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The Struggle of the Free Press 

Summer Faculty-led Program

About the Program

The Struggle of the Free Press – Fake News and Conspiracy Theories program will give students an in-depth look at the crisis facing democracy and the free press, including how readers and journalists can combat fake news and conspiracy theories. We’ll also look at press freedom rankings by country and why the U.S. is dropping in the rankings while the Czech Republic, a democracy for only 33 years,  jumped 20 spots in just the past year. Why should we care? It affects politics, economics and warfare—on a global scale. We’ll tour Radio Free Europe, responsible for dismantling communist propaganda, especially from Russia, and distributing factual information to Ukraine and other countries desperate to know what’s really going on where they live. We’ll also hear from Czech journalists about how they report news and handle attempts at government influence, digging into Czechia’s communist roots. It takes place in a city often ranked one of the most beautiful in the world, with castles, cathedrals and cobblestone streets.

View the program brochure.


Application Deadline (Early Action)November 29, 2023 
Application Deadline (Regular) February 7, 2024
Scholarship Application Deadline*November 15, 2023
*IMPORTANT: Scholarship Application DeadlineNovember 15. You can submit a scholarship application before finalizing your program application.

For more details on How to Apply?


Program Dates: July 14 – July 31, 2024


The program utilizes the historical city by visiting numerous museums, national monuments, cultural landmarks, and other significant venues to engage students in their course work-providing first-hand experiences that inform critical and creative thinking.

PrefixCourse NameCreditsGEPInstructor
IPGK 295 The Struggle of the Free Press 3Interdisciplinary Perspectives; Global KnowledgeChrista Gala

This course will be a fantastic mix of classroom and fieldwork, including tours of media outlets, Czech sites and speaker visits. Classroom lectures, combined with group and individual commentary and perception, will culminate in students gathering their thoughts on the issues—what they learned, what surprised them, and how their generation can interpret and intervene regarding global challenges that will reverberate for years. 

  • GPA Requirements: minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Be in good standing with the Office of Student Conduct.
  • Meet the minimum eligibility policy set forth by the NC State Study Abroad Office

Program Cost

  • Admin Fee: $450 ($75 non-refundable set-up fee and $375 study abroad fee)
  • Program Cost: $3,570
  • TOTAL: $4,020

Minimum number of students: 12

  • Tuition and fees registration
  • International health insurance
  • Airport pickup
  • Orientation activities and materials
  • Welcome and farewell dinners
  • Housing
  • Transportation pass
  • Cultural activities
  • Field trips
  • Student support services
  • On-site Staff and administrative costs
  • International airfare (Students are responsible for booking their flights as NC State Prague does not arrange group flights)
  • Meals
  • Supplies and personal expenses
  • Textbooks and studio materials
  • Passport fee

Travel Documents: Passport

Students must have a valid passport to take part in any international travel. Passports must be valid for six months after their final day of travel. Students may apply for a passport from the US Passport Acceptance Facility.

Excursions, Cultural Activities and Field trips

Academics are important, but so are cultural experiences! We’ll try our hand at Czech cooking, tour a castle, take a dinner cruise on the Vltava River and visit Bohemian Paradise, the latter just outside of the city and bursting with waterfalls for an easy hike. Learn how to ride the trains, discover NC State’s Prague campus, visit Old Town, the Astronomical Clock, St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, the Vizkov Tower, and much more. Prague never disappoints, and you’ll have enough downtime to explore the sites you want to see that aren’t on the itinerary, like Republik Square, the Jewish Quarter and all the nooks of crannies of Old Town’s restaurants, shops and sites.


The NC State European Center in Prague provides housing for all program participants.
In addition to NC State peers who live in the same building, several Student Housing Assistants also reside in the same building and provide additional support and local connections. Accepted students may indicate preferences (roommates, single versus double, location). The program fee includes a standard double room. Students have the option to request single rooms for an additional cost.