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Frankfurt an der Oder, Berlin, Germany

Program Description

This program will focus on the challenges for society when it comes to migration in Germany and Poland – taking an in-depth exploration of the history, culture, and support of refugees in the surrounding areas.  Students will travel to Frankfurt an der Oder and take part in a program in conjunction with the European University Viadrina. Students will engage in guest lectures, site visits and excursions, and interact with local and international students. Through these activities, students will experience/learn about the positive and negative implications of migration for Frankfurt an der Oder, the history and politics in the Eastern part of Germany, and how Frankfurt (Oder) is supporting refugees. Students will also spend 2-3 nights in Berlin where they will tour the city and compare perspectives and inhabitant growth to Frankfurt an der Oder. 

Location Description

The majority of this program will take place in Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany at the European University Viadrina. Viadrina is a university in the heart of Europe with a unique international and interdisciplinary character. Our students and lecturers come from 80 different countries. The international aspects of law, economics and social and cultural sciences play a particularly important role in the undergraduate and graduate programs of the three Faculties.

The so-called “German gateway to the East”, Frankfurt an der Oder, is relatively small, with a population of approximately 74,000. Neighboring Slubice, with its 17,000 inhabitants, is just a short walk across the bridge away adding its own entertainment scene. There is a wealth of scenic and historic attractions around Frankfurt an der Oder. Surroundings are of great scenic beauty with its green forested areas and clear lakes. 

The capital of Germany, Berlin, with all its theaters, bars and historic sites is only 60 km away. It is known as a world city of culture, politics, media and science but also a stroll in the famous quarters Neukölln and Kreuzberg is worth its while. 

The geographic position of our University right on the border of Germany and Poland means that our students cross borders on a daily basis in their academic and private lives, creating an international atmosphere. At the same time, the German capital Berlin is only one hour by train. Warsaw and Prague are about 5 hours away.


Katie Sensabaugh | | Center for Global Engagement


Students will stay in Viadrina dormitories during their time in Frankfurt an der Oder.  The group will stay in a hotel/hostel for the couple of nights in Berlin.

Additional Items to Consider

Must have a valid passport.  No visas needed to travel to Germany.

Roundtrip airfare is NOT included in the program fee. Students will travel independently to Germany where they will meet the Program Directors. More details will be shared upon acceptance.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must be an INCOMING FIRST YEAR or NEW TRANSFER STUDENT to JMU for fall 2022.

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
  • Faculty Letter of Recommendation

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

This program is for DEPOSITED incoming first year JMU freshmen and transfer students for fall 2022 only. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


UNST 190: The Exploration of Migration and Culture in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany (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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