A landlocked country in the heart of Central Europe, the Czech Republic shares a border with Germany to the west, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south and Poland to the north. It is the product of a peaceful dissolution of the country of Czechoslovakia following the Velvet Revolution, which marked the end of communism in the region. It is now a parliamentary representative democracy headed by a Prime Minister. Culturally it has been influenced by the Bohemians, the Roman Empire, the Austrian Hapsburgs and occupation by communist Russia. Its economy thrives on tourism, scientific innovation, exporting electricity and the manufacture and export of automobiles, buses, trains and other transportation vehicles.
Czech students who wish to continue their education following secondary school may choose to attend a public, state or private university. State schools prepare students for work on the police force or in the military. Public universities enjoy a more prestigious reputation than private institutions, which sometimes lack accreditation and have faced scandal in recent years.
The Czech school year is split into two semesters. The first begins in mid-September and ends with final exams in January. The second begins in February and goes through June, with exams in the final weeks of the term. The school calendar may vary slightly from one institution to another, but will generally include several days off for various holidays and midterm breaks.
Students may complete a bachelor¡¯s degree in a diverse range of disciplines, including business, mathematics, literature, law, science, engineering and international studies. Most programs will require three to four years of full-time study. Many programs are taught in English, in order to attract international students who do not speak Czech. Graduates with a bachelor's degree may continue their studies in a master's or doctoral program.
For residents of the Czech Republic, higher education at a public institution is funded by the government until the age of 26. International students may also have the majority of their academic expenses paid by the Czech government, although many fees are not covered. All students who attend private universities must pay their own tuition. Prospective students should contact universities directly to learn more.
Students choose to study undergraduate studies in the Czech Republic for many reasons. Many students are attracted by the low tuition and affordable cost of living. Others are interested in the country¡¯s rich cultural history as well as its proximity to the rest of Europe. The nation is known for its exemplary education and research in engineering, medicine and the sciences. Students of any discipline can benefit from knowledgeable professors and a diverse student body.