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Frankfurt an der Oder, Berlin, Germany

Program Description

This program is uniquely designed for incoming freshman and transfer students and focuses on the societal challenges related to migration in Germany and Poland. Students embark on an in-depth exploration of the history, culture, and support of refugees in the surrounding areas. Students engage in guest lectures, site visits and excursions, and interact with local and international students. Through these activities, students learn about the positive and negative implications of migration for Frankfurt an der Oder, the history and politics in eastern Germany, and how Frankfurt (Oder) supports refugees.

Students also take day trips to Nuezelle, Germany, Poznán, Poland, and will spend 2-3 nights in Berlin where they 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. The Viadrina is a university in the heart of Europe with a unique international and interdisciplinary character. 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.

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

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


Erin Smith | | Center for Global Engagement


Students will stay in dormitories while in Frankfurt an der Oder. The group will stay in a hotel/hostel while visiting Berlin.

Some group meals will be included in the program. A stipend will be provided to off-set some of the cost of meals.

Additional Items to Consider

Must have a valid passport. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for expedited processing.

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 deposited incoming first-year or new transfer students to JMU in fall of 2024.

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
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • High School Transcript

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

Application will open in January. Check back this winter for updates.

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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