Parent FAQs

Why choose UPCES?

UPCES is a distinguished study abroad program in Prague. UPCES is exceptional in its commitment to academic excellence and cultural immersion. Our curriculum in Central European Studies consists of a wide variety of courses, all taught by a renowned faculty of scholars, government figures, and industry leaders. Located in a restored palace, our facilities are among the best in Central Europe.

Outside the classroom, UPCES provides a wide variety of cultural activities and excursions designed to immerse our students in Central European society and culture. Crucially, UPCES maintains a personalized, small-program feel; your student will receive all the resources for an enriching experience in a foreign city.

Does my son/daughter require a visa and why?

Yes, according to Czech and international law, a visa is required for all non-EU citizens in the Czech Republic beyond 90 days. The student visa enables the safe and legal stay of your son/daughter during their semester in Prague. It is imperative that all students apply for their student visa at least 70 (and preferably 90) days in advance of the departure date. We recommend all students immediately begin their visa process upon acceptance to the program. Parents are a vital source of support and assistance in the potentially daunting visa process. Please see our Visas page for more information.

Does my son/daughter need health insurance?

Yes, local health insurance is a requirement of the visa for the Czech Republic.  UPCES tuition provides basic local health insurance for your son/daughter’s stay in the Czech Republic. This does not, however, replace the insurance coverage your son/daughter has through their university or through you. To provide more extensive health coverage, please check with your insurance provider to see if they offer overseas coverage. You can also purchase additional travel insurance for flight costs, lost baggage, travel delays, and more through STA Travel.

How much is tuition and how is it paid?

You can view the Costs & What's Included page for updated details on tuition. Tuition includes enrollment and registration for 16 academic credits and a wide range of services beyond the classroom. Some students are required to pay tuition through their home university while other students will pay it directly to UPCES. Please check with your student’s home university to determine their tuition policy for Study Abroad. We will send an invoice approximately 3 months before the start of the semester. All tuition payments will be made to the CERGE-EI Foundation lockbox in Pennsylvania at this address:

CERGE-EI Foundation
PO Box 780350
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Who can help my son/daughter with problems?

The UPCES staff has many years of experience helping our students overcome the difficulties that may arise during a semester in Prague. Our staff goes above and beyond every expectation to accommodate students with their requests, problems, and concerns. Our staff is bilingual and includes both Americans and Czechs.

How can my son/daughter access money while abroad?

There are many ways to access money in a foreign country that are safe and easy. UPCES recommends bringing a debit ATM card with global access. Please call your bank/credit company in advance to inform them of overseas charges. This method is preferable to currency exchange because it guarantees a fair exchange rate. In addition, some banks offer to cover ATM surcharges. ATMs are located all across Prague and offer an easy, efficient, and safe means of accessing funds.

How can we communicate with our son/daughter while abroad?

There are many ways to get in touch with your son/daughter in Europe. Upon arrival in Prague, your son/daughter will receive assistance in obtaining a mobile plan while abroad. This mobile plan is included in UPCES tuition and will work with any unlocked mobile phone. Also, many students communicate with their family via e-mail, messenger apps and Skype.

How can I send my son/daughter a package in Prague?

All students may have mail sent to them in care of UPCES at our CERGE-EI facilities.  You may ship packages of all weights and sizes. Please address your package to:

Kamila Oudjehani
c/o: (student’s name)
CERGE-EI
Politických veznu 7
110 00 Prague 1
Czech Republic

Where will my son/daughter live while abroad?

At UPCES, we believe an integral part of the study abroad experience is living among local Czech citizens. UPCES is firmly opposed to housing students in dorms or student residences and instead opts to place students in apartments throughout the city. Students fill out a form with their housing preferences and will be assigned housing based on those preferences to the best of the UPCES staff's ability. All apartments meet UPCES' high standards of safety and security. We do our best to provide a range of living arrangements and price points in order to accomodate the needs of our students.

For information on the housing process, please see our Housing page.

What about transportation around Prague?

