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15 posts categorized "Culture"

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!

 

05/14/2017

Study Abroad Newsletter - Issue III, Spring, 2017

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Are you ready to deal with whatever comes with having an internship while studying abroad? Read what the past interns have to say about their internship experience from Prague. 


What’s the Point? by Madison Smith.

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Why? Why would anyone spend his or her time abroad working an internship when you could be out exploring the city you’re studying in? Why would you pick working in an office space instead of immersing yourself in the culture of a wonderful city? When I applied to the CIEE Communication and Journalism program in Prague I was asking myself the same questions.

Flash forward four months and here I am finishing up my final projects for school, putting in my last hours at work and packing up to head back to the US. Working for the Prague Visitor this semester has been one of the better decisions I’ve made. Its not because I learned a lot of new content or I discovered some new career path I wanted to follow. It’s because I had the experience to work in a foreign country, I made connections with the other five interns and I got to add a start up business to my resume.

Sure I didn’t get to sleep in on those Thursday mornings and I didn’t get to lay in bed and watch Netflix until my heart was content. But what I did get to do through this job is hand out magazines to all the most important areas in Prague. I got to live like a local and learn this beautiful city like the back of my hand. Along with getting to know all the good food places to eat and the best bars to visit on any given night.

Whenever I would complain about having an internship my dad would always tell me that sometimes it’s not about the skills you get out of a job but its about the lessons you learn and the people you meet. The Prague Visitor definitely helped me meet new amazing people and experience this city in a way I would have never imagined if I didn’t take on this internship in my semester abroad.

 

Project Syndicate is the Life for Me by Jessica O´Donnell.

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Amongst my peers, there was usually grumbling of dislike for their internships. “Jess, you’re the only one who loves their internship,” a friend who will remain unnamed once said to me. Coming into this program I desperately wanted to intern for Radio Free Europe or FleishmanHillard. I didn’t even know what Project Syndicate was and was feeling slightly inadequate. But once I looked up information before my interview, I was hooked. I discovered that Project Syndicate is a left-leaning opinion based commentary outlet that included people like Bill Gates, prime ministers, heads of state, and world renowned economists. For those that are interested in global politics, progressivism, marketing, and social media - this is the perfect internship. Not only will you learn a lot about digital marketing, you will also learn a ton about international politics. Don’t know who Marine Le Pen is and why she’s important? Not if you work at Project Syndicate. After you this internship you will know all about the burgeoning youth population in Africa, the future of automation, various global economies, and of sustainability. It comes with the job since you will be constantly looking through articles for social media posts.

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However, if you want an internship that you can do homework in or be lazy stay far away from Project Syndicate! Everyday was pretty much work work work the entire time with few breaks (ok, I must admit I did sneak in a Youtube video every now and then). For the most part, though, you will be pretty busy. But hey, that’s the whole point right?
Lastly, the office environment is unmatched. Everyone is friendly and fairly young. There are a lot of Americans and the language of the office is English, so you won’t have to worry about that. My coworkers would always bring snacks back from their travels, everyone gets a lunch break, and there’s even an office dog named Taya. It was a stress free and ‘chill’ environment. There is absolutely no where else I wish I had interned.

To view Jessica´s portfolio, click here

A European Kaleidoscope - A Personal Journey at IIR by Justin Ziegler (Central European Studies program). 

Well its been a great time. For three months now I have thrown open the door of the neo-Gothic refractory that serves as CIEE HQ and have walked down to the 17 tram. Taking the 17 tram all the way to Narodni Divadlo, I then admired the shining castle and glistening Vltava before hurrying to my transfer to the 22 tram. After many twists and turns—and what I must say at least a dozen close calls of people almost getting hit by the tram on those narrow alleyways—I would arrive in from of St. Thomas Basilica. Walking up the steep, steep incline, I would journey half-way up the row of embassies until stopping abreast of the Italian embassy. Imposing with massive clay eagles flanking the doorway—it always added an air of importance and solemnity. Then turning, I would enter into the Institute of International Relations which stood across the street. Although some days I instead wandered further up the road, taking in the sights and smells of the cliffside. One time, I journeyed up to Prague Castle with a few of the interns, and we spent a day conversing in the gardens, bathing in the majesty of St. Vitus.

