|Participating cities (LC's)||Brno, Hradec Kralove, Olomouc, Pilsen, Prague|
|Currency (how much is a Bigmac?)||Czech crown|
|Time zone||UTC/GMT +1 hour|
|Number of Doctors and beds per 1000 people||4.2 Doctors / 6 beds|
|Member of IFMSA since...||1993|
|Number of incoming students per year||307|
|Who are our NEO's||Tereza Dvorakova and Marek Kubik|
|Our official website / Forum / Facebook group||www.ifmsa.cz|
- 1 Welcome Note
- 2 Overview
- 3 Our health care system
- 4 The hospitals
- 5 Our medical education
- 6 Universities and medical faculties in Czech Republic
- 7 Exchange conditions
- 8 Accommodation
- 9 Boarding
- 10 Social program
- 11 Local & National transportation
- 12 Weather
- 13 Cultural differences
- 14 Social life
- 15 Useful links
- 16 Cities offered for exchange
Ahoj! Hello! Ciao! Salut! Hola! Olá! Goeden dag! Zivjo! Hej! Dia duit! Servus! Grüezi! Kalimera! Shalom! Salam! Namaste!
We are very happy to welcome you at the Wiki pages of IFMSA Czech Republic. We hope you will find here all the information you are looking for and also learn some interesting facts about our country and usefull tips for your exchange. Whenever you are just looking around or already planning your trip, we are looking forward to see you in Czech Republic. So don‘t hesitate and CHECK OUT THE CZECHS!:)
Czech Republic, located right in the heart of Europe, enchants visitors with medieval towns, elegant spa resorts, spectacular mountain scenery, and of course the historical capital Prague - a magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and vibrant nightlife. And on top that, it's the birthplace of the world's finest beer!
The area of the Czech Republic is 78,866 square km. The republic is borders Poland on the north, Germany on the northwest and southwest, Austria on the south, and the Slovak Republic on the east. The western two-thirds of the country are known as Bohemia and consist of a vast river basin framed by hills and mountains. Sněžka in the north is the country’s highest point at 1,602 metres. The eastern third of the Czech Republic is called Moravia, with the largest city Brno. There are 11 locations in Czech Reoublic – amongst others the historic core of Prague, the towns of Kutna Hora, Cesky Krumlov, Telc, Litomysl and Kromeriz – that have deservedly been put on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Currency: Czech crown (CZK) - "koruna"
Total area: 78 866 km²
Population: 10.3 million
Population density: 131 inhabitants/km2
Religion: 39% Roman Catholic; 40% None (atheist)
Membership: EU, OSN, NATO, OECD, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO
National parks: Šumava, Krkonošský národní park, Českosaské švýcarsko, Podyjí
Longest river: Vltava
Major cities: Prague (capital), Brno, Ostrava, Plzeň, Olomouc
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)
Calling Code: +420
Our health care system
The Czech Republic uses a compulsory health insurance system with guaranteed availability of general practitioners, paediatricians and specialists. In general, health services in the Czech Republic are much better than the world average: the number of persons per physician is one of the lowest in the world, and the number of hospital beds per capita is among the highest. Equally impressive is the infant mortality rate of 6 per 1,000 live births. Life expectancy at birth is 70.5 years for males, and 77.5 years for women. The major causes of death are diseases of the circulatory system and cancer.
Primary health care includes general medical services, maternal and child healthcare, gynaecology, dentistry, 24-hours emergency services and preventive care – immunization, screenings etc. Doctors working in primary care often have a private practice and work alone or gather in health centres. Secondary and tertiary care involves the offices of specialized outpatient physicians, hospitals and specialized bed care facilities. Czech Republic has a wide network of hospitals and polyclinics spread through the whole country. In 2009, there were 192 hospitals with a total of 63 026 beds, governed either directly by the Ministry of Health, regions, cities or by private persons. The government owns and manages eleven major hospitals, out of which ten are affiliated with a medical school and are the centres of cutting-edge medicine.
In Czech Republic, there are 10 faculty hospitals, each with capacity over 1000 beds, based in Prague, Brno, Olomouc, Pilsen and Hradec Kralove. Faculty hospitals offer necessary basic as well as specialized and highly specialized therapeutic and diagnostic care provided by specialists from a number of medical fields. They also carry out basic and clinical research and form educational bases for Czech as well as foreign medical and pharmaceutical students, enabling the education of both pre- and post-graduates as well as radiologists, nurses, physiotherapists and paramedics.
