What are the application steps for the Prague Summer Seminars program?
Apply for the program online and follow the instructions on our application page linked here.
What if I am not a UNO student? Can I participate?
Yes, non-UNO students can participate as long as they are either students in good standing at the home institution, or meet the admissions requirements of the University of New Orleans. Non-UNO students do get admitted to UNO as guest students, and then transfer back the credits to the home institution. This generally applies to financial aid as well. Please speak with the Program Director to get started!
After I have a space on the program, what happens next?
You will receive more information in the mail, e-mail and over the internet which you must complete. We will continue to communicate with you about upcoming deadlines as we go along.
Apply soon as space is limited!
When should I apply for a passport?
NOW! Do not wait. It can take from two days up to many weeks to get a passport. This is very urgent. Please check to see that your passport has not expired. Your passport must be valid for when you return into the United States. You will have to pay an extra fee to have it mailed to you in time for the trip if you apply late.
How do I get to Prague?
If you arrive by air on the arrival date of the program, we will pick you up from the airport if you send us your arrival info (please email it to us). If you are arriving on a different day, or want to get yourself into Prague, all international flights arrive at Prague Ruzyne Airport, approximately 20 km/12 miles to the Northwest of the city center. You can get into town either by catching a city bus, a cab, or the airport shuttle service. All minibus shuttle services to the airport are run by a single private company called CEDAZ. You can also arrive by international bus or train. Further details on how to get to the dorm upon arrival will be provided in your pre-departure guide.
When is the pre-departure orientation?
The pre-departure orientation is currently TBD. Please check this website and your email for updates. This is for students in the New Orleans area. If you are not in the area, we will send you as much information as we can!
Is there an onsite orientation?
Yes, on Monday, July 7th there will be an orientation and city tour.
Are there scholarships that I can apply for that would help me pay for the program?
The Gilman Scholarship might be one option for Pell Grant recipients. For more information, go to: http://www.iie.org/en/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program
Freeman-ASIA does offer a scholarship to use towards study in Asia. Unfortunately, we have discovered that our program is not long enough to qualify. But if you're thinking of participating in longer programs later, you may want to have the information. Here's the link: http://www.iie.org/programs/Freeman-ASIA/
There are many funding options available for UNO students, for example UNO Ambassador Awards, the Agnes Levine Memorial Awards or the UNO SG International Study Abroad Awards. To learn more about awards and scholarships, and how to apply please click here.
If I'm not a UNO student, how do I get my grades to my school back at home?
If you are not a UNO student, grades will be automatically sent to your university in the weeks following the completion of the summer school. Please note that we can not send out official transcripts until we receive the room damage report from the dormitory. All students' grades will be sent to their university - NO EXCEPTIONS. If you have any questions regarding the transcript process please contact us at the Prague Summer Seminars office.
I am graduating in the summer, how fast can I get my grades?
Your grades will be sent to your university as soon as possible. We do not make any exceptions. It may take a few weeks to get the grades into the system, the grades printed on the transcripts, sent to your school and to have your school enter them into their computer system, so please be patient. Our advice: do not plan to graduate in the summer, or you may have to wait awhile. Also, grades will only be sent after we have receive the room damage report from the dormitory. Just to let you know, we try our hardest to ensure that your transcript is sent to your school as soon as possible.
What do I do about my books?
Please purchase them before you go. All faculty should send you your syllabus or post it online. Get your text information there and be sure to arrive well prepared.
What kind of internet access will I have?
Wireless internet access is available throughout the dorm. It is also available in the classroom building.
What about electricity?
Electrical outlets in Prague are 220V. You will need to bring plug adaptors for any electrical appliances such as laptop computers, etc. The adaptor you will need will be called "Grounded US to Continental Europe." Also, check the label on your appliance to make sure it can handle the current. Some will have a switch, and on some the label will indicate a range of allowable voltage. If the appliance is rated for only 110V, the current in Prague will probably ruin it even if you have a voltage converter.
What is my mailing address in Prague?
UNO Prague Summer Seminars
c/o Lukas Budin, International Office
Faculty of Social Sciences
Smetanovo nabrezi 6
110 01 Praha 1
What is expected academically?
