Thanks to the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute, sixteen students from foreign schools and universities could come to Prague this summer to improve their Czech language knowledge. The Institute realized the exclusive course for foreign students of Czech studies for the fifth time already. Again this time, after three-week stay, students were leaving satisfied and excited about the program, Prague and the whole Czech Republic.
The chairman of the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute Jaromír Šlápota opened the course traditionally in the seat of the Institute where the participants learned about its history, personalities and present activities that are, among others, oriented to support good quality of Czech education abroad.
This year students, whose trip and the whole stay, classes, cultural program including field-trips were financed by the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute thanks to its sponsors, not only improved their Czech but they also gained lots of unforgettable experience. Thanks to the vice-chairman PhDr. Libuše Benešová they had an opportunity to sight-see representative halls in the Prague Castle, thanks to the Institute’s member Evermod Gejza Šidlovský they could see the historical halls of the Strahov library, they could visit places where important international meetings are held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Černínský palace, they were informed about the work of the Parliament of the Czech Republic in the seat of the Chamber of deputies and the Senate, they saw the Old Town astronomic clock from inside and they left Prague three times to experience the atmosphere of the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, to admire beauty of Telč and Lednice-Valtice areal in Southern Moravia and to enter historical silver mines in Kutná Hora. No wonder that during the final boat trip on the river Vltava, visited by the former chairman of the Senate PhDr. Libuše Benešová, the former chancellor of the Senate Ing. Jiří Uklein PhD. and representatives of the Russian and Austrian embassies, students had hard time to part with the course and their professors whom they surprised by an unusual gift during the diploma ceremony – they made them a chocolate cake.
“I have already participated in the Czech courses organized by Charles University, in the language course in Olomouc, Poděbrady and České Budějovice but the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute course was the best of all,” twenty-five years old Nataša from St. Petersburg said when leaving. “Its precedence is a smaller number of students and the fact that professors are with them full six days a week, that we are forced to speak Czech all the time and that our professors immediately explain to us our mistakes.” They all stated in their final papers that being in the course they felt as in a big family where their classmates were as siblings and their professors as parents. In such atmosphere, they lost all their restraints to speak Czech easily no matter their mistakes that were gradually eliminated with the help by their professors. The best promotion of the course was written by Alesija from Minsk in her final paper: “Would I have ever become a teacher in my life, I would teach in the same way as we were taught in Prague. We had a nice, friendly atmosphere and it is very important for classes. I would like to prepare my lectures as interesting and entertaining so that I could arouse more intensive love for Czech in my students, in the same way as happened to me in this course.” And indeed, that is the aim of the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute courses.