European Union Summer


36 locations available

Program Description


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.


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.

  • Transition and Development in Southeastern and Eastern Europe
  • Shattered Dreams in Europe's Troubled Borderlands? Eastern and Southeastern European Cultures and Societies between Conflict and Reconciliation
  • Security Dynamics in the EU's Eastern and Southeastern Borderlands

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 the 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 are 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. The 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.


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.

Summer 2020

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Summer 2020 $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 the information provided on the application. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients.
  • IES Abroad program location.
  • IES Abroad membership status of the home campus

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
Last updated November 2019

About the School

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectation ... Read More

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 6,000 study abroad students every year. Read less
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