Students are responsible for attending class regularly, participating in class discussions, completing assigned work, attending all required field trips, and all weekday afternoon activities. Students may not have access to computers to print papers, therefore all papers may be handwritten or emailed. It is highly recommended that students read and prepare as much as possible for their courses prior to arrving in Prague so that they will have more free time for travel.
What is the attendance policy?
It is extremely important that students attend ALL classes they are registed for. The Prague Summer Seminars program has high academic standards which we maintain on all our academic programs. It is university policy to lower a student's overall performance by a letter grade or by a substantial amount for each unexcused absence.
How much money do I bring?
We recommend about $200 - $400 a week depending on the exchange rate. This should cover evening meals and weekend travel expenses. This is only an estimated recommendation. You will have to decide on how much you will need!
How do I handle my money while traveling?
The easiest way to get the Czech currency, the koruny (or krown), is with your ATM card. There are several banks and many ATMs throughout Prague that allow you to withdraw funds in the local currencty. Be aware that the "money changers" tend to charge higher fees (or give lower exchange rates) than large banks. You can also use your credit card to make purchases, but some places will not accept them.
What is the exchange rate and how do I figure out how much things cost?
The most current exchange rate is easily available online from several sources. One of my favorites is oanda.com. The latest rate as of 03/11/2015 was 25.84 CZK = 1 USD (US dollar). Oanda offers what they call a "cheat sheet" that you can print out and take with you. Very handy for those first few days!
How much do I tip?
The truth is, this is a hard question to answer. Every village, town, city and country has different customs for tipping. How does the service industry in Europe work? For the most part, the waiters and waitresses get paid a fixed earnings, and everything else is bonus. Unlike the US they do not rely on tips to earn money. Since this is the case, your server does not have to like you or be nice to you. You have a high chance while in Europe to see this for yourself. As for tipping, what you do is round up a little. Do not give 15% like here. In some countries it can be insulting, they do not want your charity. For example, Your meal cost 9.43 Euro - give the waiter 10 Euro and that is about all. There are factors that change how much you tip. If the waiter gives excellent service, etc. If you are in a large party then tip a little higher. But remember you do not have to tip like you do here, just round up a little.
Are youth hostels a good option if I am traveling?
What is the weather like in Prague and how should I dress?
The weather in Prague can have a lot of variation in July and August, so be prepared for some cool days/nights as well as hot ones. Bring a light jacket or sweater. Layers are the way to go. Also bring a raincoat or umbrella because it will probably rain at some point. Be sure to bring good walking/hiking shoes because the city is hilly.
Do I need dress clothes?
There are a couple of occasions where more formal clothes are expected (coat/slacks for men; dress or skirt/dress pants & blouse for women).
Do I need to know Czech?
Classes in this program are all in English. For getting around town, knowledge of Czech is not necessary. It is surprising how many people in the Czech Republic who can speak English. However, it is always appreciated if you know a few words in Czech.
Is the water okay to drink?
Yes. There are no concerns with tap water in the Czech Republic.
Do I need a laptop computer?
If you are in the Photo, Film, or Travel Writing classes, we recommend that you bring a laptop computer with you. Wireless internet access is available in each room of the dorm.
Do I need to bring my own bedsheets, towels, and a pillow?
Sheets, a pillow, and small hand towels will be provided, but if you want a large fluffy towel, bring your own.
How will I wash linens or clothes?
There is a laudry room in the basement of the dorm, availabe for a modest student rate.
What are some outdoor activities in Prague?
Prague is a very tourist friendly city, so there are countless things to do outside. These include such things as: walking around Old Town, walking across the Charles Bridge, and going to places like Petrin Hill,
Letna Park, and street markets.
Is Prague safe?
Compared to New Orleans, Prague is very safe. There are no guns. But, pick-pocketing is a major concern, and everyone should be vigilant to prevent theft in general. This is especially a concern in crowded touristy areas.
What about getting a cell phone?
If you cannot use your US cell phone in Europe, you may want to consider getting a Czech cell phone with a Czech SIM card and rechargeable credit. There are three major cell phone operators in the Czech Republic: Telefonica O2, T-Mobile, & Vodaphone.
How do I set up accomodations if I am traveling before or after the program?
All students are responsible for arranging their own travel arrangements. The Prague Summer Seminars office can help you to a limited degree. It is wise to make your travels plans prior to the start of the program.