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Study Abroad
European Union Summer Add to favorites
  • Freiburg, European Union
Smiling European Union student
Students taking a boat ride
European Union student exploring the city
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Students standing under a creative sign
European Union students enjoying themselves
Students inside the classroom
Group of European Union students
Students exploring the city
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European Union students learning outside the classroom

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European Union Summer

Why the European Union?

The EU Summer Program examines the past, present, and future of the European periphery in relation to Europe’s core. You will explore the political, economic, environmental, and societal reasons for current tensions in South Eastern and Eastern Europe, with a focus on the interaction and competition between the EU and the Russian Federation. The challenges that result from different degrees of integration into the European Union will be a focus throughout.

What You'll Study

The program begins in the heart of Europe—Freiburg, Germany—where you’ll start a specialized curriculum that will take you on two weeks of academic explorations to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Russia, and the Baltic states.

On your first trip, you will travel to Sarajevo and Belgrade, the capitals of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, to look at EU foreign and security policies in the Balkans, increased Russian influence, and the role of non-state actors, NGOs, and businesses. In meetings with political and NGO professionals, you will discuss economic underdevelopment, ethnic fault lines, and the implications of EU enlargement fatigue.

On your second trip, you will visit the Russian Federation and one of the Baltic states—Latvia, Estonia or Lithuania—to explore EU-Russian geopolitical competition in the Caucuses, the Black Sea region, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltics. On this trip, you will meet with authorities, academics, and others. The focus will be on issues of hard and soft power, the Maidan revolutions in Ukraine, questions of energy supplies, and the ongoing role of the United States in the region.

Throughout, you will visit sites of historical significance and beauty, and you will engage with your fellow students, your faculty, and local players to take your learning far beyond the classroom.

$5 Million in Scholarships & 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 scholarship and aid programs.


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 world-class professors and course-related excursions enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

You take two courses: the 4-credit Integrative Seminar and a 3-credit elective course for a total of 7 credits. Disciplines taught in the past have included:

  • Cultural Studies
  • Economics
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Political Science


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.

Field Trips & Events

Course-Related Excursions
The IES Abroad European Union Summer Program features two course-related excursions, one to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia (7 days) and the other to Russia* and a Baltic state (9 days).

During these course-related excursions, you will experience first-hand the cultural landscape of multiple EU accession state candidates and study in-depth the multi-faceted challenges of current and future European integration for the countries visited.

*Please note: Non-U.S./non-EU citizens may be required to obtain a Russian tourist visa prior to arrival. 

The course-related excursions are academic in nature. Site visits include lectures and discussions on the political, economic, social, cultural, and religious issues involved and is a unique opportunity to meet and talk with:

  • EU and government representatives of accession states
  • Leaders in multi-national corporations and NGOs
  • Official advisors on EU issues
  • Leading academic experts
  • Journalists

The cost of the course-related excursions is included in the program fee, but you should budget for some meals and spending money.

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.


Upon arrival in Freiburg, you participate in a 1-day comprehensive orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad European Union staff and program objectives, your fellow students, and the city of Freiburg. During orientation, you:

  • Attend a welcome reception, during which you will be able to meet and speak with IES Abroad faculty, staff, and fellow students
  • Settle into your housing and learn about student life in Freiburg, including transportation and health and safety
  • Receive an overview of the program, including its academic policies and goals
  • Finalize course registration
  • Tour Freiburg and take an excursion to the Black Forest
  • Participate in basic local language instruction

Additionally, CORE, IES Abroad's Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.


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 fee. Students typically prepare meals at their residences 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: Summer 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Summer 2019 $5,820 $1,945 $135 $7,900

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

Summer Need-Based Financial Aid
Up to $1,000

Open to students who apply to and attend an IES Abroad or IES Internships summer program.

Criteria reviewed to determine award:

  • Level of financial need as determined from infromation provided on the application. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients.
  • IES Abroad program location.
  • IES Abroad membership status of home campus

Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 Million in Scholarships & 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 scholarship and 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

Jörn Weingärtner, Ph.D.

Managing Director

Dr. Jörn Weingärtner, our new Managing Director of the IES Abroad European Union and Freiburg Centers, joins IES Abroad from Witten/Herdecke University, Germany’s oldest and most highly regarded private university. Prior to joining IES Abroad, Dr. Weingärtner was Managing Director of the Faculty of the School of Management and Economics and Chief Internationalization Officer at Witten/Herdecke University; in these roles, he served as joint head of the faculty team and as a member of the extended university leadership body. As Chief Internationalization Officer, he was also the senior internationalization strategist, with responsibility for the development of the university’s international partner network and the process of internationalizing the university’s student body.

Prior to his time at Witten/Herdecke University, Dr. Weingärtner served at the German National Academic Foundation, supervising and consulting German students going abroad. He received his Ph.D. in History and his Master of Arts in History from Hamburg University.

Dr. Weingärtener’s appointment coincides with the formal administrative merger of our Freiburg and European Union Centers. The merger will accomplish some streamlining and will also benefit our relationship with the University of Freiburg and Studentenwerk.

As Managing Director, Dr. Weingärtner will oversee the Freiburg and European Union Centers and manage the further development of our Freiburg programs.


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