Germany: International Relations & The E.U.

Peace, Politics, and Human Rights

Travel through Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg  as you learn about international politics and gain  fascinating insights into the European Union.

Peace, Politics, & Human Rights

Leadership

Language

Homestay

DEPARTURE

June 29, 2020

APPLY NOW

Program Description

As you travel throughout Germany and across national borders, you will spend time in Frankfurt, Berlin, Niederalteich, Brussels, Cologne, Bonn, Munich, and Schengen. Your Experiment begins with a group orientation in Frankfurt, a global hub for commerce, culture, education, and more, where you will begin taking German language classes.

Continue to the region of Bavaria, where you’ll meet your host family and share in their daily life during your homestay. Attend school with German students to experience local high school culture and spend a fun-filled day with your group completing a treasure hunt in nearby Munich.

Travel to Luxembourg and visit the site where the famous Schengen Agreement was signed in 1985, eliminating many of Europe’s internal borders. Then continue to Brussels, Belgium, the seat of the Nobel Peace Prize–winning European Union (E.U.), where you will visit the European Commission and explore the E.U.’s institutional structure. Return to Germany to visit the 2,000-year-old city of Cologne, where you will continue language classes and see the awe-inspiring Kölner Dom, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Your program will wrap up in Berlin, Germany’s capital and bustling cultural center. You will begin with a tour of the city’s important sites, including the Bundestag (Germany’s parliament). You’ll also attend workshops on the structure of the E.U., including competencies, tasks, and stakeholders, and a seminar on European asylum politics to learn about the current refugee situation on the continent.

PROGRAM AT A GLANCE

Prerequisite:

None

Dates:

June 29, 2020 - July 28, 2020

Program Fee:

$6,880.00

(does not include airfare)
Group Airfare Cost:

TBD

Depart/Return City:

New York

Orientation:

Cologne, 4 days

Homestay:

Niederalteich*, 10–12 days

Other Accommodations:

Hostels

Sample Itinerary

  •  
    Days 1-3

    Orientation in Frankfurt

    • Learn about the history, culture, and environment of Germany from experts
    • Get to know other members of your group during activities
    • Begin your German language instruction

    During the orientation period, you and your group will stay at a centrally located youth guest house in Frankfurt

  •  
    Days 3-9

    DAYS 3-9

     

    Homestay in Niederalteich

    • Become immersed in the daily lives of a German family and community during you homestay with a local family.
    • Engage in a variety of activities with your host family to learn about their culture and share about yours.
    • Join your host siblings for a day at their school and witness a typical day of local youth.
    • Share out about American youth culture to your host schoolmates
    • Go on a guided tour of Niederalteich’s monastery and basilica
    • Go on an excursion to explore Munich, visit points of interest and museums, and learn about Nazi era crimes.

    During this period, you will stay in the home of a family.

  •  
    Days 13-19

    Thematic Focus in Cologne, Brussels, Belgium and Schengen, Luxembourg

    • Visit the EU Parliament in Schengen, Luxembourg, the site of the signing of the agreement by the same name which largely abolished European borders.
    • Visit the European Commission and learn about the work of the European Union
    • Go on a guided tour of Brussels, the “capital of the European Union,” explore the city center, and visit the European Commission.
    • Explore the city of Cologne and see the Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Attend workshops on how European youth incorporate the European philosophy of collaboration by promoting an active culture of international exchanges
    • During this period, you and your group will stay at a centrally located youth guest house in Brussels, Luxembourg, and Cologne
  •  
    Days 20-27

    Thematic Focus in Berlin

    • Attend lectures on Germany’s influence in Europe, how the EU works, the tasks of different EU institutions, and the diversity of cultures within the EU
    • Enjoy an activities and team-building day and complete high ropes course.
    • Learn about current issues in the EU including through workshops on the refugee situation in Europe and a historical and current look at asylum.
    • Visit the German Bundestag and learn about local German politics while continuing to look at international relations and the European Union
    • Tour the Berlin street art scene and take a workshop with a local artist
    • Explore museums and local market, and visit important sites throughout the city, and take a walking tour or Berlin seen through the eyes of a refugee
    • Engage in service projects that help connect you to the community. Past sample projects have included volunteering at an intercultural urban gardening initiative that brings together people from all over the world living in Berlin.
    • Meet and engage with local youth and young professional.

