This program provides an analysis of the historical and current processes leading to economic, political, and social reforms in East Central Europe. This region is rich with a diverse set of ethnic cultures, economic developments, and political experiments before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In addition to the "emerging markets" movement among countries who choose to move toward Western capitalism and democracy, the students will also learn about activities including legal, economic, political, and social changes which are currently underway.
In this intensive program, students will be immersed in the subject matter through readings, lectures, independent research, and class discussions. The course will be held in Maastricht, The Netherlands, and the study tour part of the program will take students to a number of the transitional European countries they will study. The destinations planned for the study tour include:
Prague, Czech Republic
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. Originally situated at a shallow ford on the Maas River, Maastricht was used by the Romans as a crossing point to reach their base in Aachen, Germany. In medieval times Charlemagne incorporated the city into the Holy Roman Empire. In subsequent ages, a number of European powers fought for control of Maastricht, due to its strategic location and formidable system of fortifications (still standing in many parts of the city).
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.
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 fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.
The academic program taught in English consists of six weeks -- four weeks of instruction and a study tour to East Central European countries. 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.
Students must enroll in the following 6 credits:
IB 499 (BUS3004) - The Business Environment of Central and Eastern Europe (3 credits)
IB 399 (STU2002) - Study Tour: East Central Europe (3 credits)
Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.
Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program leader.
Minimum 2.75 grade-point average
Sophomore class standing or higher at time of study
Econ 102 and Econ 104 prior to the program is strongly recommended.
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.
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.
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 theFunding Study Abroadsection 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 Stephanie Chastain , 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 GeoBlogs 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
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.