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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Berlin, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; Krakow, Poland; Maastricht, Netherlands; Prague, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: PSU applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Education Abroad Adviser:
Sarah Spiegel
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
0 - none
Internship Available:
Fields of Study:
Business, International Business
Program Description:
Maastricht Banner

Program Overview

Central Europe is rich with a diverse set of ethnic cultures, economic developments, and political experiments. Students participating in this program will have the opportunity to visit various Eastern and Central European countries while learning about economic, political and social reforms that shaped these nations in the 20th century.

In this intensive program, students will be immersed in the subject matter through site visits, readings, lectures, independent research, and class discussions. 

Part I of this program begins in Maastricht, Netherlands but primarily consists of an Eastern European Study Tour. Accompanied by Johanna Slot, Assistant Professor of Marketing with Smeal and a native of the Netherlands, students will be given a chance to explore five different countries, focusing on local businesses, government institutions and cultural landmarks. This intensive 16-day tour will expose the group to a variety cultures and business practices and also allows for some independent exploration. Cities to be visited on the study tour include: 
Maastricht Evening View

  • Berlin, Germany

  • Krakow, Poland

  • Budapest, Hungary

  • Vienna, Austria

  • Prague, Czech Republic

During the second half of the program, students will settle back in to Maastricht where they will spend three weeks taking a course taught by Smeal Finance professor, Brian Davis. They will relate the business visits, lectures, and cultural experiences from the study tour to their study of the business environment of Central & Eastern Europe.

Maastricht, with a population of 125,000, provides a mix of small-town charm and urban sophistication. Today the city is best known as the signing location of the Maastricht Treaty, which accelerated the process of European integration.

Maastricht is located in the southernmost part of The Netherlands, with easy access to many major points of interest in Europe. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague are three hours to the north. The city is only sixty-four miles from Cologne and only 78 miles from Brussels. The Maastricht Aachen Airport and the central train station provide easy access to all of Europe. In the past, students have used free time on some weekends to take advantage of these opportunities.

Students should have an interest in business but do not need to be a business major to apply. This program may be interesting to History, Political Science, Economics majors and more. 

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Education Abroad Credits

The academic program taught in English consists of six weeks -- a study tour to East Central European countries followed by three weeks of instruction. Students must come prepared to think and discuss what they are learning. They will complete and submit assignments in each study tour destination, in addition to their course work while based in Maastricht.

Windmill and flowers in MaastrichtIB 399 - Study Tour: East Central Europe (3 credits) 
Instructor: Johanna Slot, Assistant Professor of Marketing

By participating in a two and half week traveling seminar, students will experience firsthand the differences between the cultures and economies of Central and Eastern Europe. Activities will include visits to various companies, government institutions and cultural sites, in addition to lectures and readings. Students will be required to think critically about these differences through various lenses and write about what they learn and their experiences in a multimedia rich blog form. At the end, students will have a composed their own blog featuring their study tour, which will be a great personal memento. The study tour guide is a marketing professor from the Netherlands and teaches mostly from first-hand experience from living and working in these countries. 

IB 499 - From Iron Curtain to Integration: The Business Environment of Central-Eastern Europe (3 credits)
Instructor: Brian Davis, Associate Clinical Professor of Finance

This course provides a framework for evaluating the business environment of the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).  This region is rich with a diverse set of ethnic cultures, economic development, and political experiments before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.  The transition of the CEE economies will also be placed into the larger context of the efforts to create a more integrated European Union.  The identification, measurement and mitigation of foreign exchange risk and other country risks will also be addressed. 


  • Economic Development and the Role of Institutions
  • Transitioning from a Socialist Economy to a Capitalist Economy
  • Business Strategies in the Emerging Markets of Eastern Europe
  • Country Risk Analysis and Foreign Exchange Risk

Pre-requisites: ECON 102 and/or ECON 104 required

You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.


Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program leader. 

  • ECON 102 and/or ECON 104 required
  • Minimum 2.75 grade-point average
  • Sophomore class standing or higher at time of study
Students from all majors are welcome to apply.

Housing and Meals

In Maastricht, all students will stay in shared apartments located a short walk from the city center.  Cooking facilities are available in the apartments. On the study tour, students will stay in modest hotels. Students will be responsible for paying for all meals. 

Program Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Summer budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Maastricht postcard
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

For More Information

For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative

For more information regarding this program, please contact Vanessa Haussman in the Smeal Office of International Programs. You may also schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.

For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.

How to Apply

If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page. 

You must complete the following materials in your application:

  •  Education Abroad Questionnaire
  •  One academic recommendation
  •  Signature Documents
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.

Application deadline: February 1, 2019


Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.

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Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 02/01/2019 02/13/2019 06/28/2019 08/09/2019
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.