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USAC Studies in the Czech Republic

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Prague, Czech Republic




• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• 2.5 minimum GPA

Application Due:

Spring: 9/27
Fall & Academic Year: 3/15
Summer: 3/15

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

View of Prague

View of Prague

This program offers students the opportunity to enroll in courses in a variety of disciplines related to Czech, Central European, and Eastern European studies. No prior Czech language study is required and most classes are taught in English.

Prague, rich in history, has existed for more than a millennium. Old and new features of the city form a unity of styles not seen anywhere else. You may see its beauty from the hills around the city, from old bridges and steamer ships on the Vltava River, and even from rowboats. With its narrow curved streets, marvelous courtyards and green parks that make up 30% of downtown, Prague is a city for those who love to walk or ride a bike. Prague is situated in the middle of the Czech Republic, and in just a few hours you can be in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, or Poland. During a free weekend you can board an overnight train and wake up in Krakow or Berlin. The small but very modern Prague airport offers good opportunities to fly to most places in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. There are also several student travel agencies offering bargain flights to destinations that are popular to many students.

USAC Highlights Tour: Prague, Czech Republic

Academic Program

Art and Architecture class inside St. Vitus Cathedral

Art and Architecture class inside St. Vitus Cathedral

For updated course offerings, descriptions, and syllabi, visit USAC program webpage.

The program is administered by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), of which the University of Iowa is a member. UI students earn resident credit.

For the semester-length program, students take an intensive two-week beginning Czech language course plus longer courses on taught in English in a variety of disciplines. For summer-length programs, students typically take between 3 and 4 credits, per session. Students opting for the combination session usually earn between 6 and 8 credits, total. (UIowa administrative fee is based on an 8 credit enrollment.) An optional field study course to Vienna and Budapest is also offered for both semester and summer options. There is an additional charge for this choice.

Field trip to Lidice

Field trip to Lidice

Embedded, Credit-Bearing Internships

Qualified students studying for at least one semester may apply for internships designed to complement the academic program. Interns receive a maximum of three credits but no financial compensation. The schedule and number of work hours will be determined by the schedule of USAC courses. The work will be done in an English-speaking environment but some knowledge of Czech language is helpful.

If interested, you will apply for an internship after you have been accepted into the USAC Prague program. Requirements are: minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and junior standing at time of internship. A refundable fee of $100 is charged and returned upon successful completion of the internship.

More information can be found here: USAC Prague Internships.

Cultural Activities

Extracurricular activities include sports with Prague students— mainly soccer and playing in the world´s most unique city league “Hanspaulka,” jogging and running, “uphill running” to the tops of Prague towers, volleyball, cycling, and swimming. Winter weather permitting, there is ice skating on rivers and pond hockey. Singing in the student choirs will enrich the language skills: in Prague choirs perform in Czech as well as Latin, German, Italian, English, and French. Hiking and walking are also popular activities; every fall semester students may join the 35-mile night hike out of Prague. Besides the program field trips, each term offers plenty of smaller trips to the most interesting places in the Czech Republic as well as in the neighboring countries – the schedule is announced during the onsite orientation.

Students may volunteer and join groups working on immigrant integration and cultural heritage protection. Czech language does not belong among the world’s most widespread languages; the citizens of Prague therefore like learning and practicing major languages. Many students find life-long friends through the conversation exchange program. You are also encouraged to participate in the included program field trips. In addition to the program trips, each term offers plenty of smaller trips to the most interesting places in the Czech Republic as well as in the neighboring countries—you'll receive the trip plan during the orientation.

Cultural Immersion Opportunities

  • Intern with the Fulbright Commission in Prague, the National Library archives, or Erste Bank
  • Volunteer with the National Center for Volunteers or the Prague Jewish Community
  • Tutor English language at a local high school
  • Play basketball and other sports with Charles University intramural teams
  • Perform research with the Institute of International Relations
  • Play soccer or ice hockey with amateur or semi-pro teams
  • Many running, jogging, and hiking events take place every day in Prague; these popular events are open for anyone to meet others
  • Program Dates

    More information can be found here: USAC Prague Calendars.

    USAC Prague On-Site Staff Jan Stodola and Dáša Ejemová

    USAC Prague On-Site Staff Jan Stodola and Dáša Ejemová

    Students can study on this program for a semester, academic year, or summer session. Check with the Study Abroad office for specific dates for your intended session.

