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Prague, Czech Republic, Berlin, Dresdin, Germany

Program Description

Set in eastern Germany and Czech Republic, in the former Eastern Bloc region, this program will cover the topics in CIS 304. With the backdrop of complex political history, we will focus on the use of information systems, how the history of these countries has influenced their place in today’s global digital economy, and current efforts to use technology on a large scale.

Living and traveling in Europe, students will have the opportunity to engage with business professionals and local citizens as our learning space expands to include locations in the cities of Berlin, Prague, and Dresden. Site visits create an extension of our classroom, and we’ll experience life in this part of Europe as we take time for excursions to learn about historical and cultural resources of the area, and as we use different modes of travel. Excursions and travel experiences can then be woven into relevant coursework for an integrated learning experience.

The trip begins in Berlin where we will learn about the Soviet occupation and the reunification of Germany. We will travel by train to Prague, Czech Republic, which has developed the Smart Prague initiative to build a smart city using the Internet of Things, ideal for studying IoT systems. We’ll end in Dresden, in the Saxon region of Germany. Saxony is home to many tech-related companies, as well as Dresden University of Technology.

Coursework will include traditional classroom activity, plus interaction with technology firms in the form of field trips or guest speakers, allowing the opportunity for making some professional connections.

In addition to the excursions included in the program, students will have a free weekend to travel from Dresden to any location they choose.

Location Description

This program will take place in three locations – Berlin and Dresden, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic.

Students will fly from the US to Berlin, where the program director will meet you; the first day will include some orientation activities and a welcome dinner. We will spend a full day in Berlin, learning about the history of the city and visiting the Berlin Wall, the Holocaust Memorial, the Brandenburg Gate and other notable sites. We will begin class during our stay in Berlin.

We will then travel by train to Prague, Czech Republic. Prague is known for its stunning and varied architecture, and we’ll visit sites including the astronomical clock, the impressive Charles Bridge, and the top of one of the many towers for views of the city. We'll also learn about the Smart Prague project as we continue our classwork.

The last city we’ll stay in is Dresden, where we will spend most of our time. This city in Saxony rebuilt its historic domed churches and towers after WWII, and is now a technology hub of Germany. Located on the Elbe river, Dresden mixes the historic and contemporary, with plenty to do for all interests, and it will be a good location from which to travel to other nearby cities for short excursions.


Laura Atkins | | CIS & BSAN


In each city, students will stay in hostels or hotels, with multiple people to a room. Lodging is selected based on accomodations, safety, wifi availability, and location (proximity to transit and areas of interest). Lodging is included in the program fee.

Students will be allocated a weekly meal stipend to be used for their individual meals. In addition, some group meals are included as part of the program (for example, welcome dinner, farewell dinner, and group meals that are relevant to particular excursions). Some accomodations may include breakfast.

Additional Items to Consider

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination may be necessary; if relevant, we will follow all local laws and guidance, as well as JMU guidance regarding COVID-19.

All transportation between Berlin, Prague, and Dresden, as well as transportaion for field trips, is included in the program fee. Transportation fees for personal travel and excursions is not included.

Wifi is widely available throughout Europe.

The very high-level itinerary, subject to change, is:

  • 5/16/2022  Arrive Berlin; welcome dinner, orientation, explore Berlin, begin classwork.
  • 5/18/2022  Travel as a group by train to Prague. Class continues in Prague.
  • 5/22/2022  Travel as a group by train to Dresden. Class continues in Dresden.
  • 6/5/2022  Depart Dresden for Berlin/back to US.

COVID-19 Location Information:

Each country has different requirements upon entry with regard to COVID-19. Please check this website for the most up-to-date information on what is required for the country (or countries) that are part of this program. Please note that this changes often, so we encourage you to check back frequently.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.8

CIS majors and minors with Junior or Senior standing at the time of the trip. 

All applicants: successful completion CIS 221 with a "C" or better (To be completed by no later than the end of fall 2021). A grade of "B" or better is preferred.

CIS Majors / CIS Minors with a COB major: successful completion of COB 300 by end of Spring 2022 or acceptance into COB 300 by end of Spring 2022. Students not yet accepted into COB 300 are encouraged to apply for the trip, with conditional acceptance. 

All CIS Minors, regardless of major: Acceptance into the minor by no later than the end of spring 2022. Students not yet accepted into the CIS minor are encouraged to apply for the trip, with conditional acceptance.

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Interview with Program Director
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


CIS 304: Enterprise Architecture (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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