The people who awaited me within the Institute were always working hard and diligently. We came from different backgrounds, some from the frigid north, others from the sweltering heat of Pakistan. But we all got along and engaged in lively conversations over the direction of the world, the differences between Russian leaders and the Russian people, and of which Czech beer was the best. The Institute’s many events garnered esteemed visitors week after week, keeping us interns abreast of smaller country’s opinions on more obscure issues (from an American point of view). All in all, it was a great time that I am so happy I applied for and accepted.

To view Justin´s final project video click here

Coworking in Prague – Bringing together an International Community by Shannon Keirsey.

I almost can’t believe that it is already the point in the semester where I am writing my final thoughts on my internship at Locus Workspace. In many ways it still feels like I just started. However, the time that I have spent with Locus has taught me so much. As a reminder Locus is English speaking international coworking space where independently employed professionals share a space to call their office, people to call their co-workers, and be a part of the Locus workspace community. At Locus I am a community event intern, helping to organize, promote, and facilitate different community events within the workspace to improve the overall quality coworking. Over the past four months I have worked on a variety of events to promote development of professional skills, different networking events, and fun community building events. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work behind the scenes as well as participate on all of these events not only because I learned best practices for organizing these event but also the chance to get to know such a diverse group of international businessmen.

My favorite part of the internship has been speaking with and learning from the members, each of which has a unique personal story, international business experience and entrepreneurial spirit. Later in my internship I also had the chance to work on a project of improving the efficiency of the company’s accounting books. This was an exciting challenge for me to put my technical business skills to use. The international aspect of this project was a big unknown for me and I really enjoyed beginning to understand some of the complexities to international companies in a real life application of the things I learn in the classroom. My internship at Locus has been characterized by ups and downs, challenges and successes. Throughout the four months here I have learned so much regarding culture context of doing business, startups outside of the US, coworking, community building, and my own strengths and weakness. Reflecting back on the goals I set for myself at the beginning I feel I have made great strides towards their achievement. I am proud of what I have accomplished. I hope that I have been able to make even fraction of the impact on some of the members coworking experience as they have made on me. I look forward to taking the new perspectives, knowledge, and skills with me back to the US and applying them to future jobs. I hope to one day return to an international workplace and continue to learn about the nuances and complexities on international company cultures.

10 tips for interning at The Prague Visitor Magazine by Corey Cronin.

1. Boss-man Chris likes LOVES to eat
Although he will constantly complain about the dad-bod he has acquired since moving to Prague, he will never oppose getting dessert. When he asks you to accompany him to the café next to the office, always say yes. He usually is a gentleman and will pay for your latte! But, if you’re having a competition of who can lose five pounds faster, this is the time to convince him he also needs a piece of cheesecake and that the berries on top are healthy.

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This brings me to my next tip…

2. Delivery Day DO’s and DON’T’s
If you’re feeling a little tired or hungry on Delivery Day, DO be in the delivering group with Chris. It is guaranteed that throughout the day, he will stop at least 5 times for a coffee, lunch, gelato or one of his personal favs – McDonald’s. If you’re feeling motivated and ready to accomplish the task of delivering magazines to over 300 businesses in one day, DON’T be in the delivering group with Chris. Make a group with some of the other interns or go off on your own. Delivery Day is always a great opportunity to explore more areas of Prague you may not have gotten a chance to visit yet!

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Click here to watch "Delivery Day" video made by Vanessa Anderson.

3. The office bean bag chairs are NOT what you think
You know that feeling of overwhelming childish happiness you get in the pit of your stomach when you see a bean bag chair? Well if you don’t want to feel disappointment directly after it, do not sit in the bean bag chairs at the office. Always resort to the couch first and when that’s already taken, go for one of the two purple chairs. Even the floor is better than these bean bag chairs, I promise.

4. Be aware of DEADLINE
Remember - If deadline is missed, Chris is angry. Of course, a magazine is released at the beginning of the month, every month, however the majority of the work happens the week (most often 24 hours) before the magazine is due. Make sure your schedule for that week is flexible and you’re ready to complete any task asked of you.

