Charles University: How & Why To Apply

Dana Alsaialy
Dana Alsaialy
Student community
20 February 2023

I am Half Saudi Arabian and half Czech. I grew up and went to primary and secondary school in the Middle East but came to Prague for summer vacations and to spend time with my mother’s side of the family. Since I was a kid, my Czech grandmother always spoke to me about Charles University’s prestige in Czechia and Central Europe!

Checking out their main website (ENG: — CZ: https://, I was surprised to find that they not only have extensive programs taught in English but German, Russian, and many more as well! The university is also based primarily in Prague but has faculties in Hradec Kralove and Plzen. More research led to even more pleasant surprises: Albert Einstein was the Head Professor at the Theoretical Physics department, and one of my favourite authors, Franz Kafka, can call Charles University his alma mater. Reading about the rich academic history motivated me even further to apply; plus, Einstein’s house has become a tourist spot, and Kafka has his museum. It was decided. I applied for a Bachelor’s degree program in Social Sciences under the Faculty of Social Sciences. My grandma was beyond excited, and so was I.

So, I will dedicate this blog to explaining what a student at Charles University is like — from the application process to the atmosphere and study life! Remember that no matter your study program or background, your decision to join our student body is not just to make your grandma or the Czech locals proud but yourself!

First, applying to Charles University is a straightforward process. For my program, the process took two significant steps. However, you should note that the process is similar for all the Charles University faculties. Stage 1 is submitting documents, including personal information, high school grades, SAT score (not required), IELTS test results (English proficiency exams are required if you graduated from a non-English speaking country like myself), and any extracurricular certifications. If you pass stage 1, you will receive an email notifying you of your preliminary acceptance. In stage 2, you will sit an online or offline exam (it depends on the situation). For Social Sciences, the exam was to write a minimum 500-word essay on either of 3 topics in 1 hour. If you pass stage 2, congratulations, you have been admitted!

Now that you are accepted, let’s discuss the atmosphere! What I mean by that is the university landscape and general system. Charles University is unique in that there is no centralized or main campus. Every faculty has its own building. For instance, while my friends in the First Medical Faculty have most of their courses in Karlovo Namesti, I reside in Nove Butovice (Pekarska, Jinonice) with occasional classes in Narodni Divadlo (Hollar) or Opletalova. At first, I worried I would not get that “true” university campus vibe every student wants. However, after some time, you will realize that Prague will become your campus, and you will gain familiarity with the city’s different areas and transportation system more quickly and fondly. Check out my blog on Prague’s transportation systems for more information! Besides getting around, the faculty and institute buildings where classes take place are beautiful and diverse. For instance, as my program allows me to take optional electives outside my faculty, I had the opportunity to study at the Faculty of Humanities and First Faculty of Medicine. The former had a trendy and modern grunge interior design, while the latter had traditional yet pastel gothic architecture.

Most importantly, Charles University’s study life! Now, this part is up to you and what you make of your experience. I have always considered myself curious and like articulating my thoughts to others and discussing varying perspectives. The Social Sciences program has allowed me to further tap into my interests and explore many other fields and ways of thinking. My programme is research-focused, with the final aim of writing an extensive (publishable) thesis. Through my one-and-a-half year so far, I have not only learned so many fascinating scientific, sociological, and practical concepts but have been taught to apply them in projects and papers with high standards. In short, Charles University offers a quality education that focuses on pragmatics and theory. Not to mention, Prague as a city is fun to study in because of its cosiness (whether you prefer staying in your dorm or apartment) and its flexibility (whether you, like me, prefer going to study cafes). Check out my blog on Prague’s best study cafes for my top recommendations!

All in all, as a second-year student, I have already made so many great memories and learned valuable lessons. From friends to hang out and study spots to academia. Stellar opportunities (such as becoming a STUDY IN ambassador) and studying at Charles University in Prague are something I am proud of. So, whether it be a degree program or exchange, Charles University is a stellar pick!