About the Program | Program Information & Course Structure

Payment & Refund Schedule | Deadlines & Late Fee Schedule

Course Descriptions | How to Apply to the Program

Insurance & Passport Information | What Students Have to Say | Contact Us

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List of all 2017 European Council Classes: Courses by Program | Courses by Subject

About the Program

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 as an UNESCO “City of Design”, it possesses amazing architecture, cuisine, museums, and music making it 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 that have helped shape Western Culture.

Dates: June 29 to August 2 by wall

Cost: $5,300

The package cost of $5,300 for the five-week program includes:

  • 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
  • A welcome dinner
  • A farewell dinner
  • Guided tour of Berlin on arrival weekend
  • Day trip to Warnemünde, Rostock
  • Round-trip transportation from the airport to the hotel on a private bus
  • 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

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.

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Program Information and Course Structure 

Berlin group

This five week program offers an ideal balance between a stimulating academic environment and free time to explore on your own which allows students to gain insights on cultural differences. The Berlin program is structured so that students are in the classroom two days a week (Mondays and Wednesdays), fieldtrips in the city two days a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), and have three day weekends. On these three day weekends students can enjoy the local life or travel to other places in Germany and other European countries. Additionally, students will be able to take one or two 3-credit hour class.


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



Courses in the 2017 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.

Students should plan to budget a minimum of $1,400 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 14.

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.

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


Payment Schedule

March 2, 2017 Application form and $300 non-refundable program deposit due
March 9, 2017  First payment of $2500 due
April 7, 2017 Final payment of $2500 due


RefundsBerlin Soccer

Program deposits and other payments are applied toward required advances, purchase of airline tickets and other costs related to the program. Note that the $300 program deposit is non-refundable and covers processing and reservation fees; this fee can not be transferred to a subsequent year.

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 3 All but $300 will be refunded
Withdrawal between March 4 and March 18 all but $500 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

Important Deadlines:

  • March 3rd-  Application deadline (spaces are available on first come, first serve basis and students are strongly encouraged to apply early)
    Berlin needle
  • March 9th – First Payment
  • April 7th – Final Payment
  • March 28th– One passport photo due (late fees apply, see below for details) if they’re 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.

  • March 28th – An electronic copy of your passport is due. Passports should be scanned and emailed to the European Council coordinator; faxed and mailed copies are not accepted. Late fees apply, see below for details.
  • March 28th– Deadline for separate airfare waiver or flight deviation; see below for details.
  • May 13th– There is an all-day*Mandatory* student orientation in Macon at the Middle Georgia State College 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.

Late Fees for Passports & Photo

Items received on May 20th or after$100 late fee plus $5 per additional day

Items received between Mar 29 – Apr 12 $25 late fee
Items received between Apr 13 – Apr 27 $50 late fee
Items received between Apr 28 – May 11 $75 late fee
Items received on May 12 – May 19 $100 late fee
Items received on May 20th or after $100 plus $5 per additional day

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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 March 28th and these opportunities are provided on a first come first serve basis. All requests submitted after March 28th will be denied.

Course Descriptions  

Students may choose to take one or two classes unless their home institution requires two classes. Those who take two courses must chose one class in the morning, and one class in the afternoon. See your campus representative for your institutions course equivalency.

LD – Lower Division      UD – Upper Division                                         12039561_522847607883946_1585302534628444972_n

Morning Courses 

(Choose one only)

History of German Scientist (LD/UD)

Dr. Ken McGill (Georgia College & State)

The course will cover a comprehensive history of German scientists, and the places they worked and lived. Their scientific discoveries will be studied as will their impact on society in terms of technological development, and the implications these discoveries had on the political and economic systems. There will also be a focus on modern scientific developments of technology with application to renewable energy sources.

World Literature II (LD)

Dr. Craig Callender (Georgia College & State)

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 this 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.

Beginning German I, German 1001 (LD)

Prof. Ana Bonfante (North Georgia)

This is a course for beginners who not only want to learn German, but also learn it in a natural environment. Classes will be conducted in German with an emphasis on communicative skills. All four components of language learning will be taught in this course, which are reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. These skills will be enhanced by using them outside the classroom, i.e. homework assignments will include trips to town. On field trip days students will practice their language skills by ordering meals, buying tickets, or simply by hearing the German language.

Intro to Psychology (LD)

Dr. Casey Dexter (Berry)

This course will provide you with a broad overview of the field of psychology. You may be surprised by the extent to which psychology is about normal, everyday experiences- the aspects of being human we often take for granted- rather than the abnormal, unusual, or clinical phenomena that often comes most readily to mind when we heard the word “psychology”. Many students find this course helping them better understand and explain their own behavior as well as the behavior of others. Given the location of the course, the study of human behavior through a novel sociocultural lens will be emphasized.


Berlin Rostock beach

Afternoon Courses

(Choose one only)

Renewable Energy & the Environment (LD/UD)

Dr. Ken McGill (Georgia College & State)

A study of basic physics principles including momentum, force, motion, energy, electricity, magnetism, heat, and fluid motion. Specific focus will be on the application of those physics principles in regard to global issues, such as sustainability, recycling, population growth, climate change and also on possible solutions to these problems, such as renewable energy sources.


Special Topics in German Language & Culture 

Prof. Ana Bonfante (North Georgia)

The course will focus on the development of conversation and writing skills through the study and discussion of written and visual texts, shorts, and full-length films. Rotating topics in German culture, literature and film of the 20th century: Berlin-divided and united; Multicultural Germany. Students will write essays, editorials, film reviews, analyze short texts and films, and give presentations in German. The course will emphasize vocabulary acquisition, active use of idiomatic expressions, conversation, grammatical concepts, and composition. The course will provide insights into contemporary cultural, social, and political topics.

Psychology of Adulthood and Aging (UD)

Dr. Casey Dexter (Berry)

In this course, students will study the Psychology of Adulthood and aging from multiple contextual lenses. Course discussions will examine the unique process of how and why adult development unfolds in the fashion that it does and the specific role of culture in the process. Students will gain an appreciation of the process of aging, learn how they themselves are “developing” as an adult, and examine predictors of health and unhealthy aging from a “biopsychosocial” perspective. On a daily basis, students will interact with research on the aging process from various fields such as neuroscience, epidemiology, developmental psychology, sociology, etc.

Summer 2017 Directors and Faculty


Fietkau Ron GCSU
Callender Craig GCSU


McGill Ken GCSU
Dexter Casey Berry
Bonfante Ana UNG

Berlin girl

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Apply to the Program

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 $300 non-refundable program deposit at the payment page.

*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 $300 program deposit are received.

** Spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis according to the date of receipt of the application and program deposit. Students are encouraged to apply well in advance of the application deadline to assure them of a place in the program as 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.


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1. 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.

2. Students must be in good academic 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.

3. 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

Health Matters and Insurance

By Brandenburg GateParticipants 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 

Berlin folk wear

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 can take more than 3 months to get a passport and sometimes require an appointment made well in advance. 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 March 28th, 2017 to avoid late fees, please see “Deadlines” for details.

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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 2017 program participants receive an ISIC card as part of the program package.

What Students Have to Say

Berlin Bear

  • 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.
  • Becoming immersed in the German culture [was one of the most successful aspects]. I had plenty of time to do my coursework during the day and still be able to go out and experience Berlin.
  • 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.
  • Don’t party too hard. Have a good time, but always stay very conscientious.

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Contact Us

Relax in the ParkIf 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

PH: 229-259-2591

Program Directors

Dr. Ronald Fietkau (Georgia College & State University)

Dr. Craig Callender (Georgia College & State University)

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Berlin Wall