5. Don’t forget your athletic tennis shoes in your closet at home
Between delivery days and the uphill trek to the office on Nerudova Street, these shoes will be your best friend. They make weaving in and out of the families with strollers and tourists taking pictures with their iPads a whole lot easier. Also, if you have some sweet Nikes, Chris just may throw a complement your way for once.

6. N E V E R leave your items at the office!
Chris finds joy in making you regret leaving any of your stuff at the office. I think the picture for this tip speaks for itself.

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7. What’s business casual?
My mom said it was best to have outfits for all occasions when coming abroad. More importantly, I would not know where I was interviewing at and the future work environment of that place, so I would need different business casual looks. Well 15 pounds of business casual clothes later, I interviewed with Chris who was wearing jeans, a plain t-shirt, and a gray hooded sweatshirt. And every work day since that interview, Chris has worn jeans, a plain t-shirt and that gray hooded sweatshirt. When you can only check 50 pounds for free, those 15 pounds matter. I personally recommend more socks with all the walking you will end up doing.

8. Chris and Eva argue like an old married couple
Eva is the assistant publisher of the magazine. Chris picks on Eva, Eva picks on Chris. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll soon realize it’s actually quite entertaining. The arguments usually end with Eva playing her flute in another room while Chris watches Impractical Jokers clips on YouTube and laughs to himself.

9. Common Chris Characteristics
One of the best characteristics of Chris is his imagination. He is one of the wittiest and most creative people I have ever met. Another one of his shining characteristics is that he will do as he says. So, when he says he is going to buy a hairless cat so that he can convince people it is a rescued Chihuahua, don’t be alarmed when there is a hairless cat running around the office two days later. The best decisions are the ~impromptu~ decisions.

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10. Be INDEPENDENT!
Chris isn’t a baby sitter and he isn’t afraid to remind you of it. When you’re given a project it’s up to you to research and complete the project. Obviously, he is available and willing to help you if you need it, but for the most part it’s your project, your responsibility. It may feel like he is not offering much direction, but that’s his way of pushing you to find your own direction. It may seem unusual at first, but four months later you’ll look back and realize how much more independent you have become.

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A Semester in the Life of Nydrle by Kendall Conroy.

You’ve been accepted to the CNMJ program in Prague. You’re nervous, anxious to get there and excited about the prospect of working in a new country. Trust me, I know because I have been there before, so let me tell you about the experience I had at my company because I bet if we are anything alike, you’d love the internship experience as much as I did. Upon arriving we worked on interviews with companies that expressed interest in our work and resumes. Because I arrived in Prague late I was nervous that I would be left with an internship that nobody else wanted or even worse, one that I didn’t want.

At school I am working towards an advertising major with an emphasis in graphic design so I knew I wanted something creative and while I was in touch with the program directors I made this apparent. I got an email from Martina saying there were two companies interested in me after the original in-person interviews had taken place with the other students in my program. The two companies were Meet Factory and Nydrle. I was excited that I had made the short list for both of these companies because the rest of my process had been so difficult and I finally felt like I was getting somewhere in the interview process. I skyped with Meet Factory and then received an email from Nydrle with an assignment to test my knowledge of the advertising world. I completed the assignment and loved that I was getting a glimpse into what I would be doing at the company.

Nydrle was the company I chose to work with and since the start I have felt lucky to have chosen this environment to be a part of. As the semester has gone on I have felt like a growing part of the company and the more I express my interest in a certain topic the more they allow me to be a part of it. It feels like they really want me to be a part of the company, so long as I show them I am motivated. If you want to leave Prague having learned a lot, and feeling valuable to a company I recommend Nydrle.

I got to help produce photos that were actually posted on Billa’s social media platoforms. Don’t worry, you’ll be familiar with Billa soon and realize how cool it is that I got to work for them. P.S. That’s my hand in this picture!

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To view Kendall´s portfolio, click here

Leaving My Mark by Brandon Donohoe. 

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As we approach the final days of the program, and my internships are coming to an end, I am filled with a variety of emotions. I am excited and relieved yet sad and nostalgic at the same time. Although my direct cooperation with these organizations will be coming to a screeching halt next week, the impact and positive consequences of my time there will linger for months to come. I certainly left my mark upon these organizations.

