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.
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Travel from Paris to a French border community and then to a neighboring country as you explore regional cultures and identities. This high school summer abroad program commences with an immersive introduction to French history and culture in Paris. Visit famous sites and museums — such as the Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, or Louvre — throughout the city. Explore diverse neighborhoods, navigate the metro, and sample French cuisine in street-side cafés as you deepen your understanding of Parisian culture and the city’s role within France.
Following orientation, travel with your group to a community in southern France near the Italian border or, alternatively, to a French community near the German border. Become fully immersed in the daily life of a French family during a twelve-day homestay. Take advantage of the opportunity — afforded by the homestay — to study French and to gain a unique glimpse into French life and culture.
After saying goodbye to your host family, cross the French border with your group into either Italy or Germany to explore the landscapes and culture of a French neighbor. Whether you’re strolling through picturesque villages in Alsace, exploring the French Riviera, or visiting beautiful Cinque Terre on the Mediterranean, you gain deeper insight into the diversity of France and the culture of an adjacent country.
Orientation: Paris, 2–4 days
Homestay: Saint-Raphaël or Nice (near the Italian border) or Saint-Dié-des-Vosges or Nancy (near the German Border), 11–12 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels
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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