Czech Republic


AIPES 2018 Dates: 7-31 July 2018
TFAS INTL Reunion: 27-31 July 2018
Application Deadlines:
31 January 2018: Priority/Early Deadline
19 March 2018: For Applicants Needing a Czech Visa
16 April 2018: For All Other Applicants

Apply Now

Are you interested in a career in international affairs?  Do you want to discuss complex contemporary issues in a diverse academic setting? Are you eager to visit Prague, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe?  If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, the American Institute on Political and Economic Systems (AIPES) is the program for you.  Stand out in the competitive global job market and in graduate school admissions by gaining invaluable international experience this summer!

The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) has organized international academic institutes for more than 25 years.  Our objective is to provide a rigorous academic experience, foster dialogues that cross borders, and create a global network of responsible future leaders.

AIPES is a unique program that brings together approximately 100-110 students from North America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia to explore fundamental issues related to political philosophy, political economy, and conflict management.  The wide range of nationalities, religions, and ethnicities represented at AIPES gives participants the chance to interact, learn, and share their experiences in ways that can benefit their educational and professional development.

Our comprehensive package includes academic credit through Charles University, one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious universities and our partner since 1993, as well as housing, most meals, a variety of notable guest lectures, cultural and social events, and opportunities for professional development and networking.

Students who complete AIPES graduate into a global network of over 17,000 TFAS alumni. You can find TFAS alumni living and working in some of the world's most exciting cities, including Washington DC, New York, London, Paris, Beirut, Hong Kong, Beijing, Buenos Aires, and Santiago, to name just a few. Graduates of our institutes are able to use this vast network to opens doors that have lead to life changing opportunities in various corners of the world.

Come join us this summer for this once in a lifetime opportunity to study in the beautiful, historical European capital of Prague, Czech Republic!

The AIPES 2018 Institute Dates: 7-31 July 2018 Get more details here and read about all of the exciting aspects of AIPES.

Priority Application Deadline: 31 January 2018
Deadline for Applicants Needing a Czech Visa: 19 March 2018
Final Deadline For All Other Applicants: 16 April 2018


"AIPES was challenging, interesting; different from other courses. AIPES is an experience to get know other people/cultures from various countries, it’s a chance to learn more about US and a chance to destroy some stereotypes one may have about some countries or some nations. It’s an opportunity to stay and live in Prague which is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. AIPES gives a chance to open a new door in life, to think about future goals, to improve yourself and obtain knowledge in other fields. Your experience at AIPES will be memorable for the rest of your life. During AIPES you become the best of the best!”

Salome Ugrekhelidze
Republic of Georgia

AIPES 2018 Dates: 7-31 July 2018
Application Deadlines:
Priority: 31 January 2018
Applicants Needing a Czech Visa: 19 March 2018
All Other Applicants: 16 April 2018

Spend 3 weeks in Prague, Czech Republic with 110 students from North America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia who are all passionate about exploring the many complex political and economic issues facing today's world.  The intensive schedule is designed to maximize your time with an exciting variety of academic, professional, networking, cultural, and social activities that are designed to being the best out of every student.

Program Format

AIPES consists of the following major components:

  • Academic courses in political economy, political philosophy, and conflict management accredited by Charles University in Prague
  • Guest lectures and panel discussions featuring prominent academics, diplomats, government officials, and business leaders
  • Visits to famous Prague sites and optional excursions to different well-known places around the Czech Republic
  • Social & Cultural events

Your participation also includes these exclusive benefits designed to make your summer in Prague an experience to remember:

  • Housing in furnished dormitories
  • Most meals provided in the dorm cafeteria
  • Roommate matching with students from different countries
  • A student pass for Prague's public metro, tram, and bus system for the duration of the program
  • Comprehensive orientation upon your arrival
  • Dedicated program staff members who are available to communicate with you about any issues related to funding, visas, and other general questions in the months leading up to the program
  • Continued staff support while you are in Prague to ensure that you have the best possible experience
  • Planned social and cultural events where you can connect with the other student leaders participating in the programs. These events may include a walking tour of Prague, visits to Prague museums and theaters, excursions around the Czech Republic, a bowling night, and a cultural presentations dinner
  • An active network of over 15,000 alumni worldwide to join upon successful completion of the program

“For the people of AIPES it's not enough to live an average life; these people were born to make a difference and AIPES is the meeting place to explore the American political and economical principles and apply them within their home countries. AIPES is a great inspiration and it is an honor to now be considered a respected AIPES Alumni.”

Ulyana Shtybel

Find Out More

Be sure to check out the menu tabs to read more about all aspects of the program. We accept applications on a rolling basis, so start your application anytime by clicking on the APPLY NOW link in the menu. Our staff is here to answer any question you may have – please see our Contact Us page for details on how to reach us.

Program Staff

Matthew Kwasiborski
Director, European Institutes
The Fund for American Studies

Matthew Kwasiborski joined The Fund for American Studies in February of 2005. He has directed The American Institute on Political and Economic Systems (AIPES) since 2005. In this position, Matt has worked with well over a thousand students, alumni, faculty and staff representing more than 50 countries. Matt is currently a member of the Board of Trustees at Anglo-American University in Prague and the International Association of Free Ukraine, in Kyiv. He created the Lviv Leadership Academy in 2016 in Lviv, Ukraine. Matt served as the vice president and treasurer of the Board of Advisors for the Center of International Media Ethics (CIME). Matt also facilitates workshops titled, "Liberating Leadership in the 21st Century", for universities, NGOs, and businesses around Europe and the United States.

