Online Summer Program: Prague, Czech Republic

Overview

Choose from two different 3-week sessions this summer with our online program at Charles University. These exciting sessions feature courses using the Moodle learning platform and discussions over Zoom.

What’s Included

  • Up to 12 credits from Charles University
  • Take courses in a variety of subjects and disciplines from all 13 programs
  • A $500 scholarship/grant towards a traditional 2021 AIFS Study Abroad program
  • Courses in a variety of subjects and disciplines
  • City Spotlights of Paris, Rome, Berlin, London and Prague
  • AIFS Around the World cultural events including cooking classes, scavenger hunts and more
  • Career-focused workshops
  • Virtual hangouts with participants from around the country

Credits Available
Up to 12 credits

Courses

You may choose courses from a variety of subjects and disciplines below and from all 13 Online Study Programs.

Prague Session 1

PSYC 310 (3)
Psycholinguistics
The course aims at introducing the fundamental aspects of psycholinguistic research, discussing the methods used in psycholinguistics and a summary of the knowledge achieved so far in the field. In the second part of the course, the process of language acquisition in children is discussed, together with examples of developmental language disorders such as dyslexia.

SOC 300 (3)
Sociology of Food
Eating is a natural necessity for almost all human beings. Food, however, does more than just help humans survive and grow. It can become a political tool, a marker of social class and gender, a mirror of significant cultural differences. On a more individual scale, it can be related to personal identity, habits and health. As our perspective in this course is sociological and semiotical, we shall look at food both as a source of embodied experience, and as a language that can be decoded. It is a symbolic system that reflects the everyday habits of humans, norms of societies, as well as deeper, internalized meanings. Food will thus become a lens through which we will see and analyze our different cultures in a new light. We will ask questions such as: What is the place of origin of our food? How did our food get to us? How does food configure and change relations among people?

During our comparisons and practical workshops, we shall trace the histories of some of the most significant meals of the Czech Republic (and former Austro-Hungarian empire). Their transformations will help us understand the social changes that took place in Central Europe from a different perspective. Questions such as gender relations, families, political economy, health (obesity, anorexia, bio food), ecology and the nation-state will be discussed. We will read academic articles that react on these questions in various national and ethnic contexts.

The class will include a few workshops related to cooking, food preparation, and diet

ECON 311 (3)
Economic Decline of European Empires
Power of a great empire was always based on its economy. Sustainable economic growth is therefore crucial for keeping the political influence as well as for ensuring the prosperity for its inhabitants. Economic power and prosperity of the past empires were often threatened by similar economic policy failures as we know today: fiscal crises, inflation, extensive regulation, institutional mismanagement and others. Lectures of this course provide an overview of the economic policy and institutional failures that led to economic decay of the selected European powers in the past. In the seminars, students will widen and apply the acquired knowledge to the current economic issues. This course combines application of basic Institutional Economics and International Political Economy. Major focus of this course lays on the CEE, therefore, most of the time will be dedicated to economic powers that have affected the CEE economic environment (Hapsburg Empire and Germany). Other economic powers (e.g. Ming China, Soviet Union or the United States) might be briefly discussed in the lectures upon student`s request.

HIST 302 (3)
Jewish History in Central and Eastern Europe
The course focuses on Jewish history in Central and Eastern Europe with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th century. The primary goals of the course are to study the political, cultural and economic situation of the Jews in Central and Eastern Europe and analyze the different forms of Jewish cultural and political identity. In the analysis, special attention will be paid to the history of Central and Eastern European countries at the beginning of the 20th century.

ART 313 (3)
The Story of Prague: Ten Centuries of Architectural Heritage
The course serves as an introduction to the city of Prague as a specific cultural and social milieu, seen through the lens of its artists, architects and their works. It is also intended – particularly through the reading list – to inspire an interest in the unique blend of storytelling and legend that underpins much of the city’s character and history.
The scope of the course includes the major periods of European architectural development: from medieval to modern, as well as aspects specifically reflecting the history and heritage of the Czech nation.  In structuring the course according to artistic styles and movements, it is hoped that students will recognize the ways in which artists of widely varying origins and temperaments responded to, influenced, or disrupted the artistic conventions of the day, and how their work continues to reflect the social and political dynamics of the city.

