Alumni Spotlight: Kylie Shryock


Kylie is a senior Media Production and German Language and Literature major at UNC Chapel Hill. In the Fall of 2012 she studied at FAMU in Prague as part of the CET Film Production Program.

Why did you decide to study abroad with CET Film Production in Prague?

Kylie: What really attracted me to the CET Film Production program was the focus on hands-on practical training in film production. Through a three day lighting exercise and shooting our own short films, we were able to gain a lot of experience using 16mm film equipment, setting up different lighting situations, and directing actors.In addition, CET puts a focus on cultural immersion by having us take intensive Czech classes and pairing us with Czech roommates.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Kylie: My experience studying at FAMU helped me to decide that film production is really what I am passionate about and want to spend the rest of my life doing, while giving me the skills and confidence to pursue this dream. My professors at FAMU were truly amazing; all of them were active in the film industry and were great mentors when we were working on our own films. The experience and knowledge I gained from this program helped me to land a film internship at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife this past summer and a job as the photography intern for UNC Global this semester.

Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.

Kylie: One of the most rewarding experiences was visiting Barrandov studios and getting to tour a film set where our cinematography professor was shooting. We got to experience a professional film shoot and get a personal tour of the facility. Also, in terms of writing and shooting a film, Prague is just a really exciting and inspiring place to be.

Describe your favorite must-have food that you tried abroad.

Kylie: When in Prague, you must have smazeny syr (fried cheese). It's basically a large hunk of cheese that has been breaded and fried and is usually served with tartar sauce. It is a simple dish, but very Czech and always so good. You can get it in pretty much any pub or restaurant. Also chlebiceks, which are small open-faced sandwiches with meats, cheese, sometimes pickles and boiled eggs are a must have for a quick lunch between classes.

Tell us about any interesting cultural tidbits you noticed about your country.

Kylie: Just something to keep in mind: English is widely spoken in Prague, but not nearly as much as it is in other European capitals, like Berlin or Amsterdam, so it is really helpful to make an honest effort with learning the basics. That said, don't worry if you don't speak any Czech before going; no one in my program had any experience with Czech, and we were all just fine. Also, when you go grocery shopping, make sure to weigh your fruits and vegetables at the weights in the produce section before going to the register - something I learned the hard way my first time.