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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Program Description:



  • 18 years of age or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application review
  • Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program 

Program Description 

The CzechMates program is a fully-accredited, selective, academic study abroad program in partnership with Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. At the heart of Europe, Brno is not only an internationally recognized city for industry, innovation and student life, but also an optimum gateway for exploring the beauty and complexities of European culture from its central location between Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Krakow and Prague.

As a unique educational opportunity open to all, while appealing especially to students majoring in communications and related international studies, the CzechMates program seeks to specifically enhance the intercultural and professional competencies of its participants. Through a directed, culturally-immersive, English-language educational curriculum; CzechMates include tailored coursework, extensive and integrated internship prospects, excursion opportunities — and most important — applied educational mentoring across, throughout and beyond the program by an award-winning American professor formerly tenured at Penn State.

The appeal for those admitted to the CzechMates program rests in the privilege it affords to participate in an exceptional study abroad experience. A program specifically designed to provide aided instructional and experiential relevance; producing vital and measurable outcomes for the students in terms of their intercultural, personal and professional competencies.

Students on this program will enroll in the following courses:

  • Globalization – Culture, Communication, Globalization or similar media and communications course
  • Region and Culture (2-3 courses)
  • Language Czech Language for Foreigners
Students will also have the opportunity to intern for 15-20 hours per week (200 hours across the semester), supplemented with a mentoring seminar which meets bi-weekly, led by Professor Elavsky).


Fall: early September - mid December
Spring: February - early May

Refer to the Masaryk University academic calendar for the specific dates.


Brno, Czech Republic, an internationally recognized hub for industry, culture, and innovation was selected by the NY Times as “a place to go” in 2016 in light of its inviting and compelling local culture. Offering a distinct mix of traditional (Czech) and cosmopolitan (global) experiences, it is an optimum gateway for exploring the beauty and complexities of European culture from its heart.

Masaryk University is an internationally recognized research and teaching institution whose student population is fully-international in scope through its Erasmus affiliation. With its extensive English language curriculum and active student organizations, the university presents a multitude of experiential learning opportunities as well as support and integration services to both assist and augment students as they adjust and extend the ways they independently learn about the world.

Most of all, this location positions students to engage a truly immersive and rewarding experience with insights and sentiments spanning local to global.

Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation

In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Penn State Global website.


Available Fields of Study

Business, Communications, Global Studies, History, Kinesiology, Media Studies, Political Science

Course Listings

The CzechMates program comprises coursework within a cluster of class options centered on holistically developing student competencies (personal and professional) related to critical thinking, international communication (broadly-defined) and intercultural collaboration. Visit the CzechMates program website for additional information.

These courses are aligned within the following disciplinary trajectories:
  • Language/Intercultural Communication
  • Culture/History/Politics of the region
  • Media Studies
  • Globalization Studies
  • Internships (supplemented by a mentored practicum)
The CzechMates program is a structured program, meaning class choice is pedagogically proscribed to produce an integrated and optimal educational experience for all program participants.

This structure is clustered as follows:
  • Media and communications course, such as Globalization – Culture, Communication, Globalization - Taught by Professor Elavsky, this course provides an in-depth overview of contemporary topics and subject matter that links students’ personal and professional identity to a broader understanding of global processes as they link to local, regional, national, and international concerns. Czechmate’s program participants will take this course in association with Masaryk University students from a range of countries, capitalizing on the opportunity for a deeper engagement (through grounded dialogues, collaborative group work and experiential learning) to more-effectively foster/elevate the cross-cultural acumen of all participants therein.
  • Region and Culture – Students choose 2-3 more courses (which must be approved) from a variety of disciplines. Students have access to the full Masaryk University course catalog, which includes over 400 courses taught in English.
  • Language Czech Language for Foreigners.
  • Internships (15-20 hours/week (200 hours across the semester), supplemented with a mentoring seminar which meets bi-weekly, led by Professor Elavsky)
To see what Penn State students have previously taken on this program, see the Historical Course List, which is meant to be a guide as to what courses might be available and how they might transfer to Penn State. Courses listed here may not be offered during the semester you attend the program and the credit amount or course title may have changed. 