CZE 102 (3)
Czech Language for Everyday Use I
This introductory course (50 teaching hours) for beginners is designed to equip students with the necessary Czech language skills in order to communicate in everyday situations. Students will learn basic Czech grammar, vocabulary, and common conversational phrases. The communicative approach and everyday vocabulary are emphasized. Students are supposed to communicate in various situations of everyday life (introducing oneself, asking about direction, shopping, restaurant, talking about family). Various linguistic skills should be developed in balance: knowledge of grammar, speaking, listening with comprehension, and writing. Students will also become familiar with Czech cultural norms and practices (e.g. greetings, politeness, eating habits).

Prague Session 2

HIST/POL/ART 303 (3)
Czech Culture and Civilization: A Field Trip into the Czech Psyche
This interdisciplinary course is designed as a unique insight into Czech/Slovak history, politics and arts, and should provide the students with serious data and information as well as with a “lighter” reflection on certain specifics of the country’s development in the heart of Europe. Students will not be limited to listening to lectures and attending screenings in classrooms, but rather, they should understand that Prague and other locations in the Czech Republic will give them a rare opportunity to study and form their own opinion in public spaces all over the country. Learning through interactive seminars, visual arts and top-quality documentaries will enable the participants to gain an interesting experience on all levels.

The course is open to students of history, sociology, political science, literature and visual arts as well as to anyone who is interested, eager to learn and has an open mind.

FILM 302 (3)
Red Planets: Science Fiction in Central and Eastern European Cinema and Literature
Science Fiction has long been a place for visionary thinkers and cultural critics to explore the possibilities of human society, as well as discuss its failings and problems. This course will focus on how Central and Eastern European authors and filmmakers saw the science fiction genre as a space for exploration, critique, and as one of the last refuges of imagination during times of crisis. Throughout the semester, we will be watching films and reading plays, novels, and critical texts which have left lasting impacts on both the science fiction genre, and the world around us.

ART 314 (3)
Gender and Culture
Students analyze how gender, ethnicity, race, class and sexual orientation are shaped by cultural and societal influences. The focus is on the comparisons of European and US gender regimes and diversity differences, interpretation and evaluation of social actions by religious, gender, ethnic, racial, class, sexual orientation groups affecting equality and social justice in Europe and the U.S.   

Discussions within this framework include Communist concepts of gender equality, post-socialist transformation and globalization as well as of current cultural gender representations, beauty myth, advertising etc. 

Documentaries, other visual materials and a guest speaker lecture are a part of this course.

LIT 357
Politics of Song: From Folklore to Hip Hop
The course examines how songs relate to people’s attitudes to public life, and conversely, how attitudes to public life translate into songs. While focusing on lyrics, the course places selected Czech songs within their political, cultural, historical, and social contexts. Songs will be regarded as either challenging or confirming the status quo, and as either intrinsically political, or political because of the given context of reception (rock’n’roll in the Soviet Bloc). It will be worthwhile to keep these four categories in mind, as the course runs through song material spanning from 19th century Habsburg empire to current day, covering genres from traditional ballads to social bandit songs, protest songs, anti-military songs, revolutionary songs, patriotic songs, topical songs on police shootings against worker’s demonstrations, rock ’n’roll in the Eastern Block, Czech folk singers-songwriters, Roma songs of empowerment, Neo-Nazi pub rock, alternative rock, contemporary rap, and more. Based on relevant theoretical readings questions will be asked such as: Can a song ever be “innocent,” that is, stand outside of politics? Was Ronald Reagan right – was it rock’n’roll that destroyed the Soviet bloc? Did the establishment react differently to rock musicians in the Eastern and in the Western block? Is there an inherent link between the genre of hip hop and oppressed minority cultures? How does it happen that a song shapes the reaction of a nation to a traumatic experience? What did the Nazi and Communist regimes share in their view of modern trends in songs? What are the roots of the Czech tramping movement? Etc. Students will co-create the class by bringing in songs of their choice from their own contexts. Guest speakers and field trips will bring a further dimension to the class.

AER 324 (3)
Edges of Photography
Although photography is a regular art discipline, due to its broad accessibility, it is perceived by many as a mere technical tool to record reality. Such perception is unsubstantiated on so many levels! The technical aspect of photography is only one part of it. The other, and perhaps even more important is the artistic part: Photographic technology can be seen as a tool in the service of a creative human soul. In addition, both these elements also correspond with and reflect a particular historical timeframe, which has an impact on the overall purport of every single image. This is certainly true about documentary photography, in which the seemingly ‘trivial’ photographer’s choices (such as camera exposure settings, framing/cropping, angles, focal length, composition, depth of field, etc.) have an impact on the outcome and perception of the photograph. It’s even more evident in abstract photography, in which reality/real objects are only used as mere creative tools for self-expression, a parable, a metaphor, a visual story.

