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11 posts categorized "Travel"

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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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.

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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04/07/2016

Spring 2016, Issue II

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Midterms are over and we are back with some updates on Prague semester programs: Central European Studies (CES); Communication, New Media, and Journalism (CNMJ); Film Studies (FS); and Global Architecture and Design (GAD). Currently we have 230 students on site getting ready for the remaining time they have in Prague, enjoying the beautiful sunny spring weather.

We would like to focus this newsletter on new field trips out of Prague and also introduce new internship partnerships for the CNMJ program.

Central European Studies

Field trips out of Prague

Students visited two towns located a convenient distance from Prague. It was the first step onto non-Prague Czech soil for most of them. These trips at the beginning of the semester are essential for the students to realise the diversity of Czech Republic; no one is saying that a nearby town is a comprehensive example of this diversity, but it establishes that Prague is not an absolute specimen of the Czech Republic. Both of the towns house plenty of people who commute to the capital for work, yet they still retain a genuine and unique atmosphere.

Dobris is a town located south of Prague and has a stunning chateau with unique gardens surrounding it. It is used for special occasions and even as a shooting location for various motion pictures.

Melnik is known as the town at the confluence of the two most significant Czech rivers – Labe (Elbe) and Vltava (Moldau). Apart from this natural spectacle, it also has a stunning chateau.

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Students had the chance to explore the picturesque atmosphere of a Czech small town and to observe some old fashioned beauty, and hopefully enjoyed a satisfying meal.

Students’ feedback:  10/10 would recommend. Great trip! Very enjoyable!

Students’ highlights:  I leaned some new interesting facts. Making new friends. Had chance to practice Czech with locals. Highlight of the trip was learning information about Czech history through the chateau.

Communications, New Media and Journalism

 CIEE announces new internship partnerships

The Communication, New Media, and Journalism Program in Prague offers internships to its students that focus on communications, media, journalism, and public relations. Due to the increased number of students in Spring 2016, CIEE in Prague had to establish new partnerships with organizations seeking English native speakers. Some of the newly established partners are ARCHIP (Architectural Institute in Prague), CEVRO, Fleishman Hillard, Open House Prague Festival, Prague Black Panthers, Prague International Marathon, The Prague Visitor, and The Prague Concert Company. CIEE in Prague is proud to have established these partnerships and looks forward to cooperating with more local organizations in the future.

ARCHIP (Architectural Institute in Prague) is a college offering a three year bachelor’s program focused on Architecture and a two year master’s program in Architecture and Urbanism. Located in Prague 7, known as a “hipster area”, ARCHIP is very attractive for foreign students. The college currently hosts 65 students from 32 countries. Our interns Shira and Sydney are currently preparing an Open House that will take place on April 26th.

CEVRO Institute was founded in 2006 as a non-profit educational institution to provide bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the areas of public and private law, economics, politics, international relations, security studies etc. CEVRO Institute is linked to a number of foreign universities in order to foster academic cooperation. For example, CEVRO Institute is involved in the Erasmus exchange program (designed for foreign students who study one or two semesters at CEVRO Institute). Furthermore, CEVRO Institute is currently starting a new English-language master’s degree program in .  Over the past 10 years, it has become a well-known and respected educational institution in the field of education as well an active participant in major discussions on various political, economic, security, and legal issues within the public sphere. Our intern Sophie is providing assistance and cooperation on activities to develop their international educational programs designed for students from abroad.

FleishmanHillard is one of the world’s leading international communications consultancies with more than 2,500 employees in over 80+ offices around the globe. FH was founded 70 years ago and has since established a strong reputation for delivering meaningful, positive, and measurable impact for clients. They are widely recognized for exceptional service and quality standards as well as their long-term relationships with clients. Our interns Madison and Mackenzie work in the public relations department.

Open House Prague Festival presents a simple but powerful idea: making ordinarily inaccessible buildings in Prague accessible to the inquisitive and curious public. For one weekend throughout the whole year, they open company headquarters, offices, or modern technical buildings that people usually just pass by. The shape and appearance of these buildings affect us every day, they guide our steps but rarely do we have the chance to look within their walls. Our intern Debbie is currently preparing for the Open House Prague Festival that will take place in May.

