JAMU accepts students from Ukraine, teaches them Czech and opens a transparent account

Thirteen Ukrainian students fleeing the war are currently studying at both faculties of the Academy in Brno. However, the numbers may be even higher. JAMU on top of the initiative of the Dean of the Theatre Faculty doc. Mgr. Petr Francán has set up a transparent account for the support of Ukrainian students as one of the forms of support for the studies of existing students from Ukraine and students. The funds raised are, according to the school’s rector MgA. Petr Michálek are intended for direct scholarship support of these students, as well as Ukrainian teachers and the overall financial support of the teaching of these students, for whom the school has also set up Czech language classes three times a week.

The Faculty of Theatre of JAMU decided to organize short-term mobility for one semester due to language complications. „We created a group of teachers who prepared a study programme and we announced an admission procedure. The criterion for admission is that the applicant must be a student of a Ukrainian university and that his/her study focus is related to our study programmes,“ said the Vice Dean for Studies, Assoc. Ing. David Strnad. He adds that currently the faculty has accepted nine Ukrainian students into the above-described form of study, among whom are mainly young actors, directors, choreographers or stage designers. Three applications submitted are in the process of being implemented and assessed. „The maximum capacity we are able to teach meaningfully and with quality is set at fourteen students,“ said Vice Dean Strnad.

The Faculty of Music is also able to accept a similar number of applicants, with four students now enrolled so far in piano, guitar, viola and opera singing. „Due to the selectivity and extreme individual care for our charges, we can accept a total of fifteen students,“ added the Dean of the Faculty of Music of JAMU, Prof. Barbara Maria Willi, Ph.D. Here they also accept Ukrainian students who had to leave their music universities for short-term internships and, upon successful completion of the talent test, also for regular studies. „We also offer students the opportunity to go in the direction of researching Ukrainian musical culture in their student qualifying papers,“ said Dean Willi.
The two faculties cooperate in teaching Czech to Ukrainian students. The course for a dozen interested students is intensive, i.e. three times two hours a week. And the main goal of the two teachers is to make the scholarship holders from Ukraine feel comfortable. „We don’t want it to be boring. We also try to inform about Czech realities and life in our society. My colleague baked tradicional Easter cake, and I even try to sing and recite Czech nursery rhymes – a regular Czech accent is difficult for Ukrainian students, because their language is typically accented with movement. And when the weather improves, we will hit the streets to get to know Brno and with it Czech in everyday practice,“ said one of the teachers, the head of the Department of Foreign Languages doc. PhDr. Květoslava Horáčková, Ph.D.
Both faculties are preparing a study programme for these students for the holidays, the semester for them should end on 31 August 2022. Each of these students has designated patrons from among JAMU students who help with everyday communication, barriers, information, etc. A meeting with a psychologist has been organized by Student Activities for these patrons so that they are prepared for the stresses and potential crisis situations that could theoretically arise. For example, Czech students from the Theatre and Education Department have been helping at the Brno Exhibition Centre since the very establishment of the Help Centre for Ukrainian refugees. They have been working as volunteers in the children’s corners, of which there were three during their last visit. The number of corners often changes according to the workload of the centre. „The main aim of these play spaces is to offer the children a break from their current situation. At the same time, they can provide parents with a space to process the necessary documents,“ added volunteer and third-year student Klára Kulhavá. Therefore, in difficult communication with children, students deliberately choose games and activities that do not require verbal communication. Popular activities include bead stringing, drawing or bilingual memory game. The equipment of the corners is constantly growing. At the moment, each corner includes a TV with a rich selection of fairy tales in Ukrainian.
A completely concrete form of support is also the establishment of a transparent account where all interested people can contribute.

The account is kept at the Brno branch of Komerční banka: the number is 123-5466850237/0100
Easy access to the account and a preview of it can also be found at this link from the school website: https://www.jamu.cz/jamu-zridila-transparentni-ucet-na-podporu-ukrajinskych-studentu/

Mgr. Luboš Mareček, Ph.D.

FOTO: Luboš Mareček