Why study abroad in one location when you can experience the politics and culture of more than 15 European countries? Our European Union Program allows you to live and learn about European politics, economics, business, and international relations like never before.
The centrally-located city of Freiburg, Germany, will be your home base. It’s here that you’ll take English-taught courses like Global Leadership, Political Science, and German. As part of the program’s required Integrative Seminar, you will travel for 22 days to gain exposure to the European Union and beyond. Not only will these course-related excursions 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 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 a foreign minister of an EU country to analyze and debate issues of current concern in Europe, such as security and foreign affairs, EU enlargement, and the multi-annual financial framework. 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, and the accompanying internship seminar.
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 and tours of the city and local sites, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible, and offer you numerous opportunities to get to know Germany.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
If participating only in IES Abroad courses
If participating in an internship
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 16 credit hours per semester (five courses). You may earn up to 19 credits in the spring semester if you are placed in a post-program internship. All courses are taught in English, excluding German language courses and IR/PO355. Academic programming is scheduled five days a week.
You create your academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
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:
In your role, you will debate issues of current concern to the European Union, such as:
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.
IES Abroad Global Leadership Certificate
If you're interested in Global Leadership Studies, you can earn the IES Abroad Leadership Certificate by:
When you successfully complete all components, you will receive an official certificate from IES Abroad.
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.
As a major component of the European Union Program, you participate in extensive course-related excursions to prominent EU institutions and important cities across Europe. During these trips, you meet and talk with 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 trips are included in the program fee.
See the Field Trips tab for details about the trips.
Interning abroad as part of your study abroad experience will help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market. It’s an exhilarating challenge, and we’re here to help guide you in securing your placement and succeeding in your internship.
Participating in an internship abroad helps you:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
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. Internships carry an additional fee, which covers housing, the seminar, and insurance. During a Brussels internship you live in an apartment shared with other interns; during a Freiburg internship you continue to live in a residence hall. 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 with Members of 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:
Placement Examples in Freiburg
Internships are conducted in English and in German. Placements have included:
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.
Apartment-style university housing – 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 apartments in university housing – A limited number of single apartments are available at an extra cost. Apartments include a single bath and pantry kitchen. Internet access is provided.
Meals are not included in the program fee. Students usually prepare meals in their housing or dine in Freiburg’s affordable student cafeterias.
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. This is one of the things we’re known for.
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. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered. Orientation also includes an excursion to the Black Forest where you can hike and enjoy a typical German Kaffee und Kuchen.
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 preparation for the return home.
Following orientation, you begin five days of intensive German language classes and Integrative Seminar classes.
As a major component of the European Union Program, you participate in extensive course-related excursions 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 excursion, you focus on the history of EU integration by visiting the capital cities of Germany and the Czech Republic: Berlin and Prague.
On a second excursion across Western Europe, the focus is on the structure of the EU with visits to EU institutions in key European cities:
For the final excursion, you explore topics of current importance to the EU in one of three regions. Options have included:
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 fee.
About the 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.
For a fun look at our EU center, check out Spring 2015 IES Abroad Blogger Kimberly Webber's video tour.
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
Karin ThomasStudent Affairs Director
Dr. Karin HunnField Study Manager
Almut Meyer zu SchwabedissenAcademic Dean
Larissa MogkAssistant Academic Dean
Melanie WittAdministrative and Customized Programs Coordinator