Note: You are not limited to choosing classes on the program Historical Course List. You should consult the full list of courses on the host program page before choosing a program.

Course Selection

To find appropriate courses that will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
  • Research courses available on your program
  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements 
  • Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options
  • To register for courses on this program you will work with the CzechMates program

Academic Policies

  • You must enroll in a minimum of 12 US credits (24 ECTS credits) and a maximum of 18 US credits (36 ECTS credits)
  • You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
  • World Campus courses should not be taken in addition to or as a substitute for courses offered abroad
  • You may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad
  • If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation 
  • If you need to take specific courses during your semester abroad, please inform CzechMates and Masaryk University well in advance
  • We strongly recommend students enroll in ZK and KZ type courses only

Course Equivalency Process

In order for courses from abroad to appear on your Penn State transcript, each course must be given a course equivalency. Please visit the Academics section of the Penn State Global website for information on the course equivalency process.  

Courses can be submitted for course equivalency before, during, or after the education abroad program, however, you should begin this process as soon as possible as it can take on average 2-4 months or more for courses to receive a Penn State course number. In some cases, it can be difficult to obtain syllabi from abroad before the start of the term, but when possible, courses can be submitted for review before departure. Talk to your Education Abroad Adviser about requesting syllabi.

Grade and Credit Conversion Scale

Grades and credit conversions from your host institution cannot be changed. They will be converted to Penn State credits and grades based on the following scales:
CzechMates Grade Conversion Scale
Host Institution Grade Penn State Conversion
B A-

Credit Conversion Scale
Host Institution Credit Penn State Credit
6 ECTS credits per course  3 credits per course

Note: Masaryk University uses the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). ECTS credits typically transfer to Penn State on a 2:1 ratio (e.g. 6 ETCS credits = 3 Penn State credits). The Globalization course and internship course should be treated as 3 US credits.

Housing and Meals


Please visit Masaryk University's website for more information. Students will pay for their accommodations upon arrival in Brno. Please contact Masaryk University for details about paying for accommodation fees.

Independent housing is not permitted on this program. There will be no exceptions. 


Students are responsible for their meals throughout the duration of the program.

Costs and Funding

Program Costs

Fall Costs
Spring Costs

The cost of a program is based on Penn State tuition rates and partner institution fees. Due to the variety of locations and partner institutions, costs will vary depending on the program. Education Abroad works closely with our partners to ensure the most accurate cost estimates, however, fees can change quickly and without prior notice. Consult the cost sheets for your chosen program often and if you have any questions please contact your Education Abroad Adviser


The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Penn State Global. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.

Student Aid

Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid

Withdrawal & Refund Policy 

Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies

After Commitment

Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred. 

Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. Additional fees from the partner institution will be assessed according to their withdrawal and refund policies at the date of the withdrawal notice.

After the Start of the Program 

If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.

For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

Life Abroad

General Information 

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.


Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Penn State Global Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.

Gender and LGBTQA

There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.

Race, Ethnicity, and Faith

When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.

Non-U.S. Citizens

It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.

Next Steps

Steps to Study Abroad

The planning stages outlined on the Penn State Global website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Penn State Global website. 

How to Apply

Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!

Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Penn State Global website. 


You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Penn State Global website.

Contact Education Abroad 

If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email

Peer Advisers

Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website. 

Education Abroad Advisers 

Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Penn State Global website

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For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Penn State Global Events Calendar and follow us on social media!

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2024 09/10/2023
Rolling Admission 02/08/2024 07/05/2024
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.
Fall 2024 03/01/2024
03/12/2024 09/08/2024 12/24/2024
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.
Academic Year 2024-2025 03/01/2024
03/12/2024 TBA TBA
Spring 2025 09/10/2024 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed