FAQ (Visiting Students)

Any questions?

Whether you need to ask something regarding admissions, studies, faculty life, exams or you just cannot find some information on FSV UK website, we are here to help! The most frequently questions and answers are listed down below – or just write us an email: admissions@fsv.cuni.cz.

Veronika from International Office will get back to you as soon as possible!

Courses

HOW TO REGISTER FOR CLASSES?

The best source of information about classes at Charles University is the search engine in our Student Information System (SIS). But please note that this system includes classes from all the Faculties of Charles University, taught in all languages, and that even classes taught in Czech are listed here. So please make sure you always choose "Faculty of Social Sciences" from the drop-down box, and always double-check the language of instruction and the semester in the course description. You can find further instructions on how to find classes in the SIS search engine on our Computer Guides and Manuals page.

WHEN THE REGISTRATION FOR CLASSES STARTS?

The registration for courses for international/exchange students starts at the beginning of the Welcome Week. Before you can enroll for classes you need to obtain your student ID card at the Card Service Centre at Charles University. Together with Charles University ID card you will receive a login and password to our online registration system (SIS).

MAY I ENROLL FOR COURSES AT OTHER FACULTIES AT CHARLES UNIVERSITY THAN MY HOST FACULTY?

According to the rules of Charles University, Erasmus students should take at least 51 % of their courses (or earn the same number of credits) with the host Faculty. The remaining courses can be chosen from other faculties of the university. Please take this into consideration when you are making the final course list after your arrival. 

HOW DO I READ YOUR CLASS CODES?

All classes offered at FSV UK are identified by a unique class code, which not only allows students to find them quickly online, but also provides useful information about the class. The codes we use at this Faculty always comprise of 3 (sometimes 4) initial letters, followed by 3 numerals, e.g. JEB026, JSM437, JMMZ040 (the structure of class codes at FSV UK can differ, these explanations apply only to classes at FSV UK). More information here.

HOW MANY COURSES/CREDITS DO I NEED TO OBTAIN IN ORDER TO PASS THE SEMESTER?

We recommend to exchange/visiting student to enroll for minimum of 3 classes/15 ECTS credits and maximum of 6 classes/30 ECTS credits. 

IS IT POSSIBLE TO CHANGE THE COURSES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEMESTER?

Changing classes is not a major problem as far as we are concerned, and we will be happy to sign a revised Learning Agreement for you, though please remember you must also talk to your home university to make sure they agree with any changes you make. 

MAY I TAKE CZECH LANGUAGE CLASSES?

The Department of Languages at FSV UK is able to offer a number of Czech language classes at various levels, from Beginners to Intermediate. Incoming students and all who are interested in studying Czech are welcome to register for these. However, it must be pointed out that since these classes are not part of the standard curriculum, they are not financed by the Czech Ministry of Education. This is why there is a charge to cover our costs. In the academic year 2017/18, the cost is 4,800 CZK (about 180 EUR) per semester. For this, you get 12 weeks of classes with 6 teaching hours of instruction per week (i.e. about 4 hours of real time). A standard charge in professional language schools is twice the price.

CAN I ENROLL FOR MASTER LEVEL COURSES WHEN I AM ONLY A BACHELOR LEVEL STUDENT?

Students can enroll in both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses regardless of their academic level. However, the list of the chosen subjects has to be selected carefully and approved by the student’s home university. We also strongly recommend to read the requirements of the course in order to be able successfully finish the selected class. You will have three weeks at the beginning of the semester (so-called add/drop period) to decide whether you like the class and whether you will be able to manage.

EXAMS AND GRADING SYSTEM

WHEN DOES THE EXAM PERIOD START?

All the important dates can be found in the academic calendar on our website. 

HOW DO I REGISTER FOR EXAMS?

You need to register online for your exams through the SIS. Click on the Exam Dates in the SIS and then select the dates when you want to take the exam. This does not apply to courses where you only need to submit an essay. You can always check the need to register with your teachers. When the registration period starts you can find out in the academic calendar on our website.  

HOW DOES THE GRADING SYSTEM WORK AT CHARLES UNIVERSITY?

FSV UK uses Czech grading and evaluation system. In the Czech university system, courses are either completed by an examination or by other study requirements. Where a course is completed by examination, it is graded:

  • Výborně /Excellent * 1/
  • Velmi dobře /Very Good * 2/
  • Dobře /Satisfactory * 3/
  • Neprospěl /Fail * 4/

Where a course is completed by a study requirement other than an examination, it is not graded, but it is recorded as "Zápočet /non-graded credit in a non-examination subject/". This is in effect a Pass in a two tier Pass/Fail grading system.

HOW AND WHEN DO I GET MY ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPT?

Academic Transcripts will be provided upon request only by the International Office when all study requirements have been completed. After your Transcript of Grades is complete, please send your request to: incoming@fsv.cuni.cz.

Accommodation

HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO PAY TO STAY AT THE UNIVERSITY HALLS OF RESIDENCE?

