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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
Fact Sheet:
Education Abroad Adviser:
Jamie Weaver
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
0 - none
Internship Available:
Fields of Study:
Business, International Business
Program Description:



  • 18 years of age or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
  • 2.75 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
  • Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program 
  • Successful applicants will fulfill the program pre-requisites: ECON 102 and/or ECON 104 required
  • 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. 

Program Description 

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: 

• 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.


Summer: June 28 - August 9, 2019

Program Leaders

Program Leader Information

  • Johanna Slot, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Smeal College of Business
  • Brian Davis, Clinical Associate Professor of Finance, Smeal College of Business


Course Description(s)

All students will be enrolled in IB 399 for 3 credits and IB 499 for 3 credits, for 6 total credits. 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
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. 

 IB 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. Topics:

• 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

Course Selection

Students are required to take the prescribed courses listed above as participants on the program. The Education Abroad Office will register you for these courses. To determine how these courses will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
  • Research courses offered on your program
  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements.

Academic Policies

  • You must enroll in 6 credits
  • You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
  • If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation

Housing and Meals


Hotels and Apartments

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


Students will be responsible for paying for all meals. 

Costs and Funding

Program Costs

Summer Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the 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.

Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.


The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.

Student Aid

Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.

Withdrawal & Refund Policy

Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.

After Commitment

Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.

Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. For faculty-led freestanding programs, there is a specific withdrawal penalty schedule. 

Education Abroad makes every attempt at keeping the program and administrative costs to a minimum. However, when you commit to participating in a program, Education Abroad begins to make financial commitments on your behalf. In case of withdrawal, the following fees will be charged to your Bursar account

  • Upon Commitment - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 25% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee 

  • 30 - 89 Days Prior to Departure: 50% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee 

  • 29 Days - Departure Date: 100% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee

Following the start of the summer semester, any adjustment of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. More information can be found on the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

After the Start of the Program

If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.

For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

Life Abroad

General Information

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.

Accessibility Considerations

Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Global Programs Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.

Gender and LGBTQA Considerations 

There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.

Race, Ethnicity, and Faith Considerations 

When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.

Non-U.S. Citizens

It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.

Next Steps

Steps to Study Abroad

The planning stages outlined on the Global Programs website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

How to Apply

Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!

Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Global Penn State website.


You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline, February 1. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Global Programs website.

Contact Education Abroad

If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email

Peer Advisers

Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website.

Education Abroad Advisers

Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Global Penn State website.

Social Media

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For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!

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.

Indicates that deadline has passed