Prague Black Panthers (PBP) is the most successful American football team in recent Czech history. It was founded in 2012 by merging the Prague Panthers (PP) and the Prague Black Hawks (PBH). The history of PP extends back to the 1990’s and the very beginning of American football in the Czech Republic. Its men’s team participates in both the Austrian league (one of two best club leagues in Europe) and the Czech league (PBP has won the championship every year since its beginning). The organization also has a children’s and a women’s team. Our intern Breanna works in the sports marketing and social media department. 

The Prague International Marathon originated in 1995 and has been on the fast track to international acclaim since then. Besides the Prague Marathon, the parent company RunCzech organizes other running events – in total 7 races in 5 cities of the Czech Republic. Among other events are half marathons in Prague, Karlovy Vary, České Budějovice, Olomouc and Ústí nad Labem and the Grand Prix in Prague. Our intern Margaret works in the international promotions department.

The Prague Visitor is a monthly arts, entertainment and events magazine aimed at tourists and ex-patriots in the Prague area. The publication is in English and distributed in area hotels, coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. The publication’s print run is 50,000 copies per month. The Prague Visitor is a new publication, founded by an American publisher who has over 20 years of media experience. Interns selected will be able to participate in launching the magazine’s inaugural issue and will be given lateral insight into a business start-up. Our interns Katherine and Natalia work in the editorial and social media department.

The Prague Concert Co. has been providing services to touring groups since 1994. The team of enthusiastic professional tour planners assist in creating the perfect concert tour, designing a rewarding study program, or facilitating visits to the great festivals, concert halls and opera houses of the Czech region. They believe in an individual approach to all their projects, with a focus on getting the details right and offering a personal service to all their clients. Our intern Corey is updating brochures for the company and helping with proof-reading.

Film Studies

Overnight field trip to Český Krumlov

The Spring 2016 Film Studies program academic overnight trip destination was Český Krumlov, famous UNESCO heritage site, where the One World documentary film festival on human rights took place on the weekend of March 18-20, 2016. One World is one of the cornerstones of the People in Need organization. Since its inception in 1999, it has become the most important festival of its kind in the world and in 2007 it won a special mention from UNESCO for its contribution to human rights education. This year’s theme was “Looking for home” and students had a chance to see three projections (Mallory, Under the Sun and The Swedish Theory of Love) followed by discussions with the main protagonists and/or filmmakers. They enjoyed both immensely.

A guided tour of the city was provided and students had the chance to admire the beautiful castle and view the city from its highest point – the castle tower.

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Since filmmakers are also curious about changes in perception, we took them to a Mirror Maze where they had a blast. Students also visited the 19th century photo studio Seidel, in which time stands still, for an interactive tour where they not only learned about the photo developing process, but also had their pictures taken in various costumes.

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The exhibits of the Josef and František Seidel studio surprise visitors with their authenticity, thousands of unique period photographic postcards, glass negatives, old functional cameras, and photographic darkroom equipment. Seidel’s personal notes, diaries, customer ledgers, and original furnishings make the overall collection even more appealing. Josef Seidel (1859-1935) ranked among the most outstanding photographers of his time. He documented everyday life in Český Krumlov and the Šumava mountains region. His son František (1908-1997) continued his father’s business. He was imprisoned by the Nazis during WWII and because of this he was allowed to stay in Krumlov even after all of his German relatives were transferred to Germany in 1945-46. Despite persecution by the Communists after 1948, he was able to maintain his father’s photographic archives until the fall of the Communist regime.

