About the Program




Course Descriptions

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Wall Bear FlagLive 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 Luther, Albert Einstein, and other major figures who have helped shape Western Culture.

Program Dates, Structure and Course Structuregia by building

The 2014 group departs for Germany on June 27 and returns to the United States on July 30th. Students can take one or two three-hour courses. Courses will meet in the classroom twice a week and students will participate in required field trips on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students will have three day weekends to travel in Germany or other European countries.

Program Costs

The package of $ 5,100 for the five-week program includes: Round trip airfare from Atlanta to Berlin, transportation to and from the airport to the hotel, accommodations for the entire time in Berlin, a primary health insurance policy providing coverage for medical expenses, and a pass for travel on the metro system within the city of Berlin. The program also includes breakfast seven days a week, lunch twice a week, welcome dinner and farewell dinner.

The package does not include tuition, additional meals, passport and related expenses, spending money, travel to Atlanta, or other costs beyond those listed above.

Group infront of government building

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 Visasladies

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 three (3) 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 ID 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 2014 program participants receive an ISIC card as part of the program package.

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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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Courses in the 2014 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:By Brandenburg Gate

  • Roundtrip airfare between Atlanta and Germany
  • Accommodations at the Akademie Hotel for the full five weeks
  • Breakfast seven days a week and lunch twice a week
  • 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
  • A welcome dinner
  • A farewell dinner

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 aboveBerlin Sunset

Students should plan to budget a minimum of $2,000 for extra meals, entrance tickets, evening entertainment, travel, and shopping. Some course excursions might involve additional fees; course instructors will inform students if such fees apply at the mandatory student orientation on May 17.

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.

Payment Schedule

March 3, 2014
Application form and $200 application fee due
March 10, 2014
 First payment of $2450 due
April 8, 2014
Final payment of $2450 due

Refundsladies on bench

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 $2,000 will be refunded
Withdrawal after April 30
No money will be refunded

Students should plan to budget a minimum of $200 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.

Important deadlines:

RomstockApplication-Due March 3rd (spaces are available on first come, first serve and students are encouraged to apply early)

First Payment- March 10th

Final Payment- April 8th

-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). 

-There is an all-day*Mandatory* student orientation 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 Europe 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 however in order to keep our group rate only a certain number of students may do this and must receive authorization from the EC coordinator. If you are given permission to do your own airfare, there will be a deduction in 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.lady with dressed up gentleman


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Introduction to Human Communication

 Dr. Allison Ainsworth (University of North Georgia) 

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.

World Literature

Dr. Craig Callender (Georgia College & State University)

 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.

Relax in the ParkMusic Appreciation

Dr. Martin Gendelman (Georgia Southern University)

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.

World Civilizations 2 (Since 1500)

Dr. Charles Lipp (University of West Georgia)

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.

Elementary German I

Dr. Rick Robinson (Georgia Perimeter College)

This course is the first in a two-course sequence at the elementary level of German. It is designed for students with very little or no previous knowledge of German. The foundations of the language are taught in context, placing emphasis on oral communication. The students will have ample opportunity to use their new language skills in the classroom and on field trips throughout the thriving capital city of  Berlin.


Environmental Communication

Dr. Allison Ainsworth (University of North Georgia)

This course 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.

Literature of Berlin and East Germany

Dr. Craig Callender (Georgia College & State University)

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.

Aesthetics after World-War II in Music and other Arts

Berlin WallDr. Martin Gendelman (Georgia Southern University)

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.

Kings, Kaisers, and the Führer: Prussia’s Rise and Fall

Dr. Charles Lipp (University of West Georgia)

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.

Intermediate German I

Dr. Rick Robinson (Georgia Perimeter College)

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.

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Directions on how to apply: 

  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.

 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. 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 3, 2014.

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. 


Advice from Previous Germany Studentsby wall

  • 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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    city scape


    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

    Dr. Barbara Smith (University of North Georgia)


    Dr. Ronald Fietkau (Georgia College & State University)