CZE 102 (3)
Czech Language for Everyday Use I
This introductory course (50 teaching hours) for beginners is designed to equip students with the necessary Czech language skills in order to communicate in everyday situations. Students will learn basic Czech grammar, vocabulary, and common conversational phrases. The communicative approach and everyday vocabulary are emphasized. Students are supposed to communicate in various situations of everyday life (introducing oneself, asking about direction, shopping, restaurant, talking about family). Various linguistic skills should be developed in balance: knowledge of grammar, speaking, listening with comprehension, and writing. Students will also become familiar with Czech cultural norms and practices (e.g. greetings, politeness, eating habits).

Course Information

  • Courses will use the Moodle learning platform and include discussion over Zoom. Students will need to have a means of transmitting video.
  • Each course meets for 3 weeks (Monday to Thursday) per session. Students should be able to meet online for live classes or watch the recordings of the meetings during the 3-week sessions.
  • Grading is based on letter grade A to F. Grades based on class ‘attendance,’ participation and completing the final test or paper.

Career Focused Workshops

Readying Your Resume, Cover Letters, and LinkedIn
Preparing your professional documents and online presence is an essential piece of your career search. This session will cover best practices for connecting the dots from your experiences on-campus and abroad to the job description as well as address common hurdles in composing cover letters. Participants will be invited to schedule a 1:1 review of their resume and LinkedIn profile with Angela Manginelli, AIFS Vice President, Director of Alumni & Inclusion Initiatives following the group session.

How to Ace the Interview
Interviews can be stressful, so it’s important to be prepared to put your best self forward in the process. This session will review what employers are looking for in new hires, interviewing etiquette, tips for structuring responses to common interview questions, and provide information on how to craft your personal elevator pitch. Attendees will have an opportunity to practice mock interviews with their peers during the session and will receive resources to continue preparing following the session.

Navigating the Transition from College Student to Career Professional
Unlike college, your career does not come with a syllabi and that transition can be challenging. This session will help students know how to successfully make the switch to post-graduate professional, including tips on working in a multicultural and multigenerational workforce. We will address how to consider multiple job offers, budgeting for life after college, and knowing how to advocate for yourself throughout your career.

Career Guidance for Working in Education Abroad
Interested in working in education abroad but don’t know how to get started? Join our panel of AIFS alumni and staff who will share their expertise on what it’s like to work in the field and tips for leveraging your cross-cultural experiences into a career. This session will include information on working in various roles at a university and an international education organization as an Admissions Officer, Field Staff member, Vice President, Director of Alumni & Inclusion Initiatives and many more. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask panelists questions and set up 1:1 informational interviews following the group session.

AIFS Around the World

Italian Excellence
Do you know that Italy is the country with the greatest number of Unesco Heritage sites?
Do you know that Italy the 4th world’s largest producer of jewelry?
Do you know that Italy has 140 wheat crop varieties, while the US has 6?
Do you know that the Italian automotive sector numbers 3200 companies with some of the best brands in the world?
Do you know that Italy is the undisputed world leader in the production of superyachts?
Learn about this and much more, while participating in interactive webinars.

Virtual Italian Buddy
If you are interested in learning Italian, do not just sit and study. Interact with an Italian student who can help you with your homework and tell you a lot about local amenities while regularly chatting with you.

Sweet Ideas from Italy
Learn how to prepare a Tiramisu or a Sorbetto, or maybe discover how to make the typical Florentine Cantuccini cookies. The secrets and recipes that we would like to share with our American friends are so many!

Spanish Cook-Off!!
You may think Spanish food is the same all over the country, but you would be wrong. AIFS has programs in six different locations in Spain - Salamanca, Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Seville and Valencia – and each region has its own cuisine that they are rightly proud of.  Sit in with our wonderful Resident Directors as they discuss the merits of their regional dishes, it may get quite animated, and then tune in for some actual cooking demonstrations. Learn how to make an authentic tortilla from Gaye Michaels in Salamanca and pan con tomate from Inma in Barcelona, as well as more insights into life in each location. 

Italian Wine Tradition
Wine is a big tradition Italians have always been proud of. Meet Marco, AIFS Rome staff, to get introduced to the world of Italian wines. Classes are meant to introduce inexpert users to a correct and functional approach to the very complex culture of wine consumption. By tasting a different wine variety in each single class, topics such as wine tasting and food pairing methods, wines and grapes geography, table manners and drinking etiquette, and wine seen as cultural trait d’union between cuisine and local Italian traditions will be covered. 

