Why do you study in Prague? Every AAU student has his own answer prepared. It might be because of the long tradition of quality education for reasonable prices. Or because Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world located in the heart of Europe with rich cultural heritage. But there is one more reason to refer to: geniuses of diverse nationalities and backgrounds graduated from Prague universities.
The list of prominent Prague alumni goes on and on with such names as Franz Kafka, Joseph Jungmann, Jan Hus, Karel Čapek, Rainer Maria Rilke, Milan Kundera, Miloš Forman, Max Brod… However, not only geniuses from the Czech Republic aimed to study in the City of the Hundred Spires. My short Serbian vacation during the winter break brought me to this inspiring conclusion. During the visit to Nikola Tesla museum in Belgrade and Emir Kusturica’s village Drvengrad I was surprised to find out that both of them, even though born in Serbia, went to get higher education to Prague!
Nikola Tesla is known as father of X-rays, alternating current, wireless communications, remote control, electric motor, and laser. He attended Charles-Ferdinand University (now Charles University) in 1880. Although, due to financial problems he arrived late for the enrollment period and could not be registered as a student, he has been auditioning lectures for a year. After that he was living in Hungary, France and finally moved to the United States. “The genius who lit the world” has given the humanity inventions that were way ahead of his time and continue influencing modern technology.
Director, actor and musician Emir Kusturica graduated from the film school at the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague in 1978. His first movie was filmed there followed by 16 other movies he directed in different countries, including the 1993 Arizona Dream starring Johnny Depp. He has also acted in 12 movies himself. A two-times Cannes top award winner has created his own architectural project in Serbian mountains – a wooden village Drvengrad which is a tourist attraction now. Director of “Life Is a Miracle”, “Underground”, “Do You Remember Dolly Bell” has been internationally recognized for his cultural contribution. Kusturica is currently working on a new film called “On the Milky Road” starring himself and Monica Bellucci which will be released later this year.
From now on, if somebody asks me “Why Prague?” I will have an impressive answer: “Because geniuses study here.” To tell the truth, I feel like my grades have become higher since I’ve learned this fact… Well, where there is life, there is hope.