Once your request for accommodation at Charles University’s halls of residence has been accepted, the applicant is required to pay an accommodation reservation fee. The reservation is subject to the payment of a CZK 1,800 deposit plus a monthly rent of CZK 3,800, i.e. the total amount will be CZK 5,600 (the fee may differ according to a given dormitory). This payment must be made by a certain deadline sent to you together with the accommodation contract. 

HOW LONG WILL THE HOUSING RESERVATION BE KEPT FOR ME?

Your housing reservations will be held until the end of the week following the date of your acceptance. If you are planning to move in the dorm later, you must tell us in advance, so we can extend your housing reservation. Otherwise you will not be accommodated. And of course paying of the reservation fee is required. 

MAY I INFLUENCE IN WHICH CHARLES UNIVERSITY HALL OF RESIDENCE WILL I LIVE?

Charles University has many dormitories but most of them are reserved for full-time students. There are only 4 of them reserved for Erasmus+ students who can live in Vetrnik, Hvezda, Hostivar, Troja. Please note that the city center of Prague is quite big and it is completely normal to travel to school/work for 30 min or more. Erasmus+ students are only accommodated in double rooms. Since there is a limited number of single rooms, these are only available to full-time students or in case of Erasmus students to those with special needs – e.g. handicapped students, PhD students, etc. If there are places available you may ask yourself at the accommodation office to live at different dormitories.

HOW DO I WITHDRAW FROM THE ACCOMMODATION AT THE UNIVERSITY HALLS OF RESIDENCE?

You can change your mind and decide to move elsewhere. In order to not pay a fine, you should let the dormitory know before the first day of the previous month in a written form. So for example to move out in December, you should hand in the document before November 1st. However, if you move out earlier without letting the accommodation office know, there will be a fine. If you need more information about it, please visit the accommodation office personally. 

IS IT POSSIBLE TO SHORTEN MY ACCOMMODATION AT THE UNIVERSITY HALLS OF RESIDENCE?

If you wish to shorten your accommodation period, you need to act quickly. Your original contract is valid until the end of the semester. If you wish to stay for a shorter time and not pay the money for the original period, you need to inform the accommodation office of your hall of residence before the 1st day of the previous month. In your case, this would be two months before you wish to leave. You need to submit your request in a written form. You state there that you wish to change the contract and quit the accommodation earlier + your name, room and block number and the date you wish to quit your accommodation. Then you bring the signed paper to the accommodation office. After that you will not pay any fines. Normally, the deposit should be used to cover a part of the last month. More detailed information will be provided at the accommodation office.

WHICH CURRENCY DO I PAY THE ACCOMMODATION DEPOSIT IN?

You pay for the accommodation in Czech crowns (CZK). The reservation fee is paid through the bank transfer from your home country. It does not mind which currency you use in your country, you just state the amount of CZK that needs to be send and your bank should be able to process it. 

Arrival

IS THERE ANY WELCOME WEEK AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEMESTER?

FSV UK is running a Welcome Week for all exchange/visiting incoming students at the beginning of the Winter and the Summer semester as well, usually at the end of September and mid-February. At this point you will learn the practical arrangements relating to your studies (registration, student travel passes, access to Charles University libraries, etc.) We strongly urge all students to arrive in time to attend Welcome Week. 

MAY I ARRIVE EARLIER?

You are, of course, free to arrive earlier than the designated date of the Welcome Week if that is what you prefer. However, if you decide to arrive early, please remember this is your personal decision and that the extra days are not part of your studies. There will be no official or social programme on these days, and the International Office will not be able to provide a full administrative and welcome services. In particular, please note we will not be able to issue your Charles University ID card ahead of the officially scheduled registration date, and this in turn means that you will not be able to get access to Charles University computer services or libraries. You may also have problems getting cut-price student travel on the Prague Public Transit system. Please also note it is our policy that we will not sign official arrival documents with an arrival date earlier than official beginning of the semester. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF I ARRIVE LATER? 

Please note that we are expecting around 400 new students in the Winter Semester and around 200 incoming students in the Summer Semester, and it is simply not possible for us to run through all the information we give students at the Welcome session on a one-on-one basis. If you are late, therefore, you must expect to experience some limitations in the services we are able to provide. You should also note that you would miss the start of class registration, which may have serious implications for the availability of some classes, since they may fill up before you arrive. If you truly cannot avoid arriving late, please first go to your dorm to deposit your luggage. Then come at your earliest opportunity to the International Office at FSV UK, where we will give you instructions on how to obtain a university ID card, and how to gain access to the university's computer systems. It would also be helpful if you could let us know in advance of your likely arrival date, so we can make sure there will be no technical problems with your housing reservation etc. 

WHO SIGNS MY ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE CERTIFICATE?

