ISOIS ▸ Final reports

Host country:
Host institution:
Mobility type:
Program:
Faculty:
Ac. year:
Semesters:
Study level:
Language filled in:

Juniata College

USA 2018/2019 Partner universities

Personal data
Mobility type:
study

Faculty at MU:
Faculty of Arts

Field of study:
English Language and Literature

Level of study during period of placement:
Master

Language used:
English

Summer/winter school?:
no

Period of studies:
autumn 2018, spring 2019

Period of placement (from-to):
2018-08-13 - 2019-05-18

Number of months:
9.00

Activities before my departure abroad
Where can information be found about courses taught at the foreign school?:
All information is found onthe website arch.juniata.edu -> applications -> Webadvisor http://services2.juniata.edu//registrar/jcsa/index.php

Which documents were needed for acceptance at the foreign university?:
Juniata College needed a letter of recommendation, a transcript of records, and a confirmation of studies. They also required a proof of english efficiency, such as TOFL, however, it was possible to avoid it by a scheduled interview with a school official.

How far ahead did you have to organise your acceptance?:
One semester ahead.

Did you need a visa?:
yes

Documents and materials needed for a visa:
A photo, an on-line questionnaire, and a fee (I don't remember how much it was).

Length of wait for visa:
A week.

Fee for the visa:
160 dollars

Studies
Did you have a Learning Agreement signed before your departure?:
yes

If not, why not?:

Before your departure did you know how your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
Yes.

During your stay did you change your Learning Agreement?:
Yes.

When and how did course registration take place? Are there any restrictions? Possibilities of making changes?:
I registered on-line, however, the changes had to be made through the international office and registrar's office at the host university. Some courses required pre-requisits, althogh I was allowed to take the courses after the discussion with the teachers.

Did you take any examinations at the foreign school?:
Yes.

Does the school use the ECTS system?:
no

If not then explain how the credits there were recalculated into ECTS:
One US credit is accepted as two ECTS credits.

Describe the teaching methods (theory, practical and projects) and assessment of students:
The classes usually constituted of teacher- and student-led seminars and lectures. Students' participation was crucial in all courses.

Quality of teaching in comparison with home school:
In general more of less the same, maybe a little bit lower.

How did you receive study materials?:
I had to buy books for majority of classes. Some of the teachers provided the materials online.

Can you recommend an interesting course/subject/teacher?:
Global Climate Change - taught by two teachers, looks at the problem of climate change from scientific as well as a political perspective
Heroes and Villains and Contemporary Poetry - both taught by Peter Goldstein, my favourite teacher from the English department.

How well is the school library equipped?:
Worse than Masaryk University library, however, it's possible to request an inter-library loan. I was able to get to Slovak poetry even.

Availability of computers, internet access, level of software needed, requirements on notebook:
It's possible to borrow a laptop from the library or use computers there. Most students have their own computers though. It is required to have an antivirus installed. I chose ESET Antivirus and it was accepted.

Options from printing and copying:
There are copy and printing machines in the library and in most of the buildings.

Does the foreign school/student organisation arrange special events for exchange students?:
yes

If yes then what?:
There are many cultural events throughout the semester. Many of them include food from various countries.

How would you assess your integration with the local students (evaluation like in school from 1 to 5 with 1 as highest):
2

or describe in your own words:
It was harder to integrate into the groups of students from higher classes, as they already had their friends group, but not impossible. However, I mostly hung out with international students.

Practical questions on your placement
Where did you live?:
In the dormitory. It is possible to choose from various options, I personally recommend Tussey and Cloister Halls.

Cost of accommodation - monthly:
0 USD

Additional comments to the price of accommodation (as to what the price includes):
The accommodation was covered by the Juniata student in Brno, so I am not sure about the price.

Describe the equipment. Tips for future students – what should they bring with them?:
You have to purchase the blankets, but other than that the dorms are well-equipped - there is a bed, desk, closets, etc.

How and how far ahead should accommodation be organised?:
I don't remember, you will get an e-mail from the International office

What are the catering options?:
International students have an unlimited meal plan, which covers meals 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

What are the rough costs of groceries (compare with Czech prices):
The groceries cost roughly twice as much as in the Czech Republic.

Transport to location of placement:
I flew to JFK airport in NYC, waited there overnight and then took a train from the Penn Station directly to Huntingdon. The train ticket has to be purchased in advance at https://www.amtrak.com/home

Rough prices for transportation:
The route from NYC to Huntingdon was around USD.

Tips for purchasing cheap tickets and other recommendations:
N/A

What are the local transport options (public transport, cycling, on foot, rough prices):
There are literally none. There is one train per day going to Pittsburgh and one rain going to NYC, however, it is impossible to come back the same day. I strongly encourage the students to find local friends with cars.

What kind of formalities have to be arranged before arrival, for example residence permit?:
Student VISA

What health insurance did you use? (rough price, advantages, disadvantages, is it necessary to arrange insurance at the university other than your home (Czech) insurance?):
The university offers their own, however it costs 1,600 USD per year. It is possible to get an insurance from a different insurance company if it covers all required conditions. I used an insurance from Allianz in Slovakia that was about half the price of the Juniata insurance.

Did you have any experience with medical treatment abroad?:
No.

Did you work during your studies?:
No, however the campus offers a range of student jobs if you want to work.

What are the conditions for working for MU students?:
N/A

Tips for free-time activities:
There is not much to do in Huntingdon itself, although it has a little downtown with restaurants and a couple of bars. In Johnie's, there is a 50c beer every Thursday.

Financial support and expenses
Total grant from Centre for International Cooperation:
180000 CZK

Monthly grant in CZK:
20000 CZK

Number of supported months:
9

Total number of months:
9

What other sources did you make use of to finance your placement?:
My own savings and parents' support.

If you received another grant, state which and how much in CZK:

 
Total fees associated with enrolment at the university:
0 USD

a/ amount of enrolment fee:
0 CZK

b/ amount of tuition fees:
0 CZK

c/ amount of other fees (which):
0 USD

 
What was your average monthly expenditure?:
3000 CZK

a/ of which for accommodation:
0 CZK

b/ of which for catering:
0 CZK

c/ travel and recreation:
3000 CZK

Any comments to the average monthly expenditure:

Recognition of foreign studies at the home faculty
How many credits did you gain during your studies (in the system of the foreign school)?:
31

How many ECTS credits were recognised at MU?:
62

Did you know in advance which of your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
Yes.

What problems did you have with recognition?:
None.

Overall assessment
Assessment of personal benefit (1 = excellent):
1

Assessment of academic benefit (1 = excellent):
2

Evaluate the information and support provided by the foreign school (1 = excellent):
1

Did you encounter any serious problems during your stay:
No

What would you recommend to take with you:
Adapter for electronics

What most surprised you at the partner university in a positive way:
The individual approach that most teachers and staff had to students.

What most surprised you at the partner university in a negative way:
The location. The school really is in the middle of nowhere.

Further comments: