Berkeley Study Abroad Fair - September 27 in the Pauley Ballroom

Poland Czech Germany
Berkeley Summer Abroad

Poland, Czech Republic, Germany: The History of Belonging and Coexistence in Modern Europe

  • Summary

    Who “belongs” in Europe and how do refugee communities and ethnic minorities fit into the European Union experiment?

    Dive deep into the history of coexistence and cultural identity in Europe, with Poland, the Czech Republic, and Germany as case studies. Explore the historical and contemporary experiences of communities often marginalized in Europe including the Jews of Poland, the Roma of Northern Bohemia, the Vietnamese in Prague, the Turkish in Germany, and recent refugees across European Union member states, including refugees from Syria.

    This course will utilize community voices, food, music, histories, organizations, protests, and government initiatives to understand how the ideas of “Europe” and “European-ness” have changed over the past 100 years, and how they continue to evolve. Participants will discover throughout the course that “history”—that is, individuals’ and groups’ interpretations of their pasts—is often mobilized to define and defend current agendas.

    Dates: June 16 – July 25, 2019

    All dates are subject to change

    Units: 6 units

    Language of Instruction: English

    Courses: History N174T: Topics in the History of Eastern Europe


    At least one year of college coursework completed by the start of the program

    2.0 GPA or higher

    This course has no prerequisites.

    Students must be aware that this is an intensive program, particularly because it includes travel to multiple cities. Full attendance and participation are required in all lectures, excursions, and course-related activities.

    Application opens February 4, 2019
    Space is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
    Deadline to apply is March 15, 2019

  • Courses

    During the program, you will take one course for a total of six UC Berkeley units.

    Course: History N174T
    Title: Topics in the History of Eastern Europe
    Instructor: Sarah A. Cramsey
    Units: 6 units

    Once again, inhabitants of Europe, European leaders and outside observers alike are questioning the limits of coexistence and attempting to define who belongs to European states. Over the past few years, we have watched a refugee crisis unfold from Greece to Calais and in the process have reopened discussions regarding who “belongs” in Europe, what constitutes universal “European values” and how minorities fit into to the European Union experiment.

    If you are an active participant in the course, you will end the trip with a good grasp of some of the most important events, ideas, and individuals in east-central Europe’s “short 20th century” and how discussions of minorities fit into broader narratives. You should be able to read a historical document carefully and critically and to present a clearly-argued and well-supported interpretation of its significance. You should be able to ask questions of people very different from yourself and a variety of backgrounds. You will learn from and learn with your peers on this adventure and begin to understand the transformative nature of intensive group learning. And finally, you will also have the opportunity to write about your experience in the country and document your trip with pictures, drawings or words. Beyond mastering a body of factual information, in other words, you should be able to say something about these facts, to ask and answer the “so what?” question. Finally, you should be attuned to the continuing presence of the past in contemporary debates and think historically about “current events”—that is, to explain how political institutions, cultural worldviews, social and economic relations, and popular attitudes which took shape in the past continue to play a role today. As we will see throughout the course, “history”—that is, individuals’ and groups’ interpretations of their pasts—is often mobilized to define and defend current agendas. Many of these skills will serve you well at Berkeley, whatever major you choose to pursue.

    Students must be aware that this is an intensive program, particularly because it includes travel to multiple cities. Full attendance and participation are required in all lectures, excursions, and course-related activities.

    This program meets Historical Studies prerequisite. You can fulfill the L&S International Studies breadth requirement by full participation in a Berkeley Summer Abroad program. All of the required courses must be completed with a C-/P or better.

    Summer Abroad staff will enroll you in courses after your acceptance to the program. Please make sure there are no active blocks on your student account that may impact your course enrollment.

  • Costs

    Tuition and Program Fee

    The fees to participate in this program are broken down into 1) tuition and 2) program fees, which are applied to your student billing account as follows:


    2019 Fees UC Students Visiting Students
    Tuition (6 units) $2,514 $3,300
    Program Fee $2,751 $2,751
    Total Cost $5,265 $6,051

    Fees are subject to change. All non-UC Berkeley students must pay an additional Document Management Fee of $58.

    Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses


    In addition to the fees outlined above, Berkeley Study Abroad has estimated costs for out-of-pocket expenses. These amounts are used to calculate financial aid packages for eligible students. Actual expenses will vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

    2019 Estimated Expenses Amount
    International Airfare and Transportation $1,544
    Additional Meals $520
    Books $210
    Personal Expenses (i.e. phone, passport, visas, etc.) $499
    Total Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses $2,773


    Financial Aid
    Financial aid is available for Berkeley students who are enrolled in at least 6 units during the summer. All other students should contact the financial aid office at their home institution for more information.

    Explanation of Fees

    Tuition is based on a per-unit cost:

    • The UC undergraduate student rate is $419 per unit
    • The visiting student rate for all non-UC participants is $550 per unit

    The program fee includes* the following items:

    • Student housing for the duration of the program and all breakfasts.
    • On-site orientation activities, excursions, etc.
    • Group Travel between locations
    • Admissions fees
    • Travel insurance to cover accident/sickness medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, security extraction, and other travel assistance services
    • Other program-related costs including fees for group transportation, guest speakers, etc.
    • The initial non-refundable deposit of $400, which is due at the time of application and is applied to the program fee
    *Please note that the list of items included in the program fee is not all-inclusive and is subject to change.

    The following items are excluded from the program fee:

    • International airfare
    • Personal expenses (souvenirs, routine medical expenses, toiletries, etc.)
    • Course materials (textbooks and readers)
    • Other travel expenses (passport, visa, etc.)
    • Additional meals


  • Timeline
    Application opens February 4, 2019
    Application closes March 15, 2019
    Applicants notified of selection March 22, 2019
    Deadline to confirm participation or cancel for a refund of all program-related fees, minus $400 deposit April 5, 2019
    Attend pre-departure orientation* Late April-May
    First day of program June 16, 2019
    Last day of program† July 25, 2019

    * These events take place on the UC Berkeley campus. If you are not on campus during this time, we will schedule a meeting via phone or Skype.

    † Students are expected to check into program housing in Warsaw, Poland on June 16, 2019 and will be expected to check out of program housing in Berlin, Germany on July 25, 2019. Students who arrive in-country early or depart after the last day may do so, but they are responsible for arranging their own accommodations outside of the program dates.

    All dates are subject to change.

  • Instructors

    Dr. Sarah Cramsey
    Program Director

    Dr. Sarah Cramsey is currently a Fulbright Research Fellow at the Universite Libre Bruxelles in Belgium and a Professor of Practice in the Jewish Studies at Tulane University. Before moving to New Orleans she taught in the History Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her dissertation, entitled Uncertain Citizenship: Jewish Belonging and the ‘Ethnic Revolution’ in Poland and Czechoslovakia, 1936-1946 in May 2014 and is currently working on turning her dissertation into a book of the same name. Her research interests include the Jewish experience in Poland and Czechoslovakia, the emergence of the state of Israel, the history of forced migrations and, not surprisingly, the contours of coexistence in modern Europe. She has taught and traveled with undergraduate students in Minsk, Prague, Krakow, Oswiecim, and Israel besides her experience as an educator at Berkeley. Currently, she is interested in the Ukrainian minority in interwar Poland, the diplomatic universe in Tehran during World War II and trying every iced coffee available in New Orleans. She wishes that Prague had the climate of Berkeley.