Prospective Students

 

All non-EU students attending an UPCES semester are required to obtain a Czech student visa.

UPCES students must apply for a LONG-STAY VISA (over 90 days) for the purpose of study. A visa application can only be submitted at a Czech Embassy or Consulate office outside the Czech Republic. In the United States, you should apply to the Embassy or Consulate that corresponds with your PERMANENT state of residence. These offices are located in:

Use the document here to find the Embassy or Consulate that corresponds with your PERMANENT state of residence.  

VISA FAQs

Do I need a passport in order to apply for a Czech visa?

Yes! You cannot apply for a Czech Visa without a valid passport. If you already have a passport, it must be valid three months beyond the end of your study abroad term.

If you do not have a passport, UPCES strongly recommends you apply for a passport with expedited processing as soon as you decide to study abroad. If you apply to UPCES near the application deadline, you may need to visit a U.S. Passport Agency to request same day processing.

How does the visa process work?

To apply for a LONG-STAY VISA (over 90 days), you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Collect the required visa documents. These documents are listed on the website of your appropriate Czech Consulate or Embassy (see links below). The UPCES office in Prague will provide you with detailed instructions and all the required Czech-language documents after acceptance to the program.

  2. Once the application is fully completed, you will submit all materials (along with your passport) to the Consulate or Embassy. Be sure to submit everything before the relevant deadline.

  3. You may submit your application in person OR via overnight USPS delivery. If you submit by mail, you must enclose a prepaid, self-addressed overnight envelope for return delivery. Those who live near a Czech Consulate or Embassy should apply in person, if possible.

  4. When the Consulate or Embassy receives your application, they will review it for completion and send all materials (excluding your passport) to the visa officials in Prague.

  5. The visa officials in Prague have 60 days to approve the application for your visa. When your visa is approved, the visa officials electronically inform your Consulate or Embassy to issue the visa directly into your passport.

  6. The Consulate or Embassy immediately returns your passport (with your visa) via the enclosed prepaid and self-addressed USPS overnight return envelop. If you applied in person, the Consulate or Embassy will contact you to pick up the passport in person.

How long does the visa process really take?

Because complications may arise in obtaining a visa, we strongly urge all incoming UPCES students to apply for the visa as soon as they receive the necessary documents from our office. The visa process will usually take up to 60 days, and may take as long as 90 days in extreme cases. The UPCES staff will assist students as much as possible in the visa application process but it is the individual responsibility of each student to correctly apply for a visa.

Are the visa application guidelines the same for each Czech Consulate and Embassy?       

Although the guidelines will be very similar, each Consulate and Embassy may have slightly different requirements for the visa application. You need to comply with the details of the Consulate or Embassy to which you are applying as stated on their website's "Visa Requirements" webpage.

My application was returned to me with an "incomplete" notice. What does this mean?

A returned application simply means the Consulate or Embassy determined something was missing from your application. In certain cases, the return notice may ask for additional documents not initially required. When this happens, please take the appropriate measures to obtain the requested documents and return your application as soon as possible. Always inform the UPCES staff of any additional requirements you are asked to meet.          

I plan to travel internationally while my visa is in process. Is it possible to retrieve my passport during the visa processing time?

Yes, it is possible to retrieve your passport from the Consulate or Embassy. Although you MUST submit your original passport when you apply for your visa, you can request to have it returned to you during the processing time. To do so, you will need to submit a photocopy of your passport along with a typed letter stating the need to withdraw your original passport. If you apply for your visa in person, you may sign this letter in front of the visa officials. If you submit your application by mail, you must have the letter notarized as well. Be sure to include a prepaid, self-addressed USPS overnight envelope for the return shipment of your passport.

When your visa is approved, you must return to the Consulate or Embassy with your original passport in order for the office to issue your visa. If you cannot visit the Consulate or Embassy in person, you will have to mail in your passport and again include a return overnight USPS envelop (prepaid and pre-addressed).

My visa is only valid for the length of the UPCES semester. Can I still travel in Europe before my visa starts or after it expires?