Being an exchange student in one of our faculty hospitals, you will have an opportunity to stay at some top-class medical sites and learn from internationally recognized experts from different medical specialties. On your first day, your contact person will accompany you to the hospital and you will meet your tutor. Depending on your clinical experience and the departement, you will be able to follow the rounds, examine patients, perform small procedures and at the surgical clinic follow and perhaps assist the surgeries. You should bring your own white coat, stethoscope and white hospital shoes. For more information please visit our website .
Our medical education
Study program of General Medicine in the Czech Republic lasts 6 years and leads to the Master degree - Doctor of General Medicine, abbreviated as “MUDr.“ (Medicinae Universae Doctor). Possession of this degree enables the holder to practice medicine in the Czech Republic and in the European Union without restriction.
The academic year starts in the beginning of October and is divided into two semesters, each followed by an exam period. In the first two years, the course consists mostly of theoretical subjects, from the third year on students enter clinical rotations. Emphasis is put on early contact with patients and practical experience; starting from the second year, summer clerkships in clinical departments are included in the curriculum. The standard course is completed after passing the state final exams, and culminates in a graduation ceremony.
Universities and medical faculties in Czech Republic
There are seven medical faculties in the Czech Republic belonging to three different universities: Charles University, Masaryk University in Brno and Palacky University in Olomouc.
Founded by the Czech and Roman king Charles the IV in 1348, Charles University is one of the oldest universities in the world. Nowadays, it is considered to be one of the most renowned educational and scientific institutions in the Czech Republic. There are five medical faculties belonging to Charles University: three of them in Prague, one in Hradec Kralove and one in Pilsen.
1st Faculty of Medicine in Prague  is the largest and oldest of medical faculties in Czech Republic. It is an integral part of Charles University from its foundation in 1348. As such, it is also the oldest medical faculty in Central Europe. Its main clinical base is in General Teaching Hospital in Prague, located in the historical centre of the city.
2nd Faculty of Medicine in Prague  has functioned for nearly fifty years as Faculty of Paediatrics of Charles University. Nowadays it provides complete education in all areas of medicine, with special emphasis on Paediatric care. It is affiliated with Motol Faculty Hospital, which is not only the biggest hospital in the Czech Republic, but also one of the largest health care complexes in Europe.
3rd Faculty of Medicine in Prague , originally the Faculty of Hygiene, has since 1997 undergone a radical reform and implemented a curriculum based on principles of integrated and problem–oriented instruction and early contacts with patients, a system unique not only in Czech Republic but also in whole Central and Eastern Europe. It’s teaching base is in the University Hospital Královské Vinohrady.
Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Králové  dates its origins to 1945 as the first university faculty in East Bohemia. Its affiliated University Hospital Hradec Kralove ranks among the most significant health facilities in the Czech Republic, as it serves as a centre of the highest level for a large area of 1,000,000 residents.
Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen  was founded in October 1945 as a branch of Prague Medical Faculty and in 1953 became an independent faculty of Charles University. The University Hospital in Pilsen ensures health care for the Pilsen Region and Karlovy Vary Region (850 000 residents).
Masaryk University in Brno
Masaryk University is the second largest university in the Czech Republic, a member of the Compostela Group and the Utrecht Network. Founded in 1919 in Brno, which is the second largest city in Czech Republic, it now consists of nine faculties and 42,182 students. It is named after Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the first president of an independent Czechoslovakia as well as the leader of the movement for a second Czech university.
The Faculty of Medicine in Brno  is an important educational and research institution located in the Moravian largest city Brno. It uses St. Anne’s Faculty Hospital, Faculty Hospital located in Bohunice borough, Maternity Hospital in Obilni Trh Square and Faculty Children’s Hospital, all located in Brno, for its teaching goals.
Palacký University in Olomouc
The Palacky University was re-opened by the Act of the Interim National Assembly in 1946. It followed up with the tradition of the old Olomouc University, which was established in 1573 and closed in 1860. Therefore the Olomouc University can justly be considered the second oldest university in Czech Republic. Approximate number of students is 21 000.
The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry  in its present form has been presenting instruction since 1947. It is affiliated with the University Hospital in Olomouc, the largest medical facility in the district of Olomouc. In last years it was rebuilt, modernizated and renovated, resulting in brand new premises with high-tech accesories.
To be able to participate on a clinical exchange in Czech Republic, you must be a medical student in the clinical years of your curriculum (we don't accept preclinical students). This means, you must have already studied some clinical subjects, such as Internal Medicine etc.
You can apply for all medical fields except Psychiatry (due to the language barrier). Please note sometimes we cannot place you to the departement of your first choice, especially during the summer months when we have a lot of students applying to same departements, so please make sure you fill in four different departements in your electronic Application Form.
Please understand we can't place all the students to the city of their first interest, so make sure you fill in three different cities in your electronic Application Form. Also please check the Periods & Towns section in our official Exchange Conditions, to see which cities are available during which months.
To fulfill our conditions for obtaining the SCOPE Certificate, you need to be in the hospital from Monday to Friday, usually 5-6 hours per day (depends on the department) and have at least 75% attendence (e.g. you are allowed to miss five days during four weeks).
To see our full Exchange Conditions page, please check here: http://www.ifmsa.net/public/ecscope.php?id=6
To make sure your exchange will run smoothly, we ask you to provide these documents together with your Application Form:
Letter of Motivation describing your knowledge and special interest in the desired field (one for each of the chosen departments)
Proof of hepatitis B vaccination
Proof of TB immunization
Malpractice insurance - please check with the insurance companies at home (you can also ask for "liability insurance")
If you have problems obtaining the Malpractice insurance with your local insurance companies, you can buy it online here: www.ips-lippmann.com
Please make sure you give all these documents to your Local Exchange Officer together with your application. We ask for ALL application documents in electronic form, i.e. scanned.
If you have any questions regarding the Documents required, please contact the Local Exchange Officer at your faculty.
Every student is responsible for getting his/her own visa. You should apply for tourist visa if possible. We will send you an official signed and stamped Invitation letter upon request - please mark in your electronic Application Form that you need one! If you have any doubts about the Visa, please contact your Local Exchange Officer at your faculty. Also please be sure you apply for your visa early enough, so in case of any problems we have enough time to help you.
Many countries citizens actually don't need visa in order to come to Czech Republic. To see if you need a visa to our country, please check here.
Our incoming students are usually placed in student hostels in double or triple rooms with bathroom and a small kitchen corner. Laundry, internet and other equipment is available.
You can find more information about accommodation at the WIKI pages of each city.
IFMSA CZ provides the students either with one hot meal per day or the equivalent sum of money to cover food expenses. Depending on each Local Comittee, students can use the faculty or hospital canteen.
Our Local Comittees do their best to make our students feel comfortable and enjoy their stay to the fullest. Social program is available during summer months organised by each Local Committee. During the rest of the year, activities are offered by local officers and students on personal basis. In the months of January, February, and June, social program cannot be guaranteed as it is our exam period, however our students and local officers are always prepared to help and advice. For actual information about the social programme in each LC please consult our website.
Local & National transportation
The largest airport in the Czech Republic is Prague-Ruzyně. It is located about 20 km outside the city centre. The airport is connected with the city by many regular bus links. To get to the centre, take bus No. 119 from the airport to Dejvická metro station, from where you can take the underground line A to the centre stations Můstek or Muzeum. You can also take special Airport Express bus (AE), that goes from the airport through Dejvicka to the Central Railway Station and also underground station of line C - Hlavni Nadrazi. (To see the timetable and prizes of the Airport Express, please see this page). Most flights from Czech airports are international services, as it is better to use other ways of transportation for domestic travel.
Lying in the very centre of Europe, the Czech Republic stands at a crossroads where many international rail routes meet. Train is an ideal way to get around the Czech Republic, as it has one of the densest rail networks in Europe.
Bus and coach travel
International coach services link large Czech cities such as Prague, Brno and Ostrava with cities in Europe. Domestic coach services often use comfortable modern vehicles.
Our local officers usually provide students with a monthly ticket that entitles them to an unlimited use of all means of the city’s public transport. These might be buses, trams, trolley-buses as well as the Prague underground, which is the fastest mean of transportation around the city and comprises of three lines: Line A (green), Line B (yellow) and Line C (red).
Getting around the city by the means of public transportation is relatively easy and mostly safe, although pickpockets are common especially in Prague. Although the buses and trams are less frequent during the night time, there is usually a way of getting around the city even late at night. At every marked stop you can find a timetable of the bus/tram that stops there.
Like anywhere else in the world, taxis can be hailed in the street or booked over the phone. For information on cheap taxi companies, please ask your contact person.
Geographically speaking, the Czech Republic is situated in a temperate zone, and there are four seasons of approximately all the same length. Winters are relatively mild (the average January temperature is -2 °C/28,4 °F), although especially in January and February snow and temperatures bellow zero are common, and summers are not too hot (the average July temperature is 20 °C/68 °F). A nice time of the year to visit the Czech Republic is late spring (mid-May to mid-June) and early fall (September to mid-October) when the weather can be quite pleasant. The best chance of warm and dry summer weather is from mid-July to mid-August.
The official Czech Republic Language is Czech, which is spoken by 96 % of the population. However, don’t worry, as the majority of younger people do understand and speak English, especially in larger cities. The older generation understands and sometimes knows Russian and German. French, Spanish and Italian are not widely spoken.
The Czech language is one of the West Slavic languages and belongs to the Indo-European family of languages, such as for example Polish, Russian and Slovak, and it is spoken by an estimated 12 million speakers across the world.
Useful words and phrases
Dobrý den [dobree den] Hello (formal)
Ahoj [ahoi] Hello and goodbye (informal)
Na shledanou [naskhledanow] Goodbye (formal)
Ano [ano] Yes
Ne [neh] No
Děkuji [dyekuyi] Thank you
Prosím [proseem] Please
Promiňte / S dovolením [prominyteh / sdovolenyeem] Excuse me
Vchod [fkhot] Entrance
Východ [veekhot] Exit
Voda [voda] Water
Pivo [pivo] Beer
Dobrou chuť [dobrow khutch] Bon appetite
Jak se máš? (jaxe maash) How are you?
Jak se dostanu do... ? (Jaxe dost-a-noo dow) How do I get to ... ?
Eating & Drinking
A typical meal often starts with soup (polévka). Some popular Czech soups are garlic soup (česnečka) or sauerkraut soup (zelňačka).The main course usually consists of meat and a side dish, such as potatoes (brambory), rice (rýže) or the traditional bread dumplings (houskové knedlíky) with sauerkraut (kysané zelí). Popular meats are chicken (kuře), pork (vepřové) and beef (hovězí), usually served with some kind of sauce (omáčka). Carp (kapr) is traditionally served on Christmas Eve. The most characteristic of all Czech dishes is ‘Svíčková na smetaně‘ - Beef tenderloin with sour cream sauce, typically served with cranberries and dumplings. Desserts tend to be heavy and fatty because of butter (máslo) and whipped cream (šlehačka). Popular are crepes filled with jam (palačinky), blueberry dumplings (borůvkové knedlíky) and various kinds of cakes (koláče).
Beer is regarded as the national drink. „Going for a beer“ and spending time in a cosy pub talking with friends sipping a tasty cold beer is a popular free-time activity. The best-known brand of Czech beer is Pilsner Urquell, but well-liked are also other brands such as Gambrinus or Staropramen. We also produce two uniquely Czech liquors, Fernet Stock and Becherovka. Kofola is a non-alcoholic Czech soft drink, somewhat similar in look and taste to Coca-Cola.
In smaller restaurants and in pubs it is common to share a table with others. Always ask whether the spot is free (Je tu volno?) before sitting down. Do not assume that your bill will automatically arrive after the end of your meal. It is common practice to say (zaplatím, prosím) "I'd like to pay" to your waiter. It is usual to leave some 10% of the prize as a tip for the waiter.
An article about dining and social etiquette here.
There is always a lot to do in Czech Republic, and regardless of what your interests and preferences are, you will never have time to get bored during your stay. From classical to the modern, from amazing natural heritage to innumerous cultural shows, festivals and exhibitions, Czech Republic is definitely the right place to relax, get inspired and gain new energy for the rest of the year!
