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Czech Republic
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Central European Studies, Prague

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- Spring

Dear Participants,
Thank you for choosing the University of California Education Abroad Program. We hope that you will have an amazing experience abroad and will look back on it as a highlight of your UC education. For this program, UCEAP has partnered with CIEE. As a UCEAP student, the terms of your participation differ from students who are enrolled with CIEE independently or through another university. Be aware of these differences and understand your responsibilities as a UCEAP student abroad. You are concurrently enrolled at UC while participating through CIEE abroad. This means that the grades you earn while abroad will appear on your UC transcript as direct UC credit rather than transfer credit; that unlike other students in the program, you will pay your fees to UCEAP rather than directly to CIEE; and that you have UCEAP Travel Insurance, which will be your primary insurance policy while abroad.
Review and read the CIEE materials carefully. Follow all CIEE pre-departure and onsite information and instructions; for example, arrival dates and visa instructions. Write down the CIEE contact information and keep it with your passport in case of an emergency. 
Finally, you will have additional resources and contacts at UCEAP. The details of the separate and unique UCEAP elements of your participation are outlined in this short supplement. Be familiar with them before departure.
While UCEAP endeavors to keep all information in this guide updated and accurate, it should be considered in conjunction with program-specific correspondence, which may be more updated. There may be times when information relayed via such correspondence may supersede the online information. Students are responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides, and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad.
UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs whenever, in our sole judgment, local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.

While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.

Click a heading below to see section content.


Your first point of contact while abroad will be the on-site CIEE Resident Staff in Prague. Please review your CIEE Program Guide for contact information.

Local UCEAP Support

Campus EAP Office

The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.

UCEAP Systemwide Office

The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
Academic Staff advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).


While you will stay in close touch with the CIEE staff and the faculty in Prague, you will also need to keep a list of contacts on hand for the UCEAP Systemwide Office. The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs all over the world, and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. As a participant in the Central European Studies, Prague program, you will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisor
Emma Holmes
Phone: (805) 893-4255; E-mail:
Program Specialist
Katerina Georgieva 
Phone: (805) 893-4255; E-mail:
Academic Coordinator
Emily Vallerga
Phone: (805) 893-4683; E-mail:
Academic Specialist
Lauren Nestler
Phone: (805) 893-4683; E-mail:
Student Finance Accountant
Samuel Shafer 
Phone: (805) 893-2648; E-mail:
Academics & Your UC Registration
As a UCEAP student in a program administered by CIEE, make sure you understand all of your academic resources, as well as your academic responsibilities. Remember that other students on the program will be bound to different home-university policies. Regardless of CIEE regulations, you must meet UCEAP requirements.
Read through the following guides now to know what sort of information is in each, and know how to access them easily when you have questions later: 
  • The Academic chapter includes UCEAP academic regulations on unit requirements, information on taking fewer units than the program requirement, instructions on the MyEAP Study List registration process, changing courses, petitions, grades, and more. 
  • CIEE Program Handbook (available in your MyCIEE account "Readings" section)
    The Academics section in the CIEE Program Handbook outlines your CIEE academic program. Read this guide closely; you will be held accountable for this information, as well as UCEAP academic policies in the UGSA.
Who Should I Ask About...
  • UCEAP academic regulations/MyEAP Study List: UCEAP (email Emily Vallerga in the Systemwide Office)
  • CIEE Prague course specifics and concerns: CIEE on-site advisor
  • UC college or department requirements: your college or department advisor and/or campus EAP advisor
You have the additional resources of UCEAP staff in case of difficulties. The CIEE resident staff should be your first contact for most issues, but remember, if you have significant academic, health, personal, or financial issues that may impact your academic performance, be sure to contact UCEAP staff to discuss options and consequences.
Credit and Registration
Because you will be receiving direct UC credit rather than transfer credit, you will be concurrently enrolled with both CIEE and UCEAP. Completing your MyEAP Study List is the only way for your UCEAP courses and grades to appear on your UC transcript. Timely completion of your Study List is also a requirement of the Student Agreement you signed.

