Getting closer to the finish line
Prague College runs preparatory courses for students looking towards a university degree
Applying for a university degree programme can be a tedious task for even the most qualified student. But for those who speak a foreign language, it can likely be an impossible one.
In its ten years of operation, Prague College has seen many foreigners apply for a place in its degree programmes, and every year it has had to turn prospective students away because they do not have a high school diploma or they are lacking in fluency in the English language. Because of this, Prague College decided to create their “English for Higher Education” and “Foundation Diploma” programmes: year-long programmes designed to help students perfect their language skills, improve their study and presentation skills, or complete a last year of high school.
Douglas Hajek, the Director and Founder of Prague College, says that most of the students he sees participating in these programmes are from Russian and Vietnamese backgrounds.
“Most of these young people currently live in the Czech Republic, but do not want to go through a few more years of schooling just to finish their secondary education at a Czech gymnasium,” Mr. Hajek says. “Often times, their language skills aren’t quite at the level needed to finish a Czech high school and continue studying at a Czech university. Catching up in English is much easier than catching up in Czech.”
For students who are primarily focused on improving their English language proficiency, the English for Higher Education programme is taught entirely in English, ensuring a rapid learning curve. In their first semester students will learn the basics of the language, such as grammar, reading, writing and conversation. In their second semester, students take more advanced classes, and have the opportunity to take additional workshops in presentation and study skills. For those looking for a more specialised course to prepare them for their future university degree, Prague College offers Foundation Diploma programmes in Art & Design, Business and Computing. All of the preparatory courses – like all of the College’s courses – emphasize an interactive and experienced-based education.
“I think that our style of teaching here plays a big part in attracting these foreign students,” Mr. Hajek says. “We find that this is especially true with Russian students, who are trying to get away from the strict Russian way of teaching, which is more about simply delivering information than anything else. Here, they can interact with teachers and other students, learn to work independently on their own projects, and get ready to enter the job market with an internationally recognised education.”
Because of its affiliation with the UK’s Teeside University, Prague College is one of the few English-speaking universities in the Czech Republic that offers an internationally recognised diploma. With this in mind, Mr. Hajek is surprised that he does not see more Czech students applying for Prague College’s preparatory programmes.
“I think that Czech students could benefit a lot from what Prague College has to offer – especially those students who are planning to look for employment opportunities outside of the Czech Republic after graduation. We will definitely look to increase our visibility among prospective Czech students in the coming months.”
Registration for the Prague College preparatory programmes is open for the upcoming fall semester, with classes beginning on 23rd September. For more information on Prague College and its programmes, please visit www.praguecollege.cz.
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