Prague, Czech Republic
IFSA Tech Career Accelerator
FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE MAJORS: GET CAREER-READY IN PRAGUE
Gain the skills today’s employers want as you continue essential computer science coursework with this specialized program, created in partnership with select U.S. universities.
Prague is a city leaning boldly into the future. Take advantage of its dynamic tech ecosystem as you get real-world experience and develop skills like collaboration and teamwork through team challenges, company visits, optional internships, and more. Stay on track for graduation with classes in AI, software engineering, database management, machine learning, and more with top notch faculty. Come back to campus with a strong resume, global connections, and newfound confidence.
There’s time to explore, too. Head to a café with friends for chlebíčky—open-faced sandwiches—or explore the city’s many wonders, including quaint Old Town, the 11th century castle, Vyšehrad, and David Černý’s street art. Get to know Czech people via meetups, meals, excursions, and more.
Another option: IFSA Tech Career Accelerator Plus. It’s the same specialized program, with the option to add a class at a Prague university.
Mix and match 3 – 4 IFSA elective classes plus two core classes for a total of 13 – 16 U.S. semester credit hours. Most classes are worth 3 or 4 U.S. semester credits and are open to all students. Prerequisites for some classes may be required.
IFSA has carefully tailored a suite of computer science classes to fit U.S. degree requirements, which you can complement with social and historical surveys that invite you to engage with your host city and community. Please note, not all classes may be offered in a given semester depending on enrollment. Click on each link below for a detailed class syllabus.
All students will take this class in contemporary Czech language and culture taught intensively during the first weeks of the program. By introducing key words and phrases in the classroom—and venturing out into the city to practice them—this class also provides insights into local customs and daily life. Right from the start, you’ll gain essential skills to communicate effectively and navigate in a new culture. (1 U.S. semester credit hour)
Leadership Development for the Tech Sector
As the demand for STEM professionals increases around the world, students pursuing careers in tech will require industry knowledge, the ability to think critically, the capacity and creativity to solve problems and innovate, and the professional competencies to be key contributors and leaders in a dynamic sector. All students will take this class.
This class is designed for students with a background in computer science or related disciplines who are interested in augmenting their academic pursuits through a curriculum that combines integrated professional skills development with an in-depth look at how the tech sector operates and carefully curated opportunities for active and applied learning. From client or challenge-based group projects to company visits, panel discussions, expert talks, and networking events, the robust and vibrant tech ecosystem in Prague will serve as an extension of the classroom and provide access to the leaders and companies that are driving change in the industry.
Upon completion, students will have a deeper understanding of themselves, an insider’s perspective of the sector, and an expanded global network. They will also have an enhanced portfolio that helps them to demonstrate their abilities and experiences. This includes an IFSA-exclusive credential from The Leadership Edge, a leading organizational development consulting firm in the U.S. that has partnered with IFSA to design this unique class. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
IFSA COMPUTER SCIENCE ELECTIVES
This class provides an introduction to the modern study of computer algorithms. It presents many algorithms and covers them in considerable depth through mathematical rigor and engineering issues. Through a presentation of algorithms in English and pseudocode, design techniques, and application areas this class will emphasize efficiency as a design criterion, we include careful analyses of the running times of all our algorithms. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Computer Games Cultures and Industry
This class explores the computer and video games industry from an interdisciplinary critical culture and creative industry lens, with readings, resources, classes, guest speakers, and site visits focusing on the intersection of business and culture in the computer games industry. From mass culture multinational corporations through to smaller ‘indie’ games developers, this class examines the evolving structure of the computer games industry with an in-depth exploration of industry innovation, investment, changing demographics, and cultural appeal and implications. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
The goal of this class is to provide the students with a deep understanding of the fundamental principles and methods that make computer networks reliable, scalable, and secure, and thus essential components of modern society. The focus of this class is on business and operation related computer networks: infrastructures for desktops, laptops, servers, and other TCP/IP related components. This class is designed with the aim of interconnecting multiple devices into an internetwork. The building of knowledge and skills is presented in a step-by-step manner, starting with the simplest possible computer network containing two computers and a medium for propagating the signals. A trivial problem as it seems, however due to physical constraints students learn to discuss and evaluate multiple possible solutions: cabled connection, wireless, satellite, etc. each with its advantages and further problems as well. Each topic of the class answers previous problems and questions, while generating further ones that need to be addressed.
