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13 posts categorized "Excursion"

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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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!

 

04/08/2017

Midterm check-in with interns in Prague.

People in Need was more like Me in the Need by Abigail Sholar.

I have never had an internship. I have never spoken Czech. I have never done non-profit work. I have never had to use a tram.
Here, I am, on my first ever solo tram ride on the way to my interview, looking out the windows, and paying zero attention to the stop I needed. Missed it. Perfect. I hop off at the next stop, panic for a few seconds, order an Uber and show up to my interview ten minutes late, all while trying to calm myself down by remembering what we had been taught, “the Czech people aren’t very concerned about punctuality.” My fingers were crossed that this was true.

So, I show to the interview with my, soon to be, boss, who luckily, didn’t even notice my tardiness. He was interviewing me, asking me questions with broken English, introducing me to (my soon to be) coworkers, who all spoke little to no English. Panic has pretty much taken over me, although I am also very intrigued by the work of the company, as well as curious if Non-profit work could be something I could be interested in.

I get the e-mail a few days later that People in Need has extended an internship offer to me, and as excited as I was, I was also anxious and nervous beyond belief. I walked in on the first day and was instantly put to work. Through the broken English and my lack of Czech, my boss and I finally understood one another on what kind of work I was mostly interested, which was social media and advertising. He told me to research the company, find some helpful insights on social media posts, and by the second week I had been granted pretty much full reigns on the social media posts. This was something I had never done for a company, so to have this much freedom and the little confidence that I did, I didn’t relly know what to expect when I present my first post, and to my surprise they loved it! A translated from English to Czech post for International Women’s Day, turned out to be a huge hit and I felt like I got a grasp for what the company wanted, and gained some confidence through the whole experience.

I am now very comfortable at PiN, walk in knowing I have work to be done and having an exciting drive to do it! Below I have posted my first social media post for PiN.

Abigail sholar

 

With every challenge comes a new reward by Gabrielle Roth.

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With every new internship comes new and unique experiences, lessons learned, and skills gained. Typically I am prepared for what a new internship will bring to my skill set and to my resume. Yet as an intern in a new city, a new country, and an entirely new culture I was not sure what to expect from an internship in Prague. Just a few weeks into this journey, so far I am more than happy and thankful for what this experience has offered me and what it will mean to me at the end of the semester.
My current internship is with The Prague Visitor, a magazine based in Prague which highlights the best things to do and see in Prague each month. What makes this magazine so unique is that it is geared towards an authentic Prague experience, not just emphasizing what to do as a tourist, but what to do as a traveler to this city. My specific duty as an intern is to establish the Prague Visitor’s music presence in the city and help plan events for the magazine.

One particularly unique part of my experience has been learning to take the initiative with my own projects at this internship. In previous jobs in the US, I have been given exact tasks and specific due dates on projects or assignments given to me by my bosses. With this internship, I have been given the freedom to find and create my own work which I find interesting that will benefit the company as a whole. I have found this freedom to be both challenging and rewarding as I am learning to manage my own time and work better than I have ever experienced before. At the leas this new learned skill is something that I am more than excited to bring back to the US with me and utilize in my future internships.

Another unique gain from interning here in Prague has been learning to interact and work with people of other cultures. While I am working alongside other American students and my internship mentor is American, it has been an interesting experience to work with Czech people as well. Their culture has a variety of differences to those in the US, yet I have found it
incredibly useful to learn how to work with people of different backgrounds while here in Prague. Though we are only about half way through this experience, I feel I have already gained so much from interning here in Prague and will have an abundance of new knowledge and skills at the end of this semester.

Enjoying My Liberty’s at Radio Free Europe by Breon Perry.

Breon Perry
The best way to describe my life in Prague is: walking on a cloud. The sheer beauty of a european major city has had me mesmerized from the beginning. The breathtaking architecture I see, the consistent smell of trdelnik (fried sugar dough with ice cream) wafting in the air, and the sound of cobblestone against my vans are just some of the wonderful things that my senses engage with on a daily basis. The amount of new things I am exposed to on a daily basis is truly refreshing. The small cafe’s that align each street corner make living in the city so refreshing. If a day starts to feel long or very stressful, I always have the option to pop into one of these cafes and relax with a nice latte, or if I feeling real stressed sometimes a beer.

