Czech students seek opportunities to study abroad

Over the weekend Prague played host to the 12th international fair of languages, culture and education, called Student-Expo-Lingua. Presenting themselves were schools and agencies that provide services in the sphere of education. Alena Skodova went there and brings back this report:

There were dozens of schools and agencies presenting themselves in Prague's Zofin Palace, half of them from abroad - including such remote places as New Zealand, Chile and Hawaii. Czech students now have a lot of opportunities to study abroad, and at the fair the biggest crowds were around the stands promoting English-language schools and universities. First I stopped by a stand promoting Edgehill College in Devon, Britain, and spoke with its chemistry and biology teacher, Tim Doe:

"Well, it's a boarding school and it has 400 students, and it offers courses for a it offers courses for sixth form particularly prior to university or for students who would like to come for a term or two terms, that's twelve or twenty four weeks, to improve their English and see what an English public school is like."

Do Czech students show interest in your college?

We don't have any Czech students, we do have other students from Europe but no Czechs at the moment, but many people have come around today and yesterday and have shown interest, yes. At the moment probably it is financial reasons, because obviously salaries in the Czech Republic are not yet up to those in the rest of Europe but I hope that once this situation improves, we'll see more of them in our country."

The University of Queensland in Australia was represented by the Dean of its Business, Economics and Law faculty, Mr. Tomas Riha, who is of Czech origin. He told me that it's for the sixth time that he was offering Czech students studies at his university. Unlike the Edgehill College, the University of Queensland teaches quite a few Czech students:


"Mostly, during our first visits, we attracted a number of students into the Business Faculty, Business and Law, but over the past few years, there came students who are studying in Queensland the Faculty of Social Sciences, in arts and also I think in medicine."

Is money a stumbling block or an obstacle for Czech students?

"I think that some of the Czech students are granted scholarship by their universities, some of them are actually paying for themselves, and others are sponsored by their employers."

Finally I talked to two students from a secondary school in Prague:

Boy: "I came here because I want to study in America, I think in the next two years, but I'm not sure now, I'm just choosing the best programme for me.

What subjects would you like to study?

"I like studying English and French, generally languages."

And have you found here something that would suit you?

"I don't know now, I will see later."

And you?

Girl: "Well, I'm trying to search for a good programme for the French language, because I would like to improve my language, I think that I have already found one good agency, but I want to try to ask more questions - so I will also see later."