Olivia Johnson

Why Should You Take Czech at UNL?

By Olivia Johnson

I'm in my third year of Czech language courses. I started the language to fulfill my foreign language requirement, and decided to continue into a third year to complete a minor. Taking Czech really helped me find my niche at UNL, and has led to many friendships and career connections I wouldn't have encountered otherwise. My college experience would be quite different if my adviser hadn't mentioned that Czech is offered when I enrolled as a freshman.

While I think it's important that students make their own decisions when choosing a language to study, there are numerous benefits to taking Czech over other languages that I think are important:

  • Nebraska has one of the densest Czech populations in the United States, and many students at UNL have a Czech heritage. It's a great way for these students to connect with their ancestors and learn about their ethnic heritage.
  • Czech stands out on a resume. It's a difficult and complex Slavic language that's much different from more popular languages like Spanish or French.
  • Learning Czech opens the doors to learning other important world Slavic languages, like Russian.
  • The Czech language program at UNL is very small. Students can enjoy small class sizes and plenty of one-on-one time with their professor and peers.
  • The Czech Republic is a great destination to study abroad, and having a background in Czech language opens the door for this. UNL sponsors many study abroad programs to the Czech Republic.
  • The Czech language program at UNL is sponsored by the Czech Language Foundation, an organization that offers scholarships and other benefits to each student for every semester of Czech taken.
  • UNL has its own club dedicated to Czech, the Czech Komenský Club, which holds many fun and educational events throughout the school year.
  • Students have the opportunity to minor in Czech.

We are truly lucky that such a unique and special language is offered at UNL!


Minor Requirements

Twenty two hours of beginning and intermediate courses count for the language requirement. Students can obtain a minor in Czech after completion of six credit hours in courses numbered above 300, including at least 3 hours from 301, 302, 303, 304.

Pass/No Pass

No courses in the department may be taken by students majoring or minoring in modern languages for Pass/No Pass credit

Twenty two hours of Czech can be used to fulfill UNL’s language requirements. The courses in Czech are as follows:

First Semester
101 Beginning Czech I (5 hours)

No prerequisites and intended for beginners. Czech 101 is the first step to satisfy the 16 hour foreign language requirement for Arts and Sciences. The course is designed to introduce beginners to the basic functioning of the Czech language and to prepare the students for Czech 102. The class work consists of reading, writing, speaking and listening exercises. Cultural materials: in the course of the semester, the students will have an opportunity to see at least three films that deal with various aspects of the Czech culture and history. During the classroom instruction students will be introduced to some aspects of Czech social life.

Second Semester
102 Beginning Czech II (5 hours)

Prerequisites and desirable preparation: Czech 101 or equivalent knowledge. This course constitutes a continuation of Czech 101. Czech 102 completes the first year of the language requirement and prepares students for Czech 201. Ideally students achieve a level that allows them to understand simple sentences, participate in small talk, talk about themselves and their families, extract information from newspapers, schedules, menus, and to be able to function as a tourist in the Czech Republic.

Third Semester
201 Intermediate Czech I (3 hours)

Prerequisite: Czech 102 or equivalent. Czech 201 is the third step to satisfy the 16 hour foreign language requirement. This course prepares the students for Czech 202. Students learn how to orient themselves in the Czech Republic, ask for directions, order a meal, talk about themselves, their family, write their biography, apply for a scholarship and perform other similar tasks in Czech. They will understand the replies of natives to their inquiries. Students will be able to read simple texts, and even some short stories, using a dictionary. Course content: Reading and listening uses authentic materials, such as short films, newspaper items, or description of culture in the Czech Republic. Writing and speaking concentrates on subjects and situations likely to be encountered in the Czech Republic, during a visit or study stay.

