Group in front of Government Building. Photo courtesy of Ashley DeBose 2013       


About the Program

Berlin Cityscape_Cole Reid 2013

Live and study for five weeks in Germany's capital city where you can explore the rich culture and history of this cosmopolitan city that holds a complex and crucial place in modern European history. Youthful, artistic, and hip, Berlin has traveled a path that led from the defining cultural avant-garde of the Weimar Republic to the devastation of World War II, from a divided city symbolizing the Cold War to today’s reunified and renewed capital. A city once divided, Berlin lies at the heart of Germany – literally and figuratively. While it is the second most populous city in Europe (metropolitan area notwithstanding), it maintains a more tranquil feel than other large cities, as 1/3 of the city is composed of forests, gardens, and parks. Berlin is not only the political capital of Germany, but arguably one of Europe’s capitals of art, culture, and politics. Designated a UNESCO “City of Design”, it possesses amazing architecture, cuisine, museums, and music and is a top destination for young travelers and students. Imagine yourself following in the footsteps of Goethe, Beethoven, Martin Lu

ther, Albert Einstein, and other major figures who have helped shape Western Culture.

Program Dates, Structure and Course Structure

The group departs for Berlin on June 27, 2014 and returns to Atlanta on July 30, 2014. Many classes are offered, representing a range of upper and lower-level courses, each course carrying three semester hours of credit. Students take one or two three-hour courses, with class sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays. Half the courses meet in the morning and half meet in the afternoon. Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for required field trips. Your three-day weekends are free for trips out and about the island or all of Europe.


Health Matters and Insurance

Participants are provided with health-care from CISI insurance (Cultural Insurance Services International) that covers them while they are abroad. Supplemental insurance is provided with the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), included as one of the benefits of the Berlin Study Program. The ISIC Card also provides students with discount entry fees to museums and other discounts around the globe, including the United States.

Students with special medical problems may be required to provide a physician's assurance of their ability to undertake foreign travel and study. It is not possible for the European Council to guarantee accessible facilities abroad for students with special needs.

Participants should bring medications they regularly depend upon and should have copies of prescriptions in generic form in case they need to acquire additional medications. 
No special immunizations are needed to enter Germany, and the International Immunization Certificate is not required.


Passports and Visas

Everyone who travels to Germany must have a valid passport. Participants with expired passports should have them renewed. Participants who have never had a passport should begin the process of obtaining one immediately as it takes more than 3 months to get a passport. Inquire at your local post office for instructions on obtaining a passport.

Holders of U.S. passports do not need visas to enter Germany for summer study. Participants traveling on passports of other countries should contact their campus representative for assistance in determining whether they need a visa.

Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.

Please visit the Department of State’s website for more information on how to apply for a passport. Students are required to turn in a copy of their passport by April 8th, 2014 to avoid a $50 late fee.


International Cards

The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is available to students pursuing a diploma or degree. In addition to serving as a common means of identification, the ISIC card provides many benefits, including insurance coverage for accidental death or dismemberment, accident-related medical expenses, and in-hospital sickness outside the U.S. It also provides a 24-hour traveler's assistance hotline and discounts on a wide range of admission fees and travel services. All 2012 program participants receive an ISIC card as part of the program package.

Download Brochure Here

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Courses in the 2013 Germany Study Abroad Program are part of the regular offerings of member institutions; therefore, students may apply for loans or grants for which they would normally be eligible. Students should apply for financial aid at the campus where they are registering for courses. Campus representatives will assist students in obtaining information about financial aid.

Students must meet all campus requirements in applying for financial aid.

The package cost of $5,100 for the five-week program includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare between Atlanta and Germany
  • Accommodations at the Akademie Hotel for the full five weeks
  • Meals as noted in the section on Accommodations and Meals
  • Travel by bus from the arrival airport to the campus and back
  • A travel pass for travel on the railway and bus system in the Berlin
  • A primary health insurance policy providing basic coverage for medical expenses
  • An International Student Identification Card (ISIC) providing reduced-fare admissions to tourist sites
  • A guided tour of Berlin

The package cost does not include tuition, textbooks, extra meals, entrance fees, and weekend travel expenses, passport and related expenses, spending money, ground transport to and from the U.S. airport through which flights will be scheduled, or any other costs beyond those listed above.

Students should plan to budget a minimum of $1,500 for extra meals, theater tickets, entrance fees, and evening entertainment. If students plan extended travel or major shopping, additional funds should be budgeted. Some course excursions might involve additional fees; course instructors will inform students if such fees apply at the mandatory student orientation on May 17, 2014.

All costs are subject to change because of unanticipated increases in airfares or other program elements or fluctuations in monetary exchange rates. The European Council will make every effort to keep program costs as advertised and will inform prospective participants of any changes as they occur.

Due Dates
March 1, 2014: Application form and $200 application fee due
March 10, 2014: First payment of $2,450 due
April 8, 2014: Final payment of $2,450 due

Application fees and other payments are applied toward required advances, purchase of airline tickets and other costs related to the program. Note that the $200 application fee is non-refundable and covers processing and reservation fees. Participants who withdraw from a program after the application deadline receive a refund according to the schedule below. Please note that all withdrawals must be emailed to the EC Coordinator Beverly Vantine at AND to the student's campus representative at the home institution.

Withdrawal before March 10

all but $200 will be refunded

Withdrawal between March 11 and March 18

all but $400 will be refunded

Withdrawal between March 19 and April 1

all but $850 will be refunded

Withdrawal between April 2 and April 30

all but $2000 will be refunded

Withdrawal after April 30

No money will be refunded

All withdrawals must be made in writing to the program office at Valdosta State University in order for refunds to be processed.

Students should plan to budget a minimum of $150 per week for additional meals. If students plan extended travel or major shopping, additional funds should be budgeted. Some course excursions might involve additional fees; course instructors will inform students if such fees apply prior to departure at the mandatory student orientation on May 17, 2014.

Please take note of important deadlines:

-2 passport photos due April 8th ($50 late fee if not received IN OFFICE by 5pm on this date). Photos MUST be passport photos that adhere to the passport agency’s rules and regulations for photos. Photos that are submitted that do not comply with these rules will be denied and late fees will still apply. Please visit the Department of State’s website for detailed passport information.

-An electronic copy of your passport is due April 8th. Passports should be scanned and emailed to the European Council coordinator; faxed and mailed copies are not accepted. ($50 late fee if not received by email by 5pm on this date)

For a visual representation of what is required, please see below:

-An all-day*Mandatory* planning meeting on May 17th in Milledgeville at the Georgia College & State University Campus. This meeting starts at 9am and is over at 4pm. Students who fail to attend will be penalized by dropping  the final grades for study abroad courses by an entire letter; if you receive an “A” in the course, the grade of “B” will be submitted to your home institution as your final grade. 

Flight Deviation/Separate Airfare

Airfare is included in the price of the program. However, if you wish to arrive to Berlin sooner, or stay later, there is a *possibility* that you can do this at an additional expense to you. Students are also allowed to do 100% of their own airfare. If you chose to do this, $1200 will be deducted from your SECOND payment. All deviation and separate airfare request must be submitted by April 8th and these opportunities are provided on a first come first serve basis. All requests submitted after April 8th will be denied. 


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Course Descriptions

Intro to Human Communication (LD)- Dr. Allison Ainsworth (NGA)

  A critical thinking based course designed to introduce students to various communication contexts. Special emphasis is placed on adapting communication style and content to diverse cultural audiences. The course includes practice in Informative Speaking, Critical Listening/Evaluation of Persuasive Messages, Interpersonal Communication, and Group Communication. Prerequisites: READ 0099, ENGL 0099  

Environmental Communication (UD)- Dr. Allison Ainsworth (NGA)

Environmental Communication teaches students to clearly communicate information on environmental issues including the utilization of GIS in oral presentations, effectively interact with group members to identify local, regional, national, and global environmental concerns and potential solutions, and to analyze existing media, non-profit organizational, and governmental discourse on environmental issues. Prerequisites: GIS 2011 Introduction to GIS or permission of the instructor  

Music Appreciation (LD)- Dr. Martin Gendelman (GASOU)

Music Appreciation will prove fascinating to anyone interested in understanding more about the art itself and its evolution through the centuries. Throughout the course, students will become familiar with the basic listening skills necessary to understand a piece of music from any context. All kinds of vocal and instrumental genres will be examined and discussed together with the specific contexts of the masterpieces studied: from the Italian renaissance and the German Baroque styles to the music of our times.

