Germany: Contemporary Politics and the European Union

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Germany: Contemporary Politics and the European Union

Gain fascinating insight into the European Union, a Nobel Peace Prize–winning institution, and the role Germany has played in advancing peace, democracy, and human rights in Europe on this summer abroad for high school students. Study Germany’s political system and get a taste of German life in big cities and small communities alike. Visit the major seats of EU governance in Brussels and discuss youth issues in Bonn. Attend workshops that explore topics related to peacekeeping, anti-discrimination, politics, and the EU’s institutional structure.
As you travel from north to south and across national borders, you will spend time in Berlin, Niederalteich, Brussels, Cologne, Bonn, Munich, and Maastricht. The program begins in the 2,000-year-old city of Cologne, where you will begin language training and get to know your group. In Bonn, visit the Haus der Geschichte to learn about German history and participate in a youth rights workshop where you will discuss youth issues in Germany and around the world with “Youth for Europe” members. Continue on to Brussels, where you will visit an important EU institution and international NGO and gain important insight into how the EU works. Cross the border into the Netherlands for a full-day excursion in the historic city of Maastricht, where the Treaty on European Union was signed.
Your group will then travel to Bavaria, where you will share daily life with a German family during a homestay in Niederalteich and experience a typical German school day. Spend a day exploring the city of Munich with your group. The program concludes in Berlin, the capital and bustling cultural center, where you will visit the German Bundestag, continue your exploration of EU institutions, and meet with local youth.

Subjects

  • Culture

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Spain: Contemporary and Historic Cultural Diversity

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Trace the historical and cultural influences of Spain’s different religious and ethnic communities while traveling from Madrid to Spain’s southern coast, then to Basque country in the north and ultimately to Catalonia. Learn about the coexistence of Christians, Jews, and Muslims from historical perspectives, and discuss the conditions necessary to fostering a tolerant, multicultural society in Spain today. Consider key issues presently being debated across Spain, such as those related to immigration, environmental conservation, community development, peace, and human rights.

Your high school summer abroad in Spain commences with an immersive orientation in Madrid and Toledo. Visit famous sites and museums throughout the capital, including the Prado museum and the Bourbon district. Explore Madrid’s diverse neighborhoods, meet with Spanish youth at a Jewish community center, and study Spanish language and practice it with locals. Alongside a group of Spanish youth, visit famous sites and museums throughout Toledo, including the Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo. Become better acquainted with the historical and cultural influences important in laying the groundwork for multiculturalism and tolerance in Spain.

Following orientation, live with a host family in a small community along Spain’s southern coast. Visit Arab baths and Roman ruins. Relax on the beach with members of your host family or Experiment group. Following the homestay, you travel to Basque country for a week of regional exploration in the north; activities include community service in the mornings and cultural exchanges with local teenagers in the afternoons. Your journey through multicultural Spain concludes with a stay in the heart of Catalonia. Visit famous sites and museums throughout Barcelona, including the Olympic Harbor and the Picasso Museum. See the architecture of Gaudí and sample tapas on La Rambla, as your knowledge of and experience with Spain’s diverse communities and cultures further deepens.

Orientation: Madrid and Toledo, 3 days
Homestay: Arcos de la Frontera, 11 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels

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Argentina: Community Service and the Great Outdoors

Please visit our website for more information. Experience the natural beauty of Argentina through a month of cultural immersion, outdoor activities, and community service. Begin your high school summer abroad in Argentina’s capital, where you and your group will explore the city’s art galleries, theaters, and boulevards and start practicing your Spanish. Sail by catamaran to the city’s surrounding islands to learn about the region’s ecology and biosystems. From Buenos Aires, travel to colonial Salta La Linda, capital of the Salta province, on Argentina’s northern frontier, where you'll spend two weeks sharing day-to-day life with an Argentine host family. During this period, work on a community service project such as volunteering at a center for children with developmental disabil­ities or helping to renovate an orphanage or kindergarten. Study Spanish in language classes with other members of your group and learn about local gaucho culture. Go hiking or white-water rafting. Continue on to the small town of Chicoana, just south of the city of Salta, where you'll assist on service learning activities such as painting or landscaping. Then, embark on a week of outdoor exploration with your group and leaders. Ride horseback, stay on a large ranch, and enjoy traditional barbeque. Travel through the mountains to the city of Cafayate, stopping at famous rock formations. In Cafayate, take a bike tour of the city and then ride to the sand dunes. Return to Buenos Aires for a final day of exploration and reflection. Orientation: Buenos Aires, 4 days Homestay: Salta,* 14 days Other Accommodations: Hotels, campsite, hostels

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