SFU - Prague: Central European History, Politics and Culture 2023

Czech Republic , Europe Past Program History Philosophy Interdisciplinary Political Science Humanities

Duration of Program:

Late February - mid-March: Mandatory self-paced virtual orientation program on Canvas

March TBD: Pre-Departure Orientation

May 2 - 5: language instruction and introduction to Czech culture.

May 8 - June 26: Study in Prague, Czech Republic

*These dates are provided as guidelines and are subject to change


"Prague stands at the crossroads of the most important historical, cultural, artistic, religious, and political developments in all of Europe."

The Field School provides around an eight week, in-depth study of European society and culture, history, literature, art, film and contemporary politics seen through the window of the Czech Republic. The program includes courses in language, film and art history, and political science, which are intended to enrich the three core field school courses.

Students will receive some language instruction and introduction to Czech culture prior to departure. 


This program totals 11 SFU units:

HUM 240-3: Studies in Modern Culture

This course (taught by Charles University faculty) covers topics such as the cultural foundations of the Czech peoples then and now as well as Czech architecture and landscape. The class will take five one-day field trips into the outlying regions of Bohemia, as well as a four-night stay in southern Bohemia. Visits include pre-historical, Romanesque, Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque historical sites on which churches, cathedrals and museums are located. This course also includes Czech language units.

HUM 340-4: Great Cities in Time and Place
This course (taught by Charles University faculty) will examine the political and social history of Prague through courses in art and architecture, history, politics, and film. Students will attend weekly lectures and seminars and participate in site visits and excursions.

HUM 350-4: Great Figures in the Humanities

In this course, (taught by SFU faculty) students will study the life and work of Franz Kafka, the 20th century writer world-famous for his enigmatic reflections on the nature of human existence. We will analyze Kafka's work in the context of German-speaking and Jewish Prague and the Austro-Hungarian Empire of the turn of the century. The course will focus on some of Kafka's short stories as well as his novel The Castle. It will pose the question of whether Kafka's writings can best be understood as a sociological response to the increasingly bureaucratic nature of social life (Kafka, himself, was an insurance adjuster), on the one hand, or as an essentially theological commentary on the fallen nature of human existence, on the other.


The application deadline is January 25th, 2023.