IOCB in particular will have to work quite hard in order to get rid of any trace of me. I have had my hand in quite a few large, impactful projects there. IOCB’s Facebook page will be graced with my work once a month all summer when the interview profiles that I wrote are posted one by one. At every event that IOCB puts on, presumably for at least a year or more, the booklet that I helped to create will be distributed to all in attendance. My work will be key in recruiting both students and business partners for IOCB. The booklet provides interesting and pertinent information to both of those parties. This lasting effect will give me a strong sense of accomplishment. It will also be a great feeling when the final product is sent to me. In previous internships I have not had a physical copy of something that I created that actually makes a difference at the company. I cannot wait for this booklet to be finished.

NTK is similar. My video will be the organization’s main source of information for the Periodicals Reading Room in both Czech and English, for at least the next year. Unless they make any major changes, that is. This too is an accomplishment that I am very proud of. After this semester I will now have a published video that is in use on the official website of a prestigious Czech scientific organization. Not only does that feel good, but it is a very strong resume builder as well.
To have made such a strong impact in two different Czech organizations in the few short months that I was here has been an incredible opportunity. I feel fulfilled in what I have accomplished. This has also given me a feeling of reciprocation between the Prague scientific community and myself. I was not simply taking all that Prague had to offer and running away with it, I was actually giving back and contributing as well and that was an incredible opportunity.

To view Brandon´s portfolio, click here

That’s a Wrap! by Tara Doherty.

As my time at the Fringe Festival comes to an end, I am amazed but how much has gotten accomplished. I had no idea what my experience was going to be like, but I am happy to say it went very well. With the festival just around the corner, I am so proud and excited for how the end result is going be. The festival preparation consists of marketing and networking. Marketing was key. The main source of advertising we did was have a spread in the Prague Visitor magazine. With networking, it was important to stay in contact with the performers, as well as surround companies in Prague supporting us. When I first started I did not know about all the hard work that goes into a festival. A key element to the Fringe Festival was the importance of team work. I am so thankful for the people that I work with. Although, I worked well with my advisors, one of the best relationships that I have established in and out of the office is my fellow intern.

Without this experience I would not have been able to meet someone in a work environment that also turned into a friend across the country. One of the most valuable skills that I have developed throughout this experience is paying attention to detail. This is huge when planning for this event. As an intern, I at times got overwhelmed with all the little things that had to get done. I was assigned tasks that were tedious and specific to details. At the time, I was not sure if my work was being valued. Looking back, I am seeing that all the little details added up to something spectacular. Overall, my short time with the Fringe Festival will forever have a special place in my heart.

To view Tara´s portfolio click here

Farewell Fringe by Samantha Lee (Central European Studies program). 

Four months ago I was sitting in the window seat of a plane on the way to the Czech Republic preparing for three different interviews for my internship course. I remember reading
background information on the Prague Fringe Festival and thinking that it would probably not be something for me because I had no prior experience in the entertainment industry or festival productions and I had more interest in working in sports marketing. It is safe to say that I was proven wrong.

At the beginning of the internship I was timid and had doubts about my ability to contribute to the festival production. I could not offer the opinion or expertise of a local Czech,
let alone speak the language. They were searching for ways to attract young, local Czech people to the festival this year and I was unsure how to assist them in this mission. Overtime, I decided to practice what I have always done best: accept the tasks at hand and finish in an efficient and timely manner. I began to realize that the tasks I was given, although repetitive and seemingly miniscule in comparison to the larger aspects of the production, were extremely important in the long run.

Most weeks I was sitting in the festival director’s quaint apartment enjoying a cup of tea, British style, on Monday and Thursday mornings overhearing important phone calls and the chaotic planning of forty different performances. I would spend most of my hours reviewing the new website and program pamphlets to search for any mistakes in spelling, language translation, scheduling and formatting. Through this process I began to learn the names of the artists, titles of the performances, venues, and show descriptions by heart which taught me a lot about the Fringe without me even realizing it… until my next assignment.

