Wharton, CAS '20 Jennifer Chen

SA: Petition Program in the Czech Republic

Program Abroad:

  • Semester Abroad (SA): Petition Program: CET Prague - Film Production at FAMU, Czech Republic

Ask me about...

  • Petitioning a study abroad program

  • Taking all film/fine arts classes abroad and transferring credits back

  • Traveling to different countries every weekend (how to book cheap flights, manage time, and plan itineraries)

  • Rooming with a local artist

  • Learning Czech through a crash course

My Experience Abroad:

As a storyteller, I wanted to expand my horizons and learn about the history and traditions of other parts of the world in order to better capture the human experience. FAMU is one of the world’s oldest and most respected film schools. I had the autonomy to curate my own education and experience in film production, formally learn from some of the most experienced filmmakers and critics, immerse myself in a community of peers with similar passions and aspirations, and dedicate all my energy and creativity towards producing a final film. The most meaningful aspect of studying at FAMU was getting to practice with a 16mm camera and explore its visual power. The old physical procedure of filmmaking allowed me to see and feel 24 frames of every second and gain a deeper understanding of time, pace, and color that digital filmmaking does not provide nowadays. Penn is an amazing place that has sparked my interest in filmmaking and built my foundational knowledge of film as a craft. Being in Prague has only strengthened my excitement to pursue a career in the film industry - as the crossroad of Central Europe and the birthplace of the magic lantern, the Czech Republic and FAMU provided an atmosphere most conducive to dynamic learning in all aspects.

Other Highlights:

  • Making movies with 16mm film cameras, thus learning analog filmmaking in the digital age

  • Touring Babelsberg Studio in Potsdam

  • Attending the Jihlava Documentary Film Festival and seeing my own cinema professor from Penn there as a judge

  • Exploring the insane nightlife in Prague

  • Oktoberfest with Penn friends!

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