Mission accomplished: how not to drop out of a Czech university after the first session?
After the first session, most international students in the Czech Republic are delighted with the country and its level of education. But there are those who find it hard to study and leave it right after the first exams. Here we will analyze the main reasons why students drop out and give useful advice to those who want to successfully complete their chosen Czech university.
Entering a Czech university is only the beginning of the journey
Your dream has come true - you have been accepted to a Czech university. Your family, friends and, of course, the Prague Education Center congratulate you; you rejoice and think that you have achieved your goal. It seems that the hardest part is over, your Czech university diploma is almost in your pocket and you can relax.
When the euphoria of dream fulfillment and the joy of entering the chosen university in the Czech Republic passes - and we have no doubt that our students will be able to reach their goal - you will have to realize that admission is only the first step on the way to higher education in the Czech Republic.
This article will explain why it is especially important to start studying from the very first day and what you need to know about the system of education in the leading Czech universities. So, let's begin to understand the mission of "How not to drop out of a Czech university in the first semester" and what methods you will need to do it.
Why students leave Czech universities
Czechs, Czechs, Czechs, Czechs, Czechs and Czech all around, lecturers, seminars, pairs, corps. A lot of things at once. It can be extremely difficult to understand the learning system and to switch from one language to another, and the time required is disastrously short. Some students need a couple of weeks to adapt, and some need a month. The tension is gradual, so you should not worry. The main thing at this time is to continue practicing and not to give up. The universities, the Ministry of Education and, of course, the Czech media have tried to understand what is the reason for expulsion, whether it is language, adaptation or other reasons. According to statistics, the main reason is not learning problems, but the wrong specialty. Exaggerated expectations and a collision with reality contribute to the fact that the interest in studying decreases.
Every year universities in the Czech Republic expel several thousand people after the first session. Studying even in the specialty of one's dreams can be very difficult, and not everyone can be ready for it. The European study Eurostudent, conducted in 2017, tried to find out why students (Czech students, among others) chose this or that specialty, how they see their future and why they leave the university. According to the report, almost half of the students who left university did so because of the wrong choice of study program and 38% because of difficulties with it. At the same time, 80% of Czech university students say that they are satisfied with the attitude of their teachers and the quality of teaching.
Another reason for dropping out, especially for foreign students, is insufficient language training. Education in Czech state universities is free of charge. To enter most universities, a foreign student only needs a language level B2. But having only basic knowledge of the Czech language, it will be very problematic to stay in a state university. When choosing a preparatory course, be sure to take into account the availability of specialized training and terminology courses. During the preparation process, you will also spend a lot of time preparing for exams and nostrification.
Major terminology is a set of concepts, terms, and definitions that relate to your future field of study. This course will expand your vocabulary and help you understand the "language of the instructor" from the first days of study. We use modern methods and literature that is used in Czech universities.
Moreover, during the course you should familiarize yourself with the basic academic program of the major universities, go through the material from past admission campaigns. Often, the teachers of preparatory centers are former or current university employees who know how the "system" in Czech universities is built. Their task is to teach you how to be a "student" even at the preparation stage. At Prague Education Center you can reach the level of Czech B2 in just 3 months. We can help you prepare for your major subjects and entrance exams.
About the credit system
Czech universities have a credit system. Essentially, these are points that can be obtained by taking an exam. For example, English has 6 credits, sports has 2 credits, math has 10 credits, and so on. At the end of the year or semester, the system calculates the points gained and, if this is the minimum required number, the student moves on to the next stage in their studies.
The system of higher education in the Czech Republic is of two types: full-time and combined. The first one provides training for 5 days a week. The second form of education provides classes 2 times a week. It is important to understand that a student visa can be obtained only for full-time studies.
Charles University (Univerzita Karlova)
Charles University has a set of rules that students must adhere to. One of them is the minimum number of credits to pass to the next course. A student receives a certain number of credits for each course taken. For example, in the Faculty of Philosophy at the end of the first year, you must have at least 60 credits to move on to the second year. At the end of the second year it should be 90, and some courses may not be passed, it will not affect the transition to the next course. There are three attempts to pass the exam. Once these are exhausted, the student may be expelled if their application to retake the exam is not approved.
In order to get permission to go to the state exams and defense of the bachelor's work, the student must pass all exams and gain 180 credits. In the Faculty of Education, on the other hand, this figure is less. A minimum of 40 credits for transfer to the second year and 170 credits at the end of the bachelor's program of study.
