IES Abroad European Union

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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!

Questions & Answers


based on 52 reviews
  • Academics 8.1
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.6
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 46 - 52 of 52
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Explore Europe

This program is surreal. You get to see, taste and experience so much in one semester. The people on the trip are so nice and knowledgeable; the professors are good and the speakers are so interesting! Please make sure that when you're thinking about this program, to ask yourself whether you want to gain some intercultural competence, because this program allows you to also do that. You gain confidence, travel to 10+ countries and 20+ cities-- it is amazing. You also learn more about some of the European capitals and the way they function within the EU. The Black Forest is just around the corner and you can visit it whenever you want. The nearest airport is an hour away and can lead you to some sweet escapes into some of the best places that Europe has to offer.

How can this program be improved?
There should be more transparency about hidden fees, such as class fees and book fees. These are things omitted from the manual.
Yes, I recommend
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Ahead of the Curve

My experience with the IES Freiburg-EU program was nothing short of amazing. The center staff became our family in Freiburg, helping us with everything from how to manage the Strassenbahn (street car system), to carefully planning our three, week long "field trips". They provided just the right amount of guidance to get us started in our new environment without crossing over to "hand-holding".

What I enjoyed most about this program was that it was more than just living abroad for a year--it was about learning and experiencing things which you do not have the opportunity to at your home school. The EU program offers courses dedicated to the understanding of the European Union--and not just through theory! Everything you learn in class is connected to real, on-the-ground applications. Through the three field trips throughout the many European Union member states, you have the opportunity to see and experience theories and institutions in practice.

On top of the wonderful memories and life-long friendships that IES Freiburg-EU fosters, this program keeps ahead of the curve in developing a study abroad experience that will influence your life for years to come.

How can this program be improved?
Greater interaction with the local University's events and programs.
Yes, I recommend
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Choose the IES EU!

Program is set up perfect to build close bonds with others in the program but you must really reach out in order to meet the locals. The EU program takes it's students on several trips around Europe!

How can this program be improved?
Because so much time is spent traveling with the program that does not allow for much room for students to plan and take personal trips throughout Europe as the amount of classes one can miss is zero.
Yes, I recommend
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The Best Place on Earth

The IES Abroad European Union Program located in Freiburg, Germany was everything I could have wanted and more. Not only is Freiburg an exciting University town filled with fun bars, affordable restaurants, tons of outdoor activities, and friendly locals, the program itself is extremely unique. Three huge trips are built into the program allowing students to put the knowledge they learned in the classroom to fruition by seeing European political and economic systems at work across the continent. Through conferences, meetings, tours, and speeches, the students are able to apply their studies firsthand and really understand the cultural underpinnings of diverse European societies. I would go back in a heartbeat!

How can this program be improved?
I would get rid of Friday classes to allow the students to more easily travel on the weekends!
Yes, I recommend
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360 Degree Learning

The IES EU study abroad program was the spark that ignited my flame for wanting to learn from everyone and everything. The staff and faculty were the most caring people who were willing not only to support me in my new lifestyle but also were absolutely up to the challenge of listening to my desires to engage in the community and allow me the opportunity for it to happen. Freiburg was a beautiful community, and there was no shortage of people who wanted to assist me to become part of the community. I found that because my fellow US American students had various goals, it would have been nice to incorporate students from other countries into the program as well. That said, we had a lot of fun with EU simulations and model conferences which were great exposure to our core studies.

How can this program be improved?
From what I experienced, the ideal student for this program was extremely independent and self-motivated. As in many situations, you have to take charge of your own learning and do some exploring on instead of relying on fellow students and staff to do it for you. It's one of the greatest parts of 360 degree learning that so many people experience abroad!
Yes, I recommend
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An excellent introduction to the EU

Pros: The IES EU program in Freiburg gave me an experience that had an impact on my future plans. I loved the many days we spent traveling around Europe and meeting with high level officials of EU members states and the EU itself. The staff members did an amazing job handling the travel logistics of more than 60 people. It was nearly stress free for me. Our meeting with high level officials were efficient and worth our time in most cases.

My dorm was comfortable. My dorm-mates were very tolerant, inviting and easy to get along with. They influenced my philosophy in life. They made want to enjoy life while seeking to reach full potential. My professors were easy going and very approachable.

Cons: The library inside the IES building was too small especially because Freiburg University library was in construction at the time and the temporary library was a 15 minute train ride. Plus, it was limited hours for non-University student.

The academic challenges of the program were not up to the same standard as my home school, but I am glad it was not. If it was, it would have made the traveling aspect of the program very difficult. Professor could have been more aggressive in asking tough questions and challenging how we go about thinking through the class material.

Yes, I recommend
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Amazing European Experience

So much to say.
1. Academics: All about the EU, one German class (plus more if you want), similar to high school: small assignments for every class, plus quizzes, tests, presentations. Not too time-consuming though, plenty of time for fun. Not supposed to miss more than two classes or else your grade goes down.
2. Housing: Lived with German roommates in a really nice suite. Lovely city, walkable and also a tram. Grocery store was a 5 minute walk away.
3. Immersion: Not the best program if you want to immerse yourself in German culture. Most time spent with classmates in same program. All classes together, in one building. On the upside, it results in a pretty tight-knit group and is a lot of fun.
4. A lot of time is spent traveling. ~10 day field study trips all over Europe, transportation and lodging included in cost of program, amazing way to travel with your whole group and see different cities, but be warned there are mandatory presentations and lectures during these trips, which doesn't leave a lot of time for thorough sightseeing. Also fun day trips at extra cost, like sledding in the Swiss Alps. Definitely go on that trip, so fun. Finally, weekends and spring break to travel on your own. Take advantage, traveling was one of the best parts of this program!
5. Internship: I did the EP internship in Brussels for one month. Amazing experience to live there and go to work at the European Parliament everyday. Downside: work is what you make of it, some offices you get assigned to will not be as encouraging in giving you meaningful assignments. Also costs a lot of extra money.

Top Reasons to do this program:
-Lots of travel around Europe
-Freiburg is a beautiful university city surrounded by the Black Forest, small enough to be comfortable and not intimidating, big enough to offer nightlife, restaurants, festivals, history, etc.
-Format of program allows you to learn a lot about the EU, also make good friends with everyone else on the program. Staff are great, very helpful

Yes, I recommend


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IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student...