Registering through CIEE: Signing up for courses

  • You will be required to pre-register for courses before arriving in Prague. Your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor will notify you when details about the course registration process are available on your online CIEE account. Please take this pre-registration seriously and act fast—enrollment is first come-first served.
  • Note that you may not change courses after the CIEE add/drop period ends. 
  • Take your home UC department advisor’s name and email with you to contact regarding using any new course to satisfy particular department or college requirements. Neither CIEE nor UCEAP staff can assist you with questions about fulfilling home department requirements.

Registering through UCEAP: Entering your courses into your MyEAP Registration Study List

  • Immediately after your arrival, you will receive detailed instructions from the UCEAP Systemwide Office.  It is critical that you read and respond to all e-mails regarding the registration process.
  • You will search the MyEAP course catalog to select existing courses taken by previous students in Prague, and enter course information for new course offerings. 
  • Include the correct number of units in UC quarter units (even for semester campus students).
  • The Systemwide Office reviews courses (especially subject areas and division) and finalizes Study Lists. Check your final Study List carefully, as it determines how your courses will appear on your transcript.
  • If you have concerns about meeting program requirements or other related questions, first consult the relevant sections of the Academic chapter of the UGSA, then contact the Systemwide Office if needed.


You are required to take five to six courses totaling 22.5 – 27.0 quarter/15.0 – 18.0 semester UC units. You must take a minimum of three CIEE courses and you may be able to supplement CIEE coursework with courses designed for US students at the Prague Film and Television School at the Academy of the Performing Arts (FAMU) or Charles University. 

Pass/No Pass Policy

You may take up to 40% of your total unit load per term on a P/NP basis. You select your grading option though MyEAP and NOT through CIEE.
Most campus departments prohibit the P/NP grading option for any course in the major. It is your responsibility to be aware of your UC campus and department regulations, restrictions, or limitations regarding P/NP, and to plan coursework accordingly.
For more information on this policy, see the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Your grades will be transmitted to your registrar after the Academic Specialist has received your transcript from CIEE. UCEAP uses CIEE’s grading rubric when transmitting grades back to your UC campus. The grades on your UC record will appear exactly as they are on your CIEE transcript. UC grades are final and will not be changed unless an error has been made in the recording. It usually takes some time before the Academic Specialist receives the host university transcripts.
Fall semester grades are usually reported to your campus in late January.
Spring semester grades are usually reported to your campus in mid-July.
You will also find additional detailed information on UCEAP Academic Policies in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad:
  • Contact information for finance questions
  • How to estimate the cost of your program
  • Budget instructions and information
  • Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
  • UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
  • Banking before and after arrival
  • Fees and penalties
  • Loan information
  • How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
  • Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
Detailed information on handing money abroad can be found in your CIEE Program Handbook.​
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget. Program fees are subject to change.

Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:

If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions.
Carefully review your UCEAP Program Budget.
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing or recreational travel abroad.
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.
  • Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
  • Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
  • Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
For further information see the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and the Money Matters tab of your Participants Portal. If you will be receiving financial aid, see also the UCEAP Financial Assistance web page.


The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip tickets, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. UCEAP discourages purchasing one way tickets, as your Program Budget is based on a changeable round trip student fare, which is generally less expensive. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase tickets that allow changes to the return date. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.

Financial Aid Students

Your financial aid package is calculated using your specific UCEAP Program Budget. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student ticket to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.
Pre-Departure Withdrawal Fees
Diversity at UCEAP
LGBTIQ Students
Prague has a large gay community, centered in the city’s Vinohrady district, with several openly gay venues. In contrast, outside of Prague—particularly in small towns—views are still relatively conservative and open displays of affection between same-sex couples are less common. LGBT students should use discretion when traveling in these areas.
There are some reported instances of discrimination against persons based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Antidiscrimination and hate-crime legislation exists, but does not specifically cover LGBT individuals.
​For more information,
Students with Disabilities
​While in the Czech Republic, students may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. The law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, and the provision of other state services; the government generally enforces these provisions. Most buses and new tram cars are configured for special needs access, but only 60 percent of Prague's metro stations are accessible to persons with disabilities. Of 15 major metro stations in the city center, only five were barrier-free in 2011. Accessibility outside of Prague is generally less available.
UCEAP Insurance