In the beginning of April our team was offered the opportunity to provide content about the Fringe Festival in the May edition of the Prague Visitor magazine. My mentor knew that I was interested in journalism so they immediately put me in charge of conducting two interviews to contribute to the eight page spread. After meeting with a hotel manager and a marketing manager from two different hotel operations, I was informed that I would also be interviewing two groups of performers coming to the Fringe this spring. This project challenged my knowledge about the festival and my creative writing skills because I had to keep in mind that my audience was going to be tourists coming to Prague. I also had to sell the idea and purpose of the Fringe Festival by advertising the beautiful city of Prague, the venues that performances would take place in, and the entertainment provided by top notch theatre artists from all over the world.

Throughout this experience I have learned a lot about marketing in a different type of industry and the skills required. I learned that I am capable of adapting not only to a different field of work but also to a different cultural environment. I was able to network with professional individuals residing in Prague but coming from different backgrounds, artists located in several different parts of the world including my hometown and other interns from my study abroad program. This past week I spent some time in London for the holiday and was accommodated by a family friend. I learned that she is heavily involved in theatre in England. Her theatre company has a show that would be perfect for the Prague Fringe Festival and I told her that she must apply for the 2018 festival. I was able to connect her with the festival director in Prague which made me feel both helpful and important.

This internship inspired me to expand my horizons and search for future job opportunities in the entertainment industry with specific focus in marketing and some journalism. I am leaving this internship and the Czech Republic with newly refined skills and the ability to adapt to a multicultural work environment. The lessons I have learned and the projects I have completed in  my internship with the Prague Fringe Festival have shaped me as a more interculturally sensitive and competent worker. I am very thankful for this internship experience because I truly believe that it made my study abroad experience rich with culture.

To view Samantha´s portfolio click here

 So be it, SOFFA by Daisy Ford. 

To sum up SOFFA in three words I would use these descriptions: artsy, laidback, and fun. I really have enjoyed my time while interning at SOFFA, my mentor is my age so our meetings are fun and we easily understand each other. We are free to work from home; we don’t have to do our work in the office, although we are given the option. Instead we have weekly meetings over coffee at the VNTERBLOCK, the coffee shop below the SOFFA office. If you have an eye for design, enjoy writing, and are okay with working off of your own schedule then you would do well as an Intern at SOFFA.

A magazine is released bimonthly; I find it satisfying to physically see something that I have contributed to. I personally came abroad to travel as much as I possible could, but I also knew I wanted an internship. SOFFA allows me to do light work while I am traveling! I always bring an issue of the magazine with me so that I can post Instagram stories – yes that’s my job! I love that I am given the freedom to craft the stories however I want; I get to use my creativity! I appreciate that most of my work is controlling social media so I can travel and still excel at my internship. I have enjoyed my relationship with my mentor, Patrik, throughout the semester. We always start out meetings with talk of travels; where we have gone, where he has gone, and recommendations he has for us.

A brief overview of reasons why interning at SOFFA Magazine has worked for me:
- Ability to work from home and work while traveling
- Freedom to use creativity
- Working with a mentor my age

P.S SOFFA Magazine is available in the U.S.

To view Daisy´s portfolio click here

The Final Days at Urban Space Epics by Cecilia Thomas (Central European Studies Program).

Thirteen weeks, one hundred hours, one Open Studios performance, forty three research documents, two edited articles, one interview, and thirty cups of coffee later, it’s time to finish up my internship at Urban Space Epics. Coincidentally it also means that I’ll be heading back to the United States soon but I’m choosing to ignore that fact. It’s going to be a bittersweet farewell. On the one hand, I’ll be moving on to my next adventure in the concrete jungle of NYC, but on the other I’ll be leaving behind what I’ve only just begun to call my new home. Part of that new home has become the Urban Space Epics studio at MeetFactory.

As much as I may have hesitated in the beginning, the studio with its many posters, masks and cassette tapes has nudged its way into my heart. I think I’ll even miss the creepy walk past abandoned trucks to the gallery entrance (or on second thought probably not).
Students always complain that at their internships they end up doing mindless busy work. They proof read all the research, run errands, grab coffee, and file paperwork. My biggest frustration with previous internships that I’ve held was that I didn’t create anything, instead I was the intern who did all the busy work like so many of my friends. However, this time around, it’s pretty safe to say that wasn’t a problem. I photographed artistic events, witnessed live art performances, engaged in international exchange with artists from around the globe, helped to create and promote web materials, and even dabbled in interior design.

