NOTE: SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, like COVID-19, SIT may have to modify programs. Visit the SIT website for more details.
Explore the Czech Republic’s contemporary art scene and the role of art as a social change agent throughout the country’s history.
- Study with a dynamic community of visual, performing, and literary artists, where art and creative dissent have played a decisive role in shaping social and political change.
- Choose to do either an arts-based or field-based research project.
- Go on excursions to Poland, Slovakia, the former Sudetenland, and Bohemia or Moravia.
- Explore the new challenges facing artists and communities today as a result of globalization and tourism.
- Live in beautiful Prague.
- Participate in civic initiatives that draw upon the creative legacy of Czech underground culture.
- Take part in workshops on ceramics, bookmaking, stop-motion animation, traditional crafts, or architecture.
Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website for details on the program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.
Key Topics of Study
- The transformative role of artists and civic leaders in a new democracy
- Critical challenges associated with liberal democracy and the legacy of communism
- Art in relation to open borders, consumerism, and the free market of post-communist Europe
- The relationship between art, politics, and society in the country’s historic and contemporary contexts
Independent Study Project
During the final month of the semester, you will pursue an Independent Study Project (ISP). The ISP gives you a unique opportunity to work directly with professional artists or social innovators to produce a creative project or to critically examine a topic, situation, or community related to the arts or social change in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, or Poland.
Artists, civil society activists, professors, and specialists will help you in the development and implementation of your ISP, which may include daily work with an organization or school or a creative component in visual arts, creative writing, or theater.
Sample topic areas:
- Alternative culture spaces in Prague today
- Memory and memorials to the 1989 Velvet Revolution
- Creative alternatives to institutionalized care for citizens with mental disabilities
- Civic initiatives and the Prague public transport system
- The socialist-era legacy of community centers for children and youth
- The impact of education in secret from members of the Czech Underground at Charles University
- Methods and mechanics of dissent through underground literature
- Legacy of the Czech Underground music scene today
- Czech perspectives and reactions to Putin’s warfare tactics in the Ukraine
Creative projects have included:
Browse this program’s Independent Study Projects / undergraduate research.
- Sculpture and ceramic vessels inspired by the Celts of Central Europe
- Drawings and sculptures inspired by interviews with Czech artists on the topic of public/private dichotomies
- Contemporary dance inspired by Slovak traditional dance
- A CD of Czech folk songs produced with a Czech musical trio
- A theater performance based on contemporary Czech mime and circus acts
- A screenplay inspired by Czech absurdist literature
- A graphic design project inspired by Czech cubist architecture
- Fashion designs using traditional Slovak weaving traditions
Be sure to discuss how study abroad costs are handled at your school with your study abroad advisor.
SIT tuition and room and board fees include the following:
- All educational costs, including educational excursions
- All accommodations and meals for the full program duration
- Transportation to and from the airport, and on all educational excursions
- Health and accident insurance
- SIT awards nearly $1.6 million in scholarships and grants annually.
- All scholarships and grants are need-based.
- Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000.
- The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad semester program.
- Contact the financial aid and/or study abroad office(s) at your college or university to learn if your school’s scholarships and grants and federal and state aid programs can be applied to an SIT Study Abroad program.
Contact SIT Study Abroad
Post-Communist Transition and the Arts
Current Program Information
Gain firsthand insights into the transformation of civil society in the Czech Republic. Nongovernmental organizations and arts programs are emerging to empower socially marginalized communities, revive rural towns, and revitalize damaged landscapes after 40 years of communism and some two decades of political and economic transition. At the same time, the open market and rising consumerism of the young democracy have created new challenges to the celebrated Czech tradition of literary, visual, and performing arts, which helped impel the collapse of communism.
As the capital city and economic center of the country, the program base of Prague stands in great contrast to the outlying regions where change is slow, and provides an inspiring setting for the study the arts and society in transition.