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Prague Photography Program FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

The Photography track in Prague offers students a unique opportunity to study their art in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Studying abroad can be a fun experience, but it also allows students to mature emotionally and intellectually.

How do students apply?                   

Click here to apply. You can find more information on the program on the AU Abroad Web site.

                           

Is the program only for American University School of Communication students?

                           

The program is an AU Abroad Enclave program administered by CET Academic Programs, which means that American University students have the opportunity to learn from and with talented students from other prestigious institutions. Students from Emory University, Smith College, Washington University, Tulane University, and UT Austin.

                           

What are some attractions in Prague?

                           

Lonely Planet lists some of the best sites of Prague, here.

                           

Frommers offers maps of places to see and where to dine in Prague here.

                           

How do students get around Prague?

                       

Prague has one of the best public transportation systems in the world. The metro has three lines: A (Green), B (Yellow) and C (Red). For a map, click here. The above-ground trams run every 8-10 minutes 24 hours a day, except between 12 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. (there is a longer interval on weekends). Trams 22 and 23 provide a beautiful, informal tour of Prague. Buses run every 10-20 min. (20-30 min. on weekends) except between 12:00 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. You can find additional information on the the Prague Integrated Transport System Web site.

                       

If arriving in or departing Prague by train, one can take the metro to or from the following train stations Main Station (Hlavní nádraží), Holešovice Station (Nádraží Holešovice), and Smíchov Station (Nádraží Smíchov). To view rates and destinations, please visit Czech Railways Web site.

                           

How do students get to Prague?

                         

CET offers airline tickets at reduced fares and can make travel arrangements for students for an additional cost. Information about this service is provided to students upon acceptance into the program. Students are also able to make their own arrangements. Statravel, which offers student-discounted flights, is recommended. The earlier the flight is booked, the less expensive it will be. Prague International Airport’s abbreviated name is PRG.

There are several transportation options from the airport to the accommodations. Students can use public transportation, shuttles or a taxi. The trip takes roughly 30 minutes, dependent upon traffic. Public transportation costs aprox. 40Kc; shuttles range from 480-600Kc and taxis can cost 500 - 600Kc.

                         

Note: Taxis in Prague have a reputation for taking advantage of tourists. It is advisable to call for a cab and discuss the rates ahead of time. For taxi contact information, please visit AAA Taxi.

                         

Where will the students live?

                           

The CET center is a part of Charles University, located in the center of Prague near historic Wenceslas Square (Václavské námestí). Line A of the metro runs underneath Wenceslas  Square, and students can use either the Muzeum or Mustek stations. Click here for a detailed map of Prague.

                         

CET students are housed in apartments in Czech residential buildings. Each apartment has a full kitchen and is located close to the heart of Prague and the CET center. A special feature of the housing is that Charles University students are invited to live in the apartments with program participants. Living with Czech flatmates can provide valuable insight into the local culture and often leads to close friendships.

                               

What’s the weather like in Prague?

                           

Highs in the spring and summer can fluctuate between 70F and 90F in the day and down to 46F during the night. The period between May and August is the rainiest season. During the winter, temperatures can drop to around 26F, though snow is rare.

                           

Can families visit students in Prague?

                     

Because students will be busy while classes are in session, it’s better for families and friends to visit students either before the program starts, during a break or after it’s finished.

           

 

What type of camera should students bring?

           

Students should bring a film camera (single-lens reflex, or SLR cameras are recommended) and may bring a digital camera if they wish. 


Do students need to buy their own photo lab materials?

                     

Lab materials are included in the fee for the program. With the advice of Vojtechovsky, students will buy their own materials when in Prague.

                     

What are some good sites for booking hotels, hostels and anything else?

                     

For booking a hostel, click here.

                   

For more unique accommodations (castles, monasteries, country houses), visit Historic Hotels of Europe

                     

There are many hotels in Wenceslas Square. Among them are: Hotel Jalta, Prague Inn, Accome Julis, Hotel Melantrich Prague, Hotel Europa Prague.

                     

Some hostels near Wenceslas Square include: Hostel Downtown and Hostel Vesta.

                     

What accommodations will be made abroad for students with disabilities?

                     

Please visit the AU Abroad Web site for more information.

                     

How many credits do students get from SOC for this program?

                     

Students are required to take five courses (which includes the two photography courses) and will receive 15 AU credits. For more information, please refer to the AU Abroad Courses and Credits section.

