During the study trip to Czech Republic, we will visit Prague, Brno and Plzeň. The trip will last six days and takes place in the last week of August 2015. About 30 students, both from Electrical Engineering and Automotive, will participate. The trip itself will consist mostly of technical excursions to companies and a few cultural excursions at a ratio of around 75% to 25%. During the technical excursions we plan to visit (international) high-tech companies. The trip will focus on Electrical Engineering and Automotive companies. Especially companies having connections to companies in the Netherlands and Czech R&D companies will be visited. However we are also planning to visit non-Czech companies that have an office in the Czech Republic. Additionally, to learn more about the student life in Czech, we plan to visit an Electrical Engineering department of a Czech University. Visiting a Czech university counts both as a technical and a cultural excursion, as it contains technical and cultural aspects. Cultural excursions will complete the trip, in a way that participants will be able to experience the cultural differences and learn more about the history and traditions of the country itself.
The first few days of the trip we will spend in Prague. Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is the fourteenth-largest city in the European Union and home to 1.24 milion people. The region of Prague is an important center of research. It is the seat of 39 out of 54 institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, including the largest ones, the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Microbiology and the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry. It is also a seat of 10 public research institutes, four business incubators and large hospitals performing research and development activities, such as the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague or the Motol University Hospital. Universities seated in Prague (see section Colleges and Universities) also represent important centers of science and research activities. More interesting for our trip are the multinational companies, who have established research and development facilities. Therefore the region of Prague will be an excellent place for many technical excursions. You can also find lots of cultural and historical attractions in the capital, of which several will be visited.
In the second part of the trip we will visit Brno. Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic. Also in Brno multiple universities can be found, such as the Brno University of Technology. With over 20 thousand students it ranks among the Czech Republic’s biggest technical universities. In total you can find 33 departments belonging to 13 institutes of higher learning and about 89,000 students, making Brno an important center of higher education. Brno is also the home of a number of institutions directly related to research and development, like the Central European Institute of Technolog (CEITEC). The city is currently gaining importance in various fields of engineering, which explains why more companies focus sing on development are operating in Brno. Because of this developments it is interesting to visit Brno and experience this growth on our own.
After a program of mostly visiting companies, we will visit Plzeň on our way back to Eindhoven. About 90 km west of Prague, it is the fourth most populous city in the Czech Republic. The city is known worldwide for Pilsner beer. A visit to the brewery is one of the cultural aspects that you have to experience as a student. Plzeň will certainly not only be visited for fun, because it is also one of the most important industrial centers in the Czech Republic. It is a traditional center of engineering and the electro-technical industry, which has recently grown very rapidly. Formally home to the Skoda company, nowadays many foreign companies have manufacturing bases in Plzeň, including Daikin and Panasonic.