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6 posts categorized "Orientation"


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.



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.

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!






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!



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.


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!



Spring 2017, Issue I


Communication, New Media and Journalism Program students starting their adventure in Prague!

We once again welcomed twenty-four university students from all around the US to be a part of study abroad program in Prague in Spring 2017. First few days were filled with lots of activities. During the orientation week CIEE staff provided useful information related to the program. Newly arrived students were welcomed to dinner with CIEE staff and Czech students in local restaurant and tasted traditional Czech food.


















CIEE did also organize a meet-up party, an ideal event for all of the CIEE students to get to know each other while playing games such as bowling, pool, etc. Students also had a chance to socialize with their flat buddies and CIEE staff. During Expo students met with representatives from local organizations and learned about volunteer and extracurricular activities.




















All CNMJ students must complete internship while abroad. Internship at local company helps students to immerse in local culture and gain valuable professional experience. This semester we placed students in 20 different companies and we are all very much excited for their unique experience. Stay tuned and learn more!


Fall 2016, Issue I


Welcome Communication, New Media and Journalism Program in Prague!

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

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

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

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

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Spring 2015, Issue I


Orientation to Prague

As soon as students land in Prague, we start orientating them to their environment. This term, orientation, is appropriate, since it is not a process of mastering or being completely comfortable with your surroundings, but rather just being able to know where you are and why. Orientation is an important time for students. It is when they gather their first impressions of the city, staff, fellow participants, and buddies. As we all know, first impressions are important.

Our orientation lasts for about three weeks, going through several stages, but at the beginning the most important thing is to force students to recover from jet lag as soon as possible!

We have three programs here in Prague, and each program’s orientation is a bit different. Some activities are done together, some are done separate.

Central European Studies Program Orientation

Each semester we review and improve our orientation programs. This semester our orientation was our best yet!

The first day is arrival and students are taken from the airport directly to their housing. Students receive introductory information from their Charles University student buddies or Czech host families.

On Tuesday, students meet all staff for the first time and sessions start. We cover the basics: housing, safety, survival Czech, local transportation and we give cell phones to our students. The whole day is topped off by a welcome dinner and students can try typical Czech cuisine.


This picture is from the first session of the day, held in a large lecture hall at Charles University. Students stumbled in, tired and excited, at 11:00 for the session. Other sessions were in small groups in classrooms throughout the Faculty of Arts building.

On Wednesday and Thursday, students are divided into groups and they switch for sessions. We present sessions all day, but students either have do sessions in the morning and have free time in the afternoon, or vice versa. The activities that we cover are sessions about the local culture, events and activities for the upcoming semester and an orientation walk through Prague with our buddies.


Students being oriented to the famous Charles Bridge in Prague.

Friday is dedicated to our academic sessions where students learn about our academic program and find out for which courses they are pre-registered. Students also work on setting their goals for their study abroad semester.

These sessions are potentially the most important, but they are not as visually attractive, so we do not provide any pictures of these!


Communications, New Media and Journalism Program Orientation

Compared to our big brother Central European Studies, CNMJ is a much smaller and tight-knit program, so it is precisely during orientation when we form our bonds and set ourselves apart from the other programs.

Orientation for CNMJ is held over a three-day period. We cover the same important topics, such as safety and housing, but with additional sessions fundamental to our niche program. For example, students learn the ins and outs of academics and how to balance three different schedules from CIEE, Charles University/Faculty of Social Sciences, and FAMU. Additionally, we prepare them for their upcoming internships and the much awaited interviews which start immediately the week after orientation. These first busy days are concluded with a tour of Vyšehrad and Prague Castle, plus a welcome dinner at CIEE staff’s favorite local restaurant. All and all, not a bad way to settle into Prague and to start the semester!

CNMJ orientation

 CNMJ Orientation session

CNMJ Tour of Vysehrad + Prague Castle

CNMJ Tour of Vysehrad and Prague Castle

 FS orientation

Similarly to Communication, New Media and Journalism program, Film Studies is a program with limited number of participants (the maximum of 6 accepted into the Screenwriting track and the maximum of 16 accepted into the Production track). FAMU is a quite selective institution, so we currently have 14 students enrolled in the FS program (4 screenwriters, 10 filmmakers) on site.

