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European History of Women, Gender and Sexuality


Frankfurt (Oder), Germany

Program Description

This study abroad program, based in Germany, offers students interested in women’s and gender studies, a unique opportunity to learn about the history of women, gender, and sexuality in a key and diverse European country. The three week program gives students the option of taking either HIST 321 European Women’s History (3 credits) or HIST 449 Women and Fascism (3 credits). Both courses count for the Women’s and Gender Studies minor, the Modern European Studies Minor, and the minor or major in History at JMU

With our home base at Viadrina University in Frankfurt Oder, Germany, students will receive instruction from JMU faculty and visit sites vital to the study of European history of women, gender and sexuality. The unique location of the university town, part of the former Soviet bloc and on the border with Poland, offers a special opportunity for students to immerse themselves in twentieth-century history of women and gender in Germany. Students will get the foundation for the history in classroom lectures and discussions led by Dr. Davidson. Students will also get the unique experience of visiting sites that form an important part of the history in question. For example, we will travel to Berlin. Outside of Berlin we will visit the former concentration camp, Sachsenhausen and Dresden, location of the Stasi jail museum. We will also visit Prague, Czech Republic for a weekend and a day trip to Leipzig, Germany both sites of peaceful revolutions in 1989. We will also take a possible trip to Gdansk, Poland and visit the former concentration camp, Stutthof.

Location Description

Frankfurt Oder is a town with a population of roughly 64,000 and is located on the Oder River in north eastern Germany. It is primarily a university town. Viadrina University, our host school, was originally established in 1506. It was reopened after the fall of communism in 1991. The university describes itself as "a meeting ground of east and west" since it is located on the Polish border crossed by the Oder River. Slubice, Poland is just across the river. Students can travel freely and daily from between Frankfurt Oder and Slubice. The location of Frankfurt Oder is also strategic in that it is only a bit over an hour from Germany's capital, Berlin. It is a quiet and calm town with many opportunities for outdoor activities on the river or nearby lakes.


Jessica Davidson | | History


Students will be housed in University of Viadrina rooms, either in a single room or with roommates from the program. The housing is located in Frankfurt Oder on the university campus. The housing includes common kitchens for students' use.

Students will receive a weekly stipend for meals. They are encouraged to eat at the university cafeteria which serves students good portions for a bargain. There are also many affordable restaurants and cafes in Frankfurt Oder as well as across the river in Slubice, Poland where part of the university campus is.

Additional Items to Consider

Students should fly in and out of Berlin where they will be met by Dr. Davidson. We will travel together to Frankfurt Oder, less than one and a half hours away.

There are no language prerequisites or requirements for this study abroad program.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0.

This program serves Women's and Gender Studies as well as Modern European Studies minors. It also serves History majors and minors

Application Process

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

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

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

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Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


HIST 321: European Women's History (3 Credits)

HIST 449: Women and Fascism (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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