Dartmore Institue - Spend a semester study abroad in Prague, the heart of Central Europe
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Short-Term Programs - Courses

The Summer Program & Winter Session’s academic focus is built around one three-credit course entitled Religion, Culture, and Politics of Central Europe. This course examines the creation and recreation of nations in Central Europe and focuses on the history, politics and culture of the area between Germany and the former Soviet Union. Particular attention is paid to the unique formational experience of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and Slovaks from the turn of the 20th century to the end of WW II. In depth analysis of the communist period, the revolutions of 1989, as well as post-communist development and the move towards NATO and European Union membership, carry our studies to the contemporary era.

In addition to their classroom lectures and discussions, students can choose to participate in one of two focus groups. One is usually devoted to literature and culture, the other to politics and economics. The two focus groups are composed of a series of talks given outside of the classroom by guest speakers who expand on several of the themes discussed in Religion, Culture, and Politics of Central Europe. The talks are held twice a week in the evenings at different cafes in Prague and other cities visited during the program, such as Vienna and Krakow.

The focus group and the talks foster an understanding and appreciation of the multi-cultural and ethnically diverse people that live at Europe's center and provide a feeling for what unites and differentiates the countries of the region. Certain pieces of literature and talks in the series coincide with study trips and cultural events around the region, allowing the students to learn about Central European culture and society by experiencing it firsthand.

Model Three-Week Program - Schedule:

Week I:

  • Monday: 10 – 1pm - Program Orientation & 7 – 10pm - Welcoming Dinner

  • Tuesday: 10 – 1pm - Class & 2 – 4pm - Walking Tour I of Prague
    Prague as a Work of Art

  • Wed: 10 – 1pm - Class & 2 – 3:30pm - Guest Lecture I
    Intro to Central European Jewry

  • Thurs: 10 – 1pm - Class & 2 – 4pm - Walking Tour II of Prague
    Prague’s Jewry

  • Fri: One-day trip to Karlovy Vary – Bohemia’s Preeminent Spa-town

Saturday and Sunday, students are, of course, free to travel or spend the weekend as they see fit. The Institute will offer a list of suggested activities and will plan one group dinner and offer tickets for cultural programs.

Week II:

  • Monday: One day trip to the Czech medieval city of Cesky Krumlov

  • Tuesday: 10 – 1pm - Class & 2:30 – 4:30pm - Guest Lecture II – Central Europe & EU in the European Union Education Center & 7 – 10pm - Dinner & Movie – An Evening of Czech Cinema

  • Wed: Five day trip to Krakow

  • Thurs: 10 – 1pm - Class & 2 – 4pm - Walking Tour of Krakow – Krakow & Its Churches

  • Fri: 10 – 1pm – Class & Walking Tour of Krakow – Krakow’s Jewry

  • Sat: Weekend in Krakow & Day-trip to Auschwitz Concentration Camp

  • Sun: Weekend in Krakow & Day trip to Krakow’s famous salt mines

Week III:

  • Monday: 10 – 12 Visit Radio Free Europe; Lunch provided by Dartmore Institute; 3 – 5 PM Class

  • Tuesday: 10 – 1pm Class & 2 – 3:30pm - Guest Lecture III – Dissident Culture: The Insider as Outsider & Dinner & Jazz – The Role of Jazz in Dissent

  • Wed: One day trip to the 14th century royal town of Kutna Hora

  • Thurs: Two day trip to Vienna – Walking Tour of Vienna – The Glory of the Hapsburg Empire

  • Fri: Two day trip to Vienna – visits to the Kunsthistoriches Museum, Albertina Museum, the impressive Baroque Belvedere Palace

  • Sat: Last weekend in Prague
  • Sun: Closing Dinner