Visegrád Countries in the Context of Current European Crisis

Program Overview

The goal of the program is to provide the students with an intensive interdisciplinary insight – based on the mix of geography, international relations, political science and history, into Central European history, culture and society. Particular goal of the programme is to make them familiar with post-communist countries, which create Visegrád Group – Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

The curriculum was designed to provide a unique academic experience: covering key topics of present and past of the Visegrád countries and Europe as the whole, rise of illiberal democracies, Central European history, and present day challenges in the context of current EU crisis deepened by Brexit. It also makes possible cultural immersion through extracurricular activities including many field trips. Students are also integrated into the campus through numerous events, walking trips, fun and sports activities.

Learning Outcomes

At the beginning of the program, students participate in an intensive introduction to Czech culture as well as the orientation at the university and the city of Liberec. The programme explains the whole Visegrád Group, with particular focus on the Czech Republic, from the interdisciplinary point of view, where students will gain a deeper understanding of the key topics of Central European history and culture. The knowledge will be framed in the context of current European crisis. This mix should help the students to obtain an interdisciplinary perspective of CE society and cultures. Speakers of 4 nationalities with various backgrounds will offer the lectures on geography, history, political and international studies.

Field Trips are academically interlinked with in-class sessions and are designed to provide better understanding of the discussed issues. The program lecturers guide all of the following trips: PragueDresden and Wroclaw, shorter trips to the mountains around.

Organizer: Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, Humanities and Education, Technical University of Liberec

ECTS credits: 5

Price: 450 EURO (price includes course fee and all course materials, accommodation in the university dormitory, accommodation during field trips, all transport to the field trips, welcome and farewell party, entrance fees and non-stop students´assistance)

Contact: Hynek Böhm, Ph.D., Academic Coordinator 
(e-mail: Tato e-mailová adresa je chráněna před spamboty. Pro její zobrazení musíte mít povolen Javascript., phone: +420 775 297 415)

Programme of the summer school

Weekend 1 to 3 August 2020 – arrival to Liberec, accommodation at the university dormitory – see http://www.tul.cz/en/international-office/international-students/accommodation-eating-and-shopping-on-campus

Topics of Week 1  

  • Orientation of the students in Liberec, introduction to the local context and the city of Liberec, introduction of course leaders and students´ assistance, guided tour through the city, trip to iconic Ještěd mountain
  • Introduction to the Czech Republic, major historical events and personalities
  • Introduction to the Geography, Culture, Political Organisation and Public Administration of the Czech Republic
  • Czech Republic in the current world – relations to neighbours, involvement in the EU and international organisations I
  • Field trip to Prague – guided tour through the city (bus for students)
  • Students will have an opportunity to spend the weekend in Prague, if they wish so (at own costs)

Topics of Week 2

  • Czech Republic and its relations to post-soviet space
  • Introduction to the Visegrád Group co-operation
  • Introduction to Poland, Slovakia and Hungary
  • Bus departure to Dresden, sightseeing in Dresden, Czech-Garman relations, afternoon move to Wroclaw
  • Sightseeing, city tour, evening morning bus departure to Cieszyn, accommodation there
  • Self-study, preparation for the test based on the required readings
  • Final test

Weekend 14 to 16 August 2020: departure of students