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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Delve into the creative arts in Nicaragua and Cuba and examine how people in both countries have used the arts to promote social transformations. In Nicaragua, where this immersive high school summer abroad program is based, experience daily life and culture from several different perspectives. Live with a host family in the working-class Máximo Jérez neighborhood of Managua, where supporters of the Sandinista Revolution lived during the 1980s. Witness how Nicaraguans today are using the arts for economic sustainability and to express their aspirations for the future. Participate in workshops and visit artists’ studios and communities as you learn about art, poetry, and music as mediums for social change.
Stay in the coffee-producing rural community of San Ramón, in the mountains outside of Matagalpa. While there, experience a second homestay, with a campesino family, and witness the campo-city differences in Nicaragua. Visit a coffee cooperative, and hike through the lush vegetation of this cloud-covered area. Create “socio-dramas” with members of a community organization, make jewelry with seeds, take a poetry workshop, and learn how to prepare multiple dishes incorporating exotic fruits from Nicaragua.
Your journey continues as you travel with your group to Cuba. Learn about Cuba’s significance in Latin American history and the multiple connections between Cuba and Nicaragua. Spend a comparative week in the city of Havana exploring the arts in a different social and cultural context. Visit associations of young artists and African-Cuban community-based arts centers. Participate in a community workshop transformation project (Talleres de Transformación), and dialog with Cubans about their aspirations. Learn about Ernest Hemingway’s life in Cuba at his home in Cojímar and visit other historical sites in Old Havana.
Orientation: Managua, 3 days
Homestay: Managua, 10 days; San Ramon, Matagalpa,* 7 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels
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Embark on a culinary and language journey through France on a high school summer abroad program. Explore multiple regions of the country known for their culinary specialties. Learn about French cheeses, sweets, and pastries. Take culinary classes at a cooking school such as the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon. Engage with professional chefs, meet with farmers and producers, visit local markets, and learn how to cook local recipes such as macarons and nougat.
Study French during a week of formal language instruction. Put your language skills to use during the program’s homestay, which ranges from 11 to 16 days depending on the length of the program.
The program begins and ends in Paris, giving you time to explore France’s beautiful and historic capital. Together with your group, join local residents in a café for a morning croissant before navigating the streets of Paris to the Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, or Louvre. Sample traditional baguettes, cheeses, and local specialties and enjoy a picnic on the Seine’s famous left bank. Explore the Montmartre art district beneath the spires of Sacré Coeur and dine at tiny cafés that serve regional specialties from across France.
Format Options: This program is offered in three-week and four-week formats. Please see program duration and date options to the right for more details.
Language Certificate: Students who complete the four-week program will earn a language certificate noting how many hours of language classes s/he completed.
Orientation: Paris, 2–4 days
Homestay: Les Baux de Provence, Pierrelatte, Vannes, Saint malo, Nantes, or Blois, 11–16 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels, manior (manor)