Prague, CIEE Berlin Study Tour
About the Destination
With approximately 1.3 million people, Prague is the largest city in the Czech Republic and also its capital. It served as a political, cultural and economic center in the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Holy Roman Empire, under Habsburg rule and during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The end of World War I saw the creation of the First Czechoslovak Republic, only for it to end twenty years later when Nazi forces invaded. As a satellite state under the control of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia briefly displayed the possibilities of “socialism with a human face” during the Prague Spring of 1968.
After the tumultuous fall of the Soviet Union and the restructuring of several nations in the former Eastern Bloc, the Czech Republic was re-established as an independent nation in 1993. Today, Prague is the 5th most visited city in Europe and boasts a long list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Prague Castle (Hradčany) and Lesser Town (Malá Strana), the Old Town (Staré Město), the Jewish Quarter, the oldest university in Central Europe, and important monuments and memorials to its centuries of history.
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ARCHITECTURE INSTITUTE PRAGUE
Students will exchange project ideas with Prague GAD students at the Architecture Institute Prague, situated in the Maniny district.
With a company name that is Czech for “clever fox,” the ladies behind Liška Mazaná make eco-friendly, cost-effective cosmetics and household products and hold regular workshops to teach others the same skills. While making our own lip balm, we’ll learn about the products we’re using and also about the larger context of sustainable DIY
production in Prague.
VACLAV HAVEL LIBRARY
How does a man transition from playwright to political dissident to the first President of the Czech Republic? In a workshop setting, we will explore not only the life and legacy of Vaclav Havel – one of the most important public figures in recent Czech history – but also questions of civic responsibility and artistic expression.
LOONO WORKSHOP: #BOOBSANDBALLS
In the Czech Republic, issues of public health and reproductive rights still remain more taboo in the public discourse than in the US or German context. This means that the
Czech Republic suffers from a higher rate of breast cancer and testicular cancer because the notions of preventative medicine are not frequently publicly discussed. Join us for a workshop with this NGO that models some of the work they do in public health awareness and cancer prevention, and also talk about the influences that cultural differences can have on public health.
FRANZ KAFKA MUSEUM
What visit to Prague would be complete without a visit to the Franz Kafka Museum? One of the most famous German-language authors in the world, Kafka straddles a fascinating position with his Czech, German and Jewish identities, and he is one of the most formative authors of Expressionist literature. Find out more about this author’s life and works, and also some of the challenges in making it accessible to English speakers through translation. This tour does not require German knowledge, but some
knowledge of German would be helpful.
MUSEUM OF COMMUNISM
This museum offers an introduction to modern Czech history – from the liberation from Nazi occupation to the founding of the socialist republic and on to the fall of Communism and the re-founding of an independent Slovakia and Czech Republic. The museum touches on political and military history, but also includes everyday topics like sports, free time, media and schools.
PAPER HUB CO-WORKING SPACE
You may think that all co-working spaces are created equal, but Paper Hub proves that wrong. In addition to the now-standard innovative design and coffee stations, Paper Hub also boasts a 3D printing lab, a hackerspace and a think-tank called the Institute of Crypto-Anarchy. Paper Hub is also the only co-working space in the world
where members can pay their fees only in cryptocurrency. Learn more on this tour through Prague’s most interesting co-working space!
A CENTURY OF TRAMPING
Even though the term “tramp” does not have positive connotations in English, Czech youth seized this term as a symbol for a free lifestyle that floats somewhere between
survivalist hiking and travel. Rooted in a romantic notion of the Wild West and Charlie Chaplin’s famous character, tramping has become a staple of Czech culture – as a form of leisure for some and as a form of protest for others. Take the first steps in discovering more about the history and present of this unique Czech cultural phenomenon!
Three years ago, Chris Oldroyd founded this magazine and Prague Visitor remains the only English-language arts and entertainment magazine in the city. The magazine has a traditional print distribution throughout the city, but has also branched out to new media forms. Find out more about what it is like for an American to start a business abroad and to work as a journalist in such different formats.
Associated with the foreign ministry, the institution of Euroskop functions as one of the main sources of information regarding the relationship between the Czech Republic and the EU. How far has the Czech Republic come in integrating into Europe and how did they manage it? What steps are still left, and are these even still desirable goals given the current shifts in European political trends? Join us for a talk with one of their public relations officers to find out more about the work Euroskop does! Students
must bring their physical passports for a security check at the entrance.
Join us for a tour of the only museum in the world dedicated to the world-acclaimed Czech Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939). We will explore not only Mucha’s biography, but also the culture and art of his time with posters, oil paintings, drawings, photographs and personal memorabilia of turn-of-the-century Czech culture.
CITY WALKING TOUR: BRIGHT & EARLY
An early morning tour worth getting up for! Avoid the massive throngs of tourists and learn how the Astronomical Clock works and see the Charles Bridge without the hordes of selfie sticks and tourists. Enjoy a leisurely walk through the city with lots of opportunities for photos that would be impossible at any other time of the day!
CITY WALKING TOUR: JEWISH PRAGUE & WORLD WAR II
Explore the former Jewish Town, starting with its medieval history. We’ll cover the development of Jewish Culture in Prague and the community’s treatment by local and imperial authorities. We’ll discuss the horrors of the Holocaust and then take a walk through the Old & New Towns, ending at a monument to the heroes of the Czechoslovak Resistance.
CITY WALKING TOUR: COMMUNISM & MONUMENTALISM
Explore Prague through its monuments and find out why some statues are put up, blown up, pulled own and then put back up again. See the site of the world’s largest statue of Stalin, find out why a heretic stands in the Old Town Square, hear why the Nazis pulled down a statue of an American president and see the (almost) final resting place of Czechoslovakia’s first Communist president!
CITY WALKING TOUR: DAVID ČERNY & CONTEMPORARY CURIOSITIES
Analyze Prague through the lens of David Černy, Czech artist and provocateur extraordinaire. This tour traverses Old Town, New Town and Mala Strana, focusing on Černy’s work. Fascinated by the anatomical, the political and the scatological, this tour will give you a completely new view of Prague.
DANCING HOUSE / FRED AND GINGER
GAD project visit to the “Dancing House” “Fred and Ginger” by Czech Architect Vlado Milunić and Canadian American Architect Frank Gehry. The dancing house is an achievement of international collaboration rooted in the velvet revolution and one of the most recognized examples of postmodern deconstructivism.
PRAGUE CENTRAL STATION
Check in with team for the train back to Berlin.
Free Time Suggestions
Visit Petrin Hill for a fantastic view of the city and climb the Observation Tower – Prague’s mini Eiffel Tower, whose peak stands the same height as the original! While you’re there, visit the Mirror Maze with a separate “hall of laughter” full of funhouse mirrors and an impressive diorama of the Praguers’ battle against the Swedes in the Thirty Years’ War.
Head over to Kampa Island and explore Museum Kampa (modern art), the graffiti wall dedicated to John Lennon, David Černy’s sculptures of giant crawling babies, the gnome guarding a 500-yearold, 20-foot water mill, a fantastic view of the Charles Bridge, and the concerts at Lichtenstein Palace.
Check out the Strahov Monastery, founded in 1140, with its Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It also boasts one of the most elegant Baroque libraries in Europe with displays of medieval manuscripts, maps, globes and paintings.
The museum collections at the Lobkowicz Palace features world-famous paintings by Brueghel, Canaletto, Velázquez and more. They also include 500 years worth of pottery, ceramics and china and an impressive collection of arms and armor. Furthermore, the music portion includes hand-annotated manuscripts by composers like Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart.
WHAT ARE THE STUDY TOUR LEARNING OBJECTIVES?
The intercultural learning objectives of the study tour curriculum—delivered in two parts, pre- and post-tour—are to promote cultural self-awareness, cultural literacy, and the ability to bridge cultural gaps. Through activities and exercises, students are encouraged to consider issues of culture, identity, values, beliefs and assumptions. Ultimately, students develop competencies to experience new and unfamiliar experiences without relying on stereotypes and heuristics.
Each study tour should achieve learning objectives in each academic track whereby students can:
ARTICULATE some of their own values and beliefs, and explain how these values and beliefs, as well as their experiences, have shaped their own views surrounding politics and international
relations in general.
RECOGNIZE diversity and difference within the local cultural context, and be able to compare and contrast this with the diversity that exists in other contexts with which they may be familiar.
IDENTIFY at least two ways in which practices surrounding media in the host environment are culturally-influenced and/or ways that media practices in the host environment impacts culture.
EVALUATE at least two ways in which social and cultural factors in the host environment have influenced values, beliefs, assumptions, or practices surrounding local healthcare.
DECONSTRUCT their own assumptions and values and analyze how these shape their views on international business. In addition to achieving learning objectives in the academic tracks a study tour presents opportunities to support students understanding the cultural beings of Self and Other. These include developing abilities to self-reflect and become more self-aware, increase their understanding of the salient values in their previous and current environment, and develop their capacity for the awareness of others in their previous and current cultural context.
BERLIN, GERMANYCIEE Open Campus Block Program
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