Very interesting to live in a city that's older than the country I normally live in. The subtle differences showcase themselves in the obvious ways such as architecture and infrastructure. But also the role that different governing systems have had an effect on the people and the way they treat foreigners like myself. I have the luxury of working at an important company for the part of the world that doesn’t have media freedom: Radio Free Europe. RFE has been apart of my daily routine in Prague. Even though I don’t have a very prominent role, the fact that I get to go into a building with the such history like RFE is a great opportunity. Most people don’t get the opportunity to work for a company that’s main effort to help those in need. The role the media plays in communicating in the free world is unmeasurable. Seeing that happen on a daily basis is truly a humbling experience. Prague is the place for me and the fact that I’m going on two months left is a sad thought.

Delivery day by Corey Cronin.

I awoke with excitement like a kid on Christmas morning. Except, it wasn’t Christmas morning. However, there’s only one day almost as exciting as the day we both give and receive (and I’m not talking about my birthday). I’m talking about DELIVERY DAY!

As interns at The Prague Visitor Magazine, once a month we all gather together to load and unload that month’s edition. We load hundreds of magazines into Eva’s little blue car, stacking them all the way up to the roof just to unload them as we fill our wheelie mail carts to drag around the city. With over 300 local businesses waiting for their magazines, it is best if we all split up into pairs. This month was my first month helping out with delivery day as I only recently joined The Prague Visitor in early February. I finished my first and only class that Thursday around 1030am, just in time to join the gang at Café Slavia for a quick cup of joe before heading out on the town for the day. Sitting around the table we assigned groups and discussed the game plan of which sections of town each group would hit. My group consisted of myself, my roommate Madison, and our mentor Chris. We called ourselves, “HardCore Mad.”

Corey and Madison

We left the café and began delivering magazines to restaurants, hotels, bars and the little cafes between them. It was not long before Chris grew hungry (as he is usually always hungry) and we had to make a pit stop. We stopped at one of the restaurants he delivers to known as the Sad Man’s Tongue. As soon as we sat down, the owner approached our table and asked where in the US we were from. It turned out he had spent time in both Colorado, where Madison is from, and Virginia, where I am from.

The more time I spend in Prague I realize what a small world it truly is after all. It seems that although it is Czechs’ culture to keep to oneself, often times when that wall is broken down, there tend to be commonalities between two people who always thought they were so different. We left the restaurant and continued delivery magazines, and more magazines, and even more magazines. Although we spent the entire day delivering, it never felt like we were working. The three of us enjoyed getting lost in the city, lost in the sun as it was setting over the tall colorful buildings, and lost in the little moments that made up our entire day. At the end of delivering Chris took the two of us out to dinner to celebrate a long day’s work. While our legs ached underneath the table, the three of us raised our glasses to cheers, not only to completing all of the deliveries, but to making lasting memories and connections while doing so.

Corey and Chris
When I arrived in Prague in late January I never would have thought that I would continuously see so much of the city in such a way while learning about the media industry I hope to break into one day. Even on non-delivery days I still see more of Prague then I ever would have seen on my own whether that be through the photo shoots at the best local cafes, or the magazine articles I proofread, or even the video projects I create for tourists to watch before they too travel here. The tasks, the environment and the people at The Prague Visitor are what make it so special and make delivery days an unforgettable experience.

The Perfect Place for an Engineer by Caroline Coulter.

Caroline Coulter

I have never seen a building like the National Technical Library in Prague in my entire life. From the outside, it is an oval building covered in glass panels with the building measurements, name, and door numbers displayed on it. On the inside, it is a rectangular building with 5 floors, each very different and covered in over 200 “comic-style” drawings on the concrete walls. Every time I enter NTK, I make a point to look at a different drawing or doodle on the stairs to take in another part of the building. The floors are painted to show the general deflection of every point in the plane of the floor. Even the stairs show the possible speed you can reach on them or how many calories you burn going up a certain number of stairs. Video games line every floor giving students a chance to take their mind off school and keep their minds working. It truly is the perfect library for engineers.

Ever since arriving in Prague, I am constantly surrounded by history. The city has an older, historic, and preserved feeling. NTK is one of the few places that is not historic, but futuristic. Coming here twice a week breaks up my surroundings and gives me a little taste of San Francisco and the techie bubble it has come to be.

Working there has been nothing but pleasant, interesting, and fun. The staff are all very nice and there to help me and the other interns. When I am there, I do not feel like just an intern, but a working member of the staff. To beginning social media campaigns, revamping videos, and editing articles, myself and the other interns are given true responsibility at NTK.

I cannot wait to keep on exploring this internship and the incredible, environment-minded building that comes along with it. Every day brings a new challenge, and a new doodle on the wall.

We are travellers, not tourists! by Kylie Naughton.

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If you’re looking for a guide to the best Prague experience possible, look no further than this monthly issued magazine. The Prague Visitor provides you with the ultimate information on the city, the do’s and don’ts, and everything in between. As a traveller myself, the magazine has been extremely beneficial to me, and my hope is that in return, I can benefit other travelers like myself.

