- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.75 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
Why study abroad in one location when you can experience the politics and cultures of many European cities? The IES European Union Program allows you to learn about European politics, economics, business, and international relations in a whole new way.
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.Internships are not available during the fall semester.
Academic Year: late August - early May
Fall: late August - mid December
Spring: early January- early May
These dates are for students who only take IES Abroad courses. Students who complete an optional internship in the spring semester will have a later end date.Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available.
Tucked at the foot of the Black Forest, Freiburg is the quintessential southern German town, with its winding streets and historic architecture. Picturesquely located on the river Dreisam, in between green mountainsides, it enjoys one of the sunniest and warmest climates among German cities. Freiburg is closer to France and Switzerland than most of Germany, being situated at a corner where the borders of the three countries meet. This is reflected by the city sharing its airport with Basel in Switzerland and Mulhouse in France - the unique EuroAirport whose grounds straddle national borders.
Although your adventure begins in Freiburg, IES organized 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.
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.