Those who study abroad in the Czech Republic will be immersed in a cultural history that spans hundreds of years of colorful tradition. Although the country is not large in size, its rich culture makes it stand out from its neighbors. The Czech Republic has been a hub of cultural transaction for centuries, and those who study abroad here will be able to take advantage of its vibrant diversity. Czechs, Germans, Jews, Slovaks, Italian stonemasons and French tradesmen have all called the Czech Republic home. Each of these cultures has contributed to the creativeness and passion of its people. Those who travel here for a semester abroad will experience the historic beauty of one of Europe’s most enchanting countries.

Though the Czech Republic is a fairly small and new country (you might remember when it was half of Czechoslovakia), its rich history far precedes its 1993 official establishment as an independent country, and its culture far exceeds its geographical size. Come for the majestic beauty of Prague, but stay for the people in the countryside, a taste of beer in the home of the Pilsner, or the sight of giant bears living in the moat of the Český Krumlov castle.

Photo Credit: Ian McGregor

Because studying abroad is an expensive process, it is great to know your scholarship options!

Different elements should factor into your final decision before you fork over the cash to study abroad. We recommend considering language, housing, and immersion activities organized by a provider.

1) Language Czech higher education institutions use a six-point grading system. Vyborne (excellent) is the highest mark, while nevyhovující (failed) is the lowest. Classes are generally held from September to May, with a long vacation from July 1 to August 31. The most common languages of instruction include Czech, English, and German.

2) Housing Do you feel more comfortable sharing a room with a stranger (er, soon to be friend) or living with a host family? Decide which living arrangement would be most suitable for your semester abroad. Some programs will organize homestays for you while others will allow you to live in a dormitory on campus - it all depends on your preference! Be specific and upfront with your housing needs to avoid any mishaps/awkward roommate situations.

3) Cultural Activities There is no shortage of things to do outside the classroom in the Czech Republic! Attend a festival or student party or enjoy a quiet night in a post-communist café. Join the International Student Club and sign up for the excursions offered at affordable prices. Grab a cup of coffee peruse the vendors on the Charles Bridge, take in a soccer game, or hop on the train for a day trip. See yourself living and studying where centuries of history have unfolded.

Some programs will organize this fun for you so all you have to do is sit back and take pictures. If that sounds boring, opt for a more independent program where you can plan your own weekend activities!

All visas must be approved by the Czech Immigration Police, therefore the processing time is approximately 70 days from the date the embassy receives the completed application. The embassy recommends that applicants send their applications at least three (3) months before their intended departure from the U.S. There is absolutely no way to rush the process!

Student visa requirements and fees can change without notice! Before submitting your documents and fees, please verify with the respective embassy or consulate.

Ever heard of a "moat potato"? You won't believe it until you see for yourself. Brown bears laying in the moat at Český Krumlov—a beautiful old town in South Bohemia with the country's second biggest chateau and castle and a sight like no other!

Beer, the source of (and solution to) all problems! Discover where it all started in Pilsen—home of the original Pilsner Urquell beer, and the largest city in West Bohemia.

Relax in one of Eastern Europe's greatest gifts—the spa. In the city of Karlovy Vary you'll find mineral springs, green parks, healing treatments to cure what ails you, and all in a magical environment in the biggest and most famous spa town in the Czech Republic.

Contributed by Alissa Kramer

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