I’ve gone from feeling like I landed in the absolute wrong field, to finding a new passion for artistic and creative expression. Somehow, it’s been able to turn art from a hobby to a possible career. Not that I would be making the art, because that would be a disaster, but helping to promote and put it out to the world.
Even though this internship is coming to an end, there is no doubt that it’ll continue to impact me when I’m back across the pond. Having taken the chance to come to a new country and accept the ambiguity and challenges that came with it, forced me to grow in personal and professional ways. The lessons I’ve learned through working in the Czech Republic are unique and applicable to any future work atmosphere.

While I’m sad to see my time at Urban Space Epics come to an end, I’m ready to bring these new skills to the table. Though I highly doubt that I will work with ethnopoetic expanded cinema again, or in an old factory, it isn’t far out to think that it’ll work within a creative field - maybe even in the contemporary art world. Just probably not as a place as unique and funky as MeetFactory or Urban Space Epics. All I can do is thank them both for this experience and hope that some of that funk rubs off on me.

To view Cecilia´s portfolio click here

People in Need Came to My Need! by Abigail Sholar. 

I can remember my first day at “People in Need” like it was yesterday. I remember the interview, I remember getting the tour of the building, and I even remember the chair I nervously sat in while anxiously awaiting my new possible employer.
Tomas (my soon to be boss) walked up, greeted me in Czech, while I nervously responded with a, “Hello,” completely neglecting the new Czech language we had been learning in Survival Czech the past two weeks prior to the interviews. The interview went well from my point of view, and within a few days I received the e-mail that I had been offered the job with People in Need. My initial reaction was, obviously, extremely excited and couldn’t wait to get started. Then all of my worries started rushing in; *they all speak Czech, I have never done anything like this before, I don’t know how to have a job in Europe, will I do a good job, will they like me,* basically every worry a person could have, I did have.

As I look back now, I realize my worries were completely normal, yet also completely unnecessary. The people who worked at People in Need were kind, welcoming, and extremely friendly once comfortable with me as a new intern. The Czech language, while resonated with me very little, and Czech culture of the office was fun to be apart of and get to experience a few days each week. While working alongside a different culture I also experienced a new breach of confidence in my intercultural communication skills and myself.

Through the work I was assigned at People in Need, I was able to grow in my graphic design abilities by making flyers for International Holidays. Through People in Need I was able to learn not only about the work of the organization but also catastrophes happening all over the world. And, I was also able to take my new international knowledge and provide the company with different social media posts that covered multiple different mediums.

People in Need opened my eyes not only to worldly issues that I didn’t know existed but also shed light on a division of possible work for my future that I did not know I was interested in. Overall this has been a very rewarding experience that I will hold on to a life time in more ways than just a resume add-on, I have been impacted by the experience in multiple ways that I am eternally grateful for.

To view Abigail´s portfolio click here

FleishmanHillard: A Global Public Relations Powerhouse by Sydney O´Tapi.

FleishmanHillard isn’t your average public relations and marketing agency. It’s a multinational, global leader in the realm of public relations and communications. With a wide array of clients, FleishmanHillard leads in quality service and quality content creation driven by their motto, “the power of true”.

Alfred Fleishman and Bob Hillard founded the company in 1946 in St. Louis, Missouri. The two recognized a need for public relations and marketing management for major companies. It was acquired by Omnicom Group in 1997 and joined a network of several marketing agencies. Now the company operates with 111 offices in 29 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. In the Czech Republic, FleishmanHillard fulfills the public relations and marketing needs for other multinational companies that have consumers in the Czech Republic. Because of this, most of the content they produce is in Czech, however all of their major reports and articles are written in English, which is why it’s a great opportunity for interns to get involved in some of their top projects.

When I first learned that FleishmanHillard was an internship opportunity, I was elated. I knew that having a company with the reputation they have on my resume and within my portfolio was going to be a huge stepping-stone into the world of PR and communications. FleishmanHillard is a globally recognized name, and their work has won awards in PR for decades. Great people are made at FleishmanHillard and I knew it was a company I wanted to work for.
FleishmanHillard will teach you a lot, you will learn how to balance several tasks and you will develop your skills in content development. You’ll gain experience working with a large range of clients and by the end of the internship; you’ll realize the invaluable experience you will take away with you. As a journalism student with minors in both graphic design and global studies, FleishmanHillard felt like the perfect fit for me, and I know it will be for you too.

