleishmanHillard is even more valuable and I believe we will all stay in touch in the future.

My Semester As a Professional Tourist - Why applying for The Prague Visitor was the best abroad decision I made. - by Tatiana Cirisano (see portfolio).

After the shock and excitement of being accepted into CIEE Prague’s fall study abroad program settled in last spring, I got to work researching all that I could about Prague and its tourist attractions. However, after Googling around the web for hours, I was met with only gimmicky tourism websites and outdated personal blogs. That all changed when a CIEE alumna told me about The Prague Visitor, a monthly English-speaking magazine and website aimed toward tourists who want to get the most out of their visits to Prague.
The magazine, which got its start just last year, publishes a monthly print edition complete with an events calendar, map of popular restaurants and nightlife hangouts, and three to four Prague-based feature stories. Quickly after I learned about The Visitor, I realized it was the perfect place to intern while abroad. What would better help me explore a new city than to work at a magazine meant for tourists like me? Now that I am in the final two weeks of my editorial internship at The Visitor, I can say firmly that I was right. Through my writing for the magazine, I’ve been able to tour restaurants and art galleries, participate in photoshoots at scenic locations around Prague, interview inspiring Czechs like David Černý and Janek Rubes, and interact daily with Czech colleagues—all the while building a strong portfolio of stories. Of course, I can’t say that this experience has been easy. While the perks of the job far outnumber its disadvantages, the tight deadlines and chaotic work environment of the journalism industry can be a challenge. At one point in November, for example, I was tasked with completing a cover story from start to finish in only five days (I did it!). As if the stress of producing a monthly print issue isn’t enough, I had to navigate an entirely new culture to do it, sometimes requiring a translator and pretty often embarassing myself along the way. However, I’m walking away from my internship at The Visitor not only with a number of strong stories at my back, but also with a newfound sense of confidence and ability to solve problems creatively. It’s been stressful, exciting, challenging, and at times scary—but above all, my most rewarding experience abroad.

The Aspen Institute - by Laura Hayes.

Laura Hayes The coolest opportunity my internship provided me was the opportunity to not only work on but also attend the Aspen Institute Prague’s 2016 annual conference Jak jsme na tom. This full day conference was broken up into five notable sections: governece, quality of life, natiaonl security, economic potential, and education. The conference was given in Czech but was transalted into English so that international guests and atendees could also understand. While I didn’t think about it when I was working on it, attending this conference helped me learn a lot about the shape that the Czech Republic was in. I now know a lot more about the country, their government, and what they honestly think about themselves. It was also interesting to hear their initial reactions because this event took place so soon after the US presidential elections, to how or if this outcome will effect Europe. I was most honored to be at the conference though because I got to hear Prime Minister Sobotka speak about his country and what his hopes are for the future regardless of who is leading it (the next elections will be held next year). Aside from just the conference, I also got to work with my collegues in a different context. Working with your teammates outside of the office where you usually work is a really fun and different experience. This conference was held in a musum in Prague that I had never been to before much less knew that it existed. This opportunity helped me explore a new part of Prague that is very much out of my normal litle corner of the city that I visit on a daily or weekly basis. It helped me branch out and enjoy a new part of myslef, and the city I have been living in for the past four months. Imagine that.

Locus Workspace - by Danielle Crepeau.

Dany CrepeauIt is crazy to think that my time in Prague is coming to an end. Going into my last week of my internship, it is important to reflect on how much this city, and Locus Workspace, has given me.
When I began at Locus Workspace, I knew little about the Czech Republic, and even less about the coworking world. However, I adapted quickly, and using the intercultural skills I was learning in my Intercultural Communication and Leadership class at CIEE, I was able to effectively communicate with my boss, my fellow interns, and the other Locus Workspace members, who come from all over the world. My curiosity and resourcefulness aided me in learning more about my role as social media intern within the Czech business world as well – I was never hesitant to reach out when I needed something, and everyone at Locus Workspace was more than willing to help me along the way.
Although there was not a huge language barrier while at work – Locus prides itself in being a very English friendly workspace – I was able to practice my foreign language skills in other aspects of the job by communicating with outside organizations. I frequently had to do research on Czech websites, contact local Czech companies, and interact with members who came from non-English speaking countries. This benefitted me greatly, as it gave me the confidence boost that I needed to speak the Czech I was learning in other aspects of my daily life abroad.
One of my favorite parts of my internship was the aspect of community that surrounded Locus. No matter where members came from, everyone gathered at events like speakers, pub nights, and “mafia” game night events to bond, get to know one another, and bridge cultural differences. These events were fun, and made me feel like a part of the Locus Workspace family.
Despite being nervous at first, this feeling turned into self-confidence and self-motivation throughout the course of the semester. At the core, I improved my ability to communicate within the workspace and to function in a very unfamiliar environment. On top of this, I was able to connect with people I never would have met otherwise, hear interesting stories, network with people in my field of study, and make friends in the workplace. Interning with Locus Workspace was a culturally and personally enriching experience – one that I will never forget.

Prague Shakespeare Company - by Kelsey Zafian.

Kelsey ZafianThis past spring, I made the decision to study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. If I am completely honest, I more or less expected the stereotypical amazing “study” abroad experience: maximum travel, minimal study. I packed my bags and was off come September, Now, reflecting on my time abroad, I would say I definitely had an amazing time, but not how I thought I would. This is due largely to my internship with Prague Shakespeare Company.
My internship added a whole new dimension to my time in Prague that I would have never anticipated. Thanks to Prague Shakespeare Company, I didn’t feel like just another American student living in an American bubble. I felt like I was truly established in Prague. True, yes, that Prague Shakespeare Company is an American owned and operated company, but that did not mean I was any less immersed in the working world of Prague. I was lucky enough to gain first-hand experience in operating a company in a foreign country. Not only did I have to figure out the new company I was a part of, but I also got to be a part of the company figuring out itself in this foreign environment. While this can sound difficult or maybe just confusing, I found it ultimately to be rewarding. I tapped into new workplace skills, such as flexibility, persistence, etc., that I had before coming to Prague, but never had to utilize to such a full extent. For that, I am very grateful.
So, did I get my typical study abroad experience? No. Don’t get me wrong, I still travelled plenty, but I also found myself a part of a much more worthy experience than anticipated. My time with Prague Shakespeare Company was a unique experience that I am so very thankful to have been a part of.

 

11/01/2016

Fall 2016, Issue II

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Can you do splits? Yes, and I can do them at Spilberk Castle in Brno!

Check out a short video from our trip to Brno. CIEE CNMJ students visited the second largest city in the Czech Republic located in region called Morava. Students learned about the Roma community that settled down in the area and discussed about the image of Roma people in Czech media with local Roma journalist. Also, students visited Radio R at Masaryk University run by students of journalism. Attending traditional new wine festival (and tasting burchak) was an optional activity. This festival took students to small village in South Morava called Průšánky and represented typical local festival celebrated in Fall. Na zdraví!

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