Embarking on this new and exciting opportunity, I was pretty unsure of where I would fit in. Instantaneously, I was very impressed by the success of the magazine, and all of the work and expertise that my boss, Chris, has put in to establish it. Finding out that I was chosen for a position as a writer was very exciting, but I was still a bit nervous.

Beginning the internship, I was intimidated. Intimidated by Prague, the immensity of its culture, the success of the magazine, and so on. How would I know what to write about? How would I know that I’m giving the right advice? How would I guide travellers when I still feel like a traveller myself? All of these questions circulated through my thoughts.

After only a few weeks of working for Chris as a member of the magazine, I have felt more inspiration and confidence than I could have ever imagined. Working for the magazine has introduced me to endless places, people, and events – so much that it is almost overwhelming! All in all, I have a deep respect for this magazine, and for all of those who contribute to it. The Prague Visitor is more than just traveller’s advice, but it truly gives you a taste of Czech culture; but the rest is up to you to explore!

Is this all a dream? by Colleen Patty.

Colleen Patty
To describe my life at the moment feels like describing a dream I have been having. This dream starts off with me living in Prague as a twenty-one-year-old with some of the greatest friends a girl could make. Not only am I studying in Prague but interning at my dream job. On the weekends, I get to travel the world and eat exotic foods. Coming back to Prague always feels like coming home but there is never a dip in excitement.

This dream is flying by but it feels as if it has just started. This dream is my reality. I would tell you about a typical day on the job but every time I work I do something different and meet new people within the company. I intern at an advertising agency called Nydrle. They have some pretty big name clients such as Dove for Men and a Czech grocery store, Billa. A lot of times I will do social media research on competitors of their current clients or research on how to boost followers. One huge thing that differs from a normal job and mine is that I am expected to be on social media sites at work. But that’s just what comes with being a social media intern! One of my favorite elements of the office space is the openness and the roaming of dogs. Any employee can bring in their dog any day and all day. They are always playing with each other or coming to have a sniff of your belongings and to say hello. In a workplace having a dog around to pet reduces so much stress and boosts my work experience! Sometimes while I am in the office I sit back and watch the people around me. There is always laughter and no one ever sits still for long. The efforts of the group outweigh the individual and I truly see it here. Everyone’s energy stays up and ideas flow more freely. This experience to work for an advertising agency in a different country has been so beneficial for my professional career as well as myself as a person who is about to graduate college in a year. What a life that I am living in. Dreams can be reality.

Behind the camera by Madison Smith.

Arriving in Prague was definitely a culture shock for someone who has never been to Europe before. Coming into town on a cold, foggy day was not what I had expected. I thought this city that was supposed to be filled with history and beauty. When it was snowy and cloudy for the next few days I was less then pleased.
It wasn’t until the first day of interviews when I was sitting in the Dancing House interviewing for the Prague Visitor that the sun came out for the first time.

I now find myself happily in my fourth week at the Prague Visitor. I’m learning more about video production and how to work in the Czech culture. My main focus is being the woman on camera for tourist videos. The video crew is, myself, my boss Chris, and two other interns Corey and Vanessa.

Our goal is to complete one video a week but with moving locations we have gotten a little behind. So for the next few weeks were really kicking it into high gear and all putting in team work to finish more then one video a week.
These videos will appear on social media and the Prague Visitors website. Subjects like what the best views in Prague are or important places you will need to know, like the 24-hour Lekarna or where the best place to exchange cash is.
Corey is the woman behind the camera who shoots all the videos that I will be featured in. Vanessa has an eye for B-Roll footage and capturing life around us. Together I find that we make a good team because we all bring many different aspects to the table.

Through this experience I have learned how to work with new faces and also to work along different work styles. We all come from many different backgrounds so meeting up in Prague and working together can sometimes be difficult.
Although it isn’t common to go study abroad and work, I’m thankful I have an internship. It teaches me valuable lessons like how to work with many different people from different backgrounds, new skills that I might not have learned back in America and more.

Unintentionally SOFFA by Daisy Ford.

Daisy Ford

As a newcomer to Prague, everything seemed magical. I was in a new city and along with that came new opportunities. As I had submitted my credentials for the internship upon coming to Prague - I knew that I would be greeted with a few interviews.

SOFFA was my first interview, and naturally I was nervous but I immediately felt at home with my gracious interviewer in the spacious and industrious office. With SOFFA in mind I interviewed at another business.

To be honest SOFFA was not my number one choice, I originally put another business first for future career reasons. But I was elated and somewhat relieved when I heard that SOFFA Magazine wanted to extend an internship offer to me.

