The ancient walls of Carolinum, the seat of the directory of Charles University in Prague, along with its ceremonial halls located in the heart of Prague’s Old Town, are often host to formal events. The regular graduation ceremonies, which are usually held for 25-35 students only (unlike in countries such as the UK or US), alternate with conferences, receptions, concerts and exhibitions. A few times during the year however, the students take over. One of the events that has gained a firm place in the agenda of the student community is the Student Fair / Studentský jarmark, held annually at the beginning of October.
In the afternoon of October 7th around 30 wooden and fabric stands, reminiscent of a medieval revival fair, were placed in the yards of CU’s Carolinum and Celetná Street buildings. The order of the day was to familiarise interested freshers with the various student associations active at CU in Prague. As expected, the variety was extensive. The local Amnesty International stand stood next to the FFabula (the association responsible for connecting students of History), beside these stood a stand dedicated to the students of Psychology. In the opposite row of booths, young lawyers (VŠEHRD, Prague German Club) and the medical students were represented. The International CUNI Club represented the associations responsible for the organisation of extracurricular programmes along with tutoring systems for international students. The fair was topped off with several stands offering food and drinks, as well as a stage for the anticipated music performance.
The only downside of the event was the rainy weather. Indeed, in comparison to previous years it seems the damp weather deterred students from attending. There is an argument to be made for hosting the fair indoors (as is custom in countries such as the UK), however anyone who studies in Prague knows that the beauty of the city and the cobbled yards of the Carolinum are half the charm of studying here. Let us therefore wish for a fair day for the Student Fair 2016 – and a smooth continuation of the now well establish tradition of this CU freshman event.
Aoife Datta is a literature and philosophy student from Trinity College Dublin, studying in Charles University for the duration of the year. She joined iForum in order to gain experience in journalism and enhance her ability to work in a different cultural setting. iForum also offers her the chance to get to know various aspects of Czech cultural life, which might have otherwise remained unknown to her.