The class encourages logical and engineering thinking, while developing critical thinking as well. For a given problem, more or less obvious solutions are discussed, while evaluating their general efficiency. Students will be, themselves, discovering better options, and their proposal will be evaluated until the final correct possibility is found. (4 U.S. semester credit hours)
Database Management Systems
The class focuses on an introduction to database systems: software that stores, manages, and provides efficient access to a collection of structured information. Topics include the design, implementation, data population, and administration of a database, and on the core concepts and characteristics of relational databases, in comparison with nonrelational databases from both the DBMS user perspective and DBMS implementer perspective. Students learn the normalization techniques and UML standards to be able to design a relational database based on given requirements. Further on, DDL is used to specify the DB schema in a chosen DBMS (MySQL or similar). Data population techniques are discussed, including integrating/migrating legacy data. A significant part of the class is devoted to the administration of the DB (using DML), including SQL scripts and commands. Students are encouraged to explore the distinction between the SQL based and noSQL based databases with respect to storing big data. (4 U.S. semester credit hours)
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
The class will introduce the basics concepts which have developed in the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Since the 1960’s, AI has been applied to complex programs which could achieve tasks considered very complicated even for humans (such as optimization problems or face recognition). Today, AI has developed into a fully-fledged field which is connected with big data, data analytics, and machine learning. The class will introduce the key concepts of intelligent agents, their behavior and environment, and their role in problem solving, and knowledge and reasoning representation. Modeling intelligent behavior of the agents designed to solve problems is a challenging task, and several models have been developed (logical, probabilistic, and/or based on neural networks). The class will survey basic methods, looking for common points and differences. In particular, the modeling of learning (a characteristic trait of humans) will be discussed with examples from natural language processing, and will be put in the context of machine learning (ML). (4 U.S. semester credit hours)
Introduction to Computer and Network Security
The goal of this class is to provide the students with a solid foundation for securing data in a computer infrastructure, covering thus data security on the end devices (computers) as well as securing data in transit (network devices) and on remote storage (data centers and/or cloud). To complement this, it also presents user authentication and accountability (logging). The aim of the class is to present students with the enforcement of CIA (Confidentiality, Integrity, and Authentication) and AAA (Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting) concepts/services on a data infrastructure that is both secured and scalable. Building on necessary definitions, the class introduces key security concepts and principles, and continues to enforce such concepts and principles on the data path from the end-user, at each device, towards the internet. The content is presented in a constructive manner, starting with the most important definitions, security concepts and principles and continuing to the enforcement of these concepts and principles on the data path from the end-user, at each device, towards the internet. From an entity perspective, the class covers the end user, workstations and servers, switches, routers, firewalls, data storage, and cloud services. (4 U.S. semester credit hours)
Introduction to Machine Learning
In this class, students develop an understanding of the theoretical foundations in machine learning (ML) and an ability to use its methods in practice. Several state-of-the-art models and algorithms will be discussed, including regression, clustering, decision trees and neural networks, and deep learning. Concurrently, students develop a solution for a test problem using tools discussed in the class, such as git, python, etc. This practical experience assesses the effectiveness of the chosen ML algorithms and provides an understanding of the key role of data selection and the evaluation of results. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Principles of Operating Systems
This class unveils the core principles that govern modern computing systems. Through engaging lectures and hands-on assignments, students will delve into system calls, memory management, process scheduling, concurrency, and more. The class culminates in a team-based operating system project, applying knowledge to real-world scenarios. By the end, students will understand operating systems’ functions, challenges, and their seamless interaction with hardware and software. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
This class unveils the intricacies of programming languages in a dynamic course. Through engaging lectures and hands-on assignments, students will explore language paradigms, syntax analysis, memory allocation, and beyond. The class culminates with a collaborative language implementation project, grounding knowledge in practical applications. By class end, students will grasp the profound impact of programming languages on software design and problem solving. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
This class focused on the two dimensions essential for successful software development: software engineering proper, which includes software architecture selection and other technical details, and project management, including its planning stage. Students learn how to model software processes and analyze clients’ needs to design a suitable solution, including representations via Unified Modeling Language (UML). Throughout the term, progressive exercises survey requirements for system architecture, emphasize an object-oriented approach, and analyze methods for testing and evaluation. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
IFSA ELECTIVE CLASSES
Architecture and Design in Prague