CIEE never forgets its mission, so immersion into local culture is a necessary part of the trip. And since one of the most effective ways to explore local culture is through the local cuisine, we offered a selection of various traditional Bohemian meals. This part of the Czech Republic is known for its delicious and fresh fish as well as pork or duck roast with sauerkraut and dumplings, schnitzels, soups (dill, potato, cabbage) or traditional “svíčková”, beef sirloin in a creamy root-vegetable sauce served with whipped cream, cranberries, and bread dumplings. Students learned the local way to eat trout, which is traditionally served whole in Czech lands, head and bones included. They also visited the House “U Dwau Maryí” (at two Maries’) built in late Middle Ages which offers Bohemian medieval cuisine, including puffed barley, buckwheat, millet, potato cake, dumplings, potato soup with daisies, smoked meat, roast carp with tarragon, pheasant, rabbit, sweet dumplings with forest fruits or poppy seeds, buckwheat gruel with honey, raisins, almonds and cinnamon and more.

The Czech Republic is also known for its beer brewing history (extending to the 10th century or even earlier). So on Sunday, we took students to a microbrewery just under the Zvíkov castle. Two friends made their dream come true when they established this brewery in 1994. The head brewer took students on a tour through the whole brewery: the brewing house with copper kettles, fermentation room with fermenting tubs, beer cellar with lager tanks, and racking room for the bottling and filling of barrels. They also had a chance to taste a small sample as well, accompanied by a delicious (and heavy) Bohemian dish.

On the way to the brewery, we stopped at the Crocodile Zoo Protivín which has had great success breeding endangered and critically endangered crocodile species. Students got to see crocodiles, gharials – including the only breeding pair of Indian gharials in Europe – caimans, and alligators, as well as few cobras.

Students’ feedback: 

Great trip!!! Really a blast. Thank you.                                                               

Everything was well organized & well spread out - overall great! *****                                                                           

I had a wonderful time!                                                                                                                            

This trip was stupendous.                                                                         

Such a beautiful and wonderful weekend! Thank you!! :)                                                                         

Beautiful town, great trip, great break from everything. 5 stars!            

 

Students’ highlights: 

The festival!!! All of the films were amazing.                                                                                                                  

Honestly all of it was so great! Especially loved the documentary screenings and the tower viewpoint.               

Tour of Český Krumlov + film festival.                                                                 

The pork belly we had was the best ever meal I've had.                                                                             

The time to explore Český Krumlov.                                                                                                                                    

Mirror Maze and photography studio.                                                                                              

The clocktower! And beauty of Český Krumlov.                                                                             

Photography tour/photo session.                                                                        

 

Global Architecture and Design

 

Technology trip

One of the integral parts of Global Architecture and Design program is the technology trips. These trips serve as a tool for broadening students’ knowledge for application in their projects. This semester, the five brave students visited two different places: Marine Engineering Company and Materió.

The Marine Engineering Company introduced students to the world of CNC technology. The company, located 20 minutes away from Prague, explained to students the steps involved in using CNC technology. As the title suggests, the company uses this process for building boats and, luckily for the Global AD squad, the actual cutting of boat parts was demonstrated.

The other trip organized within the beautiful city of Prague was to the Materió library of materials. Materió is a service that specializes in following material innovation all over the world. Their mission is to be constantly on the cutting edge with regard to emerging materials and technologies. This service is dedicated to all companies and individuals that are seeking to innovate, therefore ideal for our students. It is a perfect place not only for architects and designers, but also for creative people in general.

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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.

Jáchymov

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.

04/09/2015

An eclectic mix

  By Nikki Horowitz, University of Michigan

Wine tasting CNMJ trip
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#Moravia brno Czech Republic cz Czech cave vine wine vineyard

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#david cerny art prague sculpture Prague trams

 

Old Jewish Cemetery Prague

#jew Jewish memorial Jewish quarter prague jewishgirl praha trinity synagogue Valencia Spain

#Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias Artes y las Ciencias City of Arts and Sciences Valencia spain Alicante Spain
#Alicante spain espana




04/28/2014

Spring 2014, Issue II

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Ahoj from Praha, Study Abroad Advisors!

CIEE Prague programs offer plenty of trips and excursions, so we would like to focus this newsletter on these.