Absolutely! If you are an American citizen, you can travel in Europe for an additional 90 days, before or after the program. If you are not an American citizen, please contact the UPCES staff for details about your travel eligibility. DO NOT extend the designated dates on your visa application to match your additional travel plans.

Important Notes:

  • Sending an incomplete application to the consular office will result in a delay in processing your visa application.

  • You should make 2 photocopies of all documents before submitting your application. When applying to the consulate or embassy, you should submit one set of photocopies along with your original documents, and keep one set of photocopies for your personal records.

  • If your middle name is listed on your passport, be sure to include it directly after your first name on the visa application form.

  • If you apply for your visa in person, be sure to check the office's opening hours. In general, the offices are open between 9:30am and 12:30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. It is best to arrive as early as possible.

  • The Embassy and Consulates can be difficult to reach, especially over the phone. They occasionally fail to respond to e-mail inquiries as well. If you have an urgent question, be persistent and consider visiting the Embassy or Consulates in person if you can. Be sure to inform the UPCES Director if you are having difficulties.

  • Visas are issued only by the Czech Embassies and Consulates located outside the Czech Republic. A visa can be issued only by the same Embassy or Consulate where the application was submitted. Applicants must wait for their application to be approved before traveling to the Czech Republic. Hence, you cannot apply for a visa in the U.S. and pick it up in the Czech Republic or elsewhere in Europe. 

 

 
 


Semester


UPCES


IEF Tuition


Spring 2020


$10,350


$10,350


Fall 2020


$10,350


IEF program
not available
during this semester


Full Year 2019-2020


$19,700


 IEF program
not available
during full year


*Tuition refunds will be judged on a case-by-case basis. 
 
For more details on expenses, view the UPCES Estimated Expenses Sheet
 
 

The UPCES Experience

  • Enrollment at Charles University, Faculty of Humanities
  • 5 courses for a total of 16 academic credits
  • 2-week UPCES Orientation Session
  • Four Program Trips
    • Weekend Trip to Krakow, Poland
    • Day Trip to Litoměřice, Czech Republic
    • Day Trip to Karlovy Vary or Kutna Hora, Czech Republic
    • Day Trip to Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
  • Prague Transport Pass
  • Assistance obtaining a Czech cell phone and SIM card
  • Airport reception and taxi service to hotel
  • Four nights at hotel upon arrival in Prague
  • Cultural activities throughout the semester
  • Course packs and Czech language guides
  • Charles University ID card, 24-hour building access pass, and personal computer account
  • Full 24-hour UPCES staff support including access to our emergency response system, Safey
  • Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Transcript assistance
  • Internship opportunities
  • Comprehensive pre-departure advising
  • Guides for living and traveling
  • Basic Czech health Insurance required for the visa application (not intended to replace a student’s health insurance with family and/or university)
  • Counseling services provided by The City Practice
 

UPCES Tuition does not include:

  • Housing in Prague. UPCES students stay in apartments with other students and pay rent independently. Housing costs vary among options, but the average is $2,800 per student for a full semester (single occupancy). Please see the Housing page for more information.
  • Airfare to and from Prague.

Dates

Fall Semester typically runs from early September through mid-December. The Spring Semester typically runs from early February through mid-May, with a one-week semester break. Please check our Academic Calendar for the actual dates of each upcoming semester. UPCES will send a tuition invoice approximately 3 months before the start of the semester. All tuition payments will be made to the CERGE-EI Foundation in New Jersey at this address:

CERGE-EI Foundation
PO Box 780350
Philadelphia, PA 19178

Tuition can be paid individually or arranged with each university in accordance with their payment standards. Please contact the UPCES Office for more information. Tuition fees are set yearly by the CERGE-EI Executive and Supervisory Committee.

 

 
 

Welcome to UPCES! An UPCES semester offers you the chance to see the world from an entirely new perspective. You'll have the opportunity to study new subjects, learn a foreign language, gain new insights, and immerse yourself in a European culture.

The study abroad experience will help you develop new skills that will last well beyond the classroom. By coming to this website, you've taken the first step toward this life changing experience. In this section, you will find all the information you need for applying and preparing for your study abroad semester. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us!