A native Philadelphian, Matt earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Loyola University in New Orleans, LA and a master’s degree in executive leadership from the Thierry Graduate School of Leadership in Belgium.  Prior to joining TFAS, Matt taught English as a second language (ESL) in Fonyód, Hungary. He also served as an administrator/ teacher of world religions and cultures for the Summer in Switzerland program located at the Leysin American School. Matt previously taught world religions, morality, computers and served as a basketball coach for Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans, La. From 2001 to 2004, he served as director of the Loyola University Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America program in New Orleans creating the largest student organization ever at Loyola. This program initiated a city-wide effort creating relationships between Loyola students and the elementary/ primary school students of New Orleans. Matt was nominated for Outstanding Alumnus of the Philadelphia Public School District in 2004.

Antonija Vidakovic
AIPES Program Manager
AIPES 2014 Alumna

Antonija holds BA in Security Management from University of Belgrade, Serbia, and MSSc in International and European Relations from Linköping University in Sweden. She is currently doing a master in European Interdisciplinary Studies at the College of Europe. Being passionate about the European Union, Antonija aims at exiling herself to Brussels in Autumn 2018, in order to start a career in public affairs in the Brussels bubble. In her spare time, Antonija enjoys spending time with her family, friends and her dog, travelling, meeting new people and visiting theater.

AIPES 2014 was one of the reasons why Antonija decided she wants to enroll to her master studies abroad. She is looking forward to spending her fifth AIPES summer and seeing how AIPES changes lives of this year’s participants.

Nikola Serafimov
AIPES Program Assistant
AIPES 2016 Alumnus

Nikola holds a Bachelor Degree in Law from the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. Since the beginning of his studies debating has been an inseparable part of his student life. He has taken part in many international debating and moot competitions including the 2016 Vis Moot in Vienna where he and his team were awarded the Honourable Mention for the Frederic Esemann Award for Best Team Orals. Currently he is finishing up with his Masters degree in Global Public Policy in Moscow. In his spare time among many things he enjoys playing tennis and watching The Simpsons.

Leonidas Marcantonatos
AIPES Program Assistant
IIPES 2011 and AIPES 2012 Alumnus

Leonidas received his B.A in International Relations from Panteion University of Athens and his M.A in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins - SAIS as a Stavros Niarchos Foundation scholar.

He was worked as a political consultant in various positions and in 2012 he founded the Greek Foreign Affairs Council, a think tank focused on Greek Foreign and Defence Policy. In 2017 he was a Charles Koch Fellow at the Atlas Network in Washington D.C as well as the Head of International Relations at the Center for Liberal Studies (KEFiM) in Greece.

Joseph Razon
AIPES Program Assistant
AIPES 2017 Alumnus

Joseph holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics from the University of Florida. Due to being raised in a multicultural background and studying abroad in Bangkok, Thailand, Joseph had realized the importance of experiencing foreign cultures with different mindsets and mentalities. Thus, he made the decision to go abroad and experience life as an expat after he graduated from AIPES in 2017. Since then, Joseph has been living in Prague and is currently working as a teacher to young kids ranging from the age of 2 years old to 12 years old.

AIPES gave him an opportunity to completely immerse himself into the cultures and philosophies that people from all over the world have to offer. And as a staff member this year, he is excited to keep learning, but more importantly, he wants to be a tool to help others who are as eager as him to open their mind to what the people of the world have to offer.

Mariam Vachnadze
AIPES Program Assistant
AIPES 2015 Alumna

Mariam is a graduate of Agricultural University of Georgia holding a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. During the student years she was local coordinator for European Students for Liberty, which is the biggest pro-liberty organization in Europe. For two years she was travelling a lot around Europe attending different conferences, workshops and trainings containing topics like, economics, free market, free speech, technology, and so on. All of these helped her develop her leadership skills. After getting a bachelor’s degree Mariam has gained expertise in her field by working in hospitality industry. She is going to pursue her studies in Marbella, Spain.  Her biggest hobbies are skiing and swimming.

Mariam lived in Prague for 8 years and she feels as if it is her hometown. She is very exited about spending one more month in this amazing city as an AIPES 2018 staff member.



Sample Schedule: Week 1

Please note that the AIPES 2018 schedule is subject to change.

10:00am - 1:00pm – Class - The Good Society
1:15pm-2:15pm-Group Lunch
2:15 pm - 4:15pm – Panel Discussion

10:00am - 1:00pm – Class - The Good Society
1:15pm-2:15pm-Group Lunch
2:30pm - 5:00pm – Scavenger hunt in Prague

10:00am - 11:30am – Class - The Good Society
11:45am - 1:00pm – Class - Conflict Management
1:15pm-2:15pm-Group Lunch
2:15pm - 3:00pm – Discussion Section - Conflict Management
3:15pm - 4:00pm – Discussion Section - The Good Society
4:15pm - 7:00pm – Visit Prague Museums

10:00am - 11:30am – Class - The Good Society
11:45am - 1:00pm – Class - Conflict Management
1:15pm-2:15pm-Group Lunch
2:15pm - 3:00pm – Discussion Section - Conflict Management
3:15pm - 4:00pm – Discussion Section - The Good Society
4:15pm - 5:00pm – Introduction to Simulation
9:00pm - 11:30pm – Bowling

10:00am - 11:30am – Class - The Good Society
11:45am - 1:00pm – Class - Conflict Management
1:15pm-2:15pm-Group Lunch
2:30pm - 4:00pm – Class - Conflict Management
4:15pm - 5:15pm – Review Session – The Good Society

6:30am-10:00am-Breakfast at Dorms
9:30am - 4:30pm – Explore Czech Republic (optional day trips)
Freedom Day
*Some Saturdays will have an academic program

6:30am-10:00am-Breakfast at Dorms
Freedom Day