My journey at SOFFA began. I quickly started to create content and take hold of their social media accounts. From here I started having weekly meetings at the SOFFA office to discuss my progress as an intern, SOFFAs goals, and tasks needing completion in the upcoming week.

Working here has allowed me to think unconventionally. My creativity has flourished through my freedom to photograph inspirational things around town for the blog. I have learned how to take better photographs at better angles with better lighting.

I recently attended a Douglas make up photo shoot where, I took my own behind the scene photographs for the SOFFA blog.

Interning in general can be intimidating, let alone in another country. I was hesitant to reach out to my mentor at SOFFA to tell him I wanted to create more content in Photoshop so that I could have something concrete to add to my portfolio. But I did it anyway and the outcome was worth; he gave me the okay and I’m now experimenting with photo shop!

First-time Visitor by Hannah Burns.

Right off the bat, I knew I NEEDED to land this internship. It was exactly want I wanted out of my academic experience in Prague: a writing position at a magazine (specifically feature writing, which would be a healthy shift from the abundance of hard news writing I’d being doing back in Rhode Island). The simple concept of the Prague Visitor had me intrigued before I even landed here in Prague. Upon doing research for my upcoming trip, in the months prior to my departure, I’d stumbled upon the Visitor’s website. The website was professional, but it’s style kept casual, which (I feel) is vital to their success. They address their audience like an old friend, and this allows for the trust of readers, which is well deserved by the Visitor for offering HONEST and REAL recommendations, steering travelers away from the tourist traps that infest this wonderful city.
One of my first tasks was writing a story for the March Issue.

“So, basically - we are doing a story on the surviving establishments of Cafe Society, or specifically a listicle of four or five of the old school cafes that exist in Prague,” Chris, my boss, and publisher of the magazine, messaged me.
So, I did ample research, and wrote my first story, listicle style, for the Visitor in my first week as an intern. It was a bit surreal that it ended up in the March issue, which we distributed to over 300 locations over the first few days of the month. Speaking of distribution, it was a blast. We split up into teams of 2 or 3, chugging from hotel to café to bar with trollies full of magazines. Our task that day, besides magazine distribution, was to document the process on the Visitor’s Instagram. We had fun with it, and ended up with a pretty cool Instagram story by the end of the day.
More to learn, more to see, more to write, more to experience here in Prague… I’m anxious to see where the Prague Visitor takes me by the end of my time here.

My internship in Fulbright - the only time of the week that I find myself surrounded by only Czech people by Kai Armstrong. 

It has taken a few minutes for me to wrap my head around the fact I am actually abroad, and that this will be my life for the semester. Although I am a world away from the US, and everyone and everything I consider home, I find myself surrounded by Americans most days and meeting other Americans who make me feel very much at home all the way in Prague. The first time I felt not quite at home was my first day at my internship at Fulbright.

When I first came to the Fulbright Center in Prague, I sat at the table pictured below and was told all about the mission and what Fulbright’s role is. Little did I know that this would turn into an opportunity to really immerse myself in Prague, in a more authentic way than my experiences thus far. My internship at Fulbright allows me to leave the American bubble that I have found myself to be part of because my internship is the only time of the week that I find myself surrounded by only Czech people and no other Americans. While this can be intimidating, especially when no one around me is speaking English, it has allowed me to further immerse myself in the Czech culture and really experience Prague.

Kai Armstrong

Fulbright has given me the opportunity to understand more about how Americans are perceived by other countries-specifically the Czech Republic. I am truly grateful for this experience and opportunity which is why I included this picture of the desk as my blog photo. To some it’s a table and chairs, but to others, including myself this desk represents opportunity. What I mean by this is that out of all the people who sit there each and every day, interviewing and planning their futures as Fulbright scholars and teachers, roughly hundreds of opportunities, some of which they don’t even know about yet arise for each and every one of them. As I continue my semester abroad, I look forward to taking in every new opportunity possible.

Agency Experience Internship by Lindsey Moor.

Prior to coming to Prague and interviewing for the internships, I knew I was interested in working for an agency. When I arrived and was informed that I would be interviewing with two agencies I was stoked! After I interviewed with both of them I was faced with the decision of choosing which one I would prefer to work for. One company was international and had a strong presence in the advertising world, and one was a Prague based creative agency that I felt good vibes in the office. I struggled with picking between one that would look good on a resume, and one that I would enjoy the work more. I ended up choosing the second one because I decided that enjoying my internship was more important than looking good on paper.
It is interesting, because even though I am working for an agency, I am actually working in the human resources department and am focusing on internal communications. Even though I’m not actually completing agency work, being in the agency environment is exactly what I was looking for.

