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 24 to July 27 by wall

Cost: $5,200

The package cost of $5,200 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 2016 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 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, 2016

Application form and $300 non-refundable application fee due

March 9, 2016

 First payment of $2450 due

April 7, 2016

Final payment of $2450 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 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 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 7th- Deadline for separate airfare waiver or flight deviation; see below for details. 

  • May 14th- 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

$25 late fee

Items received between Apr 25 – May 4

$50 late fee

Items received between May 5 – May 11

$75 late fee

Items received on May 12th or after

Will be charged the $175 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 7th and these opportunities are provided on a first come first serve basis. All requests submitted after April 7th will be denied.

Course DescriptionsBy Brandenburg Gate


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.

From the Roaring Twenties to Reunification: Berlin through the Ages (UD)

Dr. Craig Callender (Georgia College & State)

This course introduces students to the literature of Berlin, and 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. 

Beginning German I, German 1001

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.

Music Appreciation (LD)

Dr. Martin Gendelman (Georgia Southern)

Students will never again listen to music in the same way after taking this class. Through lectures, group discussions, guided listening, and attending world-class musical performances, students will learn why music is such an essential part of cultures around the world. Eventually, the course will focus on the development of European music during the last thousand years as seen through the eyes (and ears!) for the German people. Influential composers such as Bach, Beethoven, and Schubert, as well as on the music scene of the last thirty years in Berlin- just to mention a few examples- will be discussed and appreciated. 

Brecht & Brauhaus in Berlin (UD)

Prof. Nicholas Newell (Georgia Southern)

Study of the Weimar-era performers and artists, who from 1919 until Hitler’s rise in 1933 had a profound influence on the Berlin cultural landscape and went on to shape modern western culture in theater, film, art, architecture, and design. Particular interest will be paid to Expressionist Film, the Berliner Ensemble Theater, and the Bauhaus School. We will apply exercises of Epic Theater, and explore the concept of Total Art (Gesamtkunstwerk) as it applies to design ranging from theatrical sets and skyscrapers to everyday kitchen utensils. Tours of film studios, theaters, museums, and the Bauhaus archive will illuminate our classwork. 



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.

World Literature II

Dr. Craig Callender (Georgia College & State)

In this course we will discuss major works of world literature, covering the period from the 8th to the 17th centuries. 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.

Intermediate German I, German 2001 

Prof. Ana Bonfante (Kennesaw State)

This course is the first in a two-course sequence at the intermediate level of German. The course consists of the study of the fundamentals of the language, using German as the language of instruction. Emphasis is on oral communication with grammar and vocabulary taught in context and the culture of the German-speaking world presented using interactive activities, discussion, and readings. 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.

Music & Arts during the Cold War (UD)

Dr. Martin Gendelman (Georgia Southern)

This course will cover the developments of European Classical Music throughout the second part of the 20th century and its influence on today’s aesthetics. During that time, Germany has remained a powerhouse in the world of classical music and this class attempts to help students understand the reasons behind the different musical expressions of the western world mostly through the works of German composers. Students will discuss historical contexts, study and listen to specific musical works, and reinforce their understanding by visiting appropriate museums and buildings in Berlin to make comparison between musical aesthetics and those in the visual arts and architecture. 

Theater Appreciation (LD)

Prof. Nicholas Newell (Georgia Southern)

Explore German theater and opera in Berlin, one of the great cultural capitals of the world. We will gain a working knowledge of the terminology and practices of directors, playwrights, actors, designers, producers, and dramaturgs. Develop analytical skills relating to the visual, literary, stylistic, musical, production and performance choices related to theater. Attend live performances, and tour behind the scenes at Berlin’s legendary theaters and opera houses.

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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

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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 

ladies on bench

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, 2016 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 2016 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. Ronald Fietkau (Georgia College & State University)

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Relax in the Park


Berlin Wall