Central European Studies (CES)

CES academic trips are an inseparable part of the academic experience in Prague, as well as an inseparable part of the courses themselves. Each student has to go on at least 2 academic trips per semester. CIEE offers some 20 trips to various destinations, all accompanied by  teaching faculty and CIEE staff and all carefully chosen to help the students better comprehend the course topics and to provide them as much cultural immersion opportunities as possible. We offer one-day trips as well as overnight trips and show the evidence of history, the communist legacy and the transformation of the Czech society into a democratic member of the EU with its current social and economic challenges. Students can also choose from a variety of cultural sites important to historical events, literature courses, art and architecture or even current environmental issues.

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The trips provide students a unique opportunity to explore sites outside of Prague, such as concentration camps and historical Jewish ghettos, which are connected to history courses and Judaism, as well as to courses focusing on psychoanalysis – e.g., understanding Nazi propaganda and the cult of Hitler.  Students also have a unique opportunity to have a deeper understanding of human rights, national identity and sociopolitical issues by visiting socially excluded localities and discussing it with local NGO and governmental representatives. In order to explore the communist past of the Czech Republic, students can visit and learn about the communist regime, the political persecution of that authoritarian regime by visiting former work camps with former political prisoners. Dealing with the outcomes of communist environmental policies, students learn about rural landscape changes. Last but not least, there are trips connected to a cultural immersive experience, where students have the chance to spend Easter in a village with a local family and to practice traditional (quite unique) Czech Easter customs.

Many trips and sites are so popular that they are run more than 4 times during the semester. A large number of students want to go to more destinations - beyond the CIEE academic mandatory requirement of taking part in 2 trips. Some trips maintain throughout semesters 100% positive feedbacks, and according to the students is one of the highlights of their experience in CIEE Prague’s program.

 Film Studies (FS)

Despite of the fact that Film Studies students are especially busy throughout the semester, CIEE Prague believes that studying abroad is about outclass academic exploration as well. Therefore we offer a number of excursions and trips designed specifically for the FS program.

Barrandov Film Studios excursion

On Friday, February 14th, FS Coordinator Ivana took students for a tour to the famous Barrandov Film Studios. As every semester, students not only got to visit the props, furniture and costumes department, but also some representational premises for filmmakers, a stage set of Tudors show and postproduction labs were seen. Furthermore, we got access to two film ateliers with shooting in progress, so students had a blast taking pictures in a train where Donald Sutherland acted in Crossing Lines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_Lines). As always, a yummy lunch was provided. But let us share student feedback from this excursion:

 “Barrandov was truly amazing. It was so interesting and I felt like I learned a lot. I loved this excursion.”

“BEST TRIP EVER. The day was pretty exhausting, but overall it was a fantastic visit. It is a opportunity to visit the Barrandov Studios where such famous people have walked the halls. I liked the extra bit of tour that we got, thanks to Ivana. Hopefully I will be back there again one day making my own film! The lunch was fantastic, also.”

“I really enjoyed it! It was laid back enough so we could really soak it up, and we got to see a lot of the studios. The most interesting part was seeing the costumes and props. I also really, really appreciated the donuts given to us in the morning.”Barrandov 1photo courtesy of Jonáš Klimeš

Barrandov 2photo courtesy of Katie Ratcliffe

Hafan Animation Studio workshop

On Saturday and Sunday, March 1st-2nd, students split into 2 groups and each spent a whole day in Prague’s Hafan animation studio. They created traditional animated short film and had a blast!

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Hafan 2photo courtesy of Beth Winchester

  

Video animation students made together in 2 days

Karel Zeman Museum of Special Effects

On Monday, March 24th, CIEE 2nd cultural workshop was planned. We decided to connect it with an excursion to Karel Zeman Museum of Special Effects (http://www.muzeumkarlazemana.cz/en) which students enjoyed immensely.

  

video courtesy of Andie Eikenberg  Karel Zeman 1
on a Moon rose, photo courtesy of Katie Ratcliffe

After the excursion, we continued to Dobrá Trafika, an underground coffee place which looks like a simple news stand at first. Over a coffee/yummy milk shakes and cakes, academic, professional, social and interpersonal goals that students set for themselves during the orientation were discussed. And it was time for more fun too - students tested their knowledge of Greatest Czechs in a memory game and they all did quite good!

