NYU Prague has over 20 day and overnight trips every semester - all with small groups, free of charge, and with an emphasis on going off the beaten path.
Academic excursions are linked to specific classes; often spots are opened to others as well.
Cultural Immersion trips explore Czech society in an interactive way, often including home stays in small towns or helping a community.
Student Life Excursions include UNESCO cultural heritage sites, hikes, and favorite haunts of the bucolic Czech lands
So many of the great composers worked and lived in Vienna: Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Schubert.... Students in the music program spend two days exploring the musical heritage of the city.
Students in the German and East European class have gone to Berlin to help them understand the history of the city and the evolution of "Mitteleuropa." The program has been closely connected to their course work, including a visit to the Bundestag, the Berlin Wall Memorial, the Wannsee Villa where the "Final Solution" was conceived, and the place where the Potsdam treaty was signed.
"A grave among graves, who can tell it apart, time has long swept away the dead faces.Testimonies, so evil and terrible to the heart, we took with us to these dark rotting places. Only the night and the howl of the wind will sit on graves’ corners, only a patch of grass, a bitterweed before May bears some flowers…” (Jaroslav Seifert – To the Dead)
Terezin was a transit camp and Jewish Ghetto during World War II. It was used as a propaganda tool by the Nazis, who showed Terezin to the international Red Cross to "prove" that they were treating Jews humanely. Most inmates of Terezin were eventually sent to Auschwitz, and only a tiny percentage survived. Mr. Toman Brod, a Terezin survivor, accompanies students on this trip. He shares his experiences as a teenager living first in Terezin and his later transport to Auschwitz.
Students in the Jewish History class are required to go on this trip.
Wandering among the gorgeous mountains, discovering Baroque sculptures in forests... sleeping in a Czech home... cooking traditional pork schnitzel.... sampling lunch in a Czech high school cafeteria...
These are some of the experiences of students who have visited the small town of Frydek Mistek in the far east of the country. "I feel lucky to have had a chance to spend the day hiking the mountain with the Czech students. They were lovely company."
Students visit Roma activists living in Ostrava, an industrial town in the eastern part of the Czech Republic. Students learn first hand about the life and culture of the Roma people, also known as Gypsies, one of the most significant minorities in the Czech Republic. According to various non-governmental organizations, the Roma in the former Eastern Bloc, including in the Czech Republic, endure endemic discrimination and many have had a difficult time integrating into the majority culture. On this trip, Roma open discuss discrimination, drug use, their music and values, unemployment, education and all of the obstacles and also successes they feel they have experienced.
A local NGO takes NYU and other local students on volunteer brigades to help out where help is needed.
This past semester, students went to a community house nestled in a small village by the riverbank in Central Bohemia where clients with mental disabilities live. Students did construction work in an building that will serve as living quarters for volunteers and pruned and planted trees. Students discovered the spirit behind the revival of civil society in the Czech Republic and found out what’s unique about minds that tick to a different beat. They met the staff of the center and of the NGO that organizes the program, as well as explore the organic farm and craft workshops run by the clients.
Brno is the second largest city in Czech Republic and is known for its youth culture with stylish hipster cafés and bistros. Outside the city is the famous Macocha Abyss, the biggest gorge of its kind in Central Europe, which can be explored on a boat tour that goes through the caves.
"From the swans, to the castle, right to the picturesque village, Český Krumlov might be the most beautiful place I've seen in the Czech Republic. Every winding street is more stunning than the last.
On the tour of the castle, we saw rooms not open to the public, and even had the chance to play with rain machines at the theater! There was also plenty of downtime, and there's nothing quite like sitting by the river sipping hot wine and downing coffee with friends. Climbing up the castle tower was downright terrifying because those stairs just get thinner and thinner but worth it. The view is breathtaking and all of us iPhone photographers loved it. It was a very easy going time all in all; everyone on the trip bonded and we're all firm friends now. We had a chance to really get to know and go out with the RAs and, well, now it's pretty cool having Czech friends. The Český Krumlov trip was a ton of fun." - Nick Blatt, student
A day hike to the highest mountain of the Czech Republic Sněžka (1602m) situated on the east side of Giant Mountains, directly on the border with Poland. It has an unforgettable view of Czech and Polish lands.
A world famous spa town, Karlovy Vary is one of the most frequently visited and one of the most beautiful places in the Czech Republic. Besides being home to these well known natural springs, where Goethe took the waters, a recent James Bond film was filmed here. We also visit the Loket Castle and other places in the area.
"Czech Switzerland" is one of the four Czech national parks. It is located in the north of the country on the border of Germany and it is known for its “rock villages” (stones, not the music) and its breath-taking deep forests. We experience the silence and beauty of this unique park during a rigorous hike.
Located about an hour from Prague, Kutná Hora was once famous for its silver mines and was one of the richest towns in the Czech lands. The city built a cathedral to rival that of St. Vitus in Prague, as well as many other beautiful buildings. When the mines were emptied, the town was forgotten and the beautiful medieval and Renaissance architecture preserved. The town is on the UNESCO list of heritage sites, and also famous for its macabre bone church - a gothic church which was decorated by a creative priest in the 19th century with sculptures made from human bones. Truly bizarre.