CIEE Prague: Central European Studies

  • Location: Prague, Czech Republic
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Class Eligibility: Juniors and seniors


Prague is one of the best-preserved historical cities in Europe.  Since the 9th century, when it became the capital of Bohemia, Prague has passed through several distinct transformations which have inscribed it with its unique character.  The original Romanesque city core was expanded considerably in Gothic style, especially during the reign of Charles IV who also established the University of Prague in 1348.  The Counter Reformation of the seventeenth century and eighteenth century added a thick Baroque layer to the physiognomy of the city. Because of its innumerable characteristic steeples, Prague is called the city of a thousand spires. With a population of only 1.2 million, Prague has an unusually rich cultural life—festivals, operas, concerts, and cultural programs, many of which are accessible on a student budget. Study abroad students experience life similar to that of Czech students and make use of numerous neighborhoods in the city like native Praguers.

  • Visa:

    Required. Students must apply for the Long-Stay Czech visa at least 90 days prior to their departure.

  • Fees: Students pay Haverford tuition and room to Haverford College. Haverford will then be responsible for submitting payment to the program.

  • Requirements

    Previous Czech language study is not required. One semester of college-level European (especially Central European) studies is recommended (i.e., history, sociology, economics, political science, language, or literature).

    Academic Credit

    Students are expected to take 16-18 semester credit hours per semester to receive 4 Haverford credits. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above. Study abroad students are required to take one Czech language course (including two weeks of intensive language training during orientation) and four area studies courses. All area studies courses are taught in English. Students take a minimum of two CIEE courses, and may be able to enroll in up to six credits outside of CIEE courses at FAMU or Charles University. Students may also take the CIEE Seminar on Living and Learning in Prague for an extra two credits. The required intensive (“fast track”) Czech language course fulfills Haverford’s language requirement.


    Art History, Anthropology, Central European Area Studies, Cinema, Communications, Cultural Studies, Economics, Environmental Studies, Gender Studies, History, International Relations, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, and Theater. Students may take courses at Charles University (CU) and the Prague Film and Television School of the Academy of the Performing Arts (FAMU).

    Qualified students choose from several pre-screened internship positions with local, mostly non-governmental organizations, which may be involved in education, film, organization of international political conferences, local and global human rights issues, and library and administrative work in the field of economics. Students record their experiences in a journal, which is evaluated weekly during the internship, and complete a final research paper. Evaluation is by assigned CIEE faculty, the internship supervisor and the Resident Director. Pre-approval must be obtained from the Resident Director and the student’s home institution.

    Students are expected to take a minimum of two courses at CU or FAMU. All students are required to enroll in an appropriate level Czech language course.  The required intensive (“fast track”) Czech language course fulfills Haverford’s language requirement.

    Course Highlights

    Art History, Anthropology, Central European Area Studies, Cinema, Communications, Cultural Studies, Economics, Environmental Studies, Gender Studies, History, International Relations, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, and Theater.

    Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

    Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

  • Non-Academic Overview

    Orientation: Students participate in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation before departure. A mandatory three-week orientation session, which includes an intensive language program, is conducted in Prague at the beginning of the program and will introduce students to the academic program, country, culture, extracurricular options, and program faculty as well as provide practical information about living in the Czech Republic. Students receive ongoing orientation on aspects of Czech culture through the elective course and individual appointments with the resident director.

    Number of Students: Per semester, Approximately 150 students attend the Central European Studies Program.

    Housing/Meal Plans

    Housing is included in the study abroad program fee.  Provision of meals depends on the housing option. Students are encouraged to choose housing wisely as the costs differ for each option. Students have several housing choices and are asked to select an option prior to departure:

    • Homestay with a Czech Family—This is the best option for students looking to fully immerse themselves in the Czech culture. Dinner and breakfast, on the family’s schedule, are included as is a single room. Homestays are typically located in residential areas, so students will have up to a 45 minute commute to the CIEE Study Center.
    • Charles University Dormitory— This dormitory houses approximately 35 CIEE and local students (CIEE Dorm Buddies). Breakfast is included and students can use the two modest kitchenettes available to prepare other meals. The dormitory is a 10 minute walk from the CIEE Study Center.
    • CIEE-Administered Apartments—Each CIEE apartment houses three CIEE students as well as one Charles University student (CIEE Flat Buddy). Apartments consist of two bedrooms with shared areas including a fully-equipped kitchen and bathroom. Please note that meals and Internet fees are not included with this option. CIEE apartments are located in various neighborhoods and require a maximum 35 minute commute to CIEE. Students on the Film Studies track must choose this option and are housed with other CIEE as well as local film students.

    Haverford students may not opt for independent off-campus housing – that is, housing not arranged by the program.

    Opportunities / Cultural Events

    Clubs: CIEE promotes and encourages cultural exchange between CIEE and CU students through an International Students Club. Many extracurricular activities are organized by ISC to provide opportunities for friendship, understanding, and social interactions. The club organizes activities based on student interest and works with other CU International Clubs to bring Czech and international students together.

    Interest Groups: Interest groups help smaller groups of students become more integrated into Prague culture and society. These groups include politics, economy, and society, sport, film and theater, music, and art. All of these groups include Czech students.

    Sports: Basketball, soccer, frisbee, volleyball, running, biking. Students can go to the gyms, swimming pool, play tennis, hiking, etc.

    Field Trips: The study abroad program includes visits to sites of historical and cultural importance in Prague such as Prague Castle, Old Town, the historical halls of Charles University, theater, and opera. In addition, academically coordinated field trips to locations in Bohemia and Moravia are arranged, allowing students to gain a wider perspective of the region and a greater understanding of studied academic topics and Czech culture. CIEE also organizes optional guided field trips to Berlin, Krakow, and Vienna with CIEE professors at an additional cost.

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • Semester/Year
  • Fulfills Language Requirement
  • Semester I: Early September to mid-December
  • Semester II: Late January to mid-May
  • Year: Early September to mid-May
Application Deadlines
  • Semester I: March 1
  • Semester II: September 15
  • Year: March 1
Faculty Contact

Darin Hayton