Know Before you Go

While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy.  Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term.
The UCEAP travel insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations. Read details in Benefits at a Glance. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. Your travel insurance policy number is ADDN 04834823.  It is underwritten by Chubb Insurance Company.
There is no deductible or co-insurance but the travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis.  You can submit a claim for a refund consideration of covered expenses.  For more information about the medical claim proces or about non-medical claims.
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance.  Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country).  It is your responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter.

For Questions about Coverage, Benefits and Claims Status

ACI at

CIEE Insurance

Know Before you Go

In addition to the UCEAP Travel Insurance policy (your primary coverage anywhere in the world), you will also be covered by the CIEE supplemental travel insurance (your secondary coverage) while abroad. 
If you have questions about the UCEAP travel insurance coverage, benefits, and claims, contact, ACI at
If you have questions about the CIEE insurance policy, visit  Or refer to your MyCIEE/Polaris account under the “Readings” section.
Czech Insurance

​All participants that are foreigners in the Czech Republic must have Czech health insurance. CIEE staff abroad will arrange this for you, and you wil pay the premium after you arrive in Prague. The cost was 2500 CZK in 2016-17. More information will be provided during the CIEE online pre departure orientation.


This insurance is for emergency purposes only.  

Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
Prague has adequate Western-style medical clinics with English-speaking doctors and dentists. However, the Czech medical system is organized differently from the medical system in the United States. Even though central emergency rooms exist in most hospitals, patients are often sent to the facility that treats their specific medical condition (i.e., broken noses are sent to the ear, nose, and throat specialist rather than to the general practitioner). There are family practices in the Czech Republic that function like those in the United States, but they are located mostly in larger cities.
All major hospitals accept credit cards or cash as a method of payment. Private specialists usually expect cash payment for health services, though some private facilities accept credit cards as well. Administrative staff at the majority of Czech medical facilities may not speak English.
Ambulance services are on par with U.S. standards. Response time is generally less than 15 minutes. Ambulance companies generally expect payment at the time of service. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more.
Talk to the CIEE local staff if you need a medical referral.
Physical Health

Know Before you Go

Inform yourself before you travel.  Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care.  Know what to do if you get sick.
Read the Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
If you are sick or injured, talk to the CIEE local staff, get a referral, and make an appointment with their help.  You are covered by the Czech, CIEE and UCEAP Travel Insurance policies.  You must pay upfront for treatment and submit a claim to the insurance company.  Plan ahead.
Prescription Medications


  • Understand your UCEAP travel insurance terms of coverage.
  • If you need a refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor. US prescriptions are not valid in other countries.  Note:​ If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventive care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance; your campus or private insurance plan may cover it.  You must travel with a letter from your prescribing explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name. 
  • If you need to find out if this appointment would be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance, contact ACI at For more information about the UCEAP travel insurance, refer to your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, or your pre-departure checklist, Insurance tab.
  • Two classes of medicines – narcotics and psychotropics – are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that can have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine) which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are all those medications likely to be used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions.

Before Departure

  • If you plan to purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must fill and pay for medication when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start of the program).  Do not assume that your local pharmacy knows about the UCEAP travel insurance policy.  It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage. You will need to pay for the medication and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance.
  • Find out whether your medication is legal in your UCEAP country.
  • If traveling with a prescription containing controlled substances, review international agreements governing the transportation of medications across borders check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) website. The INCB is responsible for international drug control. If traveling with controlled substances, you must have a letter from your doctor. Generally, amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal in other countries. Talk with your doctor to switch you to another medication.
  • Talk to your doctor to see whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription medication to last through the end of the program.  Ask your doctor how to adjust your dosage depending on time zone changes.
  • Get a letter from the prescribing physician, on letterhead, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name as brand names vary considerably around the world.

