Anglo-American University recently held the Spring Semester 2024 New Student Orientation, a two-day program organized by Student Services aimed at familiarizing incoming students with the institution, its resources, and life in Prague.

The event, which drew full-time students as well as participants in the study abroad and exchange programs, took place from January 31 to February 1, 2024. Spearheaded by Student Life Specialist Marie Brendzová, it represented a cross-departmental collaboration between Admissions, Student Services, the President’s Office, Student Council, Study Abroad, and members of faculty.

Preparation and equipment were the order of the day, with the goal of supplying students with the knowledge and tools they will need to thrive not only at the university but in Prague as well, while also encouraging group interaction and facilitating the foundation of new relationships among participants.

The program opened with a few words by President Jiří Schwarz, who welcomed students and expressed his satisfaction at their introduction into the AAU community, likewise voicing his confidence in the vital contributions they would make to the university and pledging ongoing ministrations from staff and faculty. 

Admissions Manager Clea Boban, who next took to the lectern, commended incomers for having taken the big step of making their way here and reinforced the president’s promise of support, while exhorting students to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

“For those of you here in person, already coming here is an achievement…I’m very happy to see…so many of you,” said Boban. “You can get much more from being here. Go to events, participate, [and] ask for help when you need it, because we are here, and we have so many resources we can provide you with.”

As the instructional portion of the program commenced, Dean of Students Kateřina Vanová provided students with essential contacts within Student Services and other departments, as well as resources offered by the university online, including the all-important AAUNET platform, where many an important document is to be found. 

Following a tour of the library and campus, students were then divided into groups according to their respective schools, whereupon they were introduced to the rigors of AAU academia and the standards of excellence expected of them, this by the deans of each school who, in turn, offered further essential resources to help students meet those standards.

Later, Career Development Specialist Julie Ševeleva offered participants career guidance and details on internship opportunities, while Brendzová gave a presentation on student life, events, the mentorship program, and more. A time of leisure in the form of stimulating ice breakers, including speed interviewing and Guess Who?, along with a Q & A session, rounded out the first day.

The second day opened with instruction by specialists Romana Marková and Marta Vondráčková in the finer points of visa acquisition and nostrification—both challenging and sometimes bewildering processes but critical for those looking to study in Prague long-term, and, in the case of nostrification, seeking to earn a dually-accredited degree.     

Participants were thereupon introduced to the Student Council and its members, along with the club opportunities available to them, while lecturer and native Czech Markéta Šebelová offered invaluable insight into her culture along with practical advice for expatriates residing in Czechia.

Plentiful refreshments and lunch were provided each day, with multiple networking and mingling opportunities for students throughout. In keeping with tradition, the event concluded with a private tram ride through the city. 

Dean Vanová expressed her hope that the program proved useful to participants and echoed assurances of continued support from her department. 

“We hope that students enjoyed orientation and not only learned important facts about AAU and our community, as well as Prague and the Czech Republic, but also had some fun while meeting each other and making new friends,” she said. “[And] I want them to know: the Student Services and Support team will be here to take care of them—throughout their time with us.”

View more photos from the 2024 Spring Semester New Student Orientation here.