The Prague program is ideal for students interested in studying and living in an extraordinary medieval city. Prague is an open textbook of modern and traditional literature, art, architecture and culture surrounded by the beautiful architecture of the city, its walls, castles and frescoes. You will learn the basics of the Czech language in a one-week Czech Intensive course offered at the beginning of each semester. Each semester also includes at least two one-day field trips and an optional 1-credit Vienna and Budapest Field Study course. These are exceptional opportunities to discover the cultural and historical richness of Prague and Central Europe. You may also choose to complete an internship, which provides an unmatched opportunity to practice your language skills and gain international business experience.
You may choose from a wide range of courses with a focus on Central Europe and the Czech Republic. Classes and offices are located at the Charles University Foreign Language Center. Charles University is one of the oldest universities in Europe, founded in 1348. You may take courses in politics, literature, history, business, psychology, sociology and the arts. However, the academic courses are only a part of the intended value of a semester abroad. Participation in formal and informal activities, such as field trips to local castles and historical sites, form an integral part of the program.
Students live in double occupancy rooms at apartments in the central areas of Prague. Classes are held at the USAC Study Center, only 15 minutes away by public transportation. The Prague program has a Resident Director who oversees the USAC office abroad and is responsible for the overall operations of the program: securing appropriate student housing, hiring outstanding faculty, organizing exciting field trips and optional tours, and overseeing your general well-being. Jan Stodola, a Prague native, is the Resident Director for the Prague program. Jan will meet you at the airport and provide an on-site orientation as well as additional support and resources while you are on the program.
Students must complete the online Goucher study abroad application by the published deadline. See the Events and Deadlines Calendar for the most up-to-date information. Students must next apply to USAC by their published deadline. You must pay the USAC $100 application fee which will be refunded to you by Goucher in the following billing cycle. Initial approval is granted by Goucher OIS and final acceptance is granted by the host program and institution.
The USAC Prague Program is a speciality program of approximately 85 study abroad students. Charles University, founded in 1348 is the host university for this program. The university is integrated into the town with more than 100 buildings spread throughout Prague. USAC classes and offices are located in one of these buildings. USAC shares the building with the Charles University Department of Geography, Charles University Institute of Language and Preparatory Studies, and a local primary school. USAC students have access to campus computer labs during the week and all student apartments have wireless internet.
You may study the basics of Czech Language and/or take advanced Czech Language courses offered by Charles University. Next you can select from over 20 courses offered in European Politics, Culture, and Art Studies. Please see the Academic Section for the USAC Prague Programfor full descriptions. Students with junior status and a 3.0 GPA may enroll in an Internship and receive academic credits. Goucher students are encouraged to enroll in the Czech Cooking and Cuisine course, however no academic credit can be transferred.
It is important to be prepared for some differences that you may notice between the education system in Czech Republic and the education system in the US. Different classroom expectations may be set by the professor, so it is best to pay close attention to the guidelines set by the professor and to be respectful of any rules put in place. The work is very independent and there is little to no group work. The professors take education very seriously and attendance is mandatory unless there is an emergency. Also, you may find that you have expectations of professors that may not be applicable in other cultures such as open office hours or informal conversation. In Prague, it is important for you to be self-disciplined and take an active role in the classroom in order to have a successful educational experience. There are also many resources available for students to ease the academic transition, and you can contact the Resident Director if you have any questions or concerns once you arrive on site.
Since Goucher students are fully enrolled at Goucher and receive Goucher credit while abroad, they pay regular Goucher tuition for any Goucher semester abroad program. This payment is regardless of the cost advertised and is charged by the program itself. Students pay the non-academic costs (i.e. room and board) in part or in full to Goucher or directly to the study abroad organization or overseas institution depending on the program. Estimated additional costs that a student may incur in attending these programs are listed on the Budget Expense Worksheet for each program. You can utilize institutional and federal aid for a Goucher semester program.
Any awarded financial aid may be used as payment for semester programs sponsored by Goucher College; however; you are allowed to transport your Goucher institutional aid for only one semester, unless you participate in the Goucher Oxford University yearlong program. In addition, all students are eligible to apply for Goucher OIS scholarships and can apply during the program application process. For information on OIS and outside scholarships please visit the OIS scholarship/financial aid section.
To apply for an OIS scholarship please submit your application by the study abroad application deadline for this program through the following application:
A $500 deposit is due upon application. Study abroad program costs are billed through your Goucher student account and are due at the same time as regular semester fees. Please refer to the Budget Expense Worksheet for details for this program.
The $500 deposit paid upon application is applied to the student’s account and becomes non-refundable when accepted by Goucher College and the host program. If you are not accepted into a program, your deposit will be refunded.
If for any reason, a student withdraws from a Goucher semester after the deposit deadline, he or she will not be entitled to a refund of any fees paid to Goucher, including program deposit, tuition fees, travel fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. If, due to any unforeseen circumstances or other circumstances beyond the control of the college, a semester Goucher program is cancelled, either prior to departure or during the course of the program, the student will not be guaranteed a refund of any fees paid to Goucher, including program deposit, tuition fees, travel fees, program fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. In most cases, the college forwards program fees to vendors in foreign countries, making it very difficult to recover such fees due to a program cancellation. In such cases, the college will make a good-faith effort to recover such fees and to return any portion of fees that it may recover that may be attributable to a student’s participation in the program. However, the college makes no guarantees regarding the recovery of fees and is not liable for any fees that it is unable to recover.
USAC students are placed in apartment buildings located in central Prague. One building is in a quiet part of the Old Town near the former convent of St. Agnes and the famous Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Square while another is located across the street from the Karlin Musical Theatre and the Prague Main Bus Station Florenc.
The Karlín and Žižkov neighborhoods have been the most culturally rich parts of central Prague; centuries-old streets host mostly small apartment buildings, shops, restaurants, music bars, alternative art galleries, and all services an inhabitant of the city may need and enjoy. All means of transportation run through Žižkov and Karlín, and it is a matter of minutes to travel to any place in Prague. The long-distance bus and train stations are within a short walk from the housing.
Students will apply and pay for housing directly to USAC or the host university abroad.
A successful semester abroad is dependent upon adequate preparation. Students will participate in online orientation material prior to the mandatory group orientation prior to leaving Goucher for the semester prior to studying abroad. Dates will be provided upon study abroad acceptance.
Students are required to have passports for all Goucher programs. Failure to have a passport will prohibit participation in the program. Passports take time to process and need to be valid for six months after your return to the U.S. Check your expiration date and renew if necessary. Please see the U S State Department section on passports
All US passport holders are required to obtain a student visa prior to departure. This can take between 2-3 months or possibly longer to complete. USAC offers their services to assist students with group visa submissions for students residing in certain jurisdictions. USAC will provide complete details of how to take advantage of their assistance upon program acceptance. Please be aware that students must provide bank statement showing $3,000 (amount subject to change at any time) and credit or debit card in their own name among other documents with visa application. Please read the visa link above for more details.
Non-US Citizens must check with your home country consulate, as well as the embassy of the country in which you plan to study regarding visa requirements.
All students participating on Semester, Year or ICA Goucher programs will be automatically enrolled in a health insurance plan tailored to meet the needs of study abroad students. Students participating in Goucher semester programs will be billed $300. The insurance carrier is ACE American Insurance Company.
Prior to the start of the program abroad, OIS staff will register students for the insurance program. Students will receive information about how to use the health insurance policy from the Office of International Studies prior to departure for study abroad.
Students with Disabilities
Goucher encourages all students who meet our eligibility requirements to consider studying abroad. OIS will work with you regarding any special needs you may have. However, we cannot guarantee that any or all of our program sites can accommodate all of your needs or interests. More information can be found on the OIS Disabilities Support section of the website.
Research the fact sheet for your location of interest on the U.S. State Department website for information on LGBTI rights, women travelers, safety and security, religious, and accessibility/mobility laws and information.
On the CIA World Factbook website, look for your host country’s page and research the “People and Society” section, where you can find the breakdown by ethnic group, religion, and race.