Global Prep — 2020
Known as a centerpiece of European history and culture, Prague is a must-see for any globe-trotter and an incredible introduction for first time travelers. Throughout the Czech Republic’s history, Prague has been at the intersection of ideas, art, and world politics. The result is a city that satisfies even the most acute wanderlust.
During this two-week Global Prep program, topics that you’ve only read about will transform into textures, tastes, and first-hand stories. Want to learn about World War II or the Cold War? You’ll travel to Berlin to see the remnants of these world-changing events. Interested in learning about the artistic movements of Europe and the architecture built out of them? Come with us, and see it yourself.
When you’re not using Prague as your classroom, you’ll venture to Bohemia – the Czech Republic’s countryside. There, you’ll visit quintessential European towns overflowing with charms, castles, and stories. Throughout your journey, you’ll see how history has left its fingerprints on modern day Czech culture. You’ll have opportunities to experience the Czech Republic by joining Czech families and peers for some dinners during your course. After two-weeks, you’ll walk away with an educated and authentic understanding of a breathtaking country and culture.
“I would say that this experience was life changing. I've heard of so many people saying it would be and they weren't wrong. I felt like I learned so much about myself and about a whole new culture.”
- Stephanie L., Program Participant
The below itinerary serves as an outline for the program, and each Global Prep experience will vary based on group size and opportunity.
Your journey will begin in New York, where you'll meet the other members of your group. From there, you'll travel together with your AFS Group Leader to Prague. You'll be welcomed at the Václav Havel airport by local staff or volunteers for a welcome dinner and some rest. After a quick arrival orientation filled with helpful context and culture tips, you’ll begin to dive into Prague – a gem of central Europe. As you take in the city's mixture of gothic and baroque architecture, you'll see why Prague is called the "City of a Hundred Spires."
Your first days will introduce you to the largest castle in the world: Prague Castle. Having begun construction in 870 and completed in 1929 (!), it’s an incredible introduction to what comes next. You’ll check out the Lennon Wall, one of the most famous graffiti walls in the history of street art, before making a wish on the world-famous Charles Bridge. Your group will also learn about the Jewish Quarter of Prague, which was settled in the early 10th century. For an afternoon, you’ll spend a day relaxing by Prague’s riverfront with AFS Czech Republic volunteers and other teenagers – the thing to do on a warm summer day.
Your group will also venture outside of the city to Kutná Hora, a town that hosts UNESCO sites and even an ossuary – a cathedral built from bones in order to honor them.
After learning about early European history, you’ll jump through the decades to discover what it was like to live during the Renaissance. Traveling south to Český Krumlov, you’ll fall in love with one of Europe’s most charming towns. After returning to Prague, you’ll connect with World War II and see the famed site of remarkable last stands against the Nazi occupation and reflect on the somber, yet important Terezín transit camp outside of Prague. Your group will get to hike in gorgeous landscapes, go for a dip in natural swimming pools, or savor Prague’s cuisine. Later, you’ll have the incredible opportunity to visit Berlin, Germany! You’ll walk this world-famous capital, connecting the dots between these two beautiful cities and cultures.
After returning to your new stomping grounds of Prague, you’ll have a moment to relax as a group, eat Prague’s delicious ice cream, and take in the sights from the highest point in town.
You’ll reside in a chaperoned dorm, only a couple of blocks away from AFS Czech Republic’s National office. You can expect to share a room with one other student of the same gender.
This Global Prep experience is led by in-country experts and volunteers, in addition to an AFS-USA staff group leader who will chaperone your group to and from your host country.
"Life-changing" is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. "Transformed" is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to.
That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take.
A new you awaits. Apply for Global Prep in the Czech Republic and become Bohemian!
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.