The class introduces the European artistic architecture and design of the Czech capital. By examining artists, architects, and their works, students acquire a deeper understanding of the city’s character and how patronage, power, and politics have shaped the urban landscape. The class covers the periods of European architectural development from medieval to modern, distinguishing the various artistic styles and movements; the ways in which architects and designers conform to, or disrupt, artistic conventions; and how their work reflects and even influences the social and political dynamics of the city. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Beginning Czech I
A continuation of our Essential Czech primer, this class helps students develop a level of competence in contemporary Czech language sufficient for basic communication and comprehension, providing greater opportunity to both understand and practice grammatical structures. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Communications for the Tech Sector
Designed as an elective companion to the core class, this class is an ideal fit for students who aspire to develop their personal and professional communications skills and capacities to expert and lay audiences. Upon completion, students will have enhanced capabilities in communicating across disciplines, industries, cultures, and organizations in an inclusive manner in both written and oral forms. They will also have an enhanced portfolio that helps them to demonstrate their abilities and experiences in self-evaluation and product evaluation. (2 U.S. semester credit hours)
Comparative Perspectives in Human Rights
This class comprises practical and theoretical content on human rights in Central Europe. Students will examine violations of human rights throughout Central European history focusing on the 20th century, the impact of WWII, communist regimes, return of the democratic establishment, and the EU. The class explores contemporary human rights debates surrounding abortion, free speech, affirmative action, Islamophobia, and discrimination against race, sex, ethnicity, and sexual orientation—distinguishing between religion, state, and political correctness. Students will analyze social justice theories, assessing each theory and its consequences for Central Europe. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Democracies in Transition: Reimagining Europe
This class explores the current issues and changing dynamics in the European democratic process of integration, their historical roots, every-day demonstrations, and potential future directions. Students interrogate the drivers shaping a European identity in the constant tension between individual liberties and community and societal needs. Carefully selected themes illustrate the historical developments of democracy in the European continent and the establishment of its most important political institutions. Within the context of Prague as a European city, students deepen their ability to engage creative thinking and problem-solving skills from a position of knowledge and awareness. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Entrepreneurship: Creating a Plan of Action
Entrepreneurship is widely understood as engaging in a process to seek out or create opportunities for the purpose of starting a business. Yet, there is a gap between what entrepreneurs do to start a business and what some investors require prior to investing in businesses. The purpose of this class is to, first, think through and engage in the creation of a start-up and, second, develop and communicate a business plan to potential investors. Students will follow lean methodology as it relates to start-ups and prepare a traditional business plan. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
International Internship Seminar
Students are placed in individual internships but collectively take part in the seminar to prepare for the experience, understand expectations, set personal objectives, identify, and strengthen specific skills, critically reflect on their progress, share experiences, and learn from each other throughout their term. Students develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their professional areas, and Czech work culture. In this seminar, which is focused on application of theory to practice, students gain real world work experience while developing intercultural agility—skills and experiences that are critically important to personal, academic, and professional success. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
A comparison of familiar social settings with unfamiliar social norms and behaviors abroad, this class explores the basic theory and research of social psychology—studying the interaction between individuals and social groups and how the behavior of groups and individuals within them is mutually affected. Students will demonstrate and discuss the pillar concepts of social psychology, including conformity, conflict, persuasion, helping, perceptions, and social identity. Students will expand on the roots of feelings, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior locally and globally and explore your own attitudes and identity. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Tech, Ethics, and Public Policy
The class will explore the ethical and social impacts of technological innovation, integrating perspectives from a range of academic disciplines to examine the impact of technology on humans and societies. Students will be encouraged to consider their responsibilities as consumers and potential creators of new technologies and to think about their broader ethical and societal implications. This, in turn, will help students to explore and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of current and possible future policy interventions. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Truth, Storytelling, and Narrative: Becoming Czech
This class explores how identity—a sense of “Czech-ness”—is created, shaped, and communicated through literature and journalism. What are the challenges of modern Czech identity? How have Czechs shaped their memory of historical events and developments, through literature and journalism? Why do fairy tales play a prominent role in popular culture? How have subversive storytelling and narrative formed Czech identities? In studying these questions, students will grapple with the concepts of truth, fact, constructivism, and perspective and how they shape identity and belonging. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Class prerequisites as stated in syllabi.