Traveling with prescription medications

  • Keep the medication in its original packaging clearly labelled with your name, doctor’s name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage. Carry it in your carry-on luggage, provided it is in pill or solid form. For more information, particularly if your medication is in liquid form, consult the US Transportation Security Administration., Traveling with Medications.
  • Carry copies of all original US prescriptions.
  • Carry the letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic names. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.

Why is a letter from your treating physician necessary? 

If your particular medication cannot be taken into the country, talk to your doctor.  If you need to switch prescriptions, your doctor may need to make changes to your medication at least 3-6 months before departure to monitor side effects and dosage.  The letter from your doctor indicating condition, treatment and medication regimen, can help a local physician to assess you and to consider reissuing your prescription provided it is licensed in your UCEAP country. Note that the local doctor's appointment for medication refill may not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.

Consult with ACI, Read more in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health section.


Czech customs authorities enforce regulations concerning temporary import or export of items such as  medications, medical equipment, etc. Refer to the Czech Republic Embassy website for information regarding customs requirements.

Mental Health
If you are currently in treatment in the U.S., discuss your UCEAP program details with your doctor so you can work on a plan in case you need to reach out for care. If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician before departure about getting the supply you need for going abroad.  For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.​

Your mental health is important to us all. Create a plan with your treating doctor. Managing your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a pre-existing condition – is something every person must think about when going abroad. Being away from usual stress at home can sometimes be a relief when abroad; experiencing new adventures can be a useful distraction. You will also have times when you feel confused, uncomfortable, annoyed, and many of the same emotions that you manage in your daily life at home.
Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.

You may feel homesick or sad. Feeling down, anxious, homesick, depressed or stressed might be your body’s reaction to the new environment and different life away from your usual support network. Don't cope alone.  Reach out for help to the local UCEAP program staff and your friends.  If you have been feeling unhappy for longer than a few days, or it is staring to affect your enjoyment of life and/or your studies, then you should see a doctor immediately.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration.  Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at
Health Risks
Food Allergies
Students with severe food allergies should take precautions, as the cuisine may include ingredients that can cause anaphylaxis in those affected. A language barrier increases the risks associated with severe food allergies. 
Precautions to take include:
  • Research the local cuisine. Be aware that some popular local sauces may contain nuts.
  • Discuss the risks with your doctor six to eight weeks before departure to discuss your treatment plan while abroad.
  • Carry the medications you need to prevent an adverse reaction like antihistamines or epinephrine injectors with refills. Pack it in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. Your medication must be in its original packaging, with your name.
  • Have a letter from your physician to present to airport security that states your need to have the epinephrine auto injector with you at all times.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or tag with instructions for assistance in both English and the local language. Wearing medical identification at all times can help should a life-threatening reaction occur.
  • Tell others about your food allergy.
  • Carry a card written in English and the local language explaining what foods cause allergies and possible reaction. Make several copies in case you lose one. Be sure to have a native speaker verify that you have written everything correctly.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter, Allergies section.


Air Quality
Staying Safe
​Refer to important safety information in the CIEE Handbook and the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Minimize Risk

You play an active role in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being. Consider an action plan.

With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in minimizing or preventing personal risks. Take time to assess the risks, plan ahead to reduce them, and think how you would lessen the consequences if things go wrong. Start by outlining activities you plan to engage in through your program and/or during independent travel; label the risk and rate it based on the likelihood of harm and the severity of consequences. Consider measures you can take to reduce the severity and chance. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel.
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and has contracted with emergency assistance and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety. 
Be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate and unpredictable terrorist attacks, which make it impossible to protect yourself from. Remain vigilant in all public areas in your UCEAP city and country and wherever you travel. Many terrorist groups, seeking publicity for political causes within their own country or region, are not looking for student or higher education targets.