Fourth Semester
202 Intermediate Czech II (3 hours)

Prerequisite: Czech 201 or equivalent knowledge: Czech 202 is the fourth step to satisfy the 16 credit hour language requirement. The class teaches the four basic skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. Except for grammatical notes, and for verification of listening comprehension, the target language is used the entire class period. Students acquire the mastery of communicational structures of routine social demands, as well as the ability to read the press and easier literary works with the use of a dictionary.

Fifth Semester
301 Representative Authors I (3 hours)

Prerequisite: Students who completed Czech 202 and/or equivalent. Masterpieces of Czech literature from the 9th to 20th century. The fate of literary language. Oral and written essays.

Sixth Semester
302 Representative Authors II (3 hours)

Prerequisite: Continuation of of Czech 301. Czech literature and literary theory of the 20th century. The contemporary situation including emigre authors. The relation of Czech literature to the literature of other Western cultures.

398 Special Topics (3 hours)
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. This course is for students who wish to acquire advanced knowledge of the Czech language and to study aspects of Czech literature. Czech 398 presents the third- and fourth-year student with an overview of Czech grammar, Czech cultural themes, films dealing with Czech literary themes, followed by a discussion and written presentations in Czech.


Czech Komenský Club

The principal function of the Czech Komenský Club is to provide events which focus on culture and history and bring together people of diverse backgrounds who share Czech interests. The club, created in 1904, has organized concerts of classical music, lectures, poetry readings, balls, workshops, film screenings and other cultural activities for UNL students as well as for members of the Lincoln community. Students can take part in the activities of the Czech Komenský Club, which meets twice a month for films, lectures and potluck parties. Everyone is welcome! See the following Web sites:

Czech Komenský Club website


Czech Week 2014 Activities: Celebrating 110 Years of Husker Spirit!

Download Flyer

March 10 - Dance with Radim

UNL East Campus Great Plains Room; 6:30pm – 9pm

Free Admission – Dance and ethnic costume/evening dress competition to follow with prizes awarded. Learn how to dance traditional Czech and classical dances from the internationally recognized ballroom dancer and UNL Robitchek Scholar, Radim Brach. Radim has taught and performed with the winner of the Czech season of Dancing with the Stars. Wear your ethnic costume or evening dress – you may win a prize!

March 13 – Lecture

Unmixing Marriage: Czech-German, and Jewish-Gentile Intermarried Families in Bohemia and Moravia, 1938-1945

Presented by Dr. Benjamin Frommer, Director of the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University
Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q Street; 3pm - 5pm

Free Admission - Reception to follow.

Special thanks to the following Departments and Centers of Excellence:

March 14 – Concert: Czech Landscapes

Featuring Dvořák and Smetana
Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N 12th Street; 7:30pm

For tickets contact Lincoln Symphony Orchestra - 402-476-2211


Study Abroad

There are several programs in the Czech Republic offered by the University of Nebraska Education Abroad.

Spring in the Czech Republic and Greece (six weeks), and the Summer Institute at the University of West Bohemia (Plzen, three weeks). UNL Czech Language students can also take part in the Summer Language Institute at Charles University in Prague (six weeks).

Scholarships and Other Help

All beginning students enrolled in the Czech Language Program will be reimbursed for required study materials by the Czech Language Foundation. There are also other scholarships earmarked for students of the Czech language. Students from Wilber-Clatonia receive tuition assistance. The Council of Higher Education has established a scholarship program for U.S. and Canadian students of Czech, Slovak, or Rusyn descent who plan to continue education in undergraduate and graduate programs. Renewable scholarships are offered each year for full-time study at an accredited institution of the student's choice. Please visit for more information.

Undergraduate Advisor

Mila Saskova-Pierce

1133 Oldfather Hall

Faculty webpage

Office Hours:
MWF: 8am - 9am & by appointment

Instructor Directory

A Student Perspective

Taking Czech really helped me find my niche at UNL, and has led to many friendships and career connections I wouldn't have encountered otherwise.

We are truly lucky that such a unique and special language is offered at UNL!