Welcome to the VSE-Bradley Scholars site

Life at Bradley University for Prague University of Economics Graduates

This information is provided for VSE students interested in the special opportunity for study in the Bradley University MBA program. Each year two to four outstanding VSE students are selected for this opportunity. Selected students receive an assistantship providing substantial financial support in the form of a tuition waiver and a stipend to cover most living expenses, to help them complete an MBA at Bradley University in the United States. Students must remain in good academic standing to stay in the program and normally can complete the MBA within two years.

1) The University

Bradley is a mid-sized private school with a lot of personal attention. Total enrollment is about 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Most students come from the Chicago area or from other nearby communities in Illinois. The Foster College of Business at Bradley, where the MBA program is offered, has all of its programs fully accredited by the AACSB. This is the premier accrediting agency for business schools in the world.
To earn an MBA degree, the student must earn 35 graduate credits (12 courses) and maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 0 to 4.0 scale. (This is consistent with 2.0 in the Czech grading system). A student may need to complete prerequisite courses in areas not covered in previous academic work (This is in addition to the required 33 credits, often this includes 3 two credit courses for VSE graduates). Nine credits are reserved for an individual specialization. Students may choose from several areas of concentration (management, finance, and marketing). They do not need to decide on their concentration on the very beginning and option not to have a concentration is also possible.
In contrast to the Czech system, students are required to consult an assigned academic advisor prior to each semester about the structure of coursework. The classes for graduate MBA students are usually held in evening hours. Semesters extend over 15 weeks; MBA courses are taught on a 7-week schedule with a one-week break between the 7-week sessions. In addition to regular semester sessions, students may attend selected classes during "interims" offered through winter and summer vacations. Interim classes are lectured within a rather short period, and require intensive preparation.
Grading is generally based on performance in classes, test or quiz results, case studies, presentations and essays. Continual preparation is necessary for success. Nearly all exams are written only. Full time graduate students at Bradley University should expect to complete the course of study within two academic years (four semesters).

2) Location

Bradley University is located in Peoria, close to the city center. Peoria is the fourth largest city in Illinois (not counting large suburbs in Chicagoland) with more than 100,000 residents. About 350,000 people live in the metropolitan area. It is located in a central part of the state, approximately 3 hours by car from Chicago and St. Louis. A shopping center, offering all basic services, as well as multiple restaurants, bars, and coffee shops are situated next to the university campus.
On the beginning, getting your American cell phone number and opening an American bank account will be essential. Later on, a car will make your life in Peoria much easier.

3) Accommodation

Accommodation for students is offered in the vicinity of the campus. Most students manage to find accommodation within walking distance (5 minutes) from campus with rent amounting around $300. The final price though varies with quality and the services and utilities included. Higher rent may be offset by lower utilities expenses, as some houses have better insulation. Most offers are for unfurnished 1-3 bedroom apartments; the monthly rent usually does not include water, garbage collection, heating, gas, electricity, telephone or cable TV and they are purchased and paid for apart. The total monthly cost of accommodation ranges between $300 and $400. Additionally, some landlords may require a deposit to be paid at the signing of the rental contract. This amount should not exceed 2 month's rent. It is usually required to sign the rental contract for a year (or at least till the end of academic year in May).
The following links can be helpful and may provide better estimate of your accommodation expenses:

link tip
Cambridge Property Management reservation several months in advance needed
Campus Club Rentals search by zip code of Bradley
Zerla Properties section 'Bradley Favorites'
Rent.com check if price is per flat or per person

When planning your arrival to Bradley University, keep in mind that looking for an accommodation is a time consuming activity and costs per person change with size of the flat. As it is unlikely to find furnished flat, cheap used furniture can be obtained in so-called mission markets (e.g. Re-store on Main Street). You can also find housing, furniture, and more at Craig's list.
Once you arrive, you will be provided with more information where to search for a suitable accomodation. You will be able to make a walk in the neighborhood around Bradley, talk with current residents about their experience, check bulletin boards in the school buildings and classified ads in the Bradley school paper The Scout.

4) Transportation

Peoria is approximately 3.5 hours by bus from the world's busiest airport - Chicago's O'Hare Airport. A private company Peoria Charter Coach provides bus connection between Peoria and O'Hare, there are 5 busses going in each direction every day. Fare is $40. Even though PCC generally offers cash sale as well, it is better to book ticket on-line. If you arrive at O'Hare, you will need to buy a ticket called "Daily Service - Going South" from O'Hare Terminal 5. The pick-up station is in front of the terminal. You will need to go to the ground floor of the terminal and leave it through door 5E. Once you go out of the door, you will see the stop for buses.
Public bus transportation within Peoria is also available, but the bus network is less extensive and less comfortable than in a comparative Czech town. No public busses run on Sundays and the service of some bus lines end rather early in the evening (6 p.m.), however the bus lines connecting Bradley University with the nearby area run usually till 10 p.m. Overall, the bus service is sufficient to reach all essential parts of the city but it might be a challenge to find a desired connection.
Car ownership is a significant advantage, but is not necessity if a student does not intend to travel out of town. A reliable used car can be bought for $2,000+, and it is the owner's responsibility to purchase liability insurance (additional costs between $300 - $500 per 6 months). In addition, every student should get a local driver's license since it is also used as a major personal identification document. A driver's license is necessary if you pay by check in a store, and is requested when buying alcoholic beverages (age limit is 21 years and nobody is allowed in a pub or served alcoholic beverage unless he or she proves this age).

Getting to O'Hare

Research your known airline sources for the best flights as costs and schedules change frequently. You might find usefull comparison of different providers under following links StudentUinverse.com and Kayak.com.

5) Assistantship & Visa

The student works 20 hours per week as a graduate assistant to designated members of the faculty (typically 1-3). Typical duties include research assignments, exam proctoring, teaching, conducting review sessions, grading or some kind of office work. The assistantship covers all tuition expenses for up to 24 credit hours in one academic year. (You may wish to sign up for classes during winter or summer interims to speed up your studies). In addition to the tuition, a graduate assistant receives a stipend of approximately $5,460 per academic year. F1 visa students are not allowed to accept any kind of off-campus employment during the academic year. To be eligible for the assistantship you must complete this form and submit it by 1 March. Some students in the past took advantage of a summer/winter internship after the first year at Bradley University. Some frugal students are able to save a little money from the stipend for travel and other experiences in the U.S. This has become exceedingly difficult in the recent past. After graduation, students may work in the U.S. for up to one year on that visa and if sponsored by their employer for several more years. Several graduate MBA students accepted jobs in the USA (for example in Peoria, Chicago or California), others returned to the Czech Republic or another country in Europe (the UK or the Netherlands).
To obtain an F1 student visa to be able to enter the U.S. a student must prove that he or she has adequate financial resources to complete the planned program of study. This requirements means that you need to provide written evidence (usually a bank affidativ) demonstrating availability of funds amounting to about $5,000 for a year of study (in other words, the difference between the total estimated costs of study per academic year and the funds provided from the University per that year).
Typical expenses include rent, phone and internet bills, groceries and other small items. The student must also purchase textbooks, which are significantly more expensive than in the Czech Republic. It is common that a textbook costs more than $100 (yet, most of the Czech students have been getting them cheaper either over the Internet, purchasing them as used, or from getting them from other students).

6) Health Insurance

The student is also required to purchase a health insurance and medical coverage at the beginning of each academic year. Students may find it desirable to purchase such insurance before leaving the Czech Republic. Students are required to complete a form about their vaccination history (Check Health Record Form and let yourself vaccinated before leaving the Czech Republic if your tetanus shot is more than 10 years old and you lack 2 doses of measles (rubeola) and one dose of rubella and mumps after 1st birthday (nowadays it is not a big issue as measles/mumps/rubella are required vaccinations in the Czech Republic for everyone born after 1 January 1987). Otherwise you will be required to purchase vaccination in the Student Health Center. ($30 Tetanus, $50 others).
If you want to remain insured in the Czech republic during your stay in the US, you will need to send a one page form "posouzení postavení studia na vysoké škole v cizině pro sociální účely a účely zdravotního pojištění" to the Ministry of Education in the Czech Republic. The request was repeatedly approved but it may take up to 30 days to get the reply.

7) Expenses and income

Although the assistantship provides significant financial support, recipients must have some personal financial resources to cover travel to and from the U.S. and also initial living expenses in the U.S. (approximately $1,000 for initial rent and housing deposit.) The student must also cover other incidental expenses. These personal expenses are estimated to be $5,000 per year, and the student must be able to prove access to that amount for visas. Your actual expenses might vary substantially. The following table gives you an estimate of usual prices.

item cost
cell phone starting at $30
call plan - unlimited texting $30/months
call plan - unlimited +internet $50/months
rent min $300 / month / person
utilities $40 - 100 / month / person
grocery shopping $100 / week
dinner in restaurant $ 10-15
glass of beer $3-5
used car starting at $1500
gas $2-3 / gallon

Generally, it is not typical to pay larger amounts (over $50) in cash; nearly all businesses accept credit cards or checks. A payer is required to produce an ID (typically a driver's license) when paying by check. Bank services are cheap and very fast. During the orientation meeting Bradley invites one or two banks so you will have a chance to establish a bank account without visiting the bank. Some banks do not charge fees for a few years (PNC Bank), some of them do not charge students (e.g. Heritage Bank), some banks do not charge students 24/26 years old or younger (e.g. Chase)… Heritage Bank owns a few ATMs at Bradley Campus, which gives it a modest competitive advantage. On the other hand, you will not withdraw money as often as in Europe. On the campus, it is most convenient to pay with Quickcash (student card provided by Bradley). You receive some discount for paying with this card, but nowadays it is unclear. However, it is still very convenient. Outside the campus, you usually pay with your credit card (even in pub or restaurant) so most of the time you do not need any cash.

