IES Abroad European Union

Video and Photos

Freiburg Clock Tower
Freiburg Clock Tower
Some of my programmates and I attended a German soccer match
Some of my programmates and I attended a German soccer match
Our Northern European trip to Stockholm
Our Northern European trip to Stockholm
Prague was one of my favorite places on the entire program. It was the perfect blend of beautiful scenery and still was a large city. Also, the shopping was amazing because of the currency difference!
Studying at Seepark
Preparing to hike the tallest waterfall in Germany!

About

Taught in English, the IES Abroad European Union Program gives you the chance to study Politics, Economics, Business, and International Relations like you never have before.

The program features an integrative seminar that incorporates approximately 21 days of field study to travel to numerous countries inside and outside of the EU. As you visit each new country, you develop your understanding of the European Union, its history, and its institutions.

Europe will be your classroom. Imagine visiting the European Parliament and discussing current social and political issues with EU officials, or meeting with leaders of multinational corporations to learn about international trade. Welcome to study abroad!

Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships
IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

Value
$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 58 reviews
  • Academics 8.2
  • Support 8.9
  • Fun 8.6
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 58
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Rena
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

22 Cities & 12 Countries!

As I boarded the plane for Munich, I was anxious to discover what awaited me. I had quite a few concerns and reservations, but upon arrival I realized all of my concerns were anticipated by the program administration. I lived in an apartment complex with five German students, who became some of my closest friends in Freiburg. The program gave us many opportunities to befriend fellow IES students and German students, alike. We spent the semester eating $1 gelato, traveling between EU countries, and exploring all Freiburg has to offer. I overcame my fear of public speaking and formed really strong connections with many of my professors over the course of the semester. I had a wonderful experience, one filled with both personal and academic accomplishments. I highly recommend studying in Freiburg!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Budget wisely! You'll blow through your money quickly unless you take the time to sort out your finances at the start of the program.
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Anita
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Learning through travel and new experiences!

I was searching for a study abroad experience that would allow me to study what I am interested in, travel to multiple places, and have experiences that I could not plan/afford as a college student. The IES European Union program offered me all of these opportunities. We traveled to seven countries during 22 days of the program, where we attended talks specialized to our academic interests. The program also organized city tours for us, and we stayed in hotels close to the middle of the cities.

In Freiburg, I lived in a seven person suite, and the rest of my suitemates were German. This offered me opportunities to immerse myself in German culture, and also allowed me more exposure to the language.

The additional IES EU field trips allowed me to visit countries and environments I would not have had access to otherwise. The two most popular field trips they offered my semester were a tour of castles in Germany, and a beautiful hike in Switzerland. They always arranged a tour and transportation, and so it was a stress-free and highly enjoyable experience each time.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and matched all the aspects I was looking for in a study abroad program!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
They tell you the countries and cities you will visit ahead of time, so do your research before and figure out all the places you want to see there! Makes it a lot more fun and a lot less stressful than doing it close to the travel dates.
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Amy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

New type of learning

I am truly grateful for my experience with IES European Union. After years of lecture-based learning, I was thrilled to finally experience something new. My program incorporated travel to several European Union countries, which exposed the students to a wide array of languages and cultures. I was able to live with German roommates, which provided me with such an immersive experience to the German lifestyle. The program taught me, and other students alike, to be independent, adaptable, knowledgable and culturally aware both through travel, and living independently in a new city. Learning occurred outside the classroom in the most spectacular ways, and I am so happy I was able to receive this experience.

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Anne
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fun Experience!

The EU program is an amazing experience for those interested in politics, international relations, econ, and business. All the classes I took were engaging and the professors truly cared about the students. Traveling to so many EU member states really enhances the classroom learning experience because we are able to have meetings with government officials and other key players that have built their careers on European politics. It is also such a great cost for the amount of travel included in the program. However, it is important to note that while those trips are really great, they are academic in nature, so there is not a whole lot of free time to do touristy things. Additionally, Freiburg is a beautiful small city that is great to come back home to after the week-long trips. Due to the traveling, I did not get as immersed in the Freiburg culture as I would've liked, but I lived with local university students which was a good experience

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Destiny
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great program for a lot of travel and those interested in politics !

The EU program was excellent !

I learned so much about International and specifically European Politics and Government structures, that I had no idea about before. We also got an in depth understanding of the European Union and how it relates to the United States as well. '

I loved living in Freiburg. I am so happy with my decision to study abroad there. The people, the nature and landscapes, the opportunities to have fun, and places to eat were more then I could have ever asked for.

