NYU Prague Fall 2016 Trips

Every semester students can choose from various overnight and day trips that take them far off the tourist track, giving unique perspectives on this region and experiences.  All trips are covered by tuition, and group size usually doesn’t exceed 20.

The trips are divided into several categories: academic trips, cultural immersion trips, and student life trips.

 

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ACADEMIC TRIPS

These trips are linked to specific course at NYU Prague. Many classes at the site are dedicated to taking students out of the classroom to the places where history happened; these often include day and overnight trips outside of Prague.

CULTURAL IMMERSION TRIPS

One of the most satisfying ways to get involved in Czech culture is to get to know the people.  And one great way to get to know people is by going on one of the cultural immersion trips, which include the option of homestays and/or volunteering.

Every semester we work with a local non-profit organization that takes both NYU and other local university students on volunteer brigades outside of Prague.  Students have painted  walls and cleaned bricks for and helped renovate the historical buildings that make up a community center for  people with mental disabilities.

Students often go to the easternmost part of the country to  meet Roma activists, learning first hand about the culture of and the discrimination faced by the Roma people (also known as Gypsies), one of the most significant minorities in the Czech Republic.

NYU Prague also has partnerships with several high schools outside of Prague; students visit English classes and stay overnight with Czech families.

STUDENT LIFE TRIPS

Usually students know very little about the Czech Republic – a bucolic country surrounded by mountains and dotted with medieval towns and thousands of castles. These trips – both overnight and day trips- take students to some of the most famous sites as well as to hidden jewels of Europe that only the locals know about.

 

NYU Prague Music Program

NYU Prague is proud of our excellent music program in which students study with some of Europe’s finest musicians.  At the end of every semester we organize student concerts at some of Prague’s leading venues.  

Below are links to the classical and jazz concerts of Spring 2016 – the classical concert took place at the gorgeous Palffy Palace and the jazz concert on the banks of the Vltava River at Jazz Dock.  See video footage below!

Classical – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcV7H2HsAAhVSLnXnXNguXkmfnohtllDb

Jazz- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcV7H2HsAAhVmvocLi9W7BdJAoF3OQhpq

About the Staff

We are all looking forward to having you come to Prague this fall. When we ask our students what they like about NYU Prague, they often tell us that it’s the sense of community and the opportunity to get to know our staff. Below you can read a bit about us!

Jiri Pehe

Jiri Pehe has been the Director of NYU Prague since 1998.  He was the Director of the Political Department of the Czech President Václav Havel from 1997 to 1999.  He studied law and philosophy at Charles University in Prague and received a doctorate in law.  He fled Czechoslovakia in 1981 and eventually settled in the U.S.A. where he graduated from the School of International Affairs at Columbia University in New York.  He is a regular contributor to various Czech newspapers and regularly comments on political developments for international media. He has written several books about the political situation in post-Communist countries, and has also written several novels.

Thea FavaloroThea Favaloro (Associate Director of NYU Prague) has worked at NYU Prague since it opened its doors to students in 1998, and she has worked in all aspects of the organization.  Born in San Francisco and raised in upstate New York, Thea considers herself lucky to call Prague her adopted home.  She is currently working on her PhD. in history at Charles University. She enjoys reading, running and mushroom picking in Czech forests.

 

Vanda ThorneVanda Thorne (Assistant Director for Academic Affairs) has been teaching sociology courses at NYU Prague for the last 14 years.  Last year, she joined our administrative staff last year to further develop the excellence of our academic program.  Vanda has been nurturing several new programs at NYU Prague, including an exciting partnership with a nonprofit organization dedicated to archiving and publicizing the stories of former political prisoners. Vanda received her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an M.A. in Gender and Culture from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and an M.A. in English and American Literature from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic.

 

Martina FaltovaMartina Faltova (Assistant Director for Student Life) first became acquainted with NYU when she came to New York to work as an au pair for the children of the late NYU Professor Tony Judt. Now she is our Assistant Director of Student Life and working on on-site orientation, housing, health, wellness and much more.  She loves travelling and has worked at the NYU Global offices in New York and Madrid.

 

Sarah CoffeySarah Coffey (Program Coordinator, Music Program) is a native of the UK who moved to New York when she was a teenager. Now she’s happy to be back in Europe, and loves Prague – especially the music scene – she’s a member of a professional choir and teaches piano on the side.  Sarah also runs our Kulturama-Praha program which helps our students learn about European culture through culture and the arts!