My internship at the Prague Visitor by Hannah Burns.

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My stay in Prague would have been virtually impossible without some the resources I used almost every day to get by. How did people do it 15 or 20 years ago? Google maps, Uber, Airbnb, Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet (the list goes on) were part of my mantra everyday and every week. On top of these, Prague has its own INCREDIBLE resources for travelers to ensure their stay is as immersive and wonderful as it can be – these include Prague Guide youtube videos, expats.cz, Prague City Tourism, CIEE’s weekly updates, and the Prague Visitor magazine – which I had the opportunity to work for through the CNMJ program.

Working and writing for the Visitor was an incredible experience – especially knowing that the publication was something read by people like me. The writing and interviewing process for the magazine gave me invaluable knowledge and practice that I’ll be able to take home with me. I got the chance to interview prominent figures in the Czech community, and learn how to work through barriers, like language and cultural difference, in this context.

The work experience I’ve gained with the Visitor is irreplaceable. I had the chance to apply my journalism skills in an intercultural context, and in hand, have gained skills to apply to my work back in the States.
I am forever grateful for my time in Prague, and for everyone I’ve met here that made my stay worthwhile. Čau Praha! Na shledanou!

To view Hannah´s portfolio click here

Oh! the places you’ll go by Colleen Patty

What a semester it has been. Every semester of my college career seems to go faster and faster and well this semester soared. On one hand, it feels as if it was yesterday that I just arrived and on the other hand I feel as if I have lived here for years. My internship feels very short since the number of hours I work each week is limited. 100 hours sound like a lot but now that I am at the end of my internship it doesn’t feel like much at all. Through this experience I have learned a copious amount of things from Czech culture to tangible tasks. Leaving the awesome company of Nydrle is hard but It excites me that I get to leave after truly contributing to the site. When I get on social media and start mindlessly scrolling it is a true joy to stumble upon a post that I not only had the idea for but created. To watch an idea of yours come to life and then be shared with the world is a special experience and one that I had not had before. Yes, I have created social media content in previous internships but nothing compares to the work that I did for Nydrle.

This internship has broadened my creative horizons and my professional horizons as well. I feel that I contributed hard work, high spirits, creative ideas, open mindedness and more to this company. The photo attached is a social media post that I thought of and created. I would highly encourage any student who is thinking about studying abroad first off, say yes to studying abroad and secondly, try to see if your program offers the opportunity to do an academic internship. This internship and entire experience has impacted my life more than words can describe. I will be going back to the United States with a different mindset and a different mentality.


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To view Colleen´s portfolio click here

National Technical Library and Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences internship by Caroline Coulter. 

Reflecting on my semester as an intern for both Národní Technická Knihovna, the Czech National Library of Technology (NTK), as a Communication and Content Intern and the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB) as a Communication Intern, I am happy with my experiences.

Coming to Prague, I had to idea where I would be interning; and I definitely did not expect to work at two awesome Institutes in Prague. As an intern, I felt truly valued for my work at both sites.

At NTK, the work I did on the Social Media Campaign for the Consultation Corner will be used all over the library, on their digital panels and screens, and their social media platforms. I am excited to receive updates when they put my structure into fruition.

At IOCB, it was very clear through my interaction with my supervisors, that the brochure we worked on will be an integral part of outreach for the Institute. The interviews, some already posted on their website, Facebook, and social media panels, will showcase the awesome scientists and work being done at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

For those of you who are considering interning at either Národní Technická Knihovna, the Czech National Library of Technology (NTK) or the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB), go for it! You will receive an amazing, hands on experience and gain real skills to take home with you after abroad. You will get to explore a new area of Prague, meet interesting Czech locals, interact with students from all over the world, and do some meaningful work!

To view Caroline´s portfolio click here

The Final Story by Kylie Naughton.

And with the blink of an eye, my internship experience at the Prague Visitor has come to its inevitable conclusion. This semester has entailed an infinite list of events worthy of reflection, but I’d like to share my role in a way that is most fulfilling to me.

In simple terms, my role at the Prague Visitor was to be a writer. On the surface, this means to come up with an idea, gather some information, and eventually put it into a few hundred words on paper. But as I reflect, I realize that my role is much more than this – I am a storyteller.

The role of a storyteller does not mean taking a few easy steps to get the job done. In order to tell a story, you need to create a medium of communication with your subject, and discover the ways to truly understand what they have to say. Being an American journalist in the Czech Republic, I had to adapt to a new path to pursue this – especially when my subjects don’t know my language.

Communicating through a translator was a completely foreign concept to me when I first started at the Prague Visitor. But after experiencing it a few times, I found that the languages in which the words are spoken are just a small factor. I found that although these interactions were mediated and less of a fluid conversation, I learned just as much from the individual as I did with any English-speaking subject.

All in all, my experience at the Prague Visitor taught me that a magazine article comes from much more than a few scribbled questions and a tape recorder; it is in human connection where we find the core that attracts the reader. Everyone deserves to have their story told, and it is a pleasure to be the one to tell it.

To view Kylie´s portfolio click here

Cinema Belongs To Us by Devin van Houten. 

Cinema Belongs To Us is the perfect start for those looking to become involved in the world of film. The company offers the perfect start for those who feel they may lack experience, or are looking at a new interest. The company not only offers a great deal of insight into film, but also production and directing. The company also allows you to gain a better sense of communication across borders as you work with other companies within the Czech Republic. The owner of the company, Asmara creates a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere as you learn about the behind the scenes aspects of film and producing advertisement in the heart of Prague. The company allows you to generate and share your ideas as you embark on the opportunity to write scripts for companies, as well as generate scenes and apply a sense of direction. This company is a perfect stepping stone for those who wish to pursue a career in any aspect pertaining to film. You are given the opportunity to see how your ideas can be transformed into a short film or other various media related source. Cinema Belongs To Us, is a company that gives you the opportunity to learn and explore with filming scenes and the ability to direct and create the setting of the films. In addition you can learn and use editing software to create a final project. The company allows you to see the different techniques involved in creating a short film and the various aspects that contribute to the final project. Here you can see your vision transformed from a series of ideas into a work of art. The company gives you the opportunity to peak your interest in film without having a strict and concrete outline of what is expected. Cinema Belongs To Us explored all possible aspects of film and production and allows all and any ideas to be displayed.

To view Devin´s portfolio click here

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!

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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10/18/2016

CNMJ (Wo)Men with balls.

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The October 2016 issue of The Prague Visitor Magazine arrived! The magazine can be found in over 300 locations- including hotels, restaurants, cafés, and bars in Prague. It can also be found in Prague's largest expat employers and onboard with Student Agency | RegioJet trains and buses. CIEE interns not only contribute with their amazing articles, but also help in administering the company social media and create podcasts. Tatiana even made it on the cover!

Check out the newest articles from our interns:

Men with Balls: Brixton Balls Serve Up Street Food Style Meatballs by Sam Spengler.

Prague Burlesque´s Dames of Porcelain by Tatiana Cirisano (cover).

The Most Haunted Places in Prague by Tatiana Cirisano and Sam Spengler. 

 

 

 

09/15/2016

Fall 2016, Issue I

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Welcome Communication, New Media and Journalism Program in Prague!

We have twenty-four new students who arrived from universities from all over the US to study abroad in Prague in Fall 2016. CNMJ students and six Czech students from the Charles University enjoyed fancy dinner and sunny cruise on Vltava River after first day of orientation. Charles University students so called „buddies“ live with US students and help them better immerse into the Czech culture.

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Czech students presented various extracurricular activities they prepared for the students this semester during CIEE EXPO. The activities include cooking classes, sport activities, visiting local museums and monuments, sport events, etc.

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All students learned how to blend in as much as possible by learning basic Czech phrases. Most of the students learned how to say: „Dobrý den, jsem tady na pohovor“ (Hello, I am here for an interview) in Czech to impress the company they may end up working for. While being in a foreign country all CNMJ students have to do internships in local companies to complement their learning about Czech business and international work environment.

CIEE organized first meet up event to allow students from other CIEE programs to meet and get to know each other. Bowling is popular in the Czech Republic and our students enjoyed the game as well.  

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