If you’ve been czeching out the Czech Republic for your next study abroad destination, you’d be surprised to know that there's much more to the country than its one Euro beer (although, that is one of the many perks!). Studying abroad in the Czech Republic is like stepping inside a real-life Disney fairytale. Complete with medieval style architecture and picturesque hills and valleys, your Snapchat videos will have your friends wondering if you somehow went to the Kingdom of Far Far Away to complete your studies rather than Eastern Europe. But never fear – the learning opportunities are just as potent as the evil witch's latest brew.
There are quite a few locations within the Czech Republic that will leave you with a fulfilling and meaningful study abroad experience, and maybe even a pinch of pixie dust or a mysterious red apple in your pocket. The three most popular cities for study abroad in the Czech Republic are Prague, Cesky Krumlov, and Brno.
If you choose Prague, welcome to the city best known for it’s always-bustling-Old-Town-Square, the Charles Bridge, and some of the oldest and most historic Jewish synagogues. Students who study abroad in Prague will spend their weekends weaving in and out of food vendors (and delicious aromas of cheap brats), throngs of tourists, and street performers. Just don’t forget to leave a historic mark of your own on the John Lennon Wall before you head back to your home country!
Those interested in studying in Cesky Krumlov better be prepared to soak up all of the historic vibes this city gives off. In addition to the Historic Center of Cesky Krumlov, the Cesky Krumlov Castle, and the Egon Schiele Art Centre, there will be a variety of historical sites everywhere you look. You won’t even have to purchase that “required” history book; just go out and explore the castle-like buildings that surround you.
If you need a break from filling your brain with historical facts about the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul or figuring out the mathematical area of Brno Dam in cubic feet, be sure to fill your stomach with delicious and traditional Czech food in the city of Brno. Don’t forget to sample a bramboráky, a famous dish that is basically a fried potato pancake. There’s also goulash with dumplings, or if meat is more of your style, a pork or chicken schnitzel called řízky. You won’t be hard-pressed to find delicious meals anywhere in the Czech Republic!
Study Abroad in the Czech Republic
Universities around the Czech Republic are known for their wide variety of course offerings and majors, even for all you overachievers majoring in underwater basket weaving (just kidding)! Some popular subjects of study in the Czech Republic are English, art, and business.
For all you lovers of English and peculiar literature, you’ll be happy to find out that the Czech Republic was home to the one and only Franz Kavka. How cool would it be to visit his statue in Prague after you just got done reading Metamorphosis in English class?
In addition to intriguing literature, the Czech Republic is also known for its variety of art museums. Students enrolled in any art class may have the opportunity to take on-site field trips to these museums to indulge firsthand in modern, historic, and contemporary pieces of art. Now, not only will you have the chance to dream about riding a majestic white horse off into the sunset, but you’ll get to display it creatively on canvas.
Business and economics are both popular majors of study in the Czech Republic as well, especially in the city of Prague. There are a multitude of business and economics classes offered in Prague, so you won’t have to worry about not being able to take that one required marketing class while studying abroad.
Speaking of requirements and classes, almost all classes in the Czech Republic are taught in English, so students wouldn’t have to worry about learning Czech beforehand. Miluji Česká Republika! You also wouldn’t have to stress about being fluent in Czech either; most people speak a bit of English, so although learning a bit of Czech will help tremendously, you’ll still be able to study abroad in the Czech Republic with no major language barrier troubles.
Scholarships & Costs
If you don’t know already, you betta czech yoself before you invest your entire life’s savings into studying abroad in the Czech Republic. Why? Well, you’ll be happy to know that the cost of living in the Czech Republic is affordable and cheap in many ways; the fact that beer is cheaper than water should be a dead giveaway. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant is lower than five Euro and the cost of a Coke is lower than two Euro, so it’s time to treat yourself.
In addition to the cheap cost of living, your study abroad program in the Czech Republic will most likely include accommodation and meals in program costs, along with a few exciting travel excursions! If you’re still concerned with the overall cost or just want to save up some extra travel money, there are multiple scholarship opportunities you could apply to.
Accommodation & Visas
The main housing options available to students who study in the Czech Republic are shared apartments or on-campus residence halls. If you’re looking for a way to practice your language skills, consider renting a room on your own with Czech locals. Some students find it hard to make friends with Czech students, so living with other young Czech people will be a good way to get to know the culture and locals.
A valid passport is required to enter the Czech Republic, but a short-term visa is also required for those who wish to study abroad in the Czech Republic for up to 90 days. Don’t worry though, the steps and process to acquire a visa are quite easy if you follow each step correctly. For more information about how to obtain a visa, please refer to GoAbroad’s Czech Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
One of the greatest benefits of studying abroad in the Czech Republic is that you’ll never run out of outdoorsy activities to enjoy when you want to take a break from your five hour study sesh in the stuffy library. The Czech Republic has some jaw-dropping destinations to say the least. The Moravian Karst is a nature reserve with incredibly beautiful caves and unique geological formations, and it also offers stellar hiking and bike trails. If you’re interested in looking at rock formations (but not necessarily being trapped inside them), plan a visit to the Bohemian Paradise, just make sure you’re back in time for that random late night class!
However, such a paradise does have its negatives; due to the constant increase of tourists and foreigners, the rate of crime and theft is also increasing as well. The Czech Republic has seen an increase in theft in particular, especially in touristy areas. To prevent this, always be aware of your valuables, trust your instincts, and try not to stray too far from the beaten path.
Ready to finally live your five-year-old fairytale fantasy? Although it may not have rainbow unicorns or giant green ogres roaming around mystical forests, the Czech Republic is every study abroad student’s ideal fantasy. Gather up your books and backpack, take a plunge, and be prepared to climb a maiden’s golden hair to your new classroom.