Year — Fall 2019
Application deadline: December 5, 2018
Semester — Fall 2019
Application deadline: December 5, 2018
The Czech Republic is known as the crossroads of Europe and during your year or semester abroad there you’ll get to experience so much of what this unique culture has to offer. By attending a local school, you’ll be totally immersed in the Czech language and get the chance to meet lots of new people. At home with your host family you’ll be able to experience day to day life in a completely new environment.
Meat is a big part of the Czech diet, but vegetarianism is also pretty widely accepted. Modesty is an important value in Czech culture. For example, a proper response to a compliment is not to say thank you but to actually disagree. Always remember to take your shoes off when you go into a Czech home.
Your journey will begin in New York City, where you will meet your fellow AFS students and attend an overnight orientation. At the orientation you’ll learn some basic facts about life in the Czech Republic and how to barbecue in the traditional Czech style! The next day you will fly to Prague where you will be met by AFS staff and volunteers.
On your way to meet your host family you might get to see some beautiful views of the many mountain ranges in the Czech Republic, as well as rivers, vineyards, and farmlands. While it can get quite cold in the mountains, it’s usually pretty mild in the rest of the country and it rarely snows much. Outside of the cities, the country is full of farms, forests, ponds, fairy-tale villages, and rustic castles.
AFSers have lived all over the Czech Republic. While some AFS students get placed in urban areas like Prague and Brno, most are placed in smaller villages in the rural areas of Bohemia and Moravia. You’ll probably live with a traditional two-parent family. Urban families are usually pretty small and rarely have more than two children.
Czech families are known to be hospitable and friendly. They are usually close-knit, and it’s not uncommon for members of the extended family to live at home, especially grandparents. Most families, even in small towns, live in apartment blocks. Many Czech families have country cottages and enjoy spending time there during the weekend.See where past AFSers have lived
Czech teenagers spend a lot of time hiking, cycling and swimming in the summer and skiing in the winter. Extracurricular activities are common, including sports, drama, and computer sciences. Czech teens will generally not go out later than 8PM, and often return home as early as 6PM.
Czech families love to eat! Czech cuisine has a lot of German, Hungarian, and Polish influences. Dumplings are everywhere! Meat is the main dish, along with big portions of dumplings, potatoes, or rice. Most dishes are topped with a thick sauce and vegetables or sauerkraut. Caraway seeds, bacon, and lots of salt are common flavorings. Sausages, pizza, and fried cheese are popular snacks that you can buy from sidewalk vendors.
You’ll most likely be enrolled in a public high school called a Gymnazium. These schools are highly competitive and are intended to prepare students for University. Students spend their day with a “tree class”—a group of students that stay together throughout the day and attend all their classes together. You won’t be required to wear a uniform but it’s typical for students to change from shoes into slippers when entering school.
"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 visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
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.