FAQ

How much pocket money should I bring?
How much cash should I bring with me?
Does the Master Class provide scholarships?
Can I get credits for participating in the Master Class?
Should I bring my laptop computer?
How do I make phone calls home?
Can I bring my boy/girlfriend with me?
My family/friends want to visit the master class; where can they stay?
What do I do if my plane arrives/leaves so I can’t catch the bus?
I am arriving early/departing early; where can I stay near the airport?
I am arriving by train; how do I catch the bus from the airport?
What should I bring to wear for the concerts?
What kind of casual clothes should I bring?
Is there a gym I can use?
Where can I receive mail?
Can I use my appliances in Litomyšl?
Do I need to bring bed sheets and towels?


How much pocket money should I bring?

You will need money for food and minor expenses during your stay in Litomyšl. The Master Class will provide you with a list of restaurants where you can buy lunch and dinner menus for a fixed price of around 150 Kč. In more expensive restaurants, a two-course meal will cost anywhere from 150 to 400 Kč, depending on your choice of beverage. You can also buy croissants and other groceries at the local super markets.

Overall, Litomyšl is much less expensive than Prague, since it is a bit off the beaten tourist path, so your money should stretch further there than Prague and in other European countries using the Euro. Depending on your financial resources, you should expect to pay a minimum of 400 (10 USD) Kč per day on food and sundries while you are in Litomyšl. To have a more comfortable spending budget, set a spending limit of 600 Kč (15 USD) per day.

How much cash should I bring with me?

The simple answer is none. When you want to exchange your home currency to Czech crowns, do NOT use manned exchange tellers at the airport or anywhere else, as they are overpriced. Get your money from an ATM when you arrive (locations are marked on the airport map on the Getting There page). There are plenty of safe ATMs at the airport and at the train stations which you can use upon arrival.

Taking out 2000 Kč will be plenty at one time (that's about $80 depending on the current exchange rate) and will minimize your risk of losing your cash. Czech ATMs accept all cards with the PLUS and Interlink logos on the back, but you must have a pin code. Make sure that you have a card with these markings and a pin code for your card.

There are plenty of ATMs in Litomyšl as well (with instructions in English), so you will not have any problems getting cash as you need it. Don’t forget to make photocopies of your cards and to carry these separately in case your card gets lost. You will be able to get an emergency replacement card in the Czech Republic if needed. Czech Republic phone numbers of major credit/debit card companies will be provided in the Master Class handbook which you will receive prior to your departure. You will also be able to pay with your card in most stores and restaurants.

NOTE: AMEX cards and traveller's checks are NOT recommended for use in Litomyšl since very few, if any, vendors and banks accept them outside of Prague.

Does the Master Class provide scholarships?

The Master Class is not able to provide scholarships, as all funds raised from sponsors and foundation grants are used to keep the price as low as possible for all students.

Danish applicants have multiple Danish foundations to which they can apply for grants for study purposes. If you are a student in the U.S., try following these suggestions to obtain funding for participating in the master class:

1. Try contacting service organizations in the city where you study, as well as your home town, with a written application for support. They're unlikely to give you the full amount, so tell them the total cost and ask for $500 from each. The Rotary Club is an organization you might want to contact, as is the nearest Freemasons' Lodge. Offer them a recital when you get back in return for any financial support.

2. Check with the your parents' employers if they work in the private sector. Their employer may provide a grant to you.

3. Research airfares carefully, especially in the category student airfares, because you can save a fair amount of money that way. You could probably get a good deal to one of the big hub airports like London, Paris or Amsterdam, and then research discount carrier specials from there to Prague (or Brno, from where you'd have to take the train to Litomysl, but I would be able to help you with that). http://studenttravel.about.com/od/studentairfare/a/studentairfare.htm is a good source webpage.

4. Check with your educational institution to see if they can provide you with a scholarship. Also, the individual departments usually have some discretionary funds. Also check with your teachers and inquire if they know of any good funding resources that might be available to you.

5. Contact your country's embassy in Prague, and see if they might be interested in a recital at the embassy in connection with your arrival or departure from Prague in return for a contribution towards your tuition fee or for paying the airfare.

6. Research the US Chamber of Commerce in Prague (or your country's chamber of commerce in Prague, which is probably organized by the trade section of your embassy there) and contact them with a similar proposal as in item 5, or to ask if any of the corporate members from your country would be willing to give you a study grant.

7. Research large domestic and foreign companies that have big investments or large sales in your country and research their local head office websites for funding opportunities and/or send them an email asking if they sponsor yong talents in their field of study.