But hear it in their own words:

“Cool, interesting, creative excursion + great gift shop! Workshop was a nice activity - glad I knew more Czechs than I thought!“

„Very interesting and reminded me of a set on a George Méliès film.“

Overnight trip to Moravia - workshop in Olomouc, Palacký University, Audiovisual department

The weekend of March 28-30, FS Program Coordinator Ivana and Program Coordinator Eva took students on a weekend excursion to the Moravian Region. The trip started in the city of Olomouc, a UNESCO heritage site  - a local guide gave us a tour of the city center. After a yummy lunch we continued to Palacký University to join local students in the Audiovisual Department for a student television workshop. Students were given a simply task: introduce the city. You can see the result here:

 

 After the workshop, local students took CIEE Film Studies group to a local restaurant and they enjoyed an evening together, exploring the city independently.

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Photo courtesy of John Kim

On Saturday, the whole group transfered to Uherské Hradiště, where a summer film festival is held annually. We checked in to Hotel Koníček, had lunch and continued to Vlčnov village, famous for its „Ride of the Kings“ (http://www.czechtourism.com/c/unesco-jizda-kralu/). After visiting a Home Distillery Museum (part of The Museum of Moravian Slovakia), we were invited to a local home by a Vlčnov family. Moravians are known for their hospitality and they truly confirmed this reputation of theirs. Mr. Mikulec told us about the Slivovitz distilling process and his wife surprised us with yummy Moravian kolatche and traditional Czech party sandwiches.

ON Trip pic 1Photo courtesy of John Kim

After this unique experience, we return back to Uherské Hradiště. Students were given couple of hours of free time to explore on their own and we met again for dinner. The local wine cellar visit followed.

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On Sunday morning, we had a last site to visit: Moravian Karst with Punkva caves and the deepest gorge in the Czech lands: Macocha. Students were quite excited particularly due to the short train ride followed by a boat ride in the underground caves.

ON Trip pic 3

ON Trip pic 3 bPhoto courtesy of John Kim

More information from students perspectives can be found in FS blog (http://study-abroad-blog-prague-fs.ciee.org/).

Communication, New Media + Journalism (CNMJ)

Overnight trip to Brno

During a beautiful spring weekend in March, CNMJ Program students headed to Brno and other spots in Moravia with Amanda, Communication Program Coordinator. Our goal was to learn more about the media landscape in the Czech Republic and all by meeting local students and attending the human rights documentary film festival, One World (insert link: http://www.oneworld.cz/2014/ ).

Once we arrived to Brno on Friday, we stopped by Radio R at Masaryk University, Department of Media Studies and Journalism. Radio R is a very successful student-run radio station with over 100 volunteer moderators. They broadcast a variety of original programs covering politics, alternative music, and cultural events in and around Brno. CNMJ students not only had a discussion with student broadcasters, but also got to broadcast live themselves!

Radio R students on air

After our exciting live radio stint, we continued on with Radio R students and with hungry bellies to Výtopna Restaurant. Students were told there would be a surprise there. Výtopna is special thanks to a mini train which brings restaurant-goers their drinks! Surprise!

Our evenings in Brno were dedicated to the One World Film Festival, which is put on by the non-profit People in Need (in fact, we have one CNMJ intern working in their Media Department this semester). On Friday we saw The Great Night (insert link: http://www.oneworld.cz/2014/films-a-z/25305-the-great-night  ), which won the award for Best Czech Documentary at Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival last year. On Saturday, we saw a much more light-hearted film called, Everything is Possible (insert trailer?) about an 80 year-old Polish woman who backpacks around the world.

On Saturday we decided to explore the Moravian countryside and hung out in the village of Velké Bílovice. With 800 hectares of vineyards, it makes up the largest wine territory in the Czech Republic. So naturally after lunch, we walked through the village, greeting locals in Czech on our way, and ended up at a family wine cellar. After a short crash course in the ways of wine tasting, students were given several local samples to taste.

Lunch before wine tasting

Our last stop on Sunday before heading back to Prague was Moravian Karst (insert link: http://www.moravskykras.net/en/moravian-karst.html ). We enjoyed a tour of the caves, which included not only the impressive Macocha Abyss (the largest such gorge in Central Europe), but also a boat ride through the last part of the caves.

