A truly memorable Welcome Day

Friday, 01 March 2024 09:03

Welcome Days are important and if you're a continuing or new incoming student, here's what you can look forward to. On 3 October 2023, we welcomed new international degree students at Charles University. We started officially with a welcome speech for all attendees, they learned about the history of the university - after which they were divided into two different groups / sessions.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown - but not at CU! These paper ones are pretty light but nevertheless a fun introduction to life at CU. 


First one was the pre-graduate session, in which new students learned about the opportunities given by the university, such as student mobility and associations. Our two ambassadors spoke more about the accommodation process and life in Prague and Czechia outside of studies. The most fun part was about the culture shock, where students got to learn about behaviour in public, the Czech alphabet and how to properly pronounce some basic Czech salutations , such as Na shledanou - as in see you next time.


The second session was meant for the new doctoral students, where students where told about research funding opportunities, various forms of support, and important things to pay attention to during their PhD studies.


After a coffee break where students got the opportunity to try some typical Czech sweets such as bábovka – the equivalent of marble cake -  they were again united for a session in which they learned how to navigate through the university libraries, how to find help and access to student services, and some “do’s” and “dont’s” for foreigners in Czechia. Their heads were full of information, which was definitely helpful for the event that came after the second break – the pub quiz.


Win or lose, a little friendly competition is always fun! 

To say the pub quiz has been one of the most fun experiences of the Welcome Day 2023 would not be a lie! With all the information that the newcomers had during the day, their knowledge about Czechia and Charles University in general was tested with a fun and creative Kahoot. There were over seven teams formed with random selection of faculty affiliations and each team gathered to win the surprise prize from the university! It was an absolute blast to see each newcomer socializing and getting to know each other. Some enjoyed traditional Czech beers, some attended the quiz with typical Czech sweets, yet all were talking, laughing, having fun, and actually learning about Czech culture and traditions through the quiz.

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 thumbnail 2023 12 13 ambasadori UK 40Student ambassador Lucija Andjel           .

BBQ Pitmasters 

What is a better way to end the (Welcome) day than having some smoky and delicious BBQ, right? Our newcomers got the chance to experience Czechia at its core by becoming BBQ pitmasters. What a surprise it was to learn that Czech BBQ is quite different from a regular grill…

They were instructed to put the sausages onto skewers and roast them on the campfire themselves. Whilst the sausages literally started to bloom (you always cut an X into each end of the sausage so it opens up during grilling), a cook was there to prepare all the pickled vegetables and sauces to complement the meat. Grilled cheese and veggies were also available for the vegetarian and vegan students alike. It was such a friendly and fun environment where all students were getting to know each other better while eating, drinking, and seeing how amazing is to be a part of the student community at Charles University!

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Czechs often grill their sausages, called buřty or špekáčky,  over the campfire. Traditionally served with bread and mustard - on a paper plate.


About the author
Lucija Andjel comes from Zagreb, Croatia. She has a master’s degree in animal genetics and breeding from the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb. She had three Erasmus experiences during her studies; one was here in Prague (CULS), one in Vienna, Austria (BOKU), and one in Jaén, Spain (UJA). She is a PhD student working on evolutionary biology at the Faculty of Science and, for three years, a student ambassador of CU.


About Insight
Insight is our newest feature at Forum EN, offering valuable student perspectives and writing from student ambassadors. The aim is to describe - with greater insight and detail - the experience of being at Charles University, providing a glimpse into everyday or even extraordinary moments that might otherwise be 'lost' in the rush of academic life and 'forgotten' under a pile of textbooks. Thanks in advance to all contributors.


Author: Lucija Andjel, İrem Altınkalp
Photo: CU archives, Shutterstock