    Typical session dates are:

    Fall: Late August to mid-December

    Spring: Mid-January to mid-May

    Summer Session I: Mid-May to mid-June

    Summer Session II: Mid-June to mid-July

    For more information

    Steps to Studying Abroad

    1. Before initiating an application with USAC, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa. 
    2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
    3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

    Study Abroad
    1111 University Capitol Centre
    Iowa City, IA 52242

    Phone: 319-335-0353

    Charles University

    Rudolfinum, Prague

    Rudolfinum, Prague

    The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV, decided that Prague would become the capital of Europe in the 14th century and founded Charles University in 1348. USAC students have access to the computer facilities on campus during the week and all student apartments also have wireless internet. The USAC study center is located at the Charles University Institute of Language and Preparatory Studies.


    Prague Castle by night

    Prague’s hidden courtyards, winding streets, traditional pubs, and eye-catching architecture are uniquely juxtaposed with the city’s very modern business and academic opportunities. Walk to class past UNESCO World Heritage sites. Attend class in a 17th century palace. Immerse oneself into student life in one of central Europe’s most beautiful cities. With a growing economy, vibrant arts and music scenes, an influential intellectual community, and architectural styles ranging from Gothic to Baroque to Art Nouveau, Prague is an ideal setting in which to explore Czech culture. Study abroad in the city that greats like Mozart, Kundera, Rilke, and Einstein called home.

    The Czech Republic

    Church of Our Lady before Týn

    Church of Our Lady before Týn

    Capital: Prague

    Language spoken: Czech

    Currency: Czech koruna (CZK)


    Population: 1.3 million

    Distance to Berlin: 174 miles

    Distance to Paris: 550 miles

    Prague is situated in the middle of the Czech Republic, and in just a few hours you could be in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, or Poland. Prague is rich in history and features old and new styles not seen anywhere else. With its narrow curved streets, marvelous courtyards, and green parks that make up 30% of downtown, Prague is a city for those who love to walk. Prague is an open textbook of modern and traditional literature, art, and culture surrounded by the remarkable architecture of its walls, castles, and frescoes.

    US Department of State Country Information

    The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

    Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

    Living Arrangements

    USAC students are placed in several apartment buildings located in central Prague, giving students a chance to submerse themselves in local culture. Shared rooms are standard. Student can opt to pay an additional fee, however, for a single room, based on availability. All buildings are located where the Old Town meets the Prague residential neighborhoods of Žižkov and Karlín. Within a few minutes, you can switch from the most prominent tourist sites to areas with real life; you will become a Prague insider quickly by knowing famous historical and artistic wonders of Prague but also being able to shop and live as native dwellers of Prague do.

    The Žižkov and Karlín neighborhoods are some of the most culturally rich parts of central Prague; centuries-old streets host mostly small apartment buildings, shops, restaurants, music bars, alternative art galleries, and all services an inhabitant of the city may need and enjoy. The Prague City Transport Authority covers the whole city of Prague and includes trams, buses and subway(metro). All means of transportation run through these neighborhoods, and it is a matter of minutes to travel to any place in Prague. The long-distance bus and train stations are within a short walk from the housing.


    US Citizens

    If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

    US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Students without a valid passport should apply for a new passport or a passport renewal as early as possible.

    Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.

    Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

    Non-US Citizens

    Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.

    Travel Arrangements

    Students will work with their program provider to make travel arrangements to their program site. The cost of travel is not included in the course fee. UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.

    Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from your program provider.

    Local Transportation

    Within your host city and around the country, students will utilize public transportation such as buses and trains. Excursions and general travel require a lot of walking, so bring some comfortable shoes!


    This program is open to University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:

    • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
    • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
    • Minimum 2.5 GPA- Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA to participate in this program. Applications from students who have a GPA below 2.5 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
    • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing- Applicants must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing by the time the program begins to participate in this program.
    • Approval by USAC and UI Study Abroad- Applications will be reviewed by UI Study Abroad and by USAC Abroad. Students will be accepted based on their review of their application materials.
    • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programming presented by UI Study Abroad and USAC Abroad.
    • 18 years of age- Participants must be at least 18 years of age.


    Cost Sheets (for an estimated cost of attendance)

    Summer Costs

    Summer Session A 2020 Cost Sheet

    PDF Summer Session B 2020 Cost Sheet

    PDF Summer Session AB 2020 Cost Sheet

    Fall or Spring Costs

    Fall 2019 Semester Cost Sheet (Draft)PDF

    Calculating Fees

    The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:

    Cost sheets do not include the following optional costs:

    Additional Optional Costs Paid to USAC Abroad

    • Single room housing upgrade
    • Optional USAC Field Trips

    Optional fees vary by session, and will be available shortly before the upcoming session.

