The Harvard Summer Program in Prague, Czech Republic, is an eight-week intensive program in Czech language and culture. Based in a country rich in tradition and yet rapidly changing since the fall of communism in 1989, the program appeals to those who would like to learn more about Central European culture, broaden perspectives on global politics and history, learn a Slavic language, and spend a summer getting to know one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
In addition to intensive language study, you examine the complex cultural, religious, and political forces that have shaped Czech society. Multilingual heritage of Czech Republic is an important point of our investigations, as is the position of the Czech history and culture within the broader Central European context. Language and cultural study are supplemented with walking tours of Prague and visits to churches, castles, synagogues, museums, and monasteries. We travel to places such as the medieval towns of Kutná Hora and Český Krumlov, and combine historical tours with hiking and explorations of Czech borderlands.
Course of study
While this program is organized around a language course for beginners, those who have already completed a year of Czech language may also participate. Please contact the program director for information on alternative tracks of study.
CZEC S-Aab Study Abroad in Prague, Czech Republic: Czech Language and Culture (32306)
This course consists of the study of Czech language and the study of Czech literature, history and culture, in a broader Central European context. Intensive language study (equivalent to one year of university Czech) in the mornings is combined with walking tours of Prague's landmarks as well as visits to museums, theaters, concerts, and cafes. Our readings and lectures trace some of the major themes of Czech history and literature, paying special attention to the interaction between politics, aesthetics, and national identity&mdashwhether in the middle ages, amidst the religious turmoil of the fifteenth-century Hussite wars, during the nineteenth-century National Revival, under Nazi occupation, communist rule in the twentieth century, or post 1989 transition to democracy. Our discussions evolve around the topics of modernity, experience of totalitarianism and dissidence, transition to democracy, and the multilingual and multiethnic (Czech/German/Jewish) legacies of Central Europe. Readings (all in English) include works by Kundera, Havel, Hrabal, and Kafka. Whether inspecting the hand-made, samizdat publications produced during communist censorship, exploring the urban development of Prague, discussing international politics with journalists and diplomats, or simply walking through the city parks, students learn about history, cultures and traditions different from their own.
You must be at least 18 years old and have completed at least one year of college or be a first-year student in good academic standing to apply.
The application materials, outlined below, are due January 28, 2016:
- A completed online application (available in early December) that includes:
- A $50 nonrefundable application fee
- A statement of interest in the program, including information on relevant coursework and travel experience abroad (previous travel is not a prerequisite)
- Transcripts (student record accepted for Harvard students)
You will be notified of admission decisions by mid-February.
There is a nonrefundable $50 application fee. The cost of the program includes the following:
- Room and some meals
- Excursions (including meals)
- Monthly travel pass
In addition to the program fee, you are responsible for:
- A health insurance fee (waived if you have US insurance that provides coverage outside the United States)
- Transportation to and from Czech Republic
- The cost of passports and visas (if the latter is needed)
- Any immunizations
How to pay and funding options
See Payment and Funding for payment deadlines, deposit amounts, and more information, including funding options for Harvard College students.
You stay in centrally located apartments in Prague (with kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities), only a short distance from the place of instruction.
Contact Dr. Veronika Tuckerova, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students with disabilities
Contact the disability services coordinator as soon as possible. See Students with Disabilities for more information.
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