Computers & Technology
You can bring a laptop with you to Prague. However, please be advised that Kolej Komenského does not offer wireless service. You will need to connect to the Internet via Ethernet cable. Please remember to bring one with you. You will only be abe to connect to the Internet in your room. A memory stick may also be helpful if you want to print out a document from an Internet café. Wi-fi spots run throughout the city, but none close to the residence hall.
You will need to make a decision regarding phone use while you are in Prague. The first option is: don't bring a phone with you to Prague. It is very expensive to bring your U.S. phone with you to Europe, and some phones only work in some areas of the country. You can talk to friends and family via computer if you establish an account with Skype. If you download Skype and load $10 on the account, it should last you most of the summer. Try to encourage friends and family to use a Skype account to save money.
If you can't live without a phone, leave your current phone at home and purchase an inexpensive phone in Europe from a local provider. Just make sure the phone works in all countries you plan to visit, not just in the country where you purchased the phone. Consider purchasing a phone for emergency use only and put $25 worth of minutes on it. Currently three mobile telephone network operators function in the Czech Republic: O2, T-Mobile, and Vodafone. For using a mobile telephone in the Czech Republic, it is advantageous to use prepaid cards, which are cheaper than in West European countries.
A third option is to purchase an unlocked GSM phone here in the United States. There are many options out there and providers and plans change all the time. Most countries in the world use GSM mobile-phone technology. In the United States, AT+T and T-Mobile use GSM technology; Verizon and Sprint do not. Most new phones purchased in the United States include GSM technology, but still may not accept a SIM card—the chip that activates local service—from other companies, and the roaming charges can be prohibitive.
The country code for calling the Czech Republic is +420. There are no city codes. Within the Czech Republic, you just dial the 9-digit number. Public phones on the street are usually glass structures with yellow roofs, and may be found all over the country. Phones are also located at metro stations and major post offices. When you are calling from a public phone, you will need a telephone card, which you insert into a slot in the lower part of the telephone. Follow the prompts on the display (which are always available in several languages). The calling cards are available from larger post offices, airports, railway stations, metro stations, big department stores, kiosks, and hotels. There are several types of these cards with various numbers of units.
Important telephone numbers (toll-free)
- Emergency 112
- Ambulance 155
- Police 158
- Fire Department 150
- Metropolitan Police 156
- Information on telephone numbers within the Czech Republic 1180
- Information on international telephone numbers 1181
Participants will need both an adapter and a converter for any electrical equipment they bring.
A converter, which converts American 110V to European 220V, can be purchased individually for a particular appliance or in a travel set. Radio Shack is a good place to purchase these items; staff should also be able to answer any questions you might have.
- An adapter adapts the American flat-pronged plug to the European round-pin plug.
- A small adapter with two round pins can be used everywhere in Europe, except England and Ireland.
- A larger, three-pronged adapter is necessary in Great Britain.
- For Mac users: There is an Apple World Traveler Adapter Kit that can be purchased at an Apple store. Other adapters do not work well with a Mac. The Wonpro Travel Adaptor is very good. The Kensington Travel Adaptor does not work, so do not purchase one from that company.
The Dancing House (The Fred and Ginger Building) designed by Frank Gehry
Prague film students in class on a FAMU sound stage