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Unique two-week summer schools attract students from all over world to MU

Masaryk University has had another successful season of summer schools. Almost 150 foreign students came to Brno, half of them for one of the nine two-week intensive programmes.

Two-week summer schools are relatively rare and MU only launched this concept of short-term programmes last summer. And this year, it expanded the course offerings even further, so international students could choose from a total of 9 programmes focusing on, for example, anthropology, digital marketing, energy policy, 3D printing in pharmacy, sports and natural sciences and other specialised subjects taught across MU.

“Besides short-term programmes, MU has been organising traditional three-week or monthly programmes and internships in laboratories for more than 15 years. For many students, however, 3-8 week placements are unrealistic for financial, time or family reasons, so last year, we came up with the concept of shorter courses that allow anyone to gain international experience in the field. And we are very pleased with the huge interest in the two-week summer schools,” explains summer school manager Erin Anna Smith from MU Centre for International Cooperation.

This summer, almost 75 foreigners from 28 countries came to Brno for short-term intensive programmes. Most of the nationalities were mainly from Europe, but there were also students from other continents, such as the USA, Canada, Mexico, Iran, India, China, Japan, Taiwan, Kyrgyzstan and Indonesia.

And although they were all in Brno for a relatively short time, Masaryk University prepared a very diverse programme for them. Right at the beginning, students broke off into groups for a scavenger hunt around Brno, followed by a welcome dinner for the students of all nine programmes, where they could get to know other students in their class, as well as students from other educational programmes.

A varied programme also followed each day after the four-hour morning class. After lunch, the students could go on a tour of Brno or go swimming to get to know each other better. Students were not bored on the other days either, and they could visit, for example, a festival presenting Czech and Moravian folklore or the annual festival of the Brno Observatory, which also shows a large inflatable model of the Earth. In addition, the university also organised wine tasting, a boat party, beer yoga and trips to Vienna, Olomouc and a lavender field near Brno. In the end, the students were treated to a farewell barbecue in the Open Garden.

Masaryk University has received very positive feedback on the two-week summer school from all students, who were very satisfied with the academic programme and the content of the courses, as well as with the rich cultural programme. For example, Wilfrid Farrel, a student from the University of Potsdam, appreciates the balance between study and leisure on the programme. “One spends the morning at school and gets a lot of theoretical and practical experience from teachers who are recognised experts in their field. And in the evening, there is a lot of fun and even sightseeing trips at the weekend.”

En Hsiao, a student from National Taiwan University who attended the Next-generation Sequencing in Human Health and Environment summer school, was very excited about his two-week stay in Brno. “The foreign stay gave me a whole new perspective on the world and taught me how to interact with different nationalities. It was two incredible weeks that I will remember for the rest of my life,” the student said.

Summer school organizer Erin Anna Smith was excited about this year's event, like the students. “This year's summer schools were a great success. Students came from all over the world, and along with the other eight summer schools running since May, it was a really busy three months. And we are already looking forward to the students coming next summer. This year's season may be over, but we're already working on next summer and winter school programmes,” says Erin Anna Smith.

Masaryk University plans to organize two-week summer schools next academic year. The offer of all educational courses, including three-week and monthly summer educational courses, field internships and winter schools, can be found on the website, where the final offer of courses for summer 2024 will be published by 10 October. Interested applicants can submit their applications until 1 April 2024 for the 3+ week courses in the summer. For winter schools organised in January 2024, you can apply until 1 October 2023.

Photo gallery:

Right at the beginning, the Brno city game awaited for students.
International students in Budapest.
The annual Planet Festival was again held in the park on Kraví hora.
Beer yoga was one of the afternoon activities.
International students on the trip to Brno damn.