 

Darima BatorovaIf you will live in Osadni dorm, you will get to know Darima Batorova (Bulidng Manager, Osadni) very well! Darima is from Buryatia in Siberia – close to Lake Baikal. She came to Prague to go to Charles University and is now working on her PhD. She loves gardening, and launched a fantastic urban garden in our Osadni dorm!

 

Marketa HelbrantovaMarketa Helebrantova  is the Facilties Manager of the Slezska Dorm. Before working at NYU, Marketa spent several years on the road as a dancer with one of Prague’s theatres. She is still closely connected to the contemporary dance world and has coordinated dance workshops for NYU Prague students.

 

Kristyna CermakovaKristyna Cermakova  (Facilities Manager, Machova Dorm) has been living with NYU Prague students since 2011, when she started as an RA.  Tyna loves organizing trips – especially sports-related trips, such as hiking up the Czech Republic’s highest mountains, and cultural exchange trips where students stay overnight with Czech families.  She is an avid participant in Czech orienteering competitions – navigating her way through forests and fields – as well as a singer and love of Czech folk dancing.

 

Dr. Desiree Gonzales Désirée Gonzalo is our global counselor. She is a clinical psychologist and her main role is in providing students with assessment and treatment for mental health difficulties. Désirée, originally from Spain, studied in the UK, and has worked with university students in the UK and the Czech Republic. She enjoys helping students to gain the self-knowledge, insight and confidence they need to reach their potential in life.

 

Maria Dzurnakova Maria Skripenova (Facilities Manager, Academic Center) has been coming to NYU Prague since she was a student at the Prague Economics University.  She has worked for us as an RA, Facilities Manager of the Osadni Dorm, and now is working on campus.  She plays the violin and loves sports.

 

Lenka VavruskovaLenka Vavruskova (librarian) started working at NYU Prague in 2005 and set up a system to catalogue the 10,000 books and films in our collection.  She spends her spare time gardening and being with her three grandchildren.

 

Jan HovorkaJan Hovorka–known by everyone on campus as Honza–started out at NYU Prague as an RA in the Machova dorm in 2005. He’s now the IT Manager at NYU Prague.  Honza acquired a love of basketball when he spent a year abroad as a high school student in Louisiana, and he’s spent a lot of time shooting hoops with our students when he’s not figuring out how to bring the latest technology into buildings with Renaissance ceilings and Gothic doorway.

About NYU Prague Faculty

Former students often say that what they like about NYU Prague is how accessible and dedicated the professors are – many of whom are members of government, leading musicians and working journalists. It is indeed these connections that give them the ability to provide unique insights about the most pressing topics of the day.

How do Europeans and Americans see each other? Students in the class European American Relations in the 21st Centurylearn about the complexities of the European migrant crisis and other issues with the former Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Josef Zieleniec. The class Imagining America, Imagining Europe, American Literature from a European Perspective with Hana Ulmanova – a regular broadcaster on Czech public radio – gives students an inside view on how Europeans view the USA through stories and literature.

Several of our professors teach classes that explore the legacy of Communism – including Monika MacDonagh Pajerova (Civil Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe), Vanda Thorne (Collective Identity in a Totalitarian Regime), and Jan Urban (Modern Dissent in Europe). They have started to work in close cooperation with a non-profit called Political Prisoners, archiving the atrocities committed by the Communist regime and visiting uranium mines where prisoners were forced to work.

Jeremy Druker (Social Media Networking) runs a Prague-based organization that supports international journalists working in regimes that do not support a free media. NYU Prague marketing students from Hana Huntova’s class helped shape the campaign, even coming up with its name “Press Start.”

Our music students work with some of the most famous Czech musicians. Students in Michal Rataj’s Electroacoustic Composition class always create fascinating pieces inspired by local sounds and even history and culture of this region. At the end of the semester, music students also perform with their professors at the Gala event in some of Prague’s most prestigious music

The city is your classroom for many of our courses.  Professors often take students on field trips, visiting 1000 year old churches, going to the Czech Supreme Court or playing on Baroque historic instruments.

 

Interested in a Kosher Kitchen?

When selecting housing at NYU Prague students can choose between residence halls and apartments.

Although there are no dining plans, students have various options for meal preparation. You can prepare meals in your kitchen or eat out at one of the many inexpensive restaurants in Prague.  All NYU Prague kitchens are fully stocked with everything you need to prepare your own meals.

If you would like to request a kosher kitchen, or if you have any other dietary restrictions, please indicate your needs in the housing application. We also ask that you email Martina Faltova, the Assistant Director for Student Life at NYU Prague, at martina@nyu.edu. She will work closely with you to ensure your kitchen is properly equipped!