Prague has one of the most reliable, efficient, and highly-rated public transport systems in Europe. Its network of metros, trams, and buses means that nowhere is out of reach, and one can easily get around the entire city without a taxi. Additionally, all students are provided with a complete transport pass during their stay.

Where should I stay when visiting my son/daughter in Prague?

When visiting Prague, there are many options for accomodations to choose from. Here are some of our recommendations:

FIVE-STAR HOTELS

The Four Seasons: This beautiful hotel boasts some of the largest suites in Prague’s historical Old Town, many with stunning views across the river. Approximate price: $390/night

Hotel U Prince: This hotel is located in the very heart of Prague at the Old Town Square, opposite the Astronomical Clock. The rooms are small but provide a private, personalized feel. There is also an excellent rooftop terrace with views over the entire city. Approximate price: $210/night

Hotel Pariz: Located in Prague’s historical center near the Municipal House and Powder Tower, this hotel is a monument to Art Nouveau architecture and style, with a beautifully preserved interior from 1904. Approximate price: $200/night.

Hilton Prague Old Town: The newly-renovated Hilton Prague Old Town provides an impressive mix of location, amenities, and style.Approximate price: $200/night

The Augustine Hotel: Set in Prague’s picturesque Malá Strana district, this hotel is within easy reach of the city’s many tourist attractions. The property is created from seven buildings, including the 13th century Augustinian St. Thomas Monastery. Several practicing friars still live in a separate part of the building. Approximate price: $400/night

FOUR-STAR HOTELS

Hotel Metamorphosis: This hotel sits in a beautiful, quiet, and historic courtyard just off the Old Town Square. It consists of 10 elegant suites decorated in a mix of Gothic and Renaissance style. Approximate price: $160/night

Jewel Hotel, U Klenotnika: This is a friendly, centrally-located boutique hotel with 11 rooms, all of which are modern and comfy, albeit simple. There is also a stylish little restaurant in the hotel. Approximate price: $130/night

Marriot Executive Apartments: These luxury apartments in the heart of the city offer the bonus of a kitchenette and office area. A gym, pool, and sauna are also at your disposal. Suitable for families. Rates start at $125/night

Hotel U Medvidku: Cozy and centrally located, this hotel sits atop a traditional Czech pub. Many of the rooms are attractive and rustic, with preserved gothic rafters and renaissance painted ceilings (beware of exposed beams when walking).  Approximate price: $100/night

Hotel Grandium: The comfortable hotel is an ideal choice for those hoping to stay near the UPCES classrooms. It’s located on the same street as the UPCES building and is a very short walk from Wenceslas Square, the Main Train Station, and the Old Town of Prague. Approximate price: $150/night

THREE-STAR HOTELS

Cloister Inn: This newly renovated hotel offers modern amenities in additional to an excellent location in the city center. The top floor executive rooms include free in-room fax and internet access. Approximate price: $125/night

Hotel Salvator:  This hotel offers quiet accommodations on a street just outside the Old Town.  Approximate price: $85/night

HOSTELS

Many students also inquire about less costly accommodations for friends and family. There are certainly many hostel options to choose from in Prague, but our suggestions include:

Hostel Tyn: This hostel has the best location in the city (tucked behind the Tyn Church off Old Town Square in a quiet little courtyard).The management is less-than-friendly, but the accommodations and rates are very reasonable. Approximate price for a bed in a triple room is $13-20/night.

Old Prague Hostel: This hostel has rooms just behind the famous Powder Tower near the heart of the city. It is more spacious than most hostels and the staff is very friendly. Approximate price for a bed in a triple room is $20-27/night.

Czech Inn: This Design Hostel features swanky decor in a beautifully restored 19th century building in one of Prague's hippest up-and-coming neighborhoods. Ideal and comfortable accommodation for both solo travelers and groups. Price for a dorm bed: $13 / Price for a private room: $38 / Price for an entire apartment: $80.

*The rates quoted here are for low season, which generally covers January through early-April and mid-October through mid-December. During high season, we strongly recommend booking your accommodations in advance.