Welcome to the European Council’s Berlin, German program page! While the European Council serves all of the University System of Georgia, Valdosta State University serves as the central office/headquarters for these programs. 

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

Find Your Campus Representative  | Program Flyer

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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 26 to July 29 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 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 

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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 2015 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 $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 16.

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, 2015

Application form and $300 non-refundable application fee due

March 9, 2015

 First payment of $2500 due

April 7, 2015

Final payment of $2500 due


Group infront of government buildingRefunds

Application fees and other payments are applied toward required advances, purchase of airline tickets and other costs related to the program. Note that the $300 application fee 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 9

All but $300 will be refunded

Withdrawal between March 10 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 2nd-  Application deadline (spaces are available on first come, first serve basis and students are strongly encouraged to apply early)  

  • March 9th - First Payment 

  • April 7th - Final Payment 

  • April 14th- 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.  


  • April 14th - 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.  

  • April 14th- Deadline for separate airfare waiver or flight deviation; see below for details. 

  • May 16th- 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 between Apr 15- Apr 24

$50 late fee

Items received between Apr 25 – May 4

$75 late fee

Items received between May 5 – May 11

$100 late fee

Items received on May 12th or after

Will be charged the $100 late fee and an additional $5/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 April 14th and these opportunities are provided on a first come first serve basis. All requests submitted after April 14th will be denied.

Course DescriptionsBy Brandenburg Gate


History of German Scientist (LD/UD)

Dr. Hauke Busch (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.

Introduction to Psychology (LD)

Dr. Casey Dexter (Berry College)

Introduction to Psychology is an entry-level general survey course designed to introduce the student to fundamental methods and content of contemporary psychology. This course offers students an insight into human behavior and will review concepts that explain personality development. Time will be spent together on significant field trips that are designed to make the people and places of psychology into memorable experiences for the student.

American Government in Global Perspective (LD)

Dr. Kerwin Swint (Kennesaw State)

This is the General Education course in American Government. It examines the foundations, institutions, and political processes of American government, with a comparison to those of other modern nation-states, most particularly Germany.

Beginning German I, German 1001

Dr. Barbara Smith (North Georgia)

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.



Renewable Energy & the Environment (LD/UD)

Dr. Hauke Busch

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.

Psychology of Adulthood & Aging (UD)

Dr. Casey Dexter (Berry College)

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 this process. Students will gain an appreciation of the process of aging, learn how they themselves are ‘developing’ as an adult, and examine predictors of healthy 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.

International Issues (UD)

Dr. Kerwin Swint (Kennesaw State)

This course provides an introduction to the study of international relations as it pertains to issues of global significance. Sources of international order, conflict and war, determinants of foreign policy, global actors, and the dynamics of political interaction between nation-states, international organizations, and non-government organizations are examined and discussed.

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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 application fee.

*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 application fee are received.

** Spaces are available on a first come, first serve 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 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.


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

By Brandenburg Gate

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 

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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 April 14th, 2015 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 2015 program participants receive an ISIC card as part of the program package.

What Students Have to Say

  • 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.

Group Dinner

  • 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

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

PH: 229-259-2591 

Program Directors

Dr. Barbara Smith (University of North Georgia)

Dr. Ronald Fietkau (Georgia College & State University)

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Relax in the Park


Berlin Wall