Terrorist attacks using vehicles are very hard to prevent and appear to be on the rise. If you are in a crowded public place, know how you can exit quickly, identify barriers or safe places where you can shelter-in-place, and watch out for any vehicles that appear to be going at very high speed.

Report anything suspicious to local authorities.  Read all security-related correspondence and advice from local staff.  Schedule direct flights, if possible.  Avoid stops in high-risk airports or areas. Minimize time spent in the public area of an airport, which is a less protected area.  Keep a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations, hotels, and hospitals. Have a plan for what you will do in the case of an emergency.  If you are ever caught in a situation where somebody starts shooting, follow the active shooter guidelines: drop to the floor, get down as low as possible, and hide if possible.  Cover yourself behind a solid object. Silence your phone. Do not move until the danger has passed.

Steps to manage or minimize risk and enhance your personal safety

  • Familiarize yourself with all UCEAP resources and emergency support services while on UCEAP.

  • Assess your surroundings.  Learn to recognize danger.
  • Remain aware at all times. Do not walk around talking on the phone or listening to music on your headphones.

  • When entering larger venues, always decide on a meeting place with those you are with just in case you get separated. Always identify possible exits.

  • Be attentive to what is unusual or threatening. Assess reasonable and safe options. Trust your "gut feelings"; if you feel threatened, act if safe to do so and leave the area immediately. Find somewhere more secure.
  • Research potential risks you can encounter before you travel. 
  • Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying on top of your drinking. Know your limits. In many countries beer, wine and liquor in some countries contains a higher alcohol content than similar products in the U.S. Know what you are drinking and how much alcohol it contains.
  • Practice the buddy system, which promotes safety.  This system helps ensure that you, and a partner, will look out for each other.  Choose your buddy wisely.  The ideal buddy should feel that the buddy system is very important. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
  • Have a communication plan. Who will you call on site if you are facing an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
Register online with the U.S. embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.
Read the UCEAP the Guide to Study Abroad, Safety Chapter  for more information on how to prepare to have a safe experience and access the U.S. Department of State Students Abroad website for updated travel information.
Crime & Prevention

The Czech Republic has a relatively low crime rate but petty theft and pick-pocketing are problems, particularly in Prague. Pickpocketing mostly occurs on the trams, metro, and main railway stations. Remain vigilant.

Detailed information can be found in your CIEE Program Handbook.​ Inform yourself and be prepared.

Civil Unrest
​Civil disorder is rare, although strikes and demonstrations do occasionally occur. Public protests are usually non-violent and issue-centered. Demonstrations are usually small and peaceful. Most demonstrations number less than 50 but have been known to exceed 500 participants. There have been incidents of violence involving rowdy fans at sporting events. During these incidents and other demonstrations, the police are generally well prepared and handle the protesters in a professional and competent manner. Avoid demonstrations.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Prague has an extensive and reliable bus and tramway service. Tickets can be bought at tobacconists and any establishment displaying the sign 'Predprodej Jizdenek' (ticket sales.)
Buses, trolleybuses and tramways also operate in Brno, Ostrava, Plzen and some other centers. Most of the local services run 0430-0000. All trams and bus stops have the schedules posted.


Prague has three metro lines that are easy to use, well-designed and clean. They are the easiest and quickest transport, especially since driving and parking in Prague is very difficult. Metro tickets are bought from machines at the stations. No other city in the Czech republic has a metro/subway.
​Buy a ticket prior to boarding to avoid being fined. The ticket must be validated at the outset of the trip by inserting it into the yellow box found on trams and buses and in the entry halls of Metro stations. In Prague, ticket offices are located in many Metro stations. Tickets can also be purchased at tabak shops, newspaper stands, post offices, and from vending machines at all metro stations and at major tram stops. Those travelers who do not validate their tickets face the possibility of encountering an inspector at any time. The transportation inspectors operate in plain clothes, but should display a small metal badge (emblazoned with the words “Prepravní Kontrola”) when inspecting travelers’ tickets. Fines range from 50 to 950 CZK, but the standard on-the-spot payment for traveling without a valid ticket is 800 CZK. Inspectors should provide a receipt upon payment. Information on the types of tickets and pricing can be found here.


