Study Abroad in the Czech Republic: Photography in Prague – Academics
CET Photography students spend their term abroad with camera in hand. As they study the history and form of photography, they also master its technique. And every street corner of beautiful Prague is a chance to practice.
Students take hands-on photography courses at one of the most renowned art schools in the world: the Film and Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (locally known as FAMU). CET Photography students have access to FAMU’s impressive resources: darkrooms, studios, equipment, a list of renowned faculty and alumni.
Two core courses lead CET Photography students through the artistry and theory of photography. Focus is on analog techniques and darkroom developing. Students also take electives at FAMU. Here, they can specialize: digital photography, still life photography, restoration.
Students top off their term with an exhibit to peers. They return home with a newly formed portfolio, and newly developed skill set, in hand.
All students enroll in the core course—Fine Art Photography. Students study photography holistically: the history, the philosophy, the aesthetics. They practice technical skills in a supervised lab section. They take a lighting seminar. This class is for CET students only. It is taught in English. 63 total hours. 4 recommended credits.
All students enroll in the core course—Imagery, Ambiguity and Culture. The course unpacks the complex relationship between photography and modernity. Does photography reflect or shape culture? This class is for CET students only. It is taught in English. 45 total hours. 3 recommended credits.
Students take two to four electives at FAMU. Electives include topics such as fashion photography, digital imaging and documentary photography. At least one elective must focus on Czech culture. See the websites of FAMU International and the FAMU Photography Department for specific course offerings. FAMU courses commence several weeks into the program. To accommodate this, CET arranges portfolio work, lighting seminars and photography-related excursions towards the beginning of the semester. Electives are taught in English, with occasional use of Czech. Courses are taken with Czech students and other international students. 2 to 3 recommended credits each.
Students may take an additional elective. Students may select a course from the FAMU International program or CET Central European and Jewish Studies programs according to their credit and scheduling needs.
All students enroll in Czech Language. Czech language classes are “front-loaded.” This means that for the first week of the program, they meet for 4 hours/day. No other classes meet during this time. After that, language classes continue but at a slower pace, approximately 3 hours/week. Most students take Beginning Czech Language. Intermediate and advanced Czech language learners can be accommodated. 59 total hours. 3 recommended credits.
There is no language prerequisite for this program.
Previous experience in photography is required. Applicants must submit a portfolio.
FAMU courses operate according to the host university calendar. They commence several weeks into the program. Elective offerings tend to be unpredictable from semester to semester. Flexibility is a must! CET assigns students a mentor to help them get the most out of their FAMU courses.
Students must bring their own camera. Requirements are:
- 35mm with manually adjustable controls for shutter speed and aperture (F/stop)
- Normal lens (ca 50mm)
- Light meter (TTL, built-in or hand held)
CET Photography is a study abroad program for serious students. Classes and workshops are scheduled Mondays through Fridays. Attendance is mandatory. Photo shooting spills over to evenings and weekends.
Does art leap across cultural boundaries? Or is interpretation rooted in the artist’s own culture? CET Photography students take FAMU classes with Czech and other international students. With a myriad of cultural perspectives all in one room, students confront head-on the role that culture plays in art.
The lighting seminar is a much-anticipated part of the core course, Fine Art Photography. This two-day workshop is tailored to each group of CET Photography students. The workshop usually includes:
- A theoretical introduction to studio and studio lighting.
- Hands-on practice using studio lighting for still life or staged photography.
- Instruction for working with photo models.
FAMU Photography Workshops
FAMU frequently arranges workshops for photography students. Past CET Photography students have joined other international students for detailed instruction on:
- Digital editing.
- Use of FAMU studio facilities.
- Large and medium format cameras.
Overnight Academic Excursions
Once a term, students depart Prague and venture on an overnight excursion together.
- Český Krumlov. This is a beautiful medieval/renaissance castle town on the Austrian border. The castles, deserted German villages and natural beauty of Český Krumlov’s surrounding region give students a new perspective on Czech history and culture.