Film Studies courses are designed and held at FAMU (except for the Intensive Beginning Czech Language course), therefore we try to divide orientation sessions between FAMU and CIEE buildings. This way students get acquainted with their host institution and have an opportunity to use their CIEE resources at the same time. Orientation for FS is held over a 3-day period, and it includes basic sessions in-class (safety, bystander intervention, housing, how to deal with bureaucrats, academics, extracurricular opportunities, survival Czech language, goals setting, navigation in Prague and tour of CIEE and FAMU buildings) as well as orientation walk, scavenger hunt and guided tour of Prague Castle.

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FS Orientation session

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Smaller enrollment number allows us to make the orientation sessions more interactive

 The highlight was most certainly welcome dinner which took place at U Šemíka and where students were officially welcomed by both CIEE and FAMU representatives.

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FS welcome dinner buffet

Orientation is followed by 2 weeks of Intensive Czech language courses as well as Advising sessions and Story Pitches meetings for the Production track. Production students already formed 4 shooting teams this term and we are looking forward to the upcoming Film pitch session scheduled for Monday, February 23rd!

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FAMU Academic Advising on elective courses was held on Thursday, February 5th, 2015. The chair of FAMU International Department, Vít Janeček, introduced both courses and professors. FS Academic Advisor Mary Angiolillo and FS Program Coordinator Ivana Skenderija were also present to answer questions concerning administrative details (such as Add and Drop procedure)

But of course studying abroad is not only about academics, but also about exploration of local culture and personal growth. In the 1st three weeks, students are getting used to co-living in apartments with one another as well as their Czech buddies. They learn how to make their bed Czech style, how to operate European style ovens, dishwashers and washing machines, why Czechs wear slippers at home, what are Czech dining habits (including differences in silverware usage and tipping) and much more. Czech buddies prepare interest groups activities throughout the whole semester.

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Buddy Bára already taught FS students how to make a Czech specialities: fried edam cheese (similar to mozarella sticks) and fried cauliflower with tartar sauce and boiled potatoes – and they had a blast!



Times Flies

By Lizzie Maasen, Drake University

Time files when you’re studying abroad in Prague. I cannot believe that today marks the second week that I’ve been living in this beautiful city! Although I’m pretty much settled in at this point, it still feels like a vacation. This may be due to the fact that I have yet to start any classes besides my Intensive Czech class. If you’re wondering what it’s like to speak Czech, don’t because it’s a ridiculously difficult language. Czech people amaze me with their ability to make an insane language sound so fluid and beautiful. Besides that, my Czech teacher’s name is Ludek and is the most bouncy male adult I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Besides my Czech language class, this week I started to run errands and prepare to actually make a home for myself. While doing so, I’ve begun to notice some very interesting things about this country and its people.


1) Dogs. They are everywhere. People take them on the trams, in grocery stores, and on their daily walks. They’re usually not on leashes, yet somehow never stray from their owner. As Ludek says, “They’re not dogs, they’re people”.

2) Grocery stores are small and scarce. You have to pay five korunas to use a cart instead of just using a basket. I’m still trying to figure out what people really eat here…

3) No one likes to talk on public transportation. If you want to fit in, don’t talk on the trams. Czech people are very warm and friendly but are very quiet compared to Americans.

4) Sweatpants are not an option. I have yet to see a single person look slightly casual. Czechs look very put together while I tend to wear groutfits on a daily basis.

I’m obviously still getting used to the Czech way of life, but I’m feeling more and more comfortable everyday. I’ve used the trams by myself several times and I now know how to order my favorite beer in Czech. I’ll add a few of my favorite pictures so far to the bottom of the post!

Na Shledanou (Bye!)

John Lennon Wall

Me in front of the John Lennon Wall!

Prague view
The most beautiful place in the world.

My side of the riverA gorgeous view of my side of the city and the Charles bridge!