ISOIS ▸ Final reports

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

University of Central Florida

USA 2018/2019 Partner universities

Personal data
Mobility type:
study

Faculty at MU:
Faculty of Social Studies

Field of study:
International Relations and Political Scince

Level of study during period of placement:
Bachelor

Language used:
English

Summer/winter school?:
no

Period of studies:
autumn 2018

Period of placement (from-to):
2018-08-18 - 2018-12-09

Number of months:
4.00

Activities before my departure abroad
Where can information be found about courses taught at the foreign school?:
Everything about courses taught at UCF can be found on my.ucf.edu website. It very easy to find courses there for all study fields.

Which documents were needed for acceptance at the foreign university?:
Language certificate or letter from MU about level of English, health insurence documents (UCF offers some "packages" of insurence which meets the requirements which UCF has for health insurence for international students), conformation of health condition from doctor, finaces

How far ahead did you have to organise your acceptance?:
8 months

Did you need a visa?:
yes

Documents and materials needed for a visa:
all documents needed are described on websites of the US embassy and UCF sent me very clear instructions how to apply for visa and what type of visa I need

Length of wait for visa:
1 month

Fee for the visa:
around 350 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?:
when you send all required documents you can sign up for classes, for MU you should get at least 20 ECTS and for UCF it was 15 units (they advised us to take 3-4 courses)

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:
I consulted it with the coordinator at my faculty, there is no given way how to recalculate from UCF units to ECTS

Describe the teaching methods (theory, practical and projects) and assessment of students:
Threre are lots of smaller assignments during the semester, exams are also taken during the whole semester, at the end of semester there is one week of finals. In some classes you have to take midterm exam in the middle of semester. In most classes, there are group projects and presentations.

Quality of teaching in comparison with home school:
lower

How did you receive study materials?:
You have to buy books. Some materials can be found online but most of them not.

Can you recommend an interesting course/subject/teacher?:
I really enjoyed class called The Intelligence Community with Teddy Reynolds. It is easy class but very interesting, there are lots of class disscusions and you can get great insight into Americans point of view on work of intelligence. I also liked Robert Bass's class about American National Government which helped me with understanding the US Constitution and also current political situation.

How well is the school library equipped?:
They usually don't have enought textbooks, you have to buy or rent them at the beginning of semester. People usually rent them from amazon or I found website called triftbooks where yo can buy cheap used books. Otherwise library is great place for studying, they have enought books which you can use for your written assignments.

Availability of computers, internet access, level of software needed, requirements on notebook:
There are computers in the library which you can use, wifi is available on the whole campus but in my dorms it was pretty slow. As far as I know you don't need any special software. If anything happens to your laptop or phone you can go to the help desk in the lbrary and they will help you to fix it and you can also rent a laptop there.

Options from printing and copying:
You can print for free in Students Union (2nd floor) - you get 2 dollars for printing per day there. Otherwise you can put money on your UCF ID and pay for extra copying or use it on copying somewhere else on campus where it is not free (like library).

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

If yes then what?:
There are "global ambassadors" and they take care of exchange students. At the beggining of semester they arrange events where you can meet other exchange students, then during the semester they arrange some trips (St. Augustine, Wekiva Springs, Bahamas Cruise etc.) and they are always around if you need any help they are there for you. Some of them are that nice that they took us grocery shopping or to and from the airport when we went somewhere.

How would you assess your integration with the local students (evaluation like in school from 1 to 5 with 1 as highest):
3

or describe in your own words:

Practical questions on your placement
Where did you live?:
Dorms

Cost of accommodation - monthly:
800 USD

Additional comments to the price of accommodation (as to what the price includes):
It doesn't include much - I lived in Nike, we had our own rooms there. We lived in appartment for 4 people - there were always 2 exhange students and 2 Americans. In a flat there are 2 bathrooms, kitchen with fridge (no kettle, toaster, microwave or tableware), and living rooms with sofa. Room was emty, no lamp, no sheets or pillow and blanket. I had to buy everything in Walmart when I arrived, but UCF offers that you can buy it from their websites but it was pretty expensive. In the kitchen I used some equipments from my American roomates.

Describe the equipment. Tips for future students – what should they bring with them?:
Answered above. But basically, you need to buy everything.

How and how far ahead should accommodation be organised?:
It was reserved by UCF for all exchange students. You just have to pay for it at the beginning of semester (all at once - so you pay accomodation for the whole semester)

What are the catering options?:
You have to cook for yourself but there are countless fastfood places of campus and two very smalls shops.

What are the rough costs of groceries (compare with Czech prices):
It depends where you eat. But I would say approximately 10-12dollars for lunch/dinner if you want to eat out. And if you see the prices, there is usually no tax included so you should bear that in mind, it always get more expensive. And in the US you should tip 15-20%.

Transport to location of placement:
Terrible. There is no reliable Public transport. I alwaysed used Uber or Lyft (usually cheaper than Uber) when I did my groceries. For trips, we usually rented a car with my friends. There is UCF bus which goes around campus but I used it only once and wasn't very happy about it. You can rather rent a bike if you want to go around campus. At the beggining of semester you can rent a bike from UCF for the whole semester but you have to be fast cause they have only limited amount.

Rough prices for transportation:
It really depends where and when you are going.

Tips for purchasing cheap tickets and other recommendations:
Make American friends, they usually have car and they can drive you around if you need.

What are the local transport options (public transport, cycling, on foot, rough prices):
Uber or Lyft are the best options for you (if you don't want to buy your ownt car)

What kind of formalities have to be arranged before arrival, for example residence permit?:
Only 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?):
You have to arrange it before signing up for classes. UCF has their own reguirements and they offer you different types of insurence which you can choose from. Mine was I think around 70-80 dollars per month.

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

Did you work during your studies?:
No

What are the conditions for working for MU students?:
I don't have any experience with that but I know according to J-1 visa which exchange students have, you are allowed to work just on campus.

Tips for free-time activities:
UCF organise lots of activities for students for free, you can use pool or one of two gyms (free of charge). As UCF student you can go to all sport matches of UCF teams (football, volleyball, basketball..) for free.

Financial support and expenses
Total grant from Centre for International Cooperation:
80000 CZK

Monthly grant in CZK:
20000 CZK

Number of supported months:
4

Total number of months:
4

What other sources did you make use of to finance your placement?:
my own savings and money from my family

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

 
Total fees associated with enrolment at the university:
0 CZK

a/ amount of enrolment fee:
0 CZK

b/ amount of tuition fees:
0 CZK

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

 
What was your average monthly expenditure?:
35000 CZK

a/ of which for accommodation:
18000 CZK

b/ of which for catering:
7000 CZK

c/ travel and recreation:
10000 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)?:
16 units

How many ECTS credits were recognised at MU?:
35 ECTS

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

What problems did you have with recognition?:
no problems

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:
umbrella or rain coat, one warmer jacket and long jeans (at the end of november it was getting colder and also if you want to travel out of Florida you might need it)

What most surprised you at the partner university in a positive way:
how friendly and helpful everyone is

What most surprised you at the partner university in a negative way:
that some people have no idea what is going on outside of the US

Further comments: