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  • Locations: Berlin, Germany; Cologne, Germany; Idar-Oberstein, Germany; Munich, Germany; Personal travel, Various; Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany; Vienna, Austria
  • Program Terms: Spring, Spring Break
  • Program Fees: Spring, Spring Break
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Open to: All UWRF students Credit Bearing: Credit bearing
Program Description:
Germany: Culture, History and Politics

Program Overview:

This course examines the culture, history, and politics of Germany and German-speaking Europe. For 2017, two opportunities are available.  The first group departs on March 8 and returns on March 20.  It includes planned travel to the German Alps (Berchtesgaden), Munich, Idar-Oberstein, a gem-producing region near the Rhine, and Berlin with day trips to Salzburg, Austria (of Mozart and Sound of Music fame), the Obersalzberg (one of Nazi Germany’s key sites), and Dachau Concentration Camp.  The second group departs on May 13 and returns on May 29.  It includes planned travel to Frankfurt, the Swiss Alps (Interlaken), Berlin, and Munich, with day trips also planned for the Rhine River (Rüdesheim am Rhein), the Spreewald, which has Europe’s most extensive canal system, and Dachau Concentration Camp.

Culture and history will come alive as you explore Germany. You will sample traditional “German” foods, ride the German rail system, visit museums, and explore key historical sites. In 2017 we plan to tour the Reichstag, the former Berlin Wall, and the German Historical Museum in Berlin; experience the Hofräuhaus; reflect upon the weight of human history at a concentration camp in Dachau, and more.

We arrange historical walking tours and talks in our main destinations led by local experts who will explain things such as
  • what it was like to live in Europe during medieval times,
  • German culture and the ways it differs across German-speaking Europe,
  • the key role of Otto von Bismarck and Prussia in the unification of Germany,
  • the way Germany morphed into a Nazi state in the 1930s,
  • what prisoners experienced in a concentration camp,
  • the devastation wrought by World War II,
  • how Berliners dealt with a city divided by a wall that included a death strip during the Cold War,
  • and much more.
Participants also have the option of visiting locations such as Vienna, Austria, additional places in Germany including the Black Forest, the fairy-tale castles of King Ludwig, or medieval cities such as Rothenberg ob der Tauber, or other sites during independent travel days.

Before departure you will attend orientation seminars, lectures, and discussions and will complete readings and work to prepare you to experience Germany, while earning 3 credits (POLS 371) that fulfill the university's global perspective requirements. There are many reasons you should participate:
  • There’s never going to be a better time.
  • It is a life-enhancing experience.
  • You’ll meet fascinating people, and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • You’ll have a great academic experience.
  • Your experience will make you more attractive to potential employers,
  • It’s affordable: you can take advantage of student rates.
  • Financial aid is often available, make an appointment in the Financial Aid Office to discuss your individual case.
Program leader: Dr. Wes Chapin
Castle Cochem: May 2014
2014 Group Picture


The March program takes place in the German Alps (Berchtesgaden), Munich, Idar-Oberstein, and Berlin with day trips to Salzburg, Austria, the Obersalzberg, and Dachau Concentration Camp. 

The May program takes place in Frankfurt, the Swiss Alps (Interlaken), Berlin, and Munich, with day trips also planned for the Rhine River (Rüdesheim am Rhein), the Spreewald, and Dachau Concentration Camp.


Students earn 3 credits (Political Science 371) that fulfill the global perspectives requirement.

It is not necessary to know German to participate.  Classes and activities in Germany are in English, most Germans know some English, and many menus, signs, and tourist and other information in Germany are in English.


A breakdown of the costs related to this program can be viewed by clicking on the “Program Fees” link (in the table at the top of this brochure) for the desired term.

Photo Gallery:

Coming soon.

Housing & Meals:

Most accommodations are hostels. Some meals are provided in the program fee.

Travel Arrangements:

Airfare from Minneapolis to and from Europe is included in the program fee. Some local transportation is provided.

Additional Information:

Group tours, lodging while the group is together, about one-third of the meals (mainly breakfasts) and an international student ID card are included in the program fee. Students have the opportunity for a short term independent travel experience.

How to Apply:

Check out the information on How to Apply, then come back to this program’s brochure and click on the “Apply Now” button at the top of the page.


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2018 01-DEC-2017 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Spring Break 2018 01-DEC-2017 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.