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Why the European Union?

Why study abroad in one location when you can experience the politics and cultures of many European cities? Our European Union Program allows you to learn about European politics, economics, business, and international relations in a whole new way.

What You'll Study

Freiburg will be your home base. Nestled at the foot of the Black Forest, it’s in this beautiful, small university town that you’ll take English-taught courses in disciplines like Political Science, International Relations, Economics, and Business. As part of the program’s required Integrative Seminar, you travel for approximately 22 days to gain exposure to the European Union and beyond. Not only will these course-related trips give you better insight into the strengths and challenges of the European Union, they will also give you the experience you need to build your résumé, and to prepare you for an international career. As you visit each new country, you develop an understanding of the European Union, its history, and its institutions.

Europe will be your classroom. Imagine visiting the European Parliament and discussing current social and political issues with EU officials, or meeting with leaders of multinational corporations to learn about international trade.

You also engage in a Model European Union, where you assume the role of a head of state or foreign minister of an EU country to analyze and debate issues of current concern in Europe, such as migration and immigration, security and foreign affairs, U.S.-EU relations, relations with Russia, the euro currency’s troubled relationship with member countries, Brexit, and more. The Model EU concludes the Integrative Seminar, and is the capstone of the program. After the spring semester, you can also add international work experience to your résumé by participating in a for-credit internship placement in Freiburg or Brussels, with the accompanying internship seminar.

Daily Life

We want you to feel at home, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in Freiburg. From housing to cultural events, tours of the city, and visits to local sites, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.

Academics

Our mission is simple: to provide you with the highest quality academic and cultural experience abroad possible. We offer unparalleled courses that explore European Politics, Economics, Business, International Relations, and other topics through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our diverse professors and course-related trips enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

You take between 16-20 credits per semester (five courses). All courses are worth 3 credits except the Integrative Seminar and the optional semester German language course. You may earn up to 20 credits if you are placed in a spring semester postprogram internship. All courses are taught in English, excluding German language courses and IR/PO355. Academic programming is scheduled five days a week.

Create your academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:

  • EU Studies Integrative Seminar (PO250/350/450) (required, 4 credits; offered at the 200, 300, and 400 levels, with placement based on your academic background)
  • IES Abroad German Course (optional, 4 credits)
  • English-taught IES Abroad Area Studies Courses (3 credits)
  • German-taught IES Abroad Area Studies Course (optional, 3 credits)
  • IR/IB393 Global Leadership course (optional, 3 credits; to develop your cross-cultural leadership skills)
  • IES Abroad Internship in Freiburg or Brussels* (optional, 3 credits; spring only, post-program; includes seminar and internship placement, additional cost applies)

*Please note: Internships with the European Parliament in Brussels will not be available in 2019 due to Parliamentary elections. 

Intensive German
As part of your overall program participation, you will take a required two-week intensive German course during orientation. You may continue strengthening your language skills by continuing in an optional, 4-credit semester-long German language course. 

Model EU
As the capstone experience of the IES Abroad European Union Program, you will participate in a Model European Union. Over a long weekend, you will assume the roles of:

  • A foreign minister of an EU member state
  • A prime minister of an EU member state
  • A finance minister of an EU member state
  • A member of the press corps

In your role, you will debate issues of current concern to the European Union, such as:

  • EU reform treaties
  • Enlargement
  • Energy and the environment
  • Immigration
  • Humanitarian aid
  • The economy and the Euro

The Model EU, which brings together classroom-based academic knowledge and first-hand experiences gained through course-related excursions, concludes the EU Studies Integrative Seminar and the program.

Courses

This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.

To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.

Cultural Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU/PO 243 - European Political Cultures Fall, Spring English 3
CU/PO 334 - Migration, Ethnic Minorities, and Multiculturalism in Europe Fall, Spring English 3
Economics
Course Name Term Language Credits
EC 353 - International Economic Relations of the EU Fall, Spring English 3
EC 358 - Transition to Market Economies in Central and Eastern Europe Fall, Spring English 3
EC/IB 342 - Finance and Banking in the European Union Fall, Spring English 3
PO/EC 246 - European Union Policies in Practice Fall, Spring English 3
Environmental Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
PO/ES 333 - EU Environmental Policies: On the Road to Sustainability Fall, Spring English 3
German Language
Course Name Term Language Credits
GR 101 - German Language in Context: Novice Abroad I Fall, Spring German 4
GR 201 - German Language in Context: Novice Abroad III Fall, Spring German 4
GR 301 - German Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad I Fall, Spring German 4
GR 351 - German Language in Context: Independent Abroad I Fall, Spring German 4
GR 353 - German Language in Context: Independent Abroad III Fall, Spring German 4
GR 403 - German Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad III Fall, Spring German 4
History
Course Name Term Language Credits
PO/HS 344 - Europe - The Dynamics of Integration Fall, Spring English 3
International Business
Course Name Term Language Credits
EC/IB 342 - Finance and Banking in the European Union Fall, Spring English 3
IR/IB 393 - Leading Across Cultures: Principles and Practice Fall, Spring English 3
SO/IB 351 - Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation in Europe Fall, Spring English 3
Internship Seminar
Course Name Term Language Credits
IN 395 - Internship Seminar: Intercultural Management and Global Leadership Spring English 3
International Relations
Course Name Term Language Credits
IR/IB 393 - Leading Across Cultures: Principles and Practice Fall, Spring English 3
IR/PO 332 - The European Union and the Muslim World Fall, Spring English 3
IR/PO 355 - Shifting Paradigms from 'Domestic' to 'European' Politics: Germany in the European Union Fall, Spring German 3
PO/IR 357 - Reshaping the International Order - Power, Conflict and Change in the Black Sea Region Fall, Spring English 3
PO/IR 370 - EU-U.S. Relations: A Multi-Dimensional Partnership Fall, Spring English 3
Law
Course Name Term Language Credits
PO/LW 481 - The Power and Fragility of Human Rights in Modern Society Fall, Spring English 3
Political Science
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU/PO 243 - European Political Cultures Fall, Spring English 3
CU/PO 334 - Migration, Ethnic Minorities, and Multiculturalism in Europe Fall, Spring English 3
IR/PO 332 - The European Union and the Muslim World Fall, Spring English 3
IR/PO 355 - Shifting Paradigms from 'Domestic' to 'European' Politics: Germany in the European Union Fall, Spring German 3
PO 250 - EU Studies Integrative Seminar Fall, Spring English 4
PO 280 - Scenario Planning as Instrument of European Policy-Making - The Case of West African Migration to Europe Fall, Spring English 3
PO 317 - Brexit: The United Kingdom and the European Union. A Troubled History Fall, Spring English 3
PO 350 - EU Studies Integrative Seminar Fall, Spring English 4
PO 450 - EU Studies Integrative Seminar Fall, Spring English 4
PO 458 - Transition to Market Economies in Central and Eastern Europe Fall, Spring English 3
PO/EC 246 - European Union Policies in Practice Fall, Spring English 3
PO/ES 333 - EU Environmental Policies: On the Road to Sustainability Fall, Spring English 3
PO/HS 344 - Europe - The Dynamics of Integration Fall, Spring English 3
PO/IR 357 - Reshaping the International Order - Power, Conflict and Change in the Black Sea Region Fall, Spring English 3
PO/IR 370 - EU-U.S. Relations: A Multi-Dimensional Partnership Fall, Spring English 3
PO/LW 481 - The Power and Fragility of Human Rights in Modern Society Fall, Spring English 3
Sociology
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/IB 351 - Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation in Europe Fall, Spring English 3

Internships

*Please note: Due to parliamentary elections, we are unable to offer Spring 2019 European Parliament internship placements in Brussels to students on the European Union program. Students interested in an internship during the Spring 2019 term can apply for internships in Freiburg. Note that these placements typically require fluency in German and can therefore be competitive. 

Interning during your study abroad gives you a rewarding job experience with a wealth of long-lasting career benefits. You will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the real-life, everyday culture of Germany or Belgium*
  • Add global work experience and skills to your résumé or your application for graduate school
  • Improve your confidence

All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a 3-credit seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship. Both optional post-program internships carry an extra cost.

The European Union internship program is approximately eight weeks long, and occurs after the spring semester only. There are two parts to the internship: a 3-credit Internship Seminar, which is primarily conducted before and after the placement experience, and the internship itself, comprised of a four- to five-week placement in Brussels*, or a four- to six-week placement in Freiburg.

During a Brussels* internship, you live in an apartment shared with other interns; during a Freiburg internship you continue to live in housing in Freiburg. You can apply for an internship before arriving on the European Union program or early in the spring term. Placements are competitive.

Placement Examples in Brussels*
Internships are offered at the European Parliament (MEPs) and with EU-related organizations. Internships are conducted in English, but if you are proficient in another language, you may receive a placement that lets you use your second language too. Fields may include:

  • Parliamentary Internships
  • Political Organizations

Placement Examples in Freiburg
Internships are conducted in English and in German. Fields may include:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Government & Politics
  • Journalism
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Research

Field Trips & Events

Day Trips
Although your adventure begins in Freiburg, our day trips take you to other great destinations to provide contrast and context for what you are learning and experiencing in your new home. Examples of trips include excursions to the Swiss Alps and nearby castles. The cost of these trips is not included in the program cost. 