IFSA internships include real-world work experience, along with developing intercultural skills and experiences that are key to personal, academic, and professional success. Expect to devote a total of 120 hours working with your host organization, with supervision from your seminar instructor, coordinated by on-site IFSA team members. In addition, interns complete the International Internship Seminar for 3 U.S. semester credit hours. Internships are not remunerated.
Students have interned at tech-based enterprises and within IT departments at a range of companies and organizations, including think tanks and research centers, in Prague.
Your goals are carefully considered, tailoring the placement process to ensure the best possible fit. Keep in mind that final placements depend on your skills, prior experience, and availability. Although every effort is made to match your placement with your preferred field or area of business, it can’t be guaranteed. Internships are conducted in English.
Application. After you submit your application, resume, and IFSA Internship Intent Form, an IFSA Enrollment Counselor and an on-site IFSA Team member will work with you to identify your professional strengths, review your goals, and refine your internship interests to establish a match. From there, you’ll have an interview with your potential internship host. You will be provided with tips and resources to prepare for your interview.
Sample Placements. The following are examples of internships IFSA students have recently completed. Placement options vary from term to term.
- Intern for an international technology consulting firm that provides guidance and solutions to businesses across a range of sectors including Information Systems & Digital, Telecommunications, Life Sciences, and Engineering.
- Intern for a global leader in cloud customer experience and contact center solutions, with a business spanning 100+ countries and a development office in Prague.
- Intern for an organization that is working across academia, industry, and government to make Prague one of the global leaders in the research and application of AI.
- You must be at least 18 years of age. Students under 18 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
- You must be currently attending or recently graduated from a U.S. or Canadian community college, technical college, two-year college, four-year college, or four-year university.
- You must have completed at least one (1) full-time year of study at your home institution before the beginning of the term.
Upon completion of your program, IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. semester credit hour system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects classes taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost. See our Transcripts page for more information.
Activities and excursions are designed to pull you into the communities you visit and encourage cultural connections of every kind. There’s no extra fee to participate in these optional outings—everything is included in your program fee.
Below are examples from previous terms; outings may be different for your program. We’ll make every effort to run them all, but sometimes things we can’t control, such as local regulations and health protocols, get in the way. As result, we cannot guarantee activities and excursions.
- Aiming at Moonshots: A visit to the Artificial Intelligence Center at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FEE), Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague provides an opportunity to focus on post-grad research opportunities and case studies of future-focused problem solving in the industry.
- Women in Tech: This guest lecture from a field professional focusing on the challenges women face in the corporate tech environment. What do leaders and companies do to advocate for equity in the corporate world. What can you do?
- Network It: Join a local Meetups group meeting, or other local event, to network with people from the tech and interconnected industries. Be inspired by stories of successful professionals and share your academic and practical experience, career plans, or dreams for the world with others in Prague.