8. Offer concerts with yourself or your or your chamber music ensemble – if you have one - in return for a fee or a collection among the audience. Today, websites have been created which aim at connecting classical musicians and people who would like to hire them for weddings, home concerts, etc. Some of these are MusicianHire.com and Classical Musicians & Ensembles. Good organizations where you can send a program proposal are:

  • High-end eldercare facilities and retirement homes. These always seek leisure activities for their residents, and have a budget for such activities. Their facilities will typically have a large assembly room, and many have pianos available. That you can come to them instead of them having to bus their residents to a concert is a plus in your favor.
  • Churches, Temples and Synagogues. These will rarely have discretionary funds to pay you for a performance, but many will be happy to arrange a concert where audiences are asked for a donation towards your participation in an educational master class.
  • Benefit concerts. Set up an appointment or write an email to the Dean or Director of Institutional Development, and ask if they could suggest you for a concert in the homes of wealthy patrons of your educational institution in return for a donation towards your participation in the master class.
  • Chamber music societies. This option mainly applies in Europe, where such organizations are much more ubiquitous than in the U.S., however, chamber music societies exist in the U.S. as well. Many are interested in presenting young, talented artists, and - frankly - will be happy to be able to present a program which will cost them less than if they invite a well-known professional chamber ensemble.

9. In Europe, research websites for study grants at http://ec.europa.eu/education/study-in europe/index_en.html and http://www.scholarshipportal.eu/ as well as foundations within your country. The options tend to vary from country to country.

10. In the US, Strings Magazine offers scholarships, which you can apply for, and there are often scholarships set up regionally, e.g. for students from Chicago, or students from particular states. For questions about scholarships of this kind, contact the following:

  • The state arts council
  • The state and or major city community trust or charitable foundation. These are organizations, which act as umbrella organizations for private individual foundations and trusts. Such community trusts and foundations generally have some discretionary funds available.
  • Your State and/or district political representatives offices.

11. Use a crowdfunding website to appeal for funds like www.Kickstarter.com and visit http://www.crowdsourcing.org for more information about crowdfunding.

When writing grant requests or letters of inquiry, be sure to include letters of endorsement from your teacher and, if you can, an endorsement from a well-known community leader or musician. Also include any press reviews of concerts that you have performed, including from college or university student and alumni magazines or websites. A DVD from a concert can also be recommended, however, if you do include a DVD, make sure it has high sound and picture quality, and that the performance is a truly excellent one. You can pick out individual movements for a DVD, as it does not need to be longer than 10 minutes (although if you have more recorded material available, you can include it - just remember to mark the case and DVD clearly with track numbers and what is on them).

If you have any further questions on this topic, please contact Tomas Vitek at Tato e-mailová adresa je chráněna před spamboty. Pro její zobrazení musíte mít povolen Javascript.

Can I get credits for participating in the Master Class?

Oberlin gives its students and student from music schools with an exchange agreement 3 credits for participating in the Master Class. Please check with your Student Affairs Office to inquire about eligibility and application procedures for obtaining your credit.

 

Should I bring my laptop computer?

There is WiFi access at the Music School in Litomyšl, and the cafeteria at the castle also has WiFi, but requires you to purchase coffee or some food item to be able to sit down and use your laptop.

There are pay-for-use computers with internet connection in the castle souvenir shop and in the tourist bureau, which are relatively inexpensive to use (about 1 Euro per 15 minutes).

How do I make phone calls home?

Some US cell phones are GSM compatible with the European cell phone net, but in order to avoid exorbitant charges, you will need to buy a SIM card for the Czech Republic. Detailed information about options can be found here.

An alternative is to purchase a pre-paid Vodaphone. Purchasing one is more cost-effective than renting, since rented phones can be fairly expensive. The cheapest Vodaphone models cost around $50-$60, provide good quality sound and roaming capabilities, and will be yours for future travel throughout Europe and countries where Vodaphone is established now and in the future.

Along with the Vodaphone, you must purchase a pre-paid, rechargeable SIM card, on which you can put any amount of money for making phone calls. SIM cards can be bought with local numbers for any country in Europe that you are visiting.

An additional advantage of Vodaphone is that all incoming calls, even international, are free, so your family members from the US can contact you using Skype or a phone card, thus keeping calling expenses to a minimum. There are Vodaphone stores at the airport in Prague, as well as in Litomyšl.

Finally, you can use a public phone, for which you can buy pre-paid cards at the Tourist Office on the main square (they’ll speak English there).

The country prefix 0042 should only be used when calling from outside the Czech Republic. When making calls to Prague numbers from within the Czech Republic, the prefix is 420 or 4202. Local calls in Litomyšl do not require a prefix.

Can I bring my boy/girlfriend with me?

In the past, a few students have had their boy/girlfriend come and stay with them in Litomyšl.The master class staff is happy to help you with this request. But please note that the number of rooms the master class has at its disposal is limited primarily to enrolled students, so it is not guaranteed that you will be able to share a room.

The staff will be able to accommodate 1-2 people either in the student dormitories or in other rooms at student rates. If your boy/girlfriend wants to join you, you must make the administrative staff aware of their arrival and departure dates early, otherwise these rooms may not be available. The alternative is for your boy/girlfriend to stay at one of the town B&Bs or hotels, but these typically start at 800 Kč per night. For B&B and hotel reservations, please see Helpful Links.

