Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Charles "University" in Prague

In theory Erasmus is supposed to be an exchange directed at widening students’ academic perspectives via exploring a new country. Having this in mind I thought it would be a good idea to pretend that this is indeed the case and write a post about the peculiarities of the University I occasionally attend in Prague.

A few weeks ago I wrote about a few aspects of the Czech nation that point towards a conclusion that the Czechs are a silly nation. Well, Charles University is another solid argument for this thesis.

Firstly, the University is an institution established in the fourteenth century in the centre of Prague. This, logically would lead to the conclusion that there must be a campus located somewhere in the centre of the city, right? Wrong. The only buildings that I am aware of in the centre owned by my Stronghold of Education serve as a tourist shop and administrative offices with maybe two or three lecture halls. Otherwise the bulk of classes are taught all around the city except for the aforementioned centre and the area around the student dorms offered for Erasmus students. For example, all of my Politics modules are taught 15 minutes metro journey away from old town in buildings that look as academic as the southern suburbs of Warsaw (not very academic).

Secondly, lectures. Last week a Czech PhD candidate attempted to lecture us about Polish current affairs. Her English was as clear and pure as the Bulgarian bureaucracy and her knowledge about Poland as deep as the storyline of the “Hangover” trilogy. Furthermore, yesterday I was standing in front of one of the University buildings giving my lungs a favour when another teacher of mine came around. He greeted me with: “’Sup, you got fire, mate?”. I must admit I was left in shock for a second or two, which I managed to get out of immediately and present him with a lighter. Oh Prague…
Finally it is worth noticing that my timetable is not the most overwhelming asking me to attend 9 hours per week spread across two days (three on every other week).

Oh yes, I almost forgot. The Czechs are not very fond of their new President. This is quite understandable, as he apparently likes to have a shot of vodka here and there during diplomatic missions. The nation decided to express its discontent through the means of art. To be precise a huge, violet hand was installed in the middle of the Vltava River pointing its middle finger in the direction of the President’s residence. It looks like this:

Many things can be said about this country but one is certain: You will never be bored here!