Czechs enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including golf, canoeing, cycling, and hiking, as well as winter sports such as cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and ice hockey. The Czech Republic’s ice hockey team distinguished itself throughout the 1990s, winning the world championships in 1996 and 1999 and taking the gold medal at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
In the summer, the natural water areas and dam reservoirs, such as Lake Lipno in South Bohemia, attract many visitors who enjoy camping near the lake, bathing, recreational swimming, windsurfing, yachting and other water sports. Many rivers are perfect for canoeing, rafting and other activities.
Spread through the country are nearly 24,000 miles of color-coded hiking trails, stretching from Karlovy Vary in the northwest to Ostrava in the east. Much of it is maintained by the Czech Hiking Club, a private organization, dating back to 1889, that splashes painted trail markers across trees and installs signposts.
Czech mountains offer innumerable opportunities for mountain tourism. Popular trekking routes can be found in the regions of Krkonoše, Šumava, Jizerské, Jeseníky, Beskydy and other mountainous areas. In the winter season, Czech Republic’s mountains also offer high-quality conditions for downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and other activities.
With mild weather and relatively flat lands, the Czech Republic is excellent biking country. The landscape is criss-crossed with well-marked and maintained biking trails - the country can now boast 1,000 kilometers of safe bike paths plus 20,000 kilometers of bicycle routes – which includes city streets. No wonder that 19% of Czechs report cycling as their favorite leisure time activity, over swimming or hiking.
In the Czech Republic, music is the most popular art, and Czech music is well known in the rest of the world. The old saying " Co Čech, to muzikant " ("Every Czech is a musician") is a succinct characterization of the Czech disposition. The traditional music of the Czech Republic has been well documented and influenced the work of composers like Leoš Janáček, Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, and Bohuslav Martinů. Undoubtedly the most internationally famous dance is Bohemian polka. Polka is a dance in duple time that became popular across Europe in the 19th century and spread across the world, influencing music from Mexico to Japan. Contemporary Czech music  develops along with world trends and encompasses everything from classical through rock and hip-hop to alternative music. Many music festivals are held during the year – from the traditional Prague Spring to popular summer events such as Rock For People, Hip Hop Kemp, Sazava fest and many others.
Theatre of the Czech Republic has rich tradition in all genres, including drama, opera, ballet, black light theatre etc. There is a long tradition of puppetry, ranging from well-known nomadic puppeteers in the eighteenth century to a professional network of puppet theaters today. The beginnings of modern theatrical tradition are usually connected with the Prague National Theatre, which was completed in 1881 and funded entirely by small private donations. Prague is also known for its Laterna magika, a mixed-media spectacle that combines live performance with film, slides, and music. More information about Czech theatre here.
Czech filmmakers have had international successes, and several of their works have received Oscars, including Jan Svěrák‘s Kolya in 1997. Probably the best-known Czech director is Miloš Forman, who left the country in 1968 because of its lack of artistic freedom under the Communist regime. Among his films made in the United States are Taking Off (1971), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), and Amadeus (1984). There is a strong Czech tradition in producing animated films, with the work of Jan Švankmajer being perhaps the most revered.
In the applied arts, manufactured glass ornaments, traditional northern Bohemian costume jewelry, and toys are probably the best-known objects.
Festivities and Traditions
The Czechs celebrate Christmas on the evening of December 24. The Christmas tree is decorated with traditional Christmas ornaments and family gathers for a festive dinner which traditionally consists of carp served with a potato salad. According to the tradition, one is supposed to fast all day to see the "golden piglet" (zlaté prasátko) in the evening. Czech children also believe that Christmas gifts are brought by Baby Jesus (Ježíšek) who comes into the room through the window to leave the presents under the Christmas tree.
Easter, or "Velikonoce", meaning "great nights", is a very cheerful holiday. Women bake traditional sweets and decorate Easter eggs. Another tradition is whipping girls with pomlázka - willow twigs that are braided and painted with bright colors and then are used by young boys to beat the back of girls legs, to bring them health and youth for the next year.
Another popular custom is the "Burning of the Witches" (páleni čarodějnic), which takes place on the evening of April 30. Huge bonfires are built on the hills in the rural areas of the Czech Republic and everyone stays out late watching them burn. This stems from a medieval custom that women that seemed crazy were qualified as witches and then burned to death.
www.mzv.cz Czech Ministry of Foreign affairs
Cities offered for exchange