 

 

 

 
 

Ready to apply to UPCES or IEF? You can follow the step-by-step instructions below to complete your online application. Please check with your study abroad office to learn about their specific application procedures.

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. We encourage you to apply as early as possible. There is no application fee!

 

Admission Requirements

UPCES seeks undergraduate students, currently enrolled at a university or college, with strong academic abilities. UPCES also values personal experiences outside of college, as well as future aspirations.

UPCES students should have at least four semesters of university-level education completed by the start of their study abroad term. If your home university encourages study abroad before the junior year, you may be considered for admission with a strong recommendation from your home university.

A GPA level of 3.0 is a minimum for admission to the UPCES program. Under certain circumstances, such as strong letters of recommendation, the UPCES admissions committee may decide to accept students with GPAs below the 3.0 minimum.

For IEF admission requirements, please visit the IEF page here.

Step-by-step Application Instructions

Step 1: Register to begin the UPCES Application

Prospective students will first register an account on the UPCES Online Application.

Step 2: Complete the UPCES Application Form

Please fill out all relevant fields. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*). These include:
 
- Basic personal/contact details
 
- Educational history
 
- Contact details for two references
 
- Language skills
 
 
 

Step 3: Write a brief statement of purpose

The statement of purpose should describe your interest in spending a semester in Prague with UPCES, particularly in relation to your academic studies (completed and future), career goals, and/or any personal interest you have in Central Europe. The statement should be 1000-1500 words.

You may submit your statement of purpose by e-mail or by international mail.

Step 4: Prepare a copy of your résumé

Applicants should submit a standard résumé with details of relevant education, work, and extracurricular experiences.

You may submit your résumé by e-mail or by international mail.

Step 5: Prepare a scan of your main passport page

If your passport is not available when you apply, you may send a scanned copy by e-mail at a later date. For visa purposes, UPCES needs your passport information by the application deadline.

You may submit your passport copy by e-mail or by international mail.

Step 6: Arrange to have your official transcript sent to UPCES

All applicants should arrange to have an official transcript sent directly to UPCES. Your official transcript can be sent:

A. As a hard-copy by international mail (see mailing instructions below)
B. As an e-mail from a university staff member, or
C. Via a secure electronic transcript service (only available at some universities)

Step 7 (optional): Send an "unofficial" university transcript

While your official transcript is in transit, you can save time by e-mailing us your university grades (i.e. your “unofficial” transcript), which qualifies you for early UPCES admission review and a conditional admission decision. However, your official transcript also needs to be received by UPCES before the deadline (see Step 6).

You may submit your unofficial transcript by e-mail as a scan or screen shot.

Step 8: Click Submit!

Be sure to click submit once you've entered all of your required information. Please wait until you see the confirmation page. If you followed this step correctly, you will also receive a confirmation e-mail shortly.

Step 9: Mail or E-mail additional items

Any missing required items should be received by UPCES before the application deadline.

- To e-mail items, please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

- To mail items, we recommend sending a Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelope from your local post office to the following address:

Nicki Norris, UPCES Director
CERGE-EI
Politickych veznu 7
110 00 Prague 1
Czech Republic

Hard-copy Application

If you prefer to submit your application by international mail, you can download the hard-copy of the UPCES Application, print it, and submit it along with the required materials.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the application process, or if you are experiencing any technical difficulties, please contact us right away at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We're here to help!

Application Deadlines

We encourage students to apply as early as possible, as decisions are made on a rolling basis. The semester application deadlines are as follows:  (Now Accepting Applications!)

  •  Fall Semester 2021:  Now Accepting Applications
  • Spring Semester 2021:   9 October, 2020

Meeting the application deadline is determined by the date of arrival of all digital and/or hard-copy application materials at the UPCES office in Prague.

Dates

The Fall Semester typically runs from early September through mid-December. The Spring Semester typically runs from early February through mid-May, with a one-week semester break. Please check our Academic Calendar for the actual dates of each upcoming semester.

 
 

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