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Name:  Eric  Klappholz   Email:  Eric.g.klappholz@vanderbilt.edu   Studied  Abroad  in:  Prague,  Czech  Republic   Program:  CET  Jewish  Studies     Program  Details:   • One  Semester  (September  to  December/  January  to  May)   • Courses  in  Jewish  History,  Central  European  history  and  politics,  as  well  as   Czech  literature  and  art.   • Classes  mostly  fulfilled  JS  requirements.  Some  can  also  fulfill  Political  Science,   English,  as  well  as  AXLE  requirements.   • Live  in  an  apartment  with  4-­‐6  American  students  and  usually  one  Czech   buddy.   • All  courses  taught  by  Czechs  fluent  in  English.   • It  is  a  small  program  with  about  10  students  and  it  was  integrated  with  the   Central  European  Program  with  about  15  students.  Also,  there  was  some   crossover  with  the  film  program  with  about  50  students.   • Courses  open  to  students  across  the  county.     • A  weeklong  travel  seminar  to  Krakow,  Auschwitz,  and  Warsaw.  Other   weekend  trips  to  Budapest,  to  the  well  preserved  village  of  Cesky  Krumlov,   and  the  concentration  camp  of  Terezin.   • Metro  pass  included  in  the  program  allow  you  to  explore  all  of  Prague  on  the   metros,  trams,  and  buses.     Courses  Taken   • Czech  Language  (beginners)   • Jewish  History   • Czech  Literature   • Cultural  history  of  Prague,  Vienna,  Budapest   • Anti-­‐  Semitism  in  the  Czech  Republic     Other  Courses  Offered   • Central  European  Politics   • Nationalism,  minorities,  and  migration  in  Europe   • Holocaust  and  its  legacy   • Resistance  and  dissent   • Central  European  Film   • Prague  art  and  architecture   • Czech  Republic  in  transition     Favorite  Parts  of  Program:   • Classes  located  on  Wenceslas  Square  at  the  heart  of  old  and  new  Prague.   Minutes  away  from  Old  Town  Square,  The  Jewish  Quarter,  and  the  main   shopping  districts.  


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Czech  Professors  are  knowledgeable  and  offer  many  first  hand  stories  about   life  in  Central  Europe.   Large  apartments  located  near  the  metro  with  most  of  the  amenities  that  any   dorm  room  in  America  offers.   The  Jewish  Quarter  is  remarkably  intact.  There  is  no  better  place  to  learn   about  past  and  present  Jewish  life  than  in  Prague.   The  program  takes  us  to  Shabbat  services  in  Prague,  Krakow,  and  Budapest.   This  offers  a  remarkable  insight  into  Jewish  life  that  most  tourists  do  not   experience.   Interactions  with  the  Jewish  communities  in  every  city  we  visit.   Community  service  project  in  a  Jewish  school  in  Warsaw.  This  was  a  great   way  to  learn  and  give  back.   Guided  tour  of  Terezin  by  a  Holocaust  survivor  that  was  imprisoned  in   Terezin.   Meeting  Polish  students  in  the  town  of  Oswiecim  near  the  Auschwitz   concentration  camps.   Many  classes  are  conducted  in  local  cafes  and  not  in  the  classroom.   The  Resident  Directors  are  always  helpful  and  willing  to  help  you  get   accustomed  to  Czech  life.   Going  to  a  Czech  soccer  match  and  hockey  game  were  great  ways  to   experience  Czech  culture.  

  Least  Favorite  Parts  of  the  Program:     • There  is  no  spring  break,  rather  there  is  the  weeklong  travelling  seminar  in   Poland.   • I  had  classes  at  9am  from  Monday  to  Thursday.   • There  are  no  microwaves  or  dryers  in  the  apartments.   • The  classes  were  either  an  hour  and  a  half  or  three  hours  long.   • Classes  were  mostly  lecture  based.   • Czech  neighbors  do  not  like  a  lot  of  noise  in  the  apartment  buildings,  so  you   always  have  to  be  careful  with  how  loud  you  talk.   • The  metro  stops  running  at  midnight.     Best  Sights  in  Prague     • There  are  a  lot  of  parks  and  open  space  in  Prague  that  are  great  for  reading,   studying  and  relaxing.   • There  are  great  museums  dedicated  to  the  history  of  the  Czech  Republic,   Jewish  life,  and  the  most  famous  Czech,  Franz  Kafka.   • A  smaller  Eiffel  tower  is  located  on  Petrin  Hill  and  offers  a  great  view  of   Prague.   • Prague  Castle  has  some  of  the  city’s  oldest  buildings,  but  is  still  the  heart  of   the  Czech  government.    


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Charles  Bridge,  a  main  tourist  attraction  in  Prague,  is  the  main  bridge  over   the  Vltava  and  offers  great  views  of  the  city,  the  castle,  and  the  river.   Vyshrad,  Prague  Castle’s  sister  castle,  is  a  hidden  gem  in  the  city.  It  has  an  old   church,  a  lot  of  open  space,  and  is  less  crowded  than  Prague  Castle.   Old  Town  Square  is  the  heart  of  Prague’s  culture,  and  especially  Prague   nightlife.  Climb  the  clock  tower  to  get  your  bearing  in  the  city.   Pariska  Street  offers  some  high  class  window-­‐shopping.   Billa  Hora  is  a  rural  park  with  an  old  villa  located  in  the  center.  

  Things  you  should  know  about  Prague  and  the  Czech  Republic     • While  not  terribly  common,  there  are  still  a  few  pickpockets  in  Prague.   • Outside  the  main  tourist  areas  of  Prague,  most  people  do  not  speak  English.   • Restaurants  and  grocery  stores  prefer  you  pay  with  cash  instead  of  credit   card.   • People  do  not  check  your  ticket  every  time  you  go  on  the  metro,  but  there  are   random  checkers  that  are  intimidating  at  first.   • There  are  two  bus  stations  in  Prague,  make  sure  you  check  where  your  bus   leaves  out  of  before  travel.   • The  Czech  Crown  is  difficult  to  do  conversions  in  your  head.   • Even  though  Prague  may  seem  like  a  haunted  city  at  times,  it  is  actually  a   very  safe  and  bright  city.   • The  best  beers  in  the  Czech  Republic  are  Budvar,  Pilsner,  and  Gambrinus  in   that  order.   • Dumplings  are  a  Czech  staple  but  are  not  very  good.   • Most  cab  drivers  speak  English,  but  make  sure  you  agree  on  a  price  before   getting  in.   • While  it  is  tempting  to  travel  every  nation  in  Europe,  some  of  your  best   memories  will  be  the  time  you  spent  in  Prague!!      


CET Jewish Studies Prague, Czech Republic_Eric Klappholz