Harvard Summer Program in Prague, Czech Republic
Immerse yourself in the Czech language and culture in the heart of Europe.
The Czech Republic is rich in tradition and also rapidly changing since the fall of communism. In this program, you broaden your global perspectives on politics and history, expand your knowledge of Central European culture, learn a Slavic language, and explore one of the world's most beautiful cities.
Introductory language instruction is combined with a cultural examination of the complex cultural, religious, and political forces that have shaped Czech society. In addition, you participate in walking tours of Prague, visiting churches, castles, synagogues, museums, and monasteries, as well as medieval towns in Bohemia and Moravia.
Please note: While this program is organized around a language course for beginners, those who have already completed a year of Czech language may also participate. Please contact the program director for information about alternative tracks of study.
CZEC S-AAB Study Abroad in Prague, Czech Republic: Czech Language and Culture (32306)
This course consists of the study of Czech language and Czech literature, history and culture, in a broader Central European context. Intensive language study (equivalent to one year of university Czech) in the mornings is combined with walking tours of Prague as well as visits to museums, archives, theaters, concerts, and cafes. Our readings and lectures trace some of the major themes of Czech history and literature, paying special attention to the interaction between politics, aesthetics, and national identity whether in the middle ages, amidst the religious turmoil of the fifteenth-century Hussite wars, during the nineteenth-century National Revival, under Nazi occupation, communist rule in the twentieth century, or post 1989 transition to democracy. Our discussions revolve around the topics of modernity, experience of totalitarianism and dissidence, transition to democracy, and the multilingual and multiethnic (Czech/German/Jewish) legacies of Central Europe. Readings (all in English) include works by Kundera, Havel, Hrabal, and Kafka.
Where You Live and Study
Prague is one of the most well-preserved and beautiful cities in the world. It is also the center of fascinating social, cultural, political, and economic transformation. While based in Prague, you will have the opportunity to travel to Kutná Hora, Český Krumlov, and other towns, as well as explore central Europe.
You stay in centrally located apartments with kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities. The apartments are in a neighborhood with parks, museums, shops, and restaurants. They are a short tram ride from our classroom, which is in the recently renovated Thurn und Taxis Palace in one of Prague's oldest neighborhoods.
How to Apply
Review How to Apply before submitting your application.
Application materials include:
- A statement of interest in the program
- This statement should be a brief (two to three pages) and substantial discussion of your background and motivation for study
- Include information on relevant coursework and travel experience abroad (previous travel is not a prerequisite)
Harvard College applicants: You may submit an unofficial transcript accessed from my.harvard.edu.
Non-Harvard applicants: Submit an official transcript from your university.
A $50 nonrefundable application fee
Note: Interviews may be requested.
Applications are now closed. You will be notified of admission decisions by mid- to late-February.
The program fee includes tuition, accommodation, scheduled excursions and activities, and some meals.
See Payment and Funding for information on how to submit payments and funding options.
In addition to the program fee, you will need to budget for a number of personal expenses:
- International airfare ($1,300 to $1,600)
- Local transportation ($50)
- Most meals ($1,000)
- Course materials ($100)
- Personal expenditures, laundry, communications, and miscellaneous ($300)
Note: The amounts are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not listed here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including your personal spending habits and currency exchange rates. If you have specific questions about budgeting, please contact the program directly.
- Veronika Tuckerova, PhD, Preceptor in Slavic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University