Aesthetics after World-War II in Music and other Arts (UD)- Martin Gendleman (GASOU)

Aesthetics after World-War II in Music and other Arts will offer students a unique opportunity to understand the reasons behind contemporary masterpieces in Music, Visual Arts, and other artistic fields. By studying the masterpieces of the past six decades and experiencing Berlin’s unique and highly post-modern artistic scene, students will be immersed in the world of contemporary expressions. This will prove to be an invaluable experience not only for music students but for anyone in the artistic world aiming at getting a better grasp of today’s leading figures and styles.

Elementary German II: GRMN 1002- Mr. Rick Robinson (GPC)

This course is the second in a two-course sequence at the elementary level of German. The course consists of the study of the fundamentals of the language. Emphasis is on oral communication with grammar and vocabulary taught in context. A special emphasis will be placed on daily life and the thriving culture of Berlin. In the classroom, students will learn through interactive activities, discussions and structured practice. Additionally, students receive direct exposure to the language through field trips and excursions in and around the city specifically planned to strengthen their language abilities. Prerequisites: German 1001

Intermediate German IL GRMN 2001- Mr Rick Robinson (GPC)

This course is the first in a two-course sequence at the intermediate level of German. Emphasis is on oral communication with grammar and vocabulary taught in context using German as the language of instruction. The culture of Germany and more specifically Berlin play an integral part of the course. In addition to interaction in the classroom, students use their language skills on field trips in and around the city specifically planned to reinforce the course content. Prerequisites: German 1002

World Literature (LD)- Dr. Craig Callender (GCSU)

In this course we will discuss major works of world literature. We will closely read poems, short stories, and novels from major literary traditions. The scope of world literature is huge, both in terms of its geographic and chronological distribution. It is therefore impossible to cover every tradition and epoch. Our survey will thus necessarily be selective, and hopefully, representative. In order to meet the interest of students taking this particular iteration of the course (in Berlin), we will pay particular attention to German writers. Prerequisites: English Composition II

Literature of Berlin & East Germany (UD)- Dr. Craig Callender (GCSU)

This course introduces students to the literature of Eastern Germany. The course is divided into four sections. First, we discuss the literature of the Weimar Republic, and then move to post-war literature, with particular attention to how German writers attempted to come to terms with the realities of WWII. Next, we will discuss East German socialism and its influence on the literature of the period. Finally, we will explore the country’s reunification, and discuss the literature of the post-reunification era. For each era, we will consider Berlin’s central role in what was happening more broadly in the country. Prerequisites: Studies in International Literature

World Civilization II (LD)- Dr. Charles Lipp (W. GA)

This survey explores crucial aspects of world history between 1500 and the present. In examining such events as the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and the rise of totalitarian regimes, we will use the many resources of Berlin and its surroundings. Among other places, we will visit where Martin Luther destroyed the unity of the medieval Christian Church and a Nazi concentration camp. The readings, which include works by Martin Luther and an anonymous German woman who survived the Soviet conquest of Berlin, offer additional perspectives on these events and places. The class satisfies requirements for Core Area D.

Kings, Kaisers, and the Führer: Prussia’s Rise and Fall (UD)- Dr. Charles Lipp (W. GA)

In the 1600s, Prussia was a minor state at the mercy of aggressive neighbors; by 1947 it gained such a dangerous reputation that it was written off the map. How did a weak state become the terror of all Europe? This class explores that question through lectures, readings, and visits to the places where history was made. Prussia’s particularly dramatic story offers a means of understanding the larger role of war, nation-building, and social change in modern Europe. We will encounter such figures as Frederick the Great, Otto von Bismarck, and Adolf Hitler, as well as ordinary men and women.

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The Germany Study Abroad Program is based at the Akademie Hotel in a quiet neighborhood with access to nearby public transportation to all parts of Berlin.  Students share double rooms at the Akademie Hotel, each of which has a TV and a private bath. All courses will be held in classrooms at the Hotel. You can visit their website at

The program package includes breakfast 7 days a week, lunch on class days (Mondays and Wednesdays) and two dinners.


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Apply to the Program

Download Application Here

1.     Download and complete the European Council application

 2.     Turn the application to your campus representative. If you do not know who your representative is click here.

 3.     After you submit your application to your campus rep, please pay the $200 non-refundable application fee.

*Your application will not be processed until we receive BOTH your application and $200 deposit.

** Spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis. Some programs will fill as early as November. Once a program is full, students will be placed on the waitlist. Please do not be discouraged if you’re placed on the waitlist as we always anticipate a 15% drop. 


Pay Application Fee here (must be paid before application will be processed)

Any full-time or part-time student is eligible to participate in the program as long as the student will be 18 years of age by the time of departure.  Students from institutions that are not part of the University System of Georgia must become a transient student at Valdosta State University. Students must be in good standing in order to be admitted to the program.  Completion of an application form does not guarantee acceptance into the program.  Note also that individual campuses may require letters of reference or other information beyond that required by the European Council.

Click here for information on becoming a transient at Valdosta State University

An application form is available above; copies of the form are also available from campus representatives listed on this site. Completed applications should be submitted to the campus representatives, along with a required application fee of $200 (to be paid online). Campus representatives forward completed applications to the program office at Valdosta State University.  Applications will not be processed by the EC office until both the application form (approved by the campus representative) and the $200 application fee are received.

Because of space limitations, acceptance is on a first come, first served basis, according to the date of receipt of the application and application fee.  Students are encouraged to apply well in advance of the application deadline to assure them of a place in the program.

The application deadline for the 2014 program is March 1, 2014.

Advice from Previous Germany Students

I would just say stick with it. The culture shock may be intense for
some, and the first week or two was a little strange, but once you
feel out the environment and get into your own traveling and daily
life groove, it is the best experience in the world!

Save money and plan ahead... Keep an open mind; be patient, its okay to get lost because you'll find your way back. Enjoy yourself.

Meet as many people as possible while over there, both students and
foreigners. Don't be afraid of asking for help or for directions,
because it will save you a lot of time.

Try to get any work you can done before you leave. This way you free
up more time to do whatever you want.

Don't get too caught up in traveling to see everything, you won't be
able to. Just enjoy and do what you can. Stay in Germany, many
students traveled every weekend to other countries far away. They saw
amazing cities, but didn't see the country they've called home for the
past month.

Berlin is a big city so don't get carried away with all the partying
and other distracting things. Just don't forget to study but at the
same time have fun!

Watch how much you spend! It's easy to forget that you pay in euros
here not dollars.

Don't party too hard. Have a good time, but always stay very conscientious.

Look up everything you can about the country you are going to and try
to learn the language. Also, don't expect the people of the country to
cater to your every wish. Give them some respect and you will get a
lot farther than if you just go around demanding things.

Go to small towns and meet the people. Get cultural experience and
don't act like dumb Americans!



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If you do not have a campus contact or are unable to obtain the information that you need, please write or call Valdosta State University, the coordinating institution for the European Council, at the following address:

European Council

Beverly Vantine, EC Coordinator

Center for International Programs 

1500 N Patterson Street

Valdosta, Georgia 31698 

PH: 229-259-2591 or 229-333-7410 

FX: 229-245-3849

Program Directors:

Ms. Barbara Smith

North Georgia College & State University

Dr. Ronald Fietkau

Georgia College & State University

For more information or a program booklet and application, please contact the European Council Representative from your home campus. If you are from a school that does not have a campus representative, please contact Beverly Vantine, the Coordinator of the European Council of the University System of Georgia. You may obtain more information from the European Council website.

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