                     

How much will the program cost?   

             

Please visit the AU Abroad Financial Information Web site for more information. 

             

Is there any financial aid available?   

             

Please visit the AU Abroad Scholarship Web site for information on aid through AU.  In addition to aid from AU, CET offers its own scholarships.  AU applicants are welcome to apply.     

             

    How do students get a student visa?  

             

Acquiring a student visa can be somewhat complicated, so CET helps students through the process. Immediately after acceptance into the program, AU Abroad sends students all the materials they need to complete the student visa application. For complete information on obtaining a visa, please visit the Czech Republic embassy of Washington, DC.’s Web site. 

             

What are some tips for students who have never traveled abroad?  

             

Culture shock is often been described in terms of waves: Usually, students initially feel excited in their new environment, then discouraged by its differences from their own culture, then accepting of the differences. Each student goes through these waves differently; some skip phases or never experience some. For more information on culture shock, please visit the WorldWide Classroom. To prepare for culture shock, students should to take photos with them of their home, family and friends. Families can use Skype (a free Internet phone service) to keep in contact. It is not unusual for students to want to, or even ask to, come home. However, learning to be independent is a great benefit of studying abroad, much like going to college.
Students can prepare for their experience by reading about the history and culture of Prague and the Czech Republic. This knowledge can help students anticipate differences between Prague’s culture and their own. There are many Web sites and travel guides to choose from to help students prepare. Families can help students adjust, while they're there, by sending letters and packages. Many students appreciate having their favorite snacks sent from home!

             

How safe is Prague?

             

Prague is a relatively safe city, although the park around the main train station (Praha hlavní nádraží) is not considered safe at night.

             

Pickpockets are fairly prevalent in Prague, particularly in touristy areas. Travelers are advised to to carry a money belt and keep their passport secure at all times. It is also important to make copies of important documents such as passports. There are many ATMs in Prague with English options, therefore making it easier to carry less cash on you.

             

Please feel free to view The Center for Global Education’s Safety Abroad Handbook for more information.

             

Is it safe for women to travel in Prague? 

             

Women are far safer in Prague than in most large Western cities. The most dangerous area for women, at night, is the park in front of the main train station, Praha hlavní nádraží. >Many non-touristy pubs tend to be exclusively male territory. Kavárny (coffee shops), vinárny (wine bars), however, are good, relaxed places for drinks and a meal. [More]

             

Where is the U.S. embassy?

             

The Embassy offices are located in Schoenborn Palace in the Mala Strana district of Prague. Visit the embassy’s Web site. 

             

Tržište 15
               
118 01 Praha 1
               
Czech Republic
       
(+420) 257 022 000
           
Fax: 
                (+420) 257 022 809 

             

What happens if there’s an emergency? 

             

The emergency number in the Czech Republic is 112. To contact state police, dial 158 and to dial city police, dial 156. 

             

In regular, daily activities, our sites know how to contact students locally or when they travel; at each site, students are given 24-hour emergency contact numbers and are informed of emergency procedures. When students travel independently, we ask they keep on-site staff aware of their plans. AU Abroad will modify or cancel planned field trips or other activities when necessary to ensure student safety. Before students leave the US, they receive a general safety orientation. Once on site, students receive more detailed instructions from local professionals. AU Abroad is in regular communication with our site Directors and Coordinators regarding the situation at each program site.

             

What is the currency of the Czech  Republic?

             

The Czech Republic, though a member of the European Union, does not use the Euro. Instead, the national currency is the Czech koruny. One koruny (or Kc) is roughly .047 cents (USD). For quick conversions, type in __CZK to USD into google.com.

             

What’s the cost of living in Prague?

             

To view an unofficial breakdown of meals, accommodations (if you seek accommodations outside the program) and transportation, click here.

         

Here are some examples:

        Single room in Prague ½--377.99 (USD) per month 
    Milk (1 liter)--0.67 (USD)   
    Mobile phone--29.40 (USD) per month   
      Meal for two, mid-range restaurant--25.25 (USD)         

Can students get a job while in Prague?

           

Jobs within the Czech Republic require a work permit. Students will also likely be too busy with classes and traveling to take on part-time work.

Student Video from Prague

An overview of Spring 2007 FAMU student experience
by Liang Cai

Watch video