ISOIS ▸ Final reports

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

University of Central Florida

USA 2018/2019 Freemovers

Personal data
Mobility type:

Faculty at MU:
Faculty of Education

Field of study:
Analysis of Czech vocabulary development of bilingual children of preschool age

Level of study during period of placement:

Language used:

Summer/winter school?:

Period of studies:
autumn 2018

Period of placement (from-to):
2018-10-03 - 2019-01-25

Number of months:

Activities before my departure abroad
What was your approach in organising the placement?:
- participation in international research
- PhD. program study in Special Education
- school observations
- to discuss my dissertation with specialists at the university

What documents are required for acceptance on a placement at this organisation?:
Visa (I got a J-1 Visa).

How far ahead did acceptance have to be organised? (in weeks):
At least 12 weeks in advance

Did you need a visa?:

Documents and materials needed for a visa:
- study confirmation
- invitation letter
- proof of funds (at least 160 000 CZK available)
- health insurance (the University of Central Florida sent specific requirements)

Fee for the visa:
- U.S. Consulate fee
- SEVIS fee

During the placement
Did you change the training agreement in the course of your placement (training agreement)?:
- no

What is necessary to arrange immediately on arrival? What requirements and at which offices?:
I had to apply to get my student's ID and to visit my immigration advisor at UCF Global. Also, I had to join a mandatory lecture about the position of a J-1 scholar in the United States.

Describe your work/activity in the foreign organisation. Describe what specifically you did, whether the work corresponded to the agreed conditions and your field of study, and whether your work was independent and responsible, approximate working hours.:
I attended various courses, met with faculty, staff, and students at the university, and involved myself in various on-campus activities. As a researcher, I completed the CITI and HIPPA training and was involved in
the Augmentative and Alternative Communication Research at The Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST). I had the opportunity to observe and interact with a teaching simulator, TeachLive, and converse with the faculty and staff conducting research utilizing this approach and worked in the Communication Disorder Clinic. Additionally, I spent time in multiple local K-12 classrooms observing students and teachers, attended communication classes for pregnant teenagers, and visited several dual language and inclusive schools. Also, I provided several presentations focusing on the Czech Republic and educational and pedagogical approaches, including one on the educational system in the Czech Republic for Ph.D. students of Exceptional Education, one about bilingualism for students of Speech-Language Pathology, several for Social Science Education majors, and one for the International Committee for the College of Community Innovation and Education.

Did the organisation or local student organisations arrange any special events for foreign students on placements?:

If yes then what?:
Bridges - international students organization

Practical questions on your placement
Where did you live?:
- university accommodation is too expensive!!! I was very lucky... however, all AirBnBs are far from the university and there is no public transport. I rode a bike every day (the distance 8km - one way)

Cost of accommodation - monthly:
750 EUR

Additional comments to the price of accommodation (as to what the price includes):
- wifi
- private room with private bathroom
- shared kitchen
- iron
- washing machine

Who arranged your accommodation and how far ahead:
I arranged it by myself. It is good to book accommodation at leat 3 months in advance.

Equipment, internet connection, what to bring:
- wifi was available
- it is necessary to have a car or a bike

What are the rough costs of groceries (compare with Czech prices):
I cooked regularly. Prices were higher, especially, for services (restaurants, transport, entertainment).

Transport to location of placement:
There is no public transport, dormitories are overpriced. You need to have a car or a bike to get around. The university is 40 minutes driving to get to the city centre (no public transport to get there)-

Approximate price:
The price of accommodation is higher. Moreover, accommodation around the university is overpriced and there is no public transport. It is good to find something a bit further and rent a bike - without a bike, it is not able to get anywhere. Uber is quite expensive.

Tips for purchasing cheap tickets and other recommendations:
I like Norwegian Airlines.

What are the local transport options (public transport, cycling, on foot, rough prices):
- no public transport
- everyone has his own car - everything is far
- I rented a bike to get to the university and to shops. When I needed to do a big shopping, I asked my friends if they could drive me to a store.

How did you use health insurance? What type?:
I had an AXA health insurance. My insurance had to follow specific requirements which had been sent from the university.

Did you have other insurance? Which?:

Experience with insured events:

Tips for recreation:
- theme parks in Orlando
- basketball matches - Orlando Magic Team
- national parks

Financial support and expenses
Monthly grant from the Centre for International Cooperation:
18000 CZK

What other sources did you make use of to finance your placement?:
- Podpora studijních pobytů / praktických stáží - 60 000 CZK
- my own savings

What was your average monthly expenditure during the placement (i.e. without the travel there and back)?:
38000 CZK

a/ of which for accommodation:
19000 CZK

b/ of which for catering:
7000 CZK

c/ travel and recreation:
5000 CZK

Any comments to the average monthly expenditure:
+ sim card with wifi/monthly paid
+ travel costs (I had to use Uber to get to schools located far from the university)
+ bike rent

+ visa, health insurance - paid 3 months before my stay

Experience with bank accounts/services. Do you recommend an account arranged abroad, use of Czech payment cards...:
I had two bank cards - Komerční banka and AirBank. I didn't need to arrange a bank account in USD dollars

Did you pay to foreign organisations any fees? (insurance, materials, etc.):

Did you receive a salary from the host business/organisation?:

If yes, what was your monthly salary?:
0 ???

Other advantages from the host organisation?:

Is it necessary to assume a larger amount at the start of the placement? If yes, what and for what purpose?:
You need to pay for accommodation and your visa at least 3-4 months in advance. Also, the university wanted me to have one of the highest levels of health insurance and I had to follow their requirements. Also, when you apply for your visa, you need to have proof of your funds - at 160 000 CZK (4 months stay).

Recognition of the foreign placement at the home faculty
Is the traineeship part of your field of study?:

If yes - is it a compulsory or optional part?:

How will your traineeship abroad be recognised at the home faculty?:
It was an important experience for my career as an academic.

How many ECTS credits did you/will you get?:

Were there serious problems arranging recognition of the placement?:
No. My department supported me as much as they could do.

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

Assessment of academic benefit (1 = excellent):

Do you agree with the statement that, thanks to the experience gained during the placement you will be able to further develop your skills for work in your field?:

What did you most appreciate after completing your placement?:
- great experience!!!! I met amazing teachers and many of them are the top specialists in my research topic. As a researcher, I got involved in international research - one of the best experience I have ever had.

Any serious problems during the placement?:
It was hard to stay without a car in a place where everything is so far. This is good to consider. As a PhD. student, I had to contact all my teachers by myself and it took a lot of time and effort to arrange all school visits, classes, conferences etc.

Do you have any recommendation for those that follow you? (e.g. what to take with them):
Arrange a bike in advance!