    During this period, you and your group will stay at a centrally located youth guest house in Berlin.

  •  
    Day 28

    Reflection and Wrap-up in Berlin

    • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program
    • Enjoy a farewell dinner with your group

    During this period, you and your group will stay at a centrally located youth guest house in Berlin.

  •  
    Day 28

    Departure

    Please note: This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented above.

Itinerary is subject to change.

Past Group Leaders

  • Silvia Weko

    Silvia Weko has moved every 2.5 years on average since birth, can’t say exactly where she is from, and is happy that way. She has lived in London, Paris, Berlin, and a German village next to Poland (Döbern). Her odd jobs to pay for travel have included tutor, housekeeper, personal assistant, and ice skate guard. She received her BA in international studies and German in May 2014, and she hopes to eventually pursue a master’s in education. Silvia’s on-campus jobs while in college included coordinating the German House, working as a teacher assistant, and facilitating the Language in Motion program. She loves learning new languages and practicing her French and German with exchange students. If Silvia is not in the kitchen making something elaborate and vegetarian, you can usually find her hiking or writing poetry.

  • Tessa Williams

    Tessa graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2013 with a degree in women’s and gender studies. Having caught the travel bug at a young age, Tessa knew that studying abroad while in college was a must. After studying German for three years, she embarked on a six-month adventure to Regensburg, Germany. During her time in Regensburg, Tessa took part in an international language intensive course and had the incredible opportunity to study with students from all over the world. Tessa has traveled widely throughout Europe and having friends on so many different parts of the globe has greatly strengthened her wanderlust. Most recently, Tessa has served in the Great Work Apprenticeship program at Compass Montessori High School. In this work, Tessa taught high school students about social justice issues and advocated for peace education. A proud Colorado native, Tessa grew up taking advantage of all that the state has to offer. She is an outdoor enthusiast and loves hiking, camping, rock climbing, and playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Student Voices

  • As you travel around Europe you will learn in great detail the structure and layout of the EU. With the homestay experience, you become immersed in the German culture and learn what it’s like at a German high school, all while you connect with german youth. You will make lifelong friends.

    --Ronnie
  • The group dynamic was absolutely amazing. The 14 of us came from different backgrounds with different opinions and ideas but all with a passion for politics and change-making, that made for thought-provoking discussions and debates, allowing us to constantly learn from each other and think in ways that we never had before. The relationships that I’ve made – both German and American – are ones that have helped me realize my own capabilities as a leader and truly changed my life for the better.

    --Cordelia
  • Throughout the month I was in Germany, I learned so much and gained insight I couldn’t have gotten elsewhere. The Experiment provided a perfect balance of education, volunteer service projects and free time in which we could split up and explore the cities with a small group

    --Abby
  • One thing I learned out of all of this is that before I was in the program I didn’t realize my full potential. I thought I could just do a few things with my life, be really good at them and that was all. What I realized after the program was that my potential, like the world and all its possibilities, is limitless and it is only as small as I think it is. Being able to live in an entirely different culture (two really) and eat their food and speak their language and make friends with them and use their money and use their transportation systems, see their monuments, and breathe their air is something I will never forget as well as all the people I have met and the life friends I have made and the experiences we shared. I will always be grateful for and remember [this].

    --Richard
  • My favorite part of the trip has to be the homestay. Bavaria also has to be my favorite place on the trip. That area of the country is absolutely beautiful. The rolling planes and then the Bavarian Forest rising up in the distance, it was definitely my favorite place to be. I had a wonderful time with my family, the Stockingers. The family brought me in as one of their own and I felt truly at home in their house. Everybody else was absolutely wonderful as well, and I made a few friends while I was there.

    --Dennis
  • I’m so grateful for my opportunity to go on this trip. I have a special interest in traveling, and this experience only fed the fire that is burning within me to see the world. My group leaders were awesome, and I never found a dull moment with them. We always were talking about experiences they had had as world citizens traveling, and after hearing these stories I began to feel more and more secure in my thoughts of being a very active traveler as I grew older. All the sites, from the urban to the rural, and the people I got to know through the program were wonderful. The program exceeded all my expectations, and I’m highly grateful for the opportunity I had to partake in it.

    John, Montgomery Bell Academy