8) CAT Fellowship

Students at Bradley University are also invited to apply for CAT Fellowship. CAT Fellowship is awarded on merit basis instead of the Graduate Assistantship. However, it provides a larger stipend per academic year and a tuition waiver for 21 credit hours. For further information see below (source: http://www.bradley.edu/academic/gradschool/admission/financial/):

Caterpillar Masters Fellowships are awarded to outstanding students who have graduated from an accredited university, demonstrated superior academic achievement, and are committed to research and creative production. Students must be full-time, and are expected to complete a research project in their area of interest within two years. Students who are awarded Fellowships will work on a student-selected project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

The Fellowships qualifies students for 100% of tuition up to 21 semester hours for the academic year and a stipend. Any student who is awarded a Fellowship must apply for renewal of the Fellowship in their second year of study. To be considered students should complete the Caterpillar Masters Fellowship Application form and submit their completed application and supporting materials to the Graduate School by March 1. Caterpillar Masters Fellowship applications are only accepted for those students applying to or admitted for the fall semester. CAT Fellowship was not awarded to any students for past several years.

9) Admission Requirements

To apply a student must be in the final stages of completing the Masters program at the Prague University of Economics (VSE) or they must have already completed that degree. The Masters degree must be awarded before the student can begin studies at Bradley. Before the final selection is completed for this program the candidates must submit scores on the GMAT and TOEFL exams. These exams must be taken and sent to Bradley University so that the scores are available early in March. Past recipients have typically achieved GMAT scores in excess of 600 and Bradley does not accept students with TOEFL scores below 215. The successful applicant in the competition at VSE will have to complete a Bradley application form and submit a processing fee ($50) to Bradley's graduate school. There are no provisions for waiving this requirement. Academic recommendations must be provided and an official transcript in English from VSE must be provided to Bradley. All of these requirements should be completed before 1 March. All applicants are strongly encouraged to also apply for a Caterpillar Fellowship. (Caterpillar Fellowship applications must arrive at Bradley by 1 February.) See the Bradley web page for details.

10) Time Frame

Students selected for this program must submit full application material as noted below under Additional Information to Bradley's graduate school office by 1 March. They will begin their studies in the second half of August. (Graduate assistants are expected to report to Bradley University on the date designated for faculty staff, see Academic calendar) There is a break between semesters from mid December to mid January. The spring semester typically ends early in May. Total time that is normally required to complete the entire program is two academic years. Some students accelerate the program by taking extra courses in the summer and interims.

11) Additional Information

Questions about any aspect of the MBA program should be directed to Jennifer Robin, Associate Dean for Graduate and Executive Programs at Foster College of Business, Bradley University. ude.yeldarb|niborj#ude.yeldarb|niborj
You should send e-mail to Bradley's automated reply to get full instructions for the applications. The address is: ude.yeldarb|2dargub#ude.yeldarb|2dargub. Visit Bradley's Graduate School web site at http://www.bradley.edu/academic/gradschool/ for additional information. Information about the MBA Program can be obtained at the web site: http://www.bradley.edu/mba/. You may also have questions answered by the Czech MBA students who recently graduated or are currently at Bradley. Continuing students have offered to provide assistance to new incoming students to help them adjust to living in the United States. New students will have the opportunity to provide similar help in the future.

