Central Europe

Since the end of the Cold War in 1989, the nations on both sides of the old "Iron Curtain," which for 40 years artificially divided Europe into east and west, have been rediscovering their common history and cultural heritage. As a result, a renewed Central European identity is emerging in this part of the world. Swarthmore College's Central European Program offers students an opportunity to experience firsthand the dynamic emerging Central European culture in two historic cities: Krakow, Poland and Brno, Czech Republic.

Krakow, Poland

Swarthmore's Krakow program has been operating since 2000. It provides students an unusual opportunity to take courses in several fields within the context of an emerging European democracy. Courses are taught in English, while students experience immersion in the Polish language and culture in an historic, medieval city where college students comprise one-fifth of the 750,000 inhabitants. Our program is hosted by Politechnika Krakowska University (Environmental, Energy, and Sustainability Engineering) and Jagiellonian University, founded 1364 (Polish language and Culture). Recently, the program has expanded to include Biology, Computer Science, Economics, and Geology with new course offerings at three affiliated universities. Krakow is centrally located with convenient access to major Central European cities including Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Berlin as well as the Tatra range of the Carpathian Mountains in Southern Poland ...

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Brno, Czech Republic

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Swarthmore's new Brno Program builds on 14 years of experience with our successful Krakow Program. It provides a Central European study experience for students in the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Environmental Studies in Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic and the medieval capital of the principality of Moravia, with a current population of 730,000 including 90,000 college students. Courses are taught in English and include topics in environmental sustainability and related policy and social issues in the context of former communist countries making the transition to sustainable free market economies. Students are immersed in the Czech language and culture, beginning with an orientation program and continuing during the semester with ongoing language instruction and everyday living experiences. Masaryk University (42,000 students) hosts the program in its School of Social Studies. Also, students can be placed in an affiliated nongovernmental organization (NGO) for an off-campus internship/practicum (for course credit) in environmental and sustainability policy and management. Brno is a unique city in the eastern Czech Repbulic, remaining virtually untouched by recent trends in western tourism. It is a major center of university education, centrally located in Europe, with convenient access to major Central European cities including Krakow, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, and Berlin as well as the Austrian Alps ...

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