Czech College offers more for less

Programs accredited through UK and US institutions are available in Prague

Prague is lovely city to be a student in. It has a fine balance of an affordable life style, accessible entertainment and offers limitless opportunities to travel. There are more options for higher learning in English than many people think. One of the newer ones is Czech College in Prague 3. The college, which opened in February 2014, has been expanding steadily and is already three times the size of when it started.

The student body is very international, with just a handful of Czechs. “We have a diverse student body now. Many of our students are from India, and the subcontinent including Nepal and Bangladesh. We also have representation from Africa, Russia and Bulgaria. It is becoming a big melting pot,” Czech College President John Xavier said, adding that more students from the former Soviet bloc were joining soon. The teaching staff is also diverse, with people from the US, Canada, Bulgaria, Ghana and the Czech Republic.

“Prague is a very student-friendly city,” Xavier said. His previous experience involved offering consultancy services to students who wished to study abroad. “The happiest students are the ones who came to the Czech Republic,” he said. When the idea came up to start a school, he said the most important thing for him was the happiness of the students. “We got that from Prague. That was the main reason for starting a college in Prague,” he said. Many parents encourage their children to study abroad for several years to expand their world view.

The school realizes that starting a life abroad is not an easy task; it takes care of incoming students, picking them up at the airport and helping with matters like insurance, legal registration and other matters, helping them make their transition to Czech Republic smoother. Students of Czech College stay at dorms operated by Charles University, which also puts them in touch with a much larger student community. “It is comparatively easy for students to adapt to Prague,” he said. Among other things, the school cooperated with a local cricket club, and some students play the game that is almost a religion in India.

Czech College is accredited in the UK through an awarding body called ATHE. Students from Asia are especially interested in UK-based accreditation. Czech College also has a partnership with an accredited American university enabling its students to transfer their credits and graduate from Virginia International University. Students have an opportunity to spend their final year in Fairfax, Virginia, they can also choose to complete the whole program in Prague, Xavier said.

The offer of courses is diverse and based in large part on practical skills students need for their future careers. The school offers programs in information technology, business management, healthcare and languages. One exception to all of the programs being taught in English is a newly launched program called the Nurses Adaptation Program, taught in association with Střední zdravotnická škola, Turnov. The program is intended to enable people who have trained as nurses in another country to learn medical terminology in Czech as well as more of the Czech language so they can handle patients. The legal framework for healthcare is also covered, and there is practical training in professional settings. This new program will help alleviate the shortage of healthcare professionals in the Czech Republic.

A similar program to adapt doctors into the Czech setting is planned for the future, Xavier said.

Other new programs in the works include courses in hospitality. A Bachelor's Degree program accredited through the Czech Ministry of Education is also in the planning stages.

Student feedback is the school's biggest selling point, according to Xavier. The school lets interested candidates contact current and former students to find out what the experience is really like. “We are very confident that any student that they speak to would give good feedback,” he said.

Another selling point is cost, as the total amount of money a student will spend is less than half of what they would spend in the UK for the same qualification, based on university fees alone. Living costs are also much lower than in the UK.

Czech College's classrooms are in Prague's Žižkov neighborhood, just outside of the city center, and are close to public transportation as well as many restaurants and other facilities that students might need.

For more visit Czech College Prague www.czechcollege.cz


Related article:
Czech College named partner in European Commission’s Erasmus + Interactive Education in 360 Programme - PragueConnect.cz, Prague 11.01.2017

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