 

Course-Related Trips

As a major component of the European Union Program, you participate in extensive course-related trips to prominent EU institutions and important cities across Europe. During these trips, you meet and talk with official representatives of member states, leaders of multinational corporations and NGOs, EU officials, and advisors on EU issues. You take three course-related excursions totaling approximately 22 days. These excursions are an integral part of your classes and academic program, and are included in the program fee.

During the first trip, you will explore the UK leaving the EU and will visit Berlin and Warsaw. This trip will also include Paris, as of Spring 2019.

On a second trip across Western Europe, the focus is on the structure of the EU with visits to EU institutions in key European cities:

  • Brussels
  • Frankfurt
  • Luxembourg
  • Paris (Strasbourg as of Spring 2019)

For the final trip, you explore economics, politics, and other topics of current importance to the EU in one of three regions. Options have included:

  • London, England; Dublin, Ireland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Riga, Latvia or Tallinn, Estonia – Euroscepticism, Brexit, and EU relations with Russia
  • Lisbon, Portugal; Madrid, Spain; and Rome, Italy – Regionalism, Environment, Migration, and Ethnic Minorities
  • Athens, Greece; Bucharest, Romania; and Budapest, Hungary – Immigration and refugees, the Greek euro crisis, stability, transition, andenergy security

 

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Freiburg is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the day trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services.

Orientation

The program begins with a mandatory orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad European Union staff, your fellow students, and the city of Freiburg. Orientation also includes a trip to the idyllic Black Forest, where you can hike and enjoy a typical German Kaffee und Kuchen—an afternoon ritual of having cake and coffee with  friends.

Our Comprehensive Orientation & Re-Entry Experience (CORE™), begins right when you arrive and continues through the semester with activities focusing on academic and cultural adjustment. Detailed information about housing, public transportation, culture, health and safety, and other important topics are also covered.

As part of your orientation, you will have 20-25 hours of intensive German language instruction, followed by a seminar that will prepare you for the first course-related trip.

Housing

We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Freiburg, it will feel like home.

Shared University Apartment – You live in a single or double room in a co-ed suite with a shared kitchen and bath. Suites are shared with German and international students, and have Internet access.

Single Studio Apartment – You will have your own studio apartment with a single bath and pantry kitchen. Internet is also provided. The complex houses other German and international students. Spots are limited and may include additional fees.

Meals are not included in the program cost. Students usually prepare meals in their housing or dine in Freiburg’s affordable student cafeterias.

Get to Know Your New City

Appreciate the Architecture

Freiburg’s architecture takes in German, Austrian, French, and Swiss influences, which all compete for attention in the city’s colorful buildings.

(Don't) Step in the Bächle

The narrow channels of water that run through the streets of old Freiburg are one of this city’s most characteristic and charming features.

Hike, Cycle, & Climb the Black Forest

Germany’s massive, mountainous, and densely-forested area is right in Freiburg’s back yard.

Pack a Picnic

Grab a Black Forest ham sandwich and a bottle of fresh apple juice from the Saturday market, find the perfect spot, and enjoy. Studying in the sunniest spot in Germany has its advantages!

Take in the Views from the Schauinsland

A rigorous hike or an easy cable car will take you to the top of this hill, offering glorious views of the city, the nearby Vosges Mountains, and the Black Forest.

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Spring 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2019 $16,130 $3,690 $230 $20,050


Term: Fall 2018
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2018 $15,890 $3,635 $230 $19,755


Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.

Our Center

The IES Abroad European Union Center is housed in a historic 19th-century building with a fully renovated interior. Located in the heart of Freiburg, the EU Center is only a short walk from the main campus of the Albert ­Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, the shopping district, and the Freiburg Theater.

Features include:

  • Classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment
  • High-speed Internet and printer access
  • A student library and a student lounge
  • A large outdoor garden space

For a fun look at our EU center, check out Spring 2015 IES Abroad Blogger Kimberly Webber's video tour.

Our Staff

Ullrich Lohrmann, Ph.D.

Center Director

Dr. Ullrich Lohrmann has been with IES Abroad since 1993. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, and has academic interests in Africa, the United Nations, and the development of the European Union. He has served in various capacities at IES Abroad and has been the Director of the EU program since 2007. He has also taught courses on the EU for IES Abroad.

IES Abroad Staff

IES Abroad Staff
Karin Thomas
Student Affairs Director

Almut Meyer zu Schwabedissen
Academic Dean

Dr. Işık Gurleyen
Associate Academic Dean

Dr. Karin Hunn
Field Study Manager