Students had a great time! For more on this trip from a student’s perspective, please visit our CNMJ blog:

http://study-abroad-blog-prague-cnmj.ciee.org/

CNMJ group

 

Global Architecture and Design (GAD)

Overnight Trip – Vltava Cascades

The very first academic trip for the Global AD program was planned to be only a few weeks after the student’s arrival so they could bond and get to know Adam Vukmanov, the ARCHIP Academic Coordinator, Petra, the CIEE Global AD Coordinator and other members of the ARCHIP faculty while traveling through beautiful sites of central and southern Bohemia.

  Hluboka trip2

The plan was to follow Vltava river cascades, starting at Lipno, which is very important hydro power plant built to protect the UNESCO site Český Krumlov and other towns and villages nearby from floods; we stayed at  Hluboká nad Vltavou, a beautiful little town close to Lipno and continued on the next day with touring 3 other dams – Hněvkovice, Orlík and Slapy.

Berlin Summit

Global AD program connects 3 European cities – Barcelona, Berlin and Prague. Students from all three cities were invited to participate in the Berlin Summit and aside from many other interesting things, to present what they have been working on so far. From March 26 to March 28, CIEE Berlin hosted students from Prague and Barcelona. It was a huge success and students left more educated, connected and satisfied with their achievements. Which city will host next? :)

Berlin Summit

  Cultural Workshop

On April 10, during the academic workshop lead by Alessio Erioli, an engineer and senior researcher at Università di Bologna, Petra took the group to a traditional Czech restaurant for a second cultural workshop. Alessio joined them as well. Aside from the amazing food and drinks, they all tested their knowleadge of Czech culture, especially what they knew of famous Czech people. Well, they still have a bit to learn. :)

Workshop

 Construction Site Visit

On April 11, the students, Adam and Petra visited basic construction sites in Prague that were in different stages of the process. It was a lot of fun and not only because we got to wear hard hats. We got a chance to see how different designing and building is in the Czech Republic and learn a lot about the specific constructions from top to bottom. Both were office buildings built by different companies.

Construction site
Working hard...

04/08/2014

To Brno and Back

By Lizzie Maasen, Drake University

Well, it’s been a while. As I was titling my post, I about had a heart attack. MARCH 26TH?!? My semester in Prague is already halfway over? Yes, yes it is. I’ve already had to think about life after Prague, and I am really, really not ready for that day to come.

On Friday morning, the CNMJ program (myself included) left for a weekend trip to Brno, Czech Republic. Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, and known for its’ wine and “student culture”. We first stopped at Radio R which is a student-run radio station in Brno. We talked to students about their radio station, and then were interviewed for a segment. I may or may not have taken part in a rendition of “Candy Shop” by 50 cent and it may or may not have been the most uncomfortable and awkward decision I’ve made while being in the Czech Republic. Seriously, why do I do these things? We spent the rest of the day lounging around, and in the evening we went to see “The Great Night” at the One World film festival.

On Saturday, we spent the day eating well and drinking even better. CIEE took us to the Velke Bilovice vineyard in Moravia. Moravia is known for its fabulous white wine, and after sampling around 15 wines in less than 40 minutes, I’d have to say the same. In fact, I even bought a bottle to commemorate the event. Naturally, I thought I would bring it home with me…think again Lizzie, think again. Our little group spent the rest of the afternoon chillin’ in a park together and learning some tai chi (spelling?) from strangers. Obviously, I was the worst.

On Sunday, the group got up a little earlier to make a trip to the Moravsky Kras caves! Being from Missouri (Meramac Caverns s/o holllaaa), I’ve seen a fair share of caves in my day, but this was hands down the coolest cave visit ever. Best part? Part of the tour was on a boat. In the cave. I mean yeah, it was pretty cool.

CNMJ Trip Lunch

This was taken at our lunch spot on the first day in Brno (don’t remember the name, whoops). A train brought us our drinks straight from the kitchen!