August Orientation at NYU Prague

Prague is arguably one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.  When students step off the plane, they enter into a fairy-tale-like land of castles, cobblestoned streets and quaint cafes.

But the cobblestoned roads are winding and confusing, the language can be daunting, and the history – which does so much to shape a culture – unfamiliar to many NYU students.

During our week-long orientation, we try to help students feel at home in Prague and start to adjust to some of the challenges of daily and academic life here.

All students take a history symposium called The Czech Republic in a Global Context, which is taught by NYU Prague professors and is a combination of lectures, discussions, films and tours that provide students with a foundation that they will for their courses.  At the end of the week all students are required to write an essay reflecting on what they have learned during the week; the writers of the best essays win a free weekend trip to Berlin led by NYU Prague staff. “It was a great way to start off the semester … it gave us an insight into the city, our professors, and history. It does a great job in setting a tone for classes,” reported one student this semester.

All students are also enrolled in  “survival” Czech lessons where experienced teachers  focus on language needed in daily life.  This is especially important for students who are not taking Czech during the semester, as it teaches them basic pronunciation.  Thanks to small class sizes, they end up being about culture as well as language:  “one of the most helpful parts was when our teacher gave us a few minutes for cultural Q&As about things we’d encountered so far and didn’t understand.”
A lot of orientation is about practical issues.  How to go to the doctor…. safety in Prague…resources on campus and in the city…. cultural adjustment …. our RAs and staff do all we can to help answer students’ numerous questions.

And what better way to get to know a city but to go to a cultural event?  Our Kulturama program launches by giving all students a free ticket to the an event of their choice: opera, ballet, theatre, and sometimes hockey or soccer games.

Of course the most important part of orientation is the “off” time when students explore the city on their own, meeting new friends and getting lost (and found) wandering the maze-like streets of Prague.  At the end of orientation last semester, one student wrote “”I truly felt the presence of beauty and darkness within Prague. It is a treasure trove in Europe; I understand now if I encounter skepticism.”

NYU Prague Trips

NYU Prague has over 20 day and overnight trips every semester – all with small groups, free of charge, and with an emphasis on going off the beaten path.  You can see a sample of our trips on our website as well as read about some of them on the student blog NYU Prague Now!  You  will get a list of the trips for Fall 2016 in mid-August and can sign up during orientation.

 

Academic excursions are organized by professors and staff for specific groups (often extra spots are opened to other students).  Students who write the best essays at the end of orientation are selected to go on a free trip to Berlin.  The trip introduces students to a once-divided city that is now a hub of European contemporary culture.  Music students visit the city of Beethoven and Mozart on a weekend trip to Vienna, tasting the opera as well as Sacher torte in famous Viennese cafes.  On a more somber trip, students visit Terezin, a fortress town used by the Nazis as a concentration camp during WWII.  Other classes often go on field trips outside of the city to events, such as conferences or to visit the Czech Supreme Court in Brno.

Cultural Immersion trips are one of the most meaningful ways to get understand in Czech culture.  On our Political Prisoners trip, students go to the site of uranium mines in the west of the country, guided by a former prisoner of conscious.  The trip – coordinated with a nonprofit organization that archives memories of former political prisoners- brings NYU students together with local high school students to help translate the prisoners’ testimonials.  On another trip, students meet Roma activists who are working to end discrimination against the Roma minority – one of the largest ethnic minorities in Eastern Europe.   Students can also stay with Czech families in small towns near the mountains on our home stay trips, sampling Czech home-cooked meals and the beauty of the countryside.  We also have volunteering trips where students can help on specific projects, such as helping fix community homes for people with disabilities- painting, building walls, cleaning, etc.

Student Life Excursions  Our staff and RAs organize numerous excursions – taking a train to a gorgeous castle, spelunking in caves, “taking the waters” in a famous spa town,  meeting sheep on mountain hikes…. every semester is a bit different depending on festivals and the season, but the trips are always a fantastic way to get to know parts of the country you never would have imagined existed!

PragueCast

What lurks UNDERGROUND in Prague?  This semester, a fantastic team of 10 NYU Prague students delved deep underground and created the latest edition of PragueCast- our own NYU Prague podcast led by BBC correspondent Rob Cameron.

Enjoy 30 minutes of sound – ride along with the driver in the cab of the Prague Metro, listen to music in an underground club and do some spelunking in the country’s deepest cave.

PragueCast is one of our non-credit internships and explores Czech culture, politics, society and the pressing topics of today from the perspective of NYU Prague students.Every semester, PragueCast selects a team of about 8-10 students who create 2-3 podcasts while they are here. You can listen to earlier editions here.  We hope that you might consider joining the PragueCast team next semester!  For more information, please visit our listing of non-credit internships.