I also loved all the traveling that we did in our program. I got to see so many different countries and learn about each country from actual locals and politicians and professors. You can't beat getting that knowledge, it is something I would never be able to learn had I visited these countries without the IES EU program. I love traveling , but learning in depth about what actually is happening in that particular country makes it much more memorable. IES EU was a great balance of engaging academics, and still gave us enough freedom to travel and have fun.

I made videos/vlogs throughout my entire study abroad experience. Check them out at the IES EU youtube channel or on the student blog pages on their website. I talk about my first week, traveling to germany, orientation, and a lot of info on our excursions.

What would you improve about this program?
I think this program was excellent for myself, but I think a lot of students were disappointed with the immersion aspect. I think more students would like to for IES to help students get more engaged with the local culture and offer more advanced German classes for some students. However, I think that our housing and our free time should enough time for students to build relationships with local students and venture out on their own.
Jessica
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent travel intensive program!

I would highly recommend the IES Abroad European Union program, especially for students interested in politics and travel. Although this program is based in Freiburg, Germany, it is unique from other programs because it includes three separate excursions incorporated into the class throughout the term. These excursions consist of trips to many important European Union institutions, and include a rigorous schedule of academic meetings, balanced with time to explore. Locations for my semester included Berlin, Prague, Brussels, Luxembourg, Sofia, Budapest and Athens. For the third excursion, you are allowed to choose between 3 offered locations for you trip, so you can customize the program to fit your interests.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this program was the wide selection of course options. There were courses from topics ranging from politics to law to economics, and all the classes tended to be grounded current events.

Freiburg is also a perfect town in which to study. It has a vibrant student life, due to a local university, in addition to proximity to Switzerland and France, which provide great weekend trips. It has a bit of a city feel, but is quite small and has a lot of charm. It also has lots of local hiking and winter sport opportunities!

However, I would say that this program is geared more toward politics (and economics) majors, rather than toward people trying to gain an advanced handle on German. Although German classes are offered at several different levels, most people from my semester came to the program with little to no German experience and were less focused on the language learning aspect. I came into the program with 3 semesters of German and was very serious about building my proficiency while there, although did not feel ready to sign up for the IES Freiburg language program, which offers classes in German and involves enrolling in the local university. While I found many opportunities to practice German with locals, it was easy for other people in my program to insulate themselves from the German locals and students, and just interact with other people in the program.

Participating in this program really helped build my independence and my confidence in being able to travel alone! I felt confident navigating European trains and public transportation in many different cities.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have enjoyed feeling more a part of the German community in Freiburg and the local university, because I didn't feel like I had enough interaction with non-Americans.
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Teresa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Outstanding Academics

This program is really unique and truly inspiring. It offered amazing academics that really reinforced why I love what I am studying and what I am doing while matched it very well with course-related excursions that took us to new countries to explore and learn about the EU and domestic politics. The time spent abroad both in Germany and traveling was incredible and really felt balanced thanks to the planning of the administration. It also really helps that you are traveling with professors as academic advisors so they can really help you reflect on everything you have learned.

What would you improve about this program?
Help students immerse more with locals, it really only happens when students go out and do it unlike with other programs where you are taking courses with locals and so on with this program, you are a bit more excluded.
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Melissa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Learning while traveling

If you are looking to study internationally while also fulfilling your major requirements for International Politics, Business, or Econ; or just looking to travel a lot while learning, this is the program for you! I cannot say enough positive things about my experience with this program. For starters I was able to learn so much about the European Union not only in the classroom, but by traveling to different countries and hearing how the EU affects them as a country or even individually. That was probably the most important part of the program, because I don't think it would have been enough to just have sat in a classroom to learn about this material. It was also a great way to experience the different cultures and not just that of your host country. I would like to also say that the staff is absolutely phenomenal. They really care about your experience and do everything they can to make sure you are getting the most out of the program. The teachers are also there for the students! All of the classes I took were really interesting subjects and the professors really brought them to life. Plus the classroom setting is incredibly small so it leaves time for one-on-one help if you need it. This program really helped me to step out of my comfort zone and become more independent! The only issue I had during my entire experience was the fact that the program was a little isolated from Freiburg University. If you were looking to make friends with the locals it was difficult to do, unless you lived in a flat (which I didn't). So for the most part we hung out with each other. This also made it difficult to really submerge yourself in the culture and learn the language. Most Germans in this area were incredibly excited to have the ability to practice their English with someone, so sometimes you didn't get the chance to improve your German. Anyways, I would 100% recommend this program and would do it again if given the chance.