Seven students from the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering (CCEE) traveled to Prague in early summer to study for four weeks. This is the third time that CCEE has offered a Study Abroad program in Prague, though plans are now to offer it annually.
The CCEE offerings were part of what has traditionally been referred to as The Prague Institute. It was originally an initiative of the College of Design with the first classes offered in 1992. Now the facility and the offerings are a permanent NCSU campus known as the European Center in Prague. It’s located in the heart of the city offering students a chance to experience the culture and history of this ancient city and the surrounding area. Nearly 200 students a year from several Colleges within NCSU now study in Prague throughout the year.
This summer’s engineering course offerings included CE 263, Introduction to Construction, taught by CCEE Lecturer Steve Welton. For four weeks, the students met from 8 am until noon for formal classes, followed by field trips on many days, as well as study sessions most nights. Many students find the condensed schedule more conducive to learning, and cite the opportunity for more personal engagement with other students and the professor as a positive experience.
Taylor Forbes, a senior in CCEE who participated in the Study Abroad program in Prague in the summer of 2016, said: “It was one of the best things I decided to do and I recommend it to other students all the time. I developed relationships with classmates and professors that I brought back to my next year at Mann Hall.” Forbes has lived in Wake County her entire life. “Having to figure out daily tasks such as transportation, food, and laundry in a different culture with a different language was eye opening. It made me more confident when interviewing for jobs and scholarships last year.”
In 2018, CCEE plans to offer CE 301 Surveying and Geomatics and CE 305 Traffic Engineering at the Prague location. “Students can choose two civil engineering courses, or one civil engineering course and a general humanities course. We want to provide options that broaden their perspective and give them choices,” Welton said.