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Prague Summer

Prague Summer website  (map)

Sponsor: Northwestern University Study Abroad Office, in conjunction with Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis

Location: Prague, Czech Republic


As one of the oldest and most architecturally diverse cities in the region, Prague’s collective memory is broad, including Communism and its historical role as the keystone to Central Europe. This makes Prague the ideal location from which to explore the complex relationships and contradictions that comprise the history and culture of the region, which students learn at the Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis from Northwestern University and European experts.  In addition to taking Northwestern courses, students participate in field studies and excursions within Prague and the Czech Republic.  Past excursions included the Prague Castle, an overnight trip to the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov in Southern Bohemia, the gothic monastery of Zlata Koruna, the 14th-century silver mining town of Kutna Hora, the concentration camp at Terezin, as well as an overnight trip to Southern Moraviafor, a boat trip through the Punkva caves, and wine tasting in a private wine cellar.


  • Summer

Term Notes: Arrival on June 23 - Departure on August 7, 2014


All courses are held at the Study Center of the Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis, which is located in downtown Prague.  Students enroll in two of the following courses while abroad and earn two Northwestern credits:

HISTORY 301-SA-2 New Lectures in History: Milestones of Czech History and Civilization

This course provides an introduction to cultural aspects of the Czech and Central European environment in a broad sense. It concentrates on major historical events and processes that shape future developments in the area and contribute to various aspects of the Czech national identity. Cultural awareness is raised by readings and lectures, and deepened through discussion. Participants are expected to gain background knowledge of the region's history and civilization and to understand and examine issues of social changes and their effects on the social fabric of the nation. Visits to historically important sites in Prague and the Czech Republic are an integral part of the course. The course is complemented with reading and analysis of important fiction of relevant époques.

POLITICAL SCIENCE 361-SA: Democratic Transitions / Challenges to European Politics

The course explores processes of transition from authoritarian rule to democracy in Europe, and the aftermath of such transition. The course is comparative by nature and presents general issues based on case studies from Western, Central and Eastern Europe. The material is presented from two perspectives: that of a political scientist and that of a leading protagonist of the transition process in Central and Eastern Europe. We will begin with a discussion of Europe as a geopolitical entity and identify its main divisions. We will characterize European non-democratic regimes of the past and turn towards dissident activities of Central and Eastern Europe, and deal with theories of transition as well as specific instances of such transition. Fundamental challenges to democratization—nationalism, legacy of the past—are discussed at the conclusion of the course.

SLAVIC 267-SA: Modern Czech Film: History on Screen

The course will provide deeper insight into the problems of modern Czechoslovak history and socio-cultural developments as documented by both major feature films and documentaries by leading Czech and Slovak directors (including Academy Award Laureates Milos Forman and Jirí Menzel). Films will cover World War II, the Stalinist Fifties, the period of political and cultural thaw in the Sixties, as well as the most significant works of the post-1968 Soviet invasion years. Students will also have an opportunity to learn more about post-1989 Velvet Revolution trends and controversies in Czech film art as viewed against the general backdrop of key historical events. Participants will gain more intimate knowledge and understanding of the unique modern Central European experience as interpreted by famous film makers, many of whom helped create the phenomenon of the Czech New Wave that is recognized all over the world as a major contribution to the art of film.

SLAVIC 106-SA: Elementary Czech

Elementary Czech is designed to give students the ability to handle everyday situations in Czech. Emphasis is on listening and reading comprehension, speaking, beginning writing skills, and an introduction to Czech grammar.


To apply, students must:

  1. Participate in an interview with the Study Abroad Adviser for the Czech Republic.  Please call 847-467-6400 to schedule.
  2. Complete an NU Summer Study Abroad Application by March 1.

Languages: English, Czech

Language Requirements: 



Students live in Dum Jeronyma Prazskeho (Jerome House), a renovated dormitory that is a 5-minute walk from the Study Center in the center of Prague.  Accommodations generally consist of double bedroom suites, with shared bathrooms and kitchen space.  All rooms are equipped with computer outlets for Internet access and a phone for incoming calls (outgoing calls can be made with calling cards).  Daily breakfast is included in the cost of the program.  Students should budget extra for lunches and dinners.  Linens are provided but no towels/washcloths. There are public laundry mats approximately 5 minutes away by foot.

Program Costs: 

Summer 2014: $8,700

  • The program fee includes: tuition for two Northwestern courses, housing in double rooms, breakfast daily, HTH health insurance, access to all host institution facilities, on-site transportation during field study trips and official events, excursions, and orientations.
  • Students should plan to budget an additional $2,300-$2,600 for round-trip airfare, meals, course materials, and personal expenses.
  • Non-Northwestern students will need to request and pay for official Northwestern University transcripts if needed for their home school credit transfer or other purposes.  You can find instructions on how to order an official transcript on the Office of the Registrar's website.


  • Northwestern students receiving financial aid during the academic year may be eligible for summer aid for this program. If awarded, summer assistance may count as one of your 12 quarters of aid eligibility. Visit the Summer Scholarships page for additional information.
  • Students are encouraged to apply for outside scholarships to help with the cost of summer study abroad.


Online Guide to Study Abroad