Theoretically, of course, it is possible not to go to the first session - credits are calculated at the end of the academic year, so if you do not pass any of the exams in winter, you will still have the opportunity to "complete" credits in the summer session. But it will be hard for a student - especially a foreigner - in the first year of study, so it is extremely careless of your education and fraught with consequences in the form of exclusion.
Here the minimum required number of credits is calculated after each session. In order to proceed to the second semester of the first year, a student must have a minimum of 15 credits. That is, in this university the number of credits earned is calculated after each session. If their insufficient number, after the first session, the university has the right to expel the student. For the first year it is necessary to gain 60 credits, and for the entire bachelor's program of study - 180 credits.
And this university has its own rules of study. The first distinctive one is the number of reserve, i.e. additional credits: 36 for bachelors and 24 for masters. In case of repeated failure to pass any exam, the "cost" of the course will be deducted from this reserve. If all reserve credits are exhausted, the student will have to say goodbye to the university.
At the end of each semester, a student must complete 20 credits. If fewer than 15 credits are earned, for example, the missing portion will be taken from the extra credits to help you stay in school. Therefore, please be careful with your credit reserve fund.
As in other universities, a student must complete 180 credits during the entire undergraduate program.
At this university, like at CSHT and HSE, credits are calculated after the first session. Thus, to pass to the second semester, you need to accumulate at least 15 credits, and to enroll in the second course - 30. For the whole study the sum of compulsory credits is equal to 180.
Enroll in a Prague Education Center preparatory course - take the first step towards a European education. Apply
How do I prepare for the session?
So far, we've found out why students leave university and the minimum number of credits required to move on to the next semester and course. It's time to find out how not to leave the university after the first semester.
Allocate your time wisely
"I dreamed of studying at the Faculty of Law at Charles University and after several years of intensive preparation, I achieved my goal. However, after failing to accumulate the required number of credits to advance to the second year and failing to pass the compulsory exam after several attempts, I was expelled," student Anna shares her story. - "I realized from the beginning that studying at such a faculty would not be easy for me as a foreigner, so, while still in my first year, I applied again to the university to take Karlov by storm once again. I was able to re-enter the Faculty of Law, already in my second year. My main mistake was that I did not plan my time properly. I was combining work, extra part-time work (I do tutoring), studies and meetings with friends. Now I have everything clearly planned and have a certain amount of time for each activity.
As Anya's experience shows, it is better to take care of time management in advance. Get yourself a diary and write down all your tasks and plans in it. You should realize that while studying at a Czech university you will not only have to attend lectures and seminars, but also prepare a lot of written work and projects. At the same time, students work part-time, play sports or learn foreign languages, travel and spend time with friends.
Socialize with your classmates
As strange as this advice may seem, many students are shy about socializing with their classmates. This is especially important for international students. Communicating with your Czech classmates will help you improve your language skills, understand the Czech mentality and will definitely come in handy during the session. Students share their experience of taking an exam with a particular teacher and, of course, notes.
Take a closer look at your colleagues. Perhaps the guy sitting next to you is studying Russian and would be glad to have your help. And the girl at the next desk is the best at chemistry and will be able to explain the material to you in an easy-to-understand way. Remember also that each of us has favorite books, movies and hobbies, and many are happy to share them with understanding people.
Prepare for the exam in good time
In Czech universities, the registration for the exam takes place in a special system, which is opened a couple of weeks before the session. The teacher writes out several dates, you choose the one that suits you.
For a student who has studied the whole semester and understands the material, taking the exam will not be a huge stress, although, of course, there is always excitement. Your task is to read not only the notes written down in lectures, but also the necessary literature, which usually teachers indicate in the system. At the exam - this primarily concerns students in the humanities - will have to not only answer questions on the material covered, but also on the list of readings, which should be extensive.
So that the huge flow of information does not become a problem, prepare for exams during the semester. Preparing in a couple of days, sleepless nights, interruptions in nutrition and rest is too much stress, so read gradually. Each lecture will provide all the information you need for the exams. Write down important points from the literature you read, then a few days before the exam you will only need to refresh the material you have already learned.
Here we have found out why students are expelled from Czech universities and how to successfully pass the session period. We hope you will heed our advice, which has been tried and tested many times by students. Prague Education Center wishes you good studies and an easy session!