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How to go as an exchange student - from the Czech Republic to any university in the world

Vladislav Myrsin

18 September 2023

#EDUCATION

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Czech university students go on exchange programs to study in other countries, do internships abroad and practice foreign languages abroad. All these opportunities are available to foreign students in the Czech Republic - nationality does not play a role in the selection of scholarship applicants.

Tatyana Doroshuk, a specialist of the GoStudy Education Department, tells about exchange and internship programs, the amount of funding, competitions and necessary documents.

There are many options for a student of a Czech university to go on an exchange program. You can take advantage of agreements between the Czech Republic and other countries. You can go on an agreement between your university and a foreign university. Finally, you can go on a scholarship program - for example, Erasmus +, DAAD or Fulbright. Some programs fully cover the costs of the trip, others - partially.

Usually students go on exchange for a semester or a year. You should plan your trip at least six months in advance (for some programs a year in advance).

Any country in the world

Option 1: Use the university's arrangements

Czech universities have student exchange agreements with universities in other countries. For example, Charles University has about 200 agreements with universities from all over the world. The most common destinations are Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, USA, France, Israel, Mexico, Germany and Switzerland.

Students typically travel for a semester. Bachelor's, Master's, and doctoral students can participate. Pre-selection is conducted by the faculty, the decision is made by the International Relations Department of the University. The amount of the scholarship depends on the specific agreement.

Option 2: By international agreement

The Czech Republic has student exchange agreements with 40 countries. The student has to choose a country of interest and a specific university. Bachelor's, Master's and doctoral students can participate. The selection is made by the Academic Information Agency of the House of Foreign Cooperation under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, as well as by the Faculty and the International Relations Department of the University. The scholarship is awarded by the host country. Tickets are paid for by the Czech university.

Charles University Mobility Fund

The Charles University operates the Charles University Mobility Fund. The fund financially supports the mobility of full-time master's and doctoral students: it reimburses travel, accommodation and food expenses. Thus, the administration of Charles University covers half of all expenses. And the other half of the costs can be covered by your faculty.

In case of a trip to Europe, the faculty pays a monthly stipend of 10,000 CZK, in case of a trip to a non-European country - up to 20,000 CZK per month. Students travel for 1-2 semesters to work on scientific research.

Go to Europe

Option 1: Erasmus +

The most popular exchange program is Erasmus +. The program has been operating in Europe since 1987, in the Czech Republic since 1998. With Erasmus you can go for a semester to any of the EU countries, as well as to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Turkey and Macedonia. A full-time and combined bachelor's, master's or doctoral student can go. Age and nationality do not matter.

Documents are submitted about six months before the trip. The selection of participants is carried out by the faculty. The final lists are approved by the European Commission. Financing of the trip depends on the country. For example, Germany or Spain belong to the second group of countries and the amount of the scholarship for studying at a university in these countries will be 400 euros per month. Scholarship to study in a university in the first group of countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Great Britain) is 500 euros per month.

Option 2: CEEPUS

Students interested in Central and Eastern European countries can choose the CEEPUS program. The program is built on the principle of a network. Universities and faculties create networks depending on the subject areas. The scholarship is paid by the host country and the travel is paid by the Czech university.

A full-time bachelor's, master's or doctoral student can participate in the program. Participants are selected by the Faculty and the House of Foreign Cooperation of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic.

Option 3: International Visegrad Fund

Another option is the Visegrad Foundation scholarship. It is an international organization based in Bratislava, founded in 2000 by the leaders of the Visegrad Four countries - the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Exchanges are possible with the countries of the Visegrad Four, as well as with the former Yugoslavia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova.

How do you use your knowledge of German?

Option 1: DAAD - Germany

The DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) program is the best way to travel to Germany. DAAD is one of the world's largest organizations organizing the exchange of researchers and top students. The organization was founded in 1925. Every year more than 150 students from the Czech Republic win the scholarship. A bachelor, master or doctoral student can go. The scholarship ranges from 750 to 1,000 euros per month.

Option2: AKCION - Austria

It is possible to travel to Austria under the AKCION program. Participants travel for a period of 1 to 5 months. The purpose of the trip is to prepare a thesis or dissertation. A master's or doctoral student up to the age of 35 can go. A good knowledge of German and English is a prerequisite. The scholarship is 940 euros per month. The selection is made by a Czech-Austrian scientific committee (representatives of the Ministry of Education and universities of both countries).

Option 3: Czech-German Future Fund - Germany

Under this program, the student goes to Germany for two semesters. Each month he/she receives a scholarship from the Czech-German Future Fund and a scholarship from a German university. The scholarship from the Czech-German Future Fund is 650 euros. Plus the participant receives an amount of 650 euros for travel and other expenses. The scholarship from a German university depends on the university. This is a project for students in the humanities (linguistics, literary studies, cultural studies, communication, history, political sciences, philosophy, social sciences, law, economic sciences, etc.).

The purpose of the trip to Germany is to gain (deepen) knowledge of the German language and culture. Participants must work on a specific project with a Czech-German theme and write an abstract (diploma, thesis) on this theme. The scholarship is open to bachelor's, master's and doctoral students. Participants are selected by the Secretariat of the Czech-German Foundation for the Future.

The Czech-German Future Fund and AKTION are two less popular programs. At the same time, they offer a rather high scholarship.

To America

Fulbright

The Fulbright program was founded in 1946 by U.S. Senator James William Fulbright. Fulbright is now one of the most prestigious scholarship programs in the world. Unlike Erasmus, the Fulbright Scholarship is not intended for undergraduate students. Only master's and doctoral students are eligible to participate. Students travel to America for an academic year (9 months). Selection is done in 3 rounds. The scholarship covers accommodation, insurance and return airfare.

To the Nordic countries

Nordic and EEA Funds (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway)

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway established the European Economic Area Fund in 2004. Norway has also established its own Norwegian Fund. The Nordic Foundations support the mobility of European bachelor's, master's and doctoral students. Students choose the university they are interested in and can go there to study for a period of 3 to 10 months. The amount of the scholarship is determined individually. The maximum grant amount is 175,000 EEK. Plus 25,000 EEK covers travel expenses. Participants are selected by the House of Foreign Cooperation at the Ministry of Education.

What is needed: requirements, deadlines and documents

Firstly, you must be a good student at a Czech university. The applicant must have no academic debts and his/her average grade point average must be no more than 2 (in the Czech Republic the grading system is from 1 to 4, where 1 is the highest grade). Secondly, it is very important to prepare the documents in advance, take their preparation seriously and meet the deadlines. Each program has its own requirements for documents.

The basic documents include: 1) CV 2) motivation letter / study/research plan 3) list of pre-selected subjects 4) information about the average score 5) certificate of language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS) 6) recommendation of the head of department, academic supervisor 7) document from a foreign university confirming acceptance of the program.

Erasmus trips are organized about half a year in advance, and trips to countries like the USA or Australia by agreement of the university - almost a year in advance.

Erasmus + internship

According to the EU conditions, an internship can take place in any organization of an Erasmus+ member state. The Commission, of course, takes into account the extent to which the internship is related to the specialty and thesis. Preference is given to final year Master's students or doctoral students. The organization is sought by the students themselves.

They also agree on the conditions and content of the internship themselves. Duration of the internship: 2 to 12 months. The internship must be full-time. The amount of the stipend depends on the country in which the internship takes place (600 euros per month in case of an internship in a first-category country). The trip should be planned at least 1 semester in advance.

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