A Taste of Italian Cuisine
While home, how many of us have spent (at least!) some hours in the kitchen trying to duplicate some tasty special recipes? Join Luigi and Riccardo, our talented Roman chefs, to discover the secrets of Italian cuisine. Get the recipes, be ready with the ingredients required and have fun! You will learn how to cook two traditional Italian recipes while you practice from home. Buon appetite!

Parliamo Italiano?
Would you like to practice your Italian skills with a native? Book a conversation session with one of our fabulous Italian staff: meet Rosanna, Chicca and Marco in Rome for a fast and fun way to improve your language skills!

Prague: Interactive Cultural Quiz and Scavenger Hunt
Follow the clues and answer questions on the many cultural and historical sites in Prague. Our staff will introduce you to some fascinating historical figures, buildings and sites – the stories behind them and experiences you can enjoy in Prague. Play against fellow students and win a prize while learning about one of Central Europe’s most iconic cities.

London: History and Diversity
Home to over 9 million people, with over 300 different languages spoken per day, London is one of the most diverse cultural capitals of the world, renowned for its creative industries including fashion (London Fashion week alone generates over £100m of orders), art, theatre and media. It boasts of over 200 museums and galleries, including the world-renowned British Museum (home to the Rosetta stone) and the Tate Modern Art Gallery, along with the main residence of Her Majesty the Queen, Buckingham Palace, and picturesque parks such as Hyde Park, St James’s Park and Richmond Park. Yet, despite all this, tradition is not the driving force behind London’s creativity – rather it is the diversity of its people that fuels and shapes London’s formidable cultural landscape. London professor Nicole D’Adamo Moody will introduce you to London’s rich cultural past and present.

A Study Abroad Journey: AIFS Student to AIFS Coordinator
Meet Gina and Trung, Coordinators on our Florence, Italy program. But before that they were both AIFS students on our Florence program. Learn about what drew them to Florence, how the program influenced their academic choices and the path that led them to later come back to AIFS as part of our team. Who better to guide our students than staff who were previously in their shoes.

Practicing Advocacy in Daily Life
It used to be that advocacy work just involved protest signs, sit-ins and rallies. But we’re now living in a time where your voice can be just as powerful from home. From registering fellow students to vote to learning about how you can support local, national and international policies that matter to you, Advocacy 101 is the place to get a basic understanding of the legislative process and how best to move forward and be heard in the digital age. This non-partisan session will explore opportunities to take action for international education and global engagement, and you’ll learn how to work with and educate your elected officials and their offices.

Coronavirus Around the Globe - Lockdown Lowdown
How is the pandemic affecting people in different countries?  You can see reports on the news but the only way to really know what is going on is to talk to the people living there.  Some of our wonderful Resident Directors have come together to discuss how things are where they live, how it has impacted their lives, but also to discuss the positive things they have seen and heard during this crisis.  Please join Edu in Seville, Deniz in Budapest, Nele in Berlin and Miranda in Grenoble as they discuss the situation.  

City Spotlights

Paris Virtual Tour
Discover areas of Paris with our local staff member Jane.  Jane is our Assistant Resident Director and her specialty is arranging all of the cultural activities for our students and accompanying them on the excursions to they get the most out of them.  Join her as she explores some of Paris’ classic districts and she shares her knowledge as only a local can.

Berlin Virtual Tour
Nele is our Resident Director in Berlin, and when she is not assisting our Berlin students with all elements of the program she is also a registered tour guide. Join Nele as she takes us on a tour of her favorite sites in Berlin.

Prague Virtual Tour
Join our Prague staff as they guide you around the beautiful city of Prague, the tour will include sites such as Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, the Old Town and a particular focus on the Jewish history with a tour of the Jewish Quarter. Join Renata, Jenny and Zdenek, our wonderful Prague staff, as they lead you on a tour of this beautiful city.

From Rome with (Remote) Love
Meet Christiaan and Lavinia, our professional and super friendly certified tour guides, as they virtually walk you through the wonderful streets of our beautiful Rome. Two appointments for two highlights of the Eternal City: Bernini vs. Borromini, or how the magic role of water, and the new impact of contemporary street art on the walls. Roman art has something for everyone!

AIFS Study Abroad in Prague, Czech Republic AIFS Study Abroad in Prague, Czech Republic AIFS Study Abroad AIFS Study Abroad in Czech Republic

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