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Off-Campus Study

AIFS Abroad in Prague + Internship

Study Czech art, history, language, culture and more during a semester abroad with AIFS in Prague, Czech Republic.  Long hidden behind the Iron Curtain, Prague’s collection of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture makes it one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. 

Program Type

Approved Third Party Provider


Prague, Czech Republic

Languages of Instruction


Program Dates

Fall 2018: September to December 

Spring 2019: January to May 

All dates are tentative and may change.  AIFS will alert all accepted students of final dates.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have second-semester sophomore status or higher before participation. (Transfer students may participate after the first semester on campus)  Junior status or higher is strongly preferred.
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0.  Students with a GPA between 2.7 - 2.99 may be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Charles University is the oldest university in Central Europe having been founded as Prague University in 1348 by Charles IV, King of Bohemia and of the Romans. The University continued to develop until all Czech universities were closed during the Nazi occupation in World War II. Charles University reopened again in 1945 under Communist rule. The Velvet Revolution of 1989 saw students and faculty at Charles University fight for the social and academic freedom enjoyed today.

Currently hosting more than 20,000 undergraduate and 25,000 graduate students, it is the largest and most prestigious academic institution in the Czech Republic with a reputation for international research and the creativity of its teaching. Charles University has partnerships with over 170 foreign universities and has hosted international students from its beginning. Former students include the author Franz Kafka who enrolled at Charles University in 1901 for eight semesters of law school.

This program is designed for students wishing to gain insight into the history, culture, and development of Eastern and Central Europe by taking courses taught in English across a range of subject fields including art and culture, film, economics and politics, history, Czech language, literature, sociology and psychology.

The program begins with a required 2-week orientation in Czech language and culture. This includes Czech language instruction, cultural activities and excursions throughout Prague to help you to adjust and make the transition to living in the Czech Republic as smooth as possible. Students then take 4-5 courses at Charles University.

AIFS students may enroll for either individual or group courses at the Academy of Performing Arts, studying music, film or performing arts. Fees range from approximately $100 to $130 per week for 13 weeks. Group instruction is at a lower rate than individual courses. Class time is approximately 40 to 52 hours per semester. Students should request 3 transfer credits from their home institution. Contact the AIFS Admissions Officer for details of courses available

Though letter grades will appear on the Lake Forest transcript, they will not factor into a student’s GPA except in calculations of honors or the Dean’s List.  Students must take a minimum of 15 credit hours to obtain the equivalent of 4 Lake Forest College credits.

For more information on courses available. please visit the AIFS page.


Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Students directly enroll at Charles University, , and the education system is quite different.  Grades are based heavily on one end-of-term exam. Class sizes are often much larg and are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Professors are often more formal than those in the United States. 


Course Approvals

Check to see if your department has pre-approved courses here. If not, don’t worry. You can work with your advisor.

Experiential Opportunities

AIFS can arrange volunteer activities with a range of organizations and across a variety of fields including:

  • With a Czech Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to assist with social work in and around the community
  • Volunteer English conversation practice in a local high school
  • Czech Radio – Pamet Naroda: providing editing assistance on a project concerning totalitarian regimes of the 20th century


AIFS is launching a new non-credit internship program initiative for students studying in Prague. Volunteer work placements are available in various fields of interest including advertising and PR, sales and social institutions. 

Student Life

Included in your program fee is a range of activities which will take you outside Prague and deepen your social, historical and cultural understanding of the Czech Republic. 

Please visit the Cultural Excursions page for a list of study abroad excursions. 

Housing and Meals

Student Residence Hall

The self-catering residence hall is located within walking distance of stores, restaurants, grocery stores, and the Metro station. You will share a room with another AIFS student and have access to shared bathroom and kitchenette facilities to prepare your own meals.

Meals You will be given a meal allowance worth $1,000 to subsidize the cost of meals which students find a great help when managing their living costs in Prague. The meal allowance is intended for use in local Czech restaurants and the University cafeteria or to purchase food to cook meals in the student residence. 

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for the AIFS Prague program includes orientation, on-site director, university fees, housing, several excursions, and insurance.  A stipend is provided to help cover the cost of some meals and grocery shopping.

Here is an estimated budget for your Fall 2018/Spring 2019 program:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated)


Program Deposit (credit)


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College


Program Deposit (non-refundable)




Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, books, supplies, personal expenses, additional travel etc.)


Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2018. f the rates change, we will update this webpage and any applicants. 

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by the student to the host program, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill from the College.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees, including for performing arts courses, are not included in this estimate.

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  Students pursuing internships/volunteer projects are highly competitive for Gilman awards, among others!

Do check your student account on My.Lakeforest for your aid awards, as much of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/admissions/tuition/fees.php

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.