12) Program Participants

Student Year Contact Comments
Jakub Plašil 2018 ude.yeldarb.liam|lisalpj#ude.yeldarb.liam|lisalpj
Jan Kotík 2018 ude.yeldarb.liam|kitokj#ude.yeldarb.liam|kitokj
Anežka Blahušová 2018 ude.yeldarb.liam|avosuhalba#ude.yeldarb.liam|avosuhalba
Marek Mužík 2017 ude.yeldarb.liam|kizumm#ude.yeldarb.liam|kizumm
Petra Vlková 2017 moc.liamg|avoklv.vp#moc.liamg|avoklv.vp
Graduate Year Contact Comments
Andrea Němcová 2016 moc.liamg|avocmen.ydna#moc.liamg|avocmen.ydna
Martin Cerveny 2015 Zápisky z Bradley
Jiří Dvořák 2015 ue.nizc|irij.karovd#ue.nizc|irij.karovd
Peter Gomboš 2014 moc.liamg|sobmogotep#moc.liamg|sobmogotep
Petr Chroust 2014 zc.manzes|tsuorhc-rtep#zc.manzes|tsuorhc-rtep
Domicián Zahorjan 2014 moc.liamg|najrohaz#moc.liamg|najrohaz
Jana Kotkova 2013
Veronika Koubova 2013
Jan Svoboda 2013 ude.yeldarb.liam|adobovsj#ude.yeldarb.liam|adobovsj
Sabina Hlinenska 2012 ten.nilaba|aksnenilhanibas#ten.nilaba|aksnenilhanibas MBA students take 2nd in Florida case competition
Petra Bolfikova 2012 moc.liamg|akhsrtep#moc.liamg|akhsrtep MBA students take 2nd in Florida case competition
Daniel Kratochvil 2011
Martina Janeckova
Jan Vit 2012 moc.liamg|liame.tiv.naj#moc.liamg|liame.tiv.naj
Vaclav Surovy 2010 zc.manzes|kesaw.s#zc.manzes|kesaw.s
Ondrej Hora 2010 moc.liamg|jerdno.aroH#moc.liamg|jerdno.aroH
Tibor Gerliczy 2010 ku.oc.oohay|yzcilregrobit#ku.oc.oohay|yzcilregrobit
Svatava Kubankova 2010 zc.tsop|avoknabuk.avatavs#zc.tsop|avoknabuk.avatavs
Martina Stavikova 2010 moc.oohay|amivats#moc.oohay|amivats Another success for Bradley Czech students
Helena Racicka 2009 moc.liamg|akcicar.aneleh#moc.liamg|akcicar.aneleh Czech students involved in a success for Bradley Business Plan Competition Win Business Plan on TV
Stanislav Horvath 2009 moc.liamg|etsrroh#moc.liamg|etsrroh
Hana Syslova Kratochvilova 2008 zc.manzes|avolsyS.aknaH#zc.manzes|avolsyS.aknaH Peoria for outdoor enthusiasts
Jan Trubacek 2007 moc.oohay|kecaburtj#moc.oohay|kecaburtj
Zuzana Gullova 2007 zc.manzes|avollug#zc.manzes|avollug
Josef Jindra 2007 moc.liamtoh|ardnij_fesoj#moc.liamtoh|ardnij_fesoj
Ivona Taborska 2007 moc.liamg|aksrobat.anovi#moc.liamg|aksrobat.anovi Article in Studentsky list
Marketa Veberova 2007 zc.murtnec|avorebevatekram#zc.murtnec|avorebevatekram
Liva Vosekalna 2006
Pavel Chladek 2006 moc.liamg|kedalhclevap#moc.liamg|kedalhclevap
Ondrej Kruk
Tomas Pieter
Ida Kaskova 2005
Filip Marek 2005 moc.tac|pilif_keram#moc.tac|pilif_keram
Hana Pasmikova 2004
Pavel Schwarz 2004 moc.oohay|rawhcslevap#moc.oohay|rawhcslevap
Pavel Voparil 2004
Tomas Indruch 2003
Roman Dobrianskij 2002 moc.liamtoh|jiksnairbodnamoR#moc.liamtoh|jiksnairbodnamoR Interview with Roman
Magda Ajsmanova 2002
Jiri Stary 2002
Pavel Kusch 2001
Vaclav Havlicek 2000 My Bradley Experience
Martin Fischer 1999
Attila Keresz 1997 Atti's comments
Karel Janecek 1997 Interview with Karel Janecek in Hospodarske noviny
Peter Jirasek 1996
Jan Kotisek
Roman Zednik 1995 Comments from Roman
Program initiators
Kevin Rubash 1994
Andrew Razeghi 1993

11) Application Procedure

Follow the procedure as directed by:

Radka Vavakova
Coordinator for CEEPUS Program
Governmental Scholarships
Selection Process for MBA Studies at Bradley University
International Office
University of Economics, Prague
W. Churchill Sqr. 4, 130 67 Prague 3
Phone: +420 224 098 554
Fax:+420 224 098 591

12) Campus

Bradley Hall
Bradley Hall
Bradley Hall
Baker Hall
Baker Hall
GAs' Office "Dungeon"
Swords Hall
Westlake Hall
Markin Center
Markin Center
Hayden Clark Alumni Center
Michel Student Center
CAT Communication Center
Renaissance Coliseum
Williams Hall
Williams Hall
One World
St Mark
Lydia Moss Bradley
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