 

Velke Bilovice Vineyards

A view from the vineyard. The Czech Republic countryside ain’t bad y’all.

CNMJ Group

Most of our small but mighty CNMJ program! S/o to Grace B. for the photo.

CNMJ Trip Caves

This was taken on the boat inside the cave!! Photo cred to Maya B.

11/04/2013

Weekend at Brno

By Alyssa Ostrout, Bryant University

A bit of a disclaimer....the title of this post is a little misleading. The trip I've come back from today only started at Brno, and we were only there for a few hours. However, I couldn't think of a good pun for Jihlava, the place we spent most of the weekend, so I've been forced to settle.

As I've stated the trip began at Brno, where we got a tour of the student-run radio station called Radio R.  The students that met with us were friendly, and they even let us do our own broadcasts! And I'll tell you what, if being famous means answering questions on Czech radio for about three minutes then I WAS SO TOTALLY FAMOUS.

After that we traveled to the small town of Jihlava, about three or so hours south of Prague. The town was holding a the Jihlava Documentary Film Festival this weekend, and we had the pleasure of attending. The first movie I attended was Saturday afternoon, and I have to say it kicked off the festival in both a negative and a positive way. To start with the positive first, the film was very well done. I don't know really how to explain what I want to say about it at this moment, so I'll just try the best that I can. While I was watching this film, I didn't feel like I thought I would while watching a documentary. Usually I can respect a documentary, but don't find it very engaging. This one was about a very serious topic, and yet it was very engaging and moving. Now for the negative part: as I hinted about in the last thought, the topic of the film was very heavy and it was definitely a strong downer for the start of the day. It was about the United States middle class, and how the middle class has been struggling more than ever in the economy. People who have never really had to worry about being able to put food on the table are no longer able to feed their families. Granted this wasn't really any new information, but it's hard to hear stories of a family's struggles. No one deserves to be put through hardships such as this.

Jihlava Film Festival
I spent the rest of Saturday in three more films, some of which were definitely better than others but I don't necessarily regret going to any of them. To close the weekend, we took a tour of a brewery, which was a very cool experience. I've never toured a brewery before, and never would have guessed all the work that goes into making one batch. (Now normally this would be the time where I share a little fun fact that I learned about brewing beer...but unfortunately I don't remember anything. That's always been a problem for me in tours, I could be the most attentive one in the group and still not be able to remember a single thing merely two minutes after the spiel was over. Long story short I should never compete in any trivia-based game shows. My dream of being a Jeopardy star ends here I'm afraid).

And last but not least I have some photographic evidence to share with you! Enjoy and feel free to be jealous.

Brewery
BEER

10/14/2013

Over the river and through the woods to Jenštejn castle we go

By Alyssa Ostrout, Bryant University

It will probably come as no surprise to anyone when I say that I've been itching to see some Czech countryside. Well finally that dream has come true! I just got back from a CIEE run trip to Jenštejn (it's pronounced Yehshteyn, for those of you who care to know) castle, and we were able to see plenty of country. And with good timing too - I almost forgot what trees looked like! The trees, the forest, it was all so beautiful. But of course, me being the daughter of Queen Murphy, things didn't go as well as they could have. The weather did not really cooperate with us as much as I would have hoped......it rained. Typical, right? I should just always have my rain coat on hand (good thing we had fair warning of the forecast so I brought my jacket with me this time), it would make my life a whole lot easier. I can't tell you how many times I've left the apartment for school or my internship and the sun was shining so of course I wouldn't be worried about rain.....but as soon as I was leaving to go back to my apartment it would start raining. I feel like one of those cartoon characters that is constantly followed by a rain cloud. But I digress...

The castle was also really beautiful, although it wasn't completely intact. We climbed to the very top, and because there was no roof anymore (maybe it got destroyed by all the rain?.....but probably a military attack) we got an amazing view of the village.

Also, I learned that there aren't really any poisonous spiders in Prague, so that's cool. Although I would prefer if there were NO spiders at all......................................but I guess in the words of the Rolling Stones you can't always get what you want.

So without further ado...I have some pictures to share with you (rhyme unintended).

Castle
Trees