Culture and Free Time
Prague is a city of culture and the universities comply with the same tradition. Festivals, societies, and clubs are as integral parts of your academic life as the study itself. Even in the departments with the most rigid and hard-scientific disciplines, you should always find a bit of time for some cultural enlightenment. Based on what kind of culture you personally dig, here are a few examples:
Films are my fix!
If you want to learn a lot about Czech culture and society, join the Movie Nights for international students organized by Charles University. The projections take place in the Blue Auditorium at the University’s Celetná Street building.
Apart from that, there are several movie festivals throughout the year. The longest of these is the CZU Film Fest, an international festival of documentaries on life sciences, organized by the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague every autumn and it lasts for an entire week. The second-longest, but not one bit less important, is the multi-genre Famufest held annually by students of the Film and TV faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. It provides a perfect opportunity for the students to show their latest projects in front of a normal audience because it is fully accessible to the public. The last one of them is the Golden Eyes Festival – an event organized by the graduating students of audio-visual theory at the end of the summer semester in late May.
*You can also check out Kasárna in Karlín, an outdoor venue that once served as army barracks, to watch films in various languages (has Czech subtitles)*
I am a drama queen!
The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and its students have their own theatre called Disk where students of the Academy may perform their rehearsed plays in front of a live audience. Even in front of you, if you don’t feel the need to participate. Apart from that, the most prominent theatre ensemble is the Comica Economica Theatre. This particular amateur theatre company brings together students from Charles University, University of Economics, and Czech Technical University in Prague and is dedicated to political satire.
Music to my ears!
The single biggest event in the music department is undoubtedly the Majales Festival. As the biggest open-air student musical festival in Prague, it attracts thousands of young people willing to dance until their feet fall off as an unusual offering to the end of April. If you are absolutely oblivious to the Czech music scene (and you’ll want to change that), this is definitely the most important event of the season.
If you are into more classical stuff, once again, apart from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, you also have some options. Charles University and Czech Technical University have their respective philharmonic orchestras and university choirs that give regular performances and often collaborate with charity organizations. Czech Technical University organizes admission-free concerts of classical music in the Bethlehem Chapel.
I like to stare at art!
There are currently two art spaces under the jurisdiction of the two art academies. UM Gallery ran by the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague focuses on the youngest generation of artists and curators and reflects the broad variety and range of the school’s artistic disciplines. And GAMU, or the Gallery of the Academy of Performing Arts – a non-commercial space with a mission to foster a conducive environment for the presentation of and critical reflection on contemporary art. Both galleries hold as many as twelve exhibitions around the year and present the final graduate works of the students.
You think that’s all there is? Wrong! Ask your fellow students or your study coordinators for more!
And don’t forget that if you ever get tired of all the cultural burdens, you can always give a try to a different type of enculturation. The FAMU Club is open Monday to Saturday, closes at 2 a.m. and, apart from liquid and edible attractions, serves as an excellent meeting point for your friends in the very heart of the city.