- Cultural Life in Prague: The social, intellectual, and spiritual life of Praguians is deeply intertwined with cultural events, and classical music is an art widely embraced as local. Attending a concert at one of Central Europe’s most prestigious concert halls provides a deeply personal experience and gives you an opportunity to connect with the local psyche on a special occasion.
- Cold War in Prague: This activity will take you deep under the ground, to a Cold War constructed nuclear shelter, which currently houses a local Cold War Museum. Through a group discussion, you will be able to connect your knowledge and impressions of the city landmarks to date with a more intimate understanding of what everyday life in the Cold War and in the Eastern Block looked like.
- Eating Local-Food, People, and Sustainability: Gain a new understanding of your own views on sustainable living and eating. Discuss what “local” means in the European context, the challenges of sustainable food production and distribution, and the reasons for the current revival of local farmer’s markets, some essential questions will guide you through one of Prague’s farmer’s markets. Learn about what is local fare traditionally and currently and gain a new appreciation of eating out or shopping for food. The activity is followed by a tasting of specific local produce and products.
- Czech Buddy Pizza Night: Meet local peers and find out what it’s like to be a local student. Network to put your foot in the door for exploring the local culture on your own, with a buddy as a guide.
- Back to the Woods Trip: This weekend excursion will take you to the western part of Bohemia to enjoy the hospitality of a Czech-Indian family sans your phone and Wi-Fi. Here you will be able to disconnect from the digital world and listen to the story of a local inter-cultural family while preparing your own naan on a real woodstove. You will wander around a beautiful landscape with a rich history of a border region and will be able to cross the German border on foot—literally where the Iron Curtain stood for 40 years. Finally, you will visit Karlovy Vary, the regional capital, with its beautiful architecture and history of healing industry and culture. To prepare you better for the context of this experience, the excursion is preceded by a film night where you’ll learn more about the relevant local and regional history.
- Kutná Hora Trip: This unique location is definitely one where exploring the topic of religion in the Czech context and in your experience will generate discussion and thought, as we ponder the architecture and history of the town’s landmarks. On this day trip, we will visit the town with the famous “Bone Church” and discover why the bone church was built. Both Kutna Hora and Sedlec are UNESCO Heritage Sites.
- Czech Outdoor Culture: Where do the locals disappear to every weekend? Escaping the town and enjoying the countryside has been a local tradition that goes back to the 18th century. Join in a similar experience on a walk through the Silent Valley to a small village just outside Prague. Like locals, you will enjoy not only the nature surrounding us, but also a lunch at a local brewery house.
Housing and Meals
HousingApartment/Flat, Single Room Option
Prague students typically live in apartments shared by four to six IFSA students in the city’s residential neighborhood. Home to Czech and international locals, this neighborhood is a short tram ride from the historic city center. Apartments vary but are generally in updated historic buildings, a 5- to 25-minute walk from the IFSA Program Center.
Flats could be single-gender or mixed-gender. Bedrooms are shared by same gender students. Students can request single rooms—keep in mind that private rooms include an additional fee to cover the higher cost. Students are responsible for their own meals, and often cook in their apartment kitchens, which are fully equipped.
Take a look at Slezska 23 to see what your Prague home might be like:
- Location: Vinohrady, an international residential neighborhood.
- Commute: A 15-minute walk to the IFSA Program Center at Villa Grébovka.
- Living space: Apartments for four to six students in older, historic buildings. Students share bedrooms with two single-gender students per room. Bedrooms include two beds, desks, and storage. Residents share bathroom, living space, eating area, and kitchen with oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, and basic utensils. Duvet and pillow provided; students provide sheets and towels.
- Meals: No meal plan. Students prepare or purchase meals, and often tell us cooking together is a fun, social part of the day.
- Other details: Internet included. Washing machines and drying racks in each apartment
- Nearby: Cafes, restaurants, shops, galleries, concert venues, farmers’ markets, tram and metro. Jiřího z Poděbrad Square. Žižkov TV tower. Riegrovy Sady. Náměstí Míru Square.