Current General Diplomatic Training Course at the Diplomatic Academy (DA1)
Currently, there are 10 students of the General Diplomatic Training Course at the Diplomatic Academy. They were chosen after undergoing a demanding competition in the summer of 2012. The course is offered from October 2012 until September 2013. The students are employees of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and have been temporarily granted the position of “attaché”. Like in the past few years, the successful applicants graduated from national and foreign universities with various academic specialisations. A common denominator among the students is a strong interest in international relations and in the Foreign Service.
Theoretical component – lectures, courses and presentations
The six month theoretical training programme consists mainly of participating in a wide ranging lecture series. The lecturers include top Czech and foreign experts on international relations from the government, non-governmental organisations as well as academia. In addition to several leading Czech experts, the Diplomatic Academy has welcomed several leading experts including the French politic scientist Jacques Rupnik, the former Czech Ambassador to the United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organization Karel Kovanda or the Czech Member of the European Commission responsible for enlargement, Štefan Füle. The theoretical training is enriched by a course in Diplomatic English and practical skill development in areas of psychological preparation, managing media, presentation and negotiation skills development. Field trips to Brussels and Vienna along with a survival camp organized by the Czech Military Academy in Vyškov are key components of the training programme. Participants are continually assessed but emphasis is placed on a final presentation and defence. Successful completion allows them to pass the theoretical component of the Diplomatic Academy.
Practical part – Internship at Embassies and in different department of the MFA
The second component of the Diplomatic Academy program comprises practical work experience. A two-month internship at a Czech Embassy usually Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Middle East or Latin America is arranged, This enables young diplomats´ to prove their adaptability by working in a foreign country under difficult conditions. Once this is completed, students spend the final four months of their practical training ensconced in the daily day work of different departments at the MFA in Prague. Success in all aspects of the Academy including the final internship and work performance at Cernin Palace is a prerequisite for a diplomatic career at the MFA as well as for earning a diplomatic rank.