Many of you (especially Erasmus students) will need a certificate of arrival or departure signed when you arrive or before you leave Prague as a proof of the study period. This period is usually crucial for calculation of Erasmus scholarship you are entitled for. If you have any doubts about the number of days you will have to prove, please contact your coordinator. We will be able to sign this kind of document only when you come to our International office in person by the time you arrive or before you leave. Please note that after you leave, it will be impossible for us to sign this document.

Health

HOW DOES THE HEALTH INSURANCE WORK?

All EU nationals should be able to cover the cost of standard medical treatment through their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), through form E111, or through a Provisional Certificate. However, in order to obtain treatment under the provisions of European regulations, students must make sure to contact a medical institution that has a contract with the Czech public health insurance system. Students from countries outside the EU are not covered by the EHIC/E111. However most students will have already purchased international travel medical insurance as it is one of the prerequisites for receiving a student visa. For students who have not done so it is recommended to purchase insurance from a Czech provider. Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna (VZP) is generally recommended as they have the widest health-care network. 

Study Issues

DO I NEED TO SUBMIT ENGLISH LANGUAGE CERTIFICATE TO BE ACCEPTED FOR STUDIES?

Starting September 2016 FSV UK has decided to change its selection process concerning languages. We have noticed that some students had troubles following courses and we want all of our incoming students to succeed and feel well during their study period in Prague. Therefore we require a confirmation of your language knowledge. We accept all internationally recognized language certificates – Cambridge FCE, CAE, CPE, TOEFL language certificate, IELTS etc. Moreover we also accept confirmation of your language level from your home universities.  

WHERE DO I FIND THE LIBRARIES AT FSV UK?

FSV UK has three libraries of its own. The Hollar building houses the Central and Journalist Library. The Institute of Economic Studies houses the Economics collection. Charles University campus in Jinonice houses the Masaryk Social Sciences Library, which includes books on Political Science, Sociology and Area Studies. Charles University students can use all the libraries of other faculties for free. Information about these libraries is always available on the websites of each faculty. There are also further libraries in Prague such as National Library of the Czech Republic.

WHERE CAN I FIND ERASMUS COORDINATORS AT FSV UK INSTITUTES?

Please find a list of Erasmus coordinators in this dokument: Erasmus Coordinators.pdf. They are here for all Erasmus students to help you with any academic questions or uncertainties you may have during your study period. Other exchange/visiting students did receive a name of academic adviser with their acceptance letter. 

HOW TO LOG IN AT THE FACULTY COMPUTERS?

A student is issued an initial password at the Card Service Centre which s/he is required to change within 5 days at Charles University Authentication Service website.The initial password does not allow access to applications, but it enables you to set your own password, with which you can then access all the applications used in CAS. There are two types of login: a name login (sequence of letters and number(s)) and numerical login (printed on your student ID right under your photograph).

IS THERE ANY ADVICE OR COUNSELLING CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AT CHARLES UNIVERSITY?

At the Counselling Centre for international students at Charles University they offer psychological counselling for English-speaking students. Should you need our help to deal with your study, family, personal or other problems, you are welcome to come to our Counselling Centre for International Students (Školská 13a, Praha 1). You should arrange an appointment in advance by email at counsel@ruk.cuni.cz

Social Life

IS THERE ANY INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS CLUB?

Members of the International Club meet incoming students during the Welcome Week and guide them around not only through the necessary academic arrangements but also run the “buddy program”, excursions, and other social events. For more info, please visit their website.

HOW TO MEET CZECHS? 

It is easy to just spend time with other foreign students, but your experience here will be much richer if you make an effort to make Czech friends and go to local Czech places, not just places with foreigners. Some ideas:

Join the International Club (IC CUNI), get a Czech buddy (an International Club programme), participate in the Sports Day of the university, help other students with a project, run the marathon, take a class with Czech students (for example an English class or a class in your field in English with Czechs), do a language exchange (e.g. half an hour in your language and half an hour in Czech).

Some Czech students probably study your language. To find them, put up posters at the university and your dorm or look online. Do conversation. Many Czechs want to practice conversation in another language and will pay you to simply talk to them in your language (put up posters at the university or your dorm or put a free ad on expats.cz or a Czech website). Go to Czech (not foreigners) pubs, cafes, restaurants, events etc. Grab a coffee at Na Hollaru Café – they serve not only great food and beverages but also organize amazing parties! 

Pick up a Use It map with great tips recommended by locals or get a Prague Super Guide (curated by locals, too)! Get out of the center of Prague and out of Prague! The center is full of foreigners; you will meet more Czechs outside. Do a sport or hobby you love. Czechs are very sporty. Join a sports club or take lessons – UK has many sports clubs, lessons etc. and it also provides skiing, hiking and other sport trips.

Visit museums and galleries: great programmes and lectures are sometimes in English. Prague is full of arts classes, workshops, lectures on photography, painting, ceramics, etc. Go to music festivals, concerts and other events. If you play or sing, join a music group. The good resource for foreigners is Expats.cz or The Prague Post

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