Internships at NYU Prague: Academic vs. Non-credit

Internships are a great way to become part of a community in Prague and learn about the culture from another point of view. At NYU Prague, you have a wide array of choices – some of which are very competitive, and others which are open to all.

ACADEMIC INTERNSHIPS

NYU Prague students have the opportunity to participate in a for-credit internship program that includes an internship seminar and field work course.  NYU has partnered with EUSA, a non-profit organization to find specific placements for students depending on their interests.  The deadline for applications to this program has already passed; if you have more questions about it, please contact global.internships@nyu.edu.

NON-CREDIT INTERNSHIPS – 

NYU Prague has a plethora of opportunities for students who want to do internships but don’t have time in their schedules to do one for credit. Journalism, business, non-profits, teaching, film…. we work with over 20 local organizations, plus we produce our own webzine and podcast at NYU Prague. You can see the list of internships on our website– most are offered every semester.  In mid-August you will receive an internship packet with final listings; applications are due on August 30 (see below for more info about applying)

Opportunities in Media: 

Students can also intern at the news agencies Project Syndicate and Transitions Online – organizations that have hired former NYU Prague students upon graduation. “Transitions Online gave me a glimpse of working abroad as a trial for the future,” one student noted.  Some students choose to write longer, investigative articles for the New Presence, a Czech-English magazine in Prague.

We also have three fantastic, hands-on opportunities produced at NYU Prague:

  • The PragueCast podcast team works with Prague’s BBC correspondent.  Listen to the latest episode- a great 30-minutes of sound by students who delved deep underground, from riding with the driver in a cab of the Prague Metro to spelunking in the country’s deepest cave.
  • The Prague Wandering is led by journalist Dinah Spritzer-Richter Professor, a regular contributor to the NY Times.  In NYU’s only study abroad webzine, students write about politics, culture, food, sociological issues for a world-wide readership.
  • NYU PRAGUE NOW! is our latest internship, a blog started by a team of Media, culture and communications students this semester to document the exciting activities of fellow students as they experience the city of Prague and the magic of Europe. We want it to continue to run in the future – consider joining the NYU Prague Now! team next semester!

Non-profit organizations:  For people interested in humanitarian work, Prague is a fantastic place to do an internship.  Students can work for one of Central Europe’s largest humanitarian organizations, The People in Need Foundation, which provides relief aid all over the world and organizes Europe’s largest human rights film festivals. The Muliticultural Center in Prague gives students a fantastic chance to learn about complicated issues of immigration in the Czech Republic. You can also volunteer at Forum 2000 – a world-reknowned conference founded by former Czech President Vaclav Havel; delegates have included Bill Clinton, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nobel Prize winner An Sang Siu Chi, Bono,… Amnesty International takes an NYU Prague intern every semester.  You can work in the field of philanthropy to combat global poverty with Synergos Institute, or work for Political Prisoners – an organization that records oral history of former Czechoslovak political prisoners.

Business:   Business students often work at some of our nonprofit organizations helping with marketing, social media – there are many opportunities at the media organization Transitions Online and Project Syndicate (see above under media).  Next semester we will have opportunities for students to intern at Credo Ventures, a venture capital firm in Prague.  Sometimes students intern at the international law firm Central European Advisory Group – one of our oldest and most competititve internships (not offered every semester). Students have also learned about global mobility by working for the Graebel Relocation Agency.

Teaching: One of our most popular internships is at the Londynska Elementary School, a Czech school where small teams of NYU students work with 1st and 2nd graders learning English. “If you are interested in learning and interacting with Czech children, this is the most organic way to do so. It was a great cultural experience for both the children and myself!”  A more challenging -and highly rewarding- teaching opportunity is teaching English conversation at the Jedlicka Institute – a school for high school students with physical disabilities.

Film:  Our students have helped coordinate casting sessions with Emmy-award winning Nancy Bishop.  “I was able to get an inside look at the casting side of the film industry, which was exactly what I wanted.”

HOW TO APPLY FOR NON-CREDIT INTERNSHIPS – The application deadline for  non-credit internships will be Tuesday, August 30 (after orientation).  We have an internship fair during the orientation week in Prague where students meet internship mentors.  If you already know the internship you want, you can send in a resume and cover letter to NYU Prague internship coordinator Leah Gaffen in advance at leah.gaffen@nyu.edu.  For a few of the internships, this can increase the chance of being selected – but not necessarily.  If you have any questions, please write to Leah Gaffen,