My /family/friends want to visit the master class; where can they stay?

There should be no problem getting a B&B or hotel in town, but it is recommended to book as early as you can. B&Bs start at 800 Kč per night and the hotels run from 1,200 Kč to 2,200 Kč per night..For B&B and hotel reservations, please see Helpful Links.

What do I do if my plane arrives/leaves so I can’t catch the bus?

See the Getting There page.

I am arriving early/departing early; where can I stay near the airport?

If you arrive too late in the day to make it to Litomyšl, you can overnight at a hotel and take one of the above means of transport the next day. If you have a rehearsal or lesson scheduled, it will be switched, so you will not lose out. There is a Marriott Hotel at the airport (see map below), but it will, of course, be quite expensive. A cheaper alternative is to go to the Hotel Krystal, which lies less than a 10 minute drive from the airport. Rooms here start at 800 Kc. The address and contact information for this hotel is:

Hotel Krystal
José Martího 407/2
162 00 Praha-Veleslavín
Tel: +420 224 990 833
E-mail: Tato e-mailová adresa je chráněna před spamboty. Pro její zobrazení musíte mít povolen Javascript.
Web: Hotel Krystal website

I am arriving by train; how do I catch the bus from the airport?

If you take the train to Prague Hlavni Nadrazi (main train station), then take the express bus to get to the meeting point at the airport. Follow the instructions on this website - it has a map of where the bus stops at the main train station.

Note that the bus doesn't stop at Prague - Holesovice train station, where a number of international trains arrive as well. So make sure your reservation is to the main train station. If that is not possible, here is the website for Prague - Holesovice train station.

The easiest thing from there will be to take a taxi. However, be careful not to get cheated, for which Prague taxis are still notorious. The trip from Praha - Holesovice to Prague Ruzyne airport should cost around 410 Czech crowns. I recommend the taxi service below. Preferably, you should call the taxi company to come pick you up at the parking lot. They will speak some English, so you need to give them your name and tell them you'll be waiting at the taxi stop in the parking lot on the side of the Prague Holesovice Nadrazi [pronounced: PRAH-ha HO-lay-sho-veese NAH-drah-zhee in case you need to say it in Czech] terminal. If there's a AAA Taxi waiting in the parking lot before you call, you're safe picking it up since AAA is the official airport taxi.

AAA (Triple A) Radio Taxi tel. 222 333 222 or 221 102 211

What should I bring to wear for the concerts?

Concert dress in the Czech Republic is formal by tradition. Ladies should wear a long dress, skirt, or dark pants with dark shoes. Gentlemen should wear dark pants, dark shoes and a matching dark, long-sleeved shirt. Jacket and tie are optional..

What kind of casual clothes should I bring?

Current weather and forecasts for Litomyšl can be found on Weatherbug.com.

Average temperatures and rainfall in Litomyšl during July-August are:

Metric: Avg. high Avg. low Avg. rainfall

July

22.0° C

11.0° C

8.64 cm

August

22.0° C

10.0° C

8.89 cm

 

 

US: Avg. high Avg. low Avg. rainfall

July

71.6° F

51.1° F

3.40 in

August

71.4° F

50.7° F

3.50 in

Naturally, these averages vary, and temperatures above 30C/86F are not unusual. Likewise some summers have been very rainy, in which case the weather is quite chilly. For this reason, apart from summer clothes, you should bring an umbrella or rain jacket and a warm sweater to cover all possibilities. Comfortable walking shoes are essential, since Czech pavements are often quite uneven.

Is there a gym I can use?

FITNESS CLUB 233 offers 30 fitness machines, a turbo solarium and a regular solarium and 6 slender life machines for relaxation and massage.

Litomyšl also has a large swimming pool facility, billiard hall, bowling alleys and tennis courts.

Where can I receive mail?

Regular mail for students can be addressed to (expect regular mail to take up to a week):

[Student Name]
c/o Základní umělecká škola Bedřicha Smetany
T.G.Masaryka 788
570 01 Litomyšl
Czech Republic

Stamps for mailings out of the Czech Republic can be bought at the post office in Litomyšl and in most stores that sell newspapers.

Can I use my appliances in Litomyšl?

The Czech Republic uses 230 Volt outlets like other European countries, so you will need a converter. Also, many of the plugs are deep and have a grounding prong, so make sure your converter comes with multiple converting plugs. Good multi-prong travel electricity converters are available at AAA stores and, of course, online.

Do I need to bring bed sheets and towels?

No, you do not as they will be provided. However, you may want to bring a bathing towel if you want to go swimming at the Aqua Centrum so you have something to lie on. Some summers in Litomyšl have been quite hot, so cooling off in the water is not a bad idea, especially since air condition is not used anywhere in Litomyšl.