    Personal Travel Costs

    Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.

    Costs charged to the U-Bill

    • Application Fee (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Course Fees- Includes program tuition, housing, some meals, USAC health insurance (charged shortly before departure)
    • Study Abroad Fee (charged shortly before departure)
    • CISI Health Insurance (charged shortly before departure)

    Out-of-pocket costs (not charged to U-Bill)

    • Round trip airfare from Cedar Rapids (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Visa and Residence Permit Fee (paid by student prior to departure.
    • Textbooks (paid upon arrival to France)
    • Food, if not living in home stay (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Cell phone- does not include usage fees (paid as needed while abroad)
    • Local transportation (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
    • Personal expenses and personal travel (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Passport (paid by student prior to departure)
    • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Single room housing upgrade (paid by student as needed to USAC Abroad)
    • Optional USAC Abroad field trips (paid by student as needed to USAC Abroad)

    How to Apply

    • Meet with the appropriate study abroad advisor to discuss your study abroad plans well ahead of the application deadline. Your application will not be approved until you've completed this step. You can set up an appointment by calling UI Study Abroad at 319-335-0353.
    • Meet with your academic advisor to review your program and ensure that it is a good match for your academic and personal goals.
    • If you and your academic advisor agree that the program is a good match for you, complete the UI Study Abroad application.PLEASE NOTE that for Winter 20-21, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Fall 2021 study abroad programs, students will not be charged the $50 application fee until travel takes place. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to departure due to COVID-19 concerns, the application fee will not be charged.
    • Create an account in the USAC Portal and complete the online application for your desired program.
    • Complete all of the online sections of the application. Note: The USAC online application takes 1-2 business days to activate. Submit your application 1-2 days before the USAC application deadline to ensure it is received in time to be considered.
    • Your study abroad advisor at Iowa will submit a transcript for you as part of your confirmation process.
    • Upload any additional documents required for your USAC application.
    • Your Study Abroad advisor will complete the Home School Authorization once you have completed the UI application and the USAC application.
    • USAC Abroad will contact you by email to inform you of your acceptance decision within several weeks.



    If you are accepted to your USAC program, you will be asked to commit to participating in your program by submitting the University of Iowa Confirmation of Participation form and the USAC Abroad Intent to Enroll document.

    After you have formally confirmed your plans to participate, you will work with both UI Study Abroad and with USAC Abroad. Follow instructions from both. Later in the semester, your UI Study Abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.

    Application Deadline

    Applications for the Fall and Academic Year are due on March 15.

    Applications for the Spring session are due on September 27.

    Applications for the Summer are due on March 15.

    Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

    Coming soon.

    Health & Safety Planning

    In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:

    Study Abroad Resources

    Passports and Visas

    Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

    Students are also encouraged to complete the PDFHealth Preparation Guide for International Travel form with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.

    Scholarships & Financial Aid

    For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:UI Financial Aid Information

    You can find more information about options for funding your study abroad experience including scholarships on Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad.

    In addition, take a look at USAC Scholarship website for information about scholarships offered directly through your program provider.


    U.S. passport holders should follow the Visa batch process instructions provided by USAC. Make sure to submit all required documents by the submission deadline. Otherwise you will have to apply for your student visa independently.

    U.S. Citizens will need a student visa if they are going abroad for a semester, or academic year. Typically, they will not need a visa for the summer sessions.

    Non-US Citizens- should refer to the Czech Visa website for more information on Czech visa requirements.

    UI Study Abroad will hold advising appointments and/or information sessions to provide details on the visa application process. UI Study Abroad staff can provide some assistance on the Czech visa application process, but ultimately the individual traveler (the student) is the person who is responsible for providing correct information on the visa application and securing the visa and all other required documentation prior to travel.

    Prior to starting the visa application process check in with USAC for more information; they have a preferred timeline that students need to follow.


    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

    Predeparture Resources

    USAC will provide you with a variety of pre-departure resources to prepare you for your study abroad experience. These will include a packing list, cultural information, housing instructions, etc. Ensure that you thoroughly review any information provided to you by USAC and refer back to it if you have any questions.

    These materials may be periodically updated to reflect new program information prior to departure. Be sure to check your USAC Account often.

    There are no photos available for this program yet. Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at:

    1111 University Capitol Centre
    The University of Iowa
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

    Phone: (319) 335-0353
    Fax: (319) 335-0343