Int’l Club Looking to a Brighter Future?

Every year quite a lot of foreigners decide to spend a year studying in the Czech Republic either in Prague or in other Czech cities such as Olomouc or Brno. Most of them come to Prague, about eight hundred each year study at Charles University, more then two hundred and fifty at University of Economics, and slightly less at Czech Technical University.

The last two above mentioned universities each have a special international student club that helps the newcomers with administration, organizes trips and parties and helps the foreign students with everything they need. Czech Technical University apparently has the best club in the Czech Republic; it was even awarded the Section of the Year 2003 of the ESN, a European body gathering student organizations of this kind. “The International Student Club (ISC) functions so well because members of the club have even other interests than school and sport. They all have a common quality: they want to do more than they have to”, says Michal Pohanka, President of the Czech Technical University’s International Student Club.

However struggling they might be, such student clubs operate even within our alma mater. One of the problems Charles University faces in respect to these activities is that there is not only one club for all seventeen faculties. The Faculty of Social Sciences has its own club (International or Int’l Club) and so do the Faculty of Arts, the Pedagogical Faculty or the Faculty of Law, for instance. Paradoxically enough, the Int’l Club of FSV has better relations with ISC than with clubs within Charles University. The new head of Int’l Club Táňa Jančárková (IMS) hopes this will change in the future and the faculties will find a way to cooperate.

The Int’l Club began the Alter Ego (or buddy) program this term (the same program is working at the Czech Technical University for some already and people from ISC have found it very useful). “Being a buddy is a great thing”, says Ondřej Lemel who studies International Area Studies, “I have so many new friends. Each of them is special. They gave me information about life abroad. Thanks to them my life isn’t a stereotype.” The Int’l Club will be looking for new buddies soon. If you want to become one, the registration for next term will start in the end of May (watch out for information leaflets in school).

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