The higher education system in the Czech Republic is not so dissimilar to others, especially in european region, however it still keeps some special features. Here are some key concepts which might be useful for you while thinking about studying in the Czech Republic.
An Academic Year in the Czech Republic is at most of universities (might be different at some private schools) divided into two semesters: so called „winter semester“, starting in October and ending in the end of January or at the beginning of February, and „summer semester“, starting in the end of February and finishing at the end of May or at the beginning of June (these terms may vary a little bit at different universities). Both semesters are followed by examination period, in which are no classes held. The classes are usually closed also within Christmas holidays and also in July and August (these months are dedicated to so called summer holidays).
Concrete courses can vary in their conception. They can have a form of lecture, seminar, praxis, excursions and sometimes can be based on practical work, within which are the students supposed to consult their work with their lecturers and fulfil assigned task. The attendance is mostly not compulsory, but it always depends on the requirements set by the concrete teacher. One lesson takes usually 80 – 90 minutes (it can also differ a little bit from school to school).
The marking of success in each course is four-level. The last mark means, that the student did not pass and must repeat the exam. The number of attempts is set by concrete faculty or teacher, but they are usually three. If the student passes not in any of these attempts, he must enrol himself to the course again.
Because the Czech Republic is a signatory to Bologna Declaration, particular subjects are at majority of czech universities evaluated by credits in accordance with ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) standards. These credits are assigned regradless the final mark is. Sometimes there is a compulsory part of an exam so called „zápočet“ (Credit). Sometimes these Credits are also evaluated by credits within ECTS system separately, though it is usually less evaluated than the exam.
The study programmes are completed by taking the state final examinations and by defense of degree thesis. Some programmes involve a necessity to pass partial exams, so called comprehensive examination during the academoc year.
Students have a possibility to eat in university canteens („menza“). These canteens offer most of schools and are located right in the university campus or builiding or not far from it. Student canteens represent quality eating with the advance of low prices, since these meals are subsidized by state. Nowadays the offer of the canteens is becoming wider and even more varied, student can choose from several dishes, including e.g. vegetarian food or special offer. The lunch costs in average 40 CZK, depending on the amout of courses (with or without soup or dessert, type of food etc.). Many canteens also offer breakfasts, snacks or dinners.
Students, who do not choose an option of rented accomodation in private flat can live in dormitories („kolej“). Compared to private living it is usually cheaper and sometimes close to the school building. The students are oblige to observe dormitory rules and regulations though. The price for using the dormitory differs from location, equipment and facilities available, number of beds per room etc. If the foreign student studies in the Czech language, he can apply for a scholarship. It is also recommended to apply for a place in dormitory as soon as possible, e.g. already within entrance process or right after admission to the university.
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