Taxis should be clearly marked (ideally with a permanently installed roof lamp and taxi sign) and must have driver’s information, with registration number, company name, and price list displayed on the front doors. Taxi drivers should use a taxi meter and provide a receipt (from the meter) upon completion of the trip. Taxi drivers are infamous for overcharging foreigners or taking circuitous routes to drive up fares.
The U.S. Embassy is aware of a report involving an individual who hailed a taxi on a street near a popular nightclub; the individual was robbed and sustained minor injuries before being dropped off outside of Prague. More alarmingly, the U.S. Embassy is also aware of sexual assault cases involving taxis.
Get a taxi at one of the "Fair Place" taxi stands regulated by the Prague municipality. The main taxi stand at Prague Ruzyne Airport has proven reputable. Clearly marked taxis from AAA (14-0-14) and Radio Cab 1.1.1 service the stand. Fares from the airport to the city center should run approximately 600CZK.

Bus Services

The Czech Republic's government-run bus network is extensive and covers many areas that are inaccessible by train. The bus service is generally efficient and comfortable. Long-distance buses serve much of Europe and should be booked in advance. On some buses, foreigners are occasionally required to pay higher fares.
Eurolines and Eurobus offer bus passes for unlimited travel for a certain period of time within Europe. For information, call Eurolines in Prague at 2-2481-4450 or 2-2481-4821.

Pedestrian Safety

The Czech Republic has significantly more pedestrian fatalities than other countries in the European Union.
Trams always have right of way even at pedestrian crossings. There are a number of accidents involving trams every year and it is important to take extra care if you are in the vicinity of tram tracks. Be sure to look both ways, especially at pedestrian crossings and bear in mind that trams cannot stop quickly, nor can they avoid you if you are on the track.
  • Do not cross in unprotected road sections without pedestrian crossings.
  • Look both ways before crossing a street, drivers do not always stop for pedestrians on crosswalks.
  • Laws against traffic violations by pedestrians, such as jaywalking, are also frequently enforced in the Prague city center, and a discretionary fine of up to 2000 CZK (about 80 USD) may also be applied.  Refusal to pay the fine may lead to an administrative court procedure with the fine potentially being higher than the original amount. ​
Bars & Nightclubs
​Czech bars and dance clubs are generally safe. However, approaches to purchase illicit drugs have occurred. This is against the law in the Czech Republic. Security at nightclubs may respond more forcefully than at similar venues in the United States.
Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment
Every member of the UCEAP community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual violence and sexual harassment, retaliation, and other prohibited behavior (“Prohibited Conduct”) that violates law and/or University policy. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of Prohibited Conduct and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior that violates this Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. Report to the local
UCEAP staff and/or partners if you suspect one of these behaviors has occurred.
Fire Safety
Follow these general fire safety tips. Most college-related fires in the U.S. are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
  • Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
  • Know how to call the local fire department.
  • Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
  • Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
  • Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
  • Have an escape plan and practice it.
  • Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
  • Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
  • Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
In case of fire, call the Fire Brigade - Dial 150
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.

Program Suspension Policy

If the U.S. Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Advisory after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, UC security provider, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.

Security Evacuation

The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy evacuation on U.S. government-arranged flights, that require U.S. citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP and its security providers, is covered by UCEAP itravel nsurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
In An Emergency

What Is an Emergency?

An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
  • Any life/death situation
  • A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
  • An arrest
  • Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country

In an Emergency

Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:

If you are in the U.S.

  • During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
  • After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.

If you are abroad

Carry the local emergency contact information at all times.
If you need immediate emergency assistance, call 112 for Police, Ambulance, or Fire Department:
Police .........................156
Ambulance ..................155
Fire Department ...........150
If necessary, call the emergency number of the U.S. Embassy in Prague:
(420) 257 022 000

U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic

American Citizen Services
Tržiště 15
118 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic
Phone: (420) 257 022 000
Fax: (420) 257 022 809
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