Office of Global Engagement

Reflections on Student Exchanges: Charles University

April 13, 2018

In 2017, Brown University and Charles University in the Czech Republic embarked on a new partnership focusing on faculty and graduate student exchanges, joint research collaborations and participation in short-term programs and workshops.

Jana Leichterová is the first exchange student from Charles University to study at Brown under this partnership. A native of the beautiful city of Prague, Leichterová is enrolled in the Charles Master’s program in Political Theories. Her research explores the intersection of political science, communication and American studies. As a Visiting Research Fellow at Brown, she is currently working on her thesis and on deepening her knowledge of American society. Her thesis analyzes the political debate over health care in the United States, specifically the criticisms of the Affordable Care Act and how the discourse has changed with Donald Trump’s entrance into the political scene.

“What I find fascinating are the concurrent ideas of individualism and strong sense of community underlying the discussion of healthcare in the United States, and different conceptions of people’s rights in terms of their health and health care.

From a personal point of view, I was surprised - I still am! - by the willingness of people here to talk about what I am doing, how excited they can be about my work and most importantly how supportive and helpful they are. Different perspectives of professors from a wide variety of disciplines at Brown have helped me explore concepts in the American debate over health care that I haven't been aware of before.

My advice for students considering studying abroad is simple: don't be afraid and try it. It might not work the way you want, there may be some obstacles in your path, however, you might be surprised that it is not as difficult as you may have imagined it to be. And it is worth every trouble, because exchange programs can give you so much - not only academically, but also personally. And don't be afraid to ask for help - that is something still quite difficult for me, but I am learning.”

For more information on the agreement between Brown and Charles University, click here.