Lindsey Moor

Now, five weeks into my internship I have completed a few assignments and see the potential in the remainder of the semester. My favorite and most recent project has been to shoot a behind the scenes video of the making of the shooting of an advertisement. I liked this project because I was able to be creative, go to a new part of the office for the day, and experience a new side of advertising I had never seen before.

An other assignment I have worked on included doing research on what other advertising agencies in the United States choose to feature on social media, and the events they hold. I also am looking into fun, cute, or silly signs to post around the office and create good vibes for the employees. 

 

I had no idea what to expect by Sydney O’Tapi.

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Just one stop from Vysherad’s metro station sits FleishmanHillard, a worldwide marketing agency with hundreds of offices across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Before arriving to Prague to join the CMNJ program, I couldn’t imagine what opportunities would lay ahead. The list of internships available seemed abundant, but amongst the extensive list of outstanding companies, one in particular stood out to me. As a journalism major focusing on communications and digital media, I knew I wanted to intern for a marketing agency that would give me client experience in a variety of different industries. FleishmanHillard seemed like the perfect fit, and their global reputation attracted me further.

One month later, I joined the consumer, digital and public affairs team as an assistant account executive intern. My roles include content production for several different clients such as P&G, Nestle, Comedy Central, and Braun. I also assist in administrative duties and work closely with other account executives and client managers to edit monthly reports and prepare for brainstorming sessions.

I had no idea what to expect. While FleishmanHillard isn’t my first corporate experience, I was overcome with anxiety and fear of what working for a Czech company would be like. I had grown accustomed to American work environments, and the thought of a Czech company made me fear how I could fit in.

Fortunately, my initial experience challenged my expectations. The work environment was comfortable; everyone was very friendly and excited that I was there. They were intrigued by my background and were eager to integrate me into the company. I received meaningful assignments right away and I never hesitated to ask for help. I was pleased to realize how heavily FleishmanHillard focuses on professional development and learning through their internship program. My monthly expectations and itinerary included, “What You Will Learn”, and through each task I have completed I’ve learned invaluable skills that have not only enriched my professional growth, but have strengthened my passion for the marketing industry.

On my first day I met with the company manager for a brief introduction to the company, which included their history, values and mission. What amazed me about FleishmanHillard was their commitment to genuine client-relationships. They believe in the work they do and value each client they work with. They describe it as, “the power of true”. It guides their process and it was something I truly resonated with.

After meeting with the manager I was introduced to the rest of the office. They were extremely welcoming. It definitely helped having a very small staff with only 25 people working within the office.

After working at FleishmanHillard for almost a month now, I have learned so much about the company, and most importantly, I have learned how I can contribute to amazing projects and the incredible work they do every day.

Lights! Camera! Wait…. by Tara Doherty.

Tara Doherty

Not yet! Before we get to the show, there is a ton of work to be done. The past few weeks as a Fringe Festival intern, I have learned that in the field of production, there is so much work that has to be done before the show is released. Networking, advertising, editing… editing again, etc.
Everyday as hundreds of people are walking along the streets of Prague, they are passing by tons of flyers, pictures, or posters. Something I have been doing as an intern is editing the show photos for the 2017 Fringe Festival of Prague. My advisor has taught me the exact measurements we need the pictures to be and exactly where to put our logo on the show pictures.
At first I didn’t feel like I was making a difference, just editing pictures. However, after doing multiple rounds of edits, I came to enjoy the art of editing and realized how much energy and perfection goes into all the signs and posters I see everyday on my way to the metro. Not only are my final products representing the Fringe Festival, but the talented performers participating in our event.

One of the key components that I value at my internship is teamwork. Myself along with my advisors and fellow interns all work individually to collaborate on a single end goal- the festival. Just a few weeks of working for the Fringe Festival has taught me the importance of working together off of other’s ideas. I appreciate how my colleagues value my opinions and take my thoughts into consideration. Comparing American and Czech Culture I feel that this is a shared assets in the business world. I am fortunate that my internship experience has showed me this value and hopeful that my future career in the United States is similar.

Gaining an Old Appreciation by Cecilia Thomas.

At first, the abandoned looking warehouse on the other side of the tracks took me aback. I couldn’t figure out the vibe MeetFactory had when I first walked through the door. It was unlike anywhere I’d ever worked before and I genuinely started to second-guess my internship experience before it even began. What I didn’t know though, was that it would help me to realize just how much I missed working in a creative field. I’ve always considered myself a creative person, and throughout my life my creativity has changed with me. When I was five I was painting with my grandfather, at ten I was playing piano, and at fifteen I was dancing during football game halftime shows.

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By the time I got to college though, my creativity was focused solely in my schoolwork. I got further and further away from the things that I loved as a kid because I didn’t have the time. It never occurred to me that my future career could have an artistic outlet until I started my internship at Urban Space Epics here in Prague.

The first couple of weeks weren’t really anything to write home about. I went through an orientation, learned how the studio functioned, and helped run the communication aspects of the studio, which included editing web content. It was relevant to what I was studying, but I wasn’t excited about what I was doing. My mentality totally changed once I got to document the Open Studios event. This event is where MeetFactory opens their doors to the public to experience what the artists in the studios are working on, present new installations, and view experimental concerts. It was by far the liveliest, funkiest, and most eye opening experience I’d had so far in Prague. The feelings of appreciation I’d had for art when I was younger, the wonder and need to create something of my own, bubbled back up. I realized that art can take on many different forms and that I could easily incorporate it into my career. I’d have never considered working in an art gallery before, but my internship has helped me see that it really isn’t so different from what I want to do. I could have a career where I’m exposed to art every day, and still work within the world of communication and business.

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Getting out of my comfort zone, and working at a place that I would never have considered before helped me to realize that there are many paths that lead to the same place. I don’t have to choose a career where I paint, play an instrument, or perform to feel like I am participating in an artistic way. Even though the exterior is a little rough, Urban Space Epics has already helped me gain back the appreciation I had for art as a kid and I can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store.

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

Shannon Keirsey
Just about two months ago I came to Prague to begin my study abroad and, of course, internship experience. I am interning at Locus Workspace and could not be happier with how it has added to my time studying here in Prague. Locus is an English speaking international coworking space. This means basically that people who are independently employed, but still want to have a space to call their office and people to call their co-workers can get a membership and be a part of the Locus workspace community. That is where my job comes in. I am a community event intern, so I help to organize, promote, and facilitate different community events within the workspace to improve the overall quality coworking. I have worked on events like “Embodied Leadership,” “Negotiate Like a Pro,” and “IT/IP Business Operation – Legal Aspects.” At each of these events a professional speaker on the topic came in to hold a professional development type seminar to refine skills within their topic. Other types of events include “Weekly Coffee Break,” “Hump Day Pump Night” and “Locus Mafia Night.”

It is at these get togethers that members have an opportunity to get to know one another on a more personal and fun level. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work behind the scenes as well as participate on all of these events. Working with other professionals is both interesting and beneficial to me as a business major. Having the chance to meet and talk with the members, each of which has a distinct international personal story and entrepreneurial spirit, is a huge perk of the job. I think that much of the cultural perspective and true immersion I am getting here in Prague comes from working and talking with the different Locus members. I’ve learned a lot in this position already and look forward to continuing to implement best practices around community event planning and expanding relationships with the uniquely interesting businessmen at Locus.

Exhibitions and blogging by Marilyn Santos.

Studying and living in Prague has been a great, life changing experience so far. Living in another country than my own and meeting new people wherever I go is something I always wanted to do and I have not been disappointed! What has made my stay in Prague in even better is working for Archip, an architectural school catering to many students from all over the world. This internship has thought me a lot and enhanced my experience in Prague, by making me see things from a different point of view- an architectural one.

My internship consists of going to interesting monuments, buildings, museums, exhibitions and blogging about them on the Archip blog. This has allowed me to learn a lot about architecture and what it entails- to the outlines that are made, the scale models, the math that goes into everything and making it look as perfect as it can be. I have always loved and been interested in art but have mostly bee familiar with painting as an art form so discovering art through architecture has been very knowledgeable and worthwhile for me! I also get the opportunity to meet students and professors studying at Archip and talk to them about what they like about Prague, what they are working on, and what they enjoy about the school. Talking to and interviewing people who are well acquainted with the subject of architecture is very interesting to me and allows me to learn so much more about it and all the work that goes into it. I am so glad, that in a city like Prague, that is full history and breathtaking architecture, that I am able to learn more about something that makes the city what it is. I feel very lucky to be able to experience this city through a point of view that I would not have originally been able to if I had not had the opportunity that this internship at Archip has given me!

Studying abroad in Prague has been a blast by William Avery.

Just a year back I was in my junior year at Rutgers when I started to get the idea that I should study abroad before my time in college runs out. I am not the classic study abroad student who if just starting college looking for a good time. I actually have a connection to this country as my mother was born in the Czech Republic and I have visited the town of Boskovice every summer since I can remember.

Let me say that Prague is much different than the rest of the Czech Republic. What I knew from my grandma’s small town about this country totally changed when I got to Prague. I was shocked to hear so many different languages walking through Wenceslas Square. The metro and trams also took some time getting used to. But within a few weeks of checking out the coolest pubs and sights you get used to it and it quickly feels like home.

The internship was one of my main reasons for studying abroad. I definitely wanted something I could put on my resume that would stand out and I am glad to say that is what I found this semester with the Institute of International Relations. Going into the interviews I have to admit that I was a bit nervous, but I am happy how it turned out. The IIR is the best place I could have chosen to intern at due to its collaborative, enthusiastic and international atmosphere. With interns from Pakistan, France, Finland and other countries it is great to interact and hear stories from exciting people. In my last internship I was unfortunately the only intern at the company and things got a bit boring at times. Certainly not at the IIR! The researchers we work with keep us busy with translations, proofreading and other research tasks on international topics from around the globe. Actually tonight I attended an event about Cyberwarfare and Cybersecutiry in the Internet Age, a topic that has been hotly discussed.  Prague is a city like no other. As of so far, I could not have asked for a better study abroad 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!

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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11/23/2015

A Lovely Little Town in Moravia

By Abby Kutlas from Northwestern University.

Over the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to places that are on many a bucket list and Pinterest travel board, from Budapest to the Swiss Alps and Salzburg. When I look back at my time abroad, however, I will always have a fondness in my heart for a town no one in the United States has probably ever heard of: Brno.

Brno is the second-largest city in the Czech Republic, with around 400,000 inhabitants, and is the judicial authority of the country, hosting the Supreme Court. Brno also has 13 different institutes of higher learning with 89,000 students total, and you can definitely feel that presence in the city. CIEE took all of the kids in the journalism program to Brno a few weekends ago to check out this adorable town in the Moravian region of the country, and it was a surprisingly fantastic weekend.

We left for Brno via bus on Friday morning, and two-and-a-half hour later we arrived in front of Masaryk University to tour their alternative radio station, Radio R. Radio R started eight years ago as a place to air alternative music but has expanded to educational programming, lifestyle shows and discussion hours. They let us broadcast live with them, and it was so much fun! They were so sweet, and as a journalism student, it’s always great to see people my age taking initiative and capitalizing on their passions.


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After our visit to Radio R, we had a quick lunch and then went to Villa Tugendhat. Villa Tugendhat is considered a masterpiece of Functionalist architecture designed by Ludwig Mies van de Rohe. It was completed for the Tugendhats in 1930, but as a Jewish family, they had to flee when the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938. The house was taken over by the Gestapo until the end of World War Two, and then it was turned into a dance school until 1950. From there, Villa Tugendhat was under the control of the Czechoslovak state and was turned into a rehabilitation center for children with spinal defects. The building unfortunately went into disrepair until rights for the villa were transferred to the city of Brno in 1980. It underwent some repairs at that point but underwent a huge renovation a few years ago, and now looks almost exactly how it would have been when the family lived there. Modern architecture is usually not my thing, but this house was so fascinating. Not only was it absolutely enormous, it had a number of technological advances that were truly spectacular for the times, and hey: a house tour is a house tour. (My friends who know how obsessed I am with real estate and HGTV will understand.)

The tour was also really interesting for two other reasons. One: we had to cover our shoes with plastic as soon as we entered the house using these futuristic machines that melted sheets of plastic around our feet. Two: our tour guide was endlessly sassy and had a dry sense of humor, which added an extra layer of awesome to the whole experience.

(Also: all photos credit to Molly. Only one of us was allowed to take pictures under the photography permit!)

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After the tour of Villa Tugendhat, we checked into our very nice Best Western hotel and made our way to the Moravian wine tasting.

Just a quick geography lesson for y’all before I continue. Prague is in the part of the Czech Republic historically known as Bohemia. Bohemia is known for its beer. The eastern part of the country is the traditional land of Moravia, which is known for its wine. Needless to say, as a wine-over-beer person, score one for Brno in my book.

Anyway, we all went to the tasting in a little humid wine cellar and were not expecting a lot. I mean, you’ve heard of Italian wine, wine from California, wine from Chile, but Moravian wine? Where is that in Hyvee? Thankfully, we were promptly surprised by how wonderful each sample was. We had the opportunity to taste nine different wines (four whites, two rosés and three reds) and eat lots of delicious local cheese. Technically, CIEE is a dry program (because we are all American students), so it makes me laugh that they paid for us all to get pretty tipsy, as the “samples” they poured were usually nearly-full glasses. I’m so upset that I can’t take wine back in my suitcase because of that pesky US drinking age, because I truly enjoyed each kind we tried.

After our little outing, a bunch of us decided to go out to check out the local bars and clubs. It was an eventful night, with the most adventurous of our group (you know who you are) asking a waiter to come to a club with us and then getting cozy with a DJ and the rest of us dancing like crazy people to 90s music.

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The next morning, after a fantastic breakfast at the hotel, we embarked on a walking tour of Brno. It was a crisp autumn day and the leaves were all the special Czech variety of gold, and so of course, we had to do a cute photo shoot.

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The tour took us around Špilberk Castle (dating back to the 13th century) and the adjoining Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, through the old town area and to Brno City Hall. On the tour, we learned a lot of the city’s legends and stories and got a good feel for the character of Brno. Also, coincidentally, our tour guide was a foreign exchange student in Grand Island, Nebraska about six years ago!!! She went to Central Catholic, so we didn’t know any of the same people, but seriously, what a small world. After getting a quick lunch, a bunch of us set out to find a thrift store. Many miles of walking and failed attempts later, we stopped at a cute little place for cupcakes. The upside was that it was a completely gorgeous day (how many times can I say that in one post?) and it was nice to take a long walk with friends. We all took a quick nap after our shopping adventure and woke up ready to try out some of the cool restaurants and bars we had seen the night before. At our dinner location, the ceiling was a shag-carpet version of Audrey Hepburn and they had really good guacamole. I also tried to wear a pumpkin as a hat (it was Halloween, for God’s sake!) and a giant spider crawled down my face. Spooky.

On Sunday, we had another wonderful hotel breakfast and then walked to the Museum of Romani Culture. For centuries, Roma people (commonly referred to as Gypsies) have been regarded as socially backward by the mainstream cultures they live alongside and have been systematically oppressed by the countries they settle in, and the Czech Republic is no exception. At the museum, we watched a short documentary about the case of a young man accusing a young Roma man of beating him so severely that his kidney was removed. This claim started what was essential a giant witch hunt for young Romani men and incited greater xenophobia among Czech people. Three weeks after the Czech teenager made these allegations, he admitted that he had actually fallen from the balcony of a friend’s apartment and was too afraid to tell his mother, so he blamed it on the Roma. It was heartbreaking to see how easily even the mainstream, supposedly unbiased media latched on to the theory that a Roma man was responsible for the crime. After the screening, we had a conversation with two of the museum’s directors about racism in the Czech Republic and in the United States, which was quite interesting. After saying goodbye to the Museum of Romani Culture, we headed to lunch and then back to the bus to go home.

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Honestly, I did not approach my weekend in Brno with terribly high expectations, but I am so glad CIEE provided (forced us to go on) this trip. The city is so vibrant and fun, and I strengthened so many friendships during that weekend. It’s also really fun to travel within the Czech Republic instead of just staying in Prague…it makes this place feel even more like home.

10/19/2015

Fall 2015, Issue II

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Jáchymov: A Painful History Hidden Between Scenic Hills

by Ruth Douglas

It’s 6:40 on the first bitterly cold Saturday morning of the season, and instead of sleeping in, I am using every ounce of mental strength I have to will myself out of bed. Today, I am heading to Jáchymov, a quiet spa town just minutes from the German border. I can’t say I’m exactly excited about this trip—spas are unfortunately not on today’s itinerary. Rather than letting my worries melt away in the beautifully lush hills, I will be learning about the ills of the communist era while carefully maneuvering my way through an old, dark mine. I’m not exactly thrilled. But by the time I step on the bus to return to Prague, I am simply grateful for the life I have.

Aside from my limited knowledge about the United States’ involvement with the Soviet Union—the first and second Red Scare, the Cold War—I really had no idea how devastating communism was to so many people. It took that trip to Jáchymov to truly understand the effects communism had on people who lived under its rule.

Our tour was led by an 85-year-old former prisoner who was sentenced to work in several uranium mines in Jáchymov during his six years of imprisonment. The man, who used a cane to walk but otherwise appeared to be in good health, was apologetic about his slower pace. He explained having to walk two kilometers daily, tightly packed and arm in arm with the other prisoners, for 365 days a year to get to and from the uranium mine. “My knees are not so good because of this,” the professor on the trip translated to us. I was amazed at how humble the man was, and how willing he was to share his traumatic story with me and my peers.

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Hidden in the beautiful hills of Jáchymov is a painful history, one full of suffering in freezing mines or hazardous uranium sorting facilities. Though this trip was not entirely pleasant, it was certainly one of the most memorable and eye-opening experiences I’ve had in a very long time.

03/12/2015

Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

Photos by Nikki Horowitz, University of Michigan

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  #bone church #humans #plague #orientation trip