Image of quaint German town on the water

Germany Study Abroad

Exploring Topics in Germany:

Landscapes and Cityscapes by Foot and Public Transportation 

May 6-22, 2024

Program Fee $1,100

Investigate topics in German speaking cultures while actively and sustainably  exploring the landscape and cities of southeastern Germany. Examine first-hand the complex history of the German speaking world, from pre-Roman influences to the present day. Consider the evolving role of the individual in society within shifting borders and competing ideologies. Engage with cultural, political, and environmental topics through news media, film, historical non-fiction, exhibits and other personal experiences.

  • Hike the Painter's Path (Malerweg) 8-stage Trail
  • Visit significant sites in Pirna, Dresden, and Berlin
  • Visit museums showcasing the DDR, Bauhaus, Jewish-German history, WWII and more
  • Walk through the Brandenburg Gate, symbol of Germany’s division and reunification
  • Tour the Reichstag, visit remnants of the Berlin Wall
  • And so much more!

In addition to the many planned group excursions, you will have ample opportunity to explore Germany on your own and in smaller groups, sharing and discussing themes and current events in the evening or over breakfast with the group. You will have local and regional transportation passes enabling you to travel freely.

Program Fee:  $1,100
Travel Dates:  May 6 – May 22, 2024

Zoom Presentations: June 10 and 11, 2024

Application Deadline: March 1, 2024
Deposit Deadline:  $500 due by 4:00 p.m. on March 15, 2024

You must pay your deposit to secure your spot.  Waitlisted people will be admitted immediately following the deposit deadline.

Student Cancellation Deadline Without Penalty: March 15, 2024
Summer Tuition Bill Due, Including $600  Remainder of Program Fee: May 1, 2024



Students will register for up to 4.5 summer session credits through Michigan Technological University and pay the associated tuition costs. Courses offered include:

  • HU 3263 (3 credits, required) Topics in German Speaking Cultures, (prereq. Global Issues or equivalent)t,;
  • PE 0175 (0.5 credits, optional)  Hiking, and;
  •  PE 0210 (1 credit, optional)  Special Topics. 

All courses meet General Education requirements.  HU 3263 counts towards the German minor and satisfies upper-level HASS requirements.

Most of the readings and films for the course will be completed prior to traveling to Germany so that students will be able to devote most of their time to exploring  sites of interest. Students will be encouraged to consider alternative perspectives and ways of understanding the world in course discussions. Each student will keep a journal of their travels and will complete a  project which they will present via Zoom on June 10 and 11, 2024.


Lush, green evergreen trees in the National Park Sachsen Switzerland

Diverse landscapes along the Malerweg, including forest, fields and stunning sandstone formations.

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate, the iconic landmark of Berlin, conjures an emotion of human dignity and vulnerability.

Bronze statue of woman on horse holding a spear

Historical artifacts and art will help bring history alive and add to an understanding of Germany today

The Dresden Hauptbanhof or train station

The beautiful architecture of train stations like this one in Dresden create a lively cultural hub throughout Germany.

The Reichstag's glass dome

The crown of the Reichstag Building, a mirrored glass structure that provides light to the parliament, demonstrating a commitment to both transparency and environmental awareness.


You will make arrangements to fly to Dresden, Germany, departing from the US on an evening flight on Monday, May 6, 2024. We will meet at the airport in Dresden on Tuesday morning, May 7. We will depart for the United States from the Berlin Brandenburg Airport on Wednesday, May 22.


While in Germany you will have two vastly different home bases:

Rathen, Germany

You will spend the first 8 nights at the rustic Hinterland Hostel in Rathen, Germany. This lovingly renovated farmhouse and barn reflect a commitment to sustainability.   Hinterland Hostel is located in the middle of the stunning national park Sachsen Switzerland which houses many museums in the small villages throughout the park, including the world’s largest model railroad. Rathen is 40 minutes by S-Bahn to Dresden, a city which was more than 90% destroyed during WWII, seat of the Kingdom of Saxony, and Putin’s place of foreign service while he served in the KGB.

Berlin, Germany

Students will spend the last 6 nights at the Meininger Berlin Mitte Humboldthaus Hostel in the metropolis of Berlin. Berlin is a vibrant multicultural city, with many of the world’s most renowned museums, signs of its divided past, and sites of historical significance in every casual glance.  Art, theater, film and scientific research thrive, forums are open for public engagement and protests of all sorts are a regular occurrence.  There are parks and rooftop cafes where we can hold our discussions, and lakes and parks to easily take a break from city life. American students will notice a remarkably small number of cars in the city centers that we visit.  During the day, students will be welcome can join their instructor, but they are also free to explore independently. Students will join the instructor regularly for presentations, excursions and discussions as well as dinners but they will have ample time to explore independently. 

Day Location Activity
May 6 Your local airport Leave for Germany.
May 7 Dresden Arrive Dresden in the a.m. Meet group at the airport, travel to Rathen, get settled at Hinterland Hostel.  Hike. Group dinner at hostel.
May 8 Rathen Breakfast. Hike Malerweg stage 1 together. Free afternoon. Dinner in Rathen. Evening class.
May 9 Rathen Breakfast discussion. Visit Fortress Königstein.  Free evening.
May 10 Rathen Breakfast. Group excursion to Pirna to visit DDR Museum, Sonnenstein Memorial, and Stadtmuseum.  Dresden in the evening, dinner, concert in Frauenkirche or other cultural outing.
May 11 Rathen Breakfast. Independent hiking or Dresden excursions/exploration. Evening: history, topics, discussion.
May 12 Rathen Breakfast. Group excursion to Dresden: walking tour, historical overview, museums.  Dinner in Dresden.
May 13 Rathen Breakfast. Independent excursions, i.e. Prague, hiking, half day hiking and half day Dresden or other destinations.  Evening course discussion.
May 14 Rathen Breakfast. Dresden VW ID r&d factory. Dinner in Dresden, history, topics, events, discussion.
May 15 Rathen Relaxed breakfast in Rathen. Students may choose their own agenda.

May 16

Rathen/Berlin Relaxed breakfast in Rathen. Pack up, clean, head to Berlin on ICE train! Check in to Meininger. Walking tour of Berlin.  Dinner in Berlin
May 17 Berlin Students go independently to museums and other areas for project research.. Early evening discussion.  Theater or other cultural event.
May 18 Berlin Haus am Wannsee tour. Discussion on grounds. Lunch.  Independent afternoon and evening.
May 19 Berlin Independent day, individual meetings.
May 20 Berlin Independent exploration and research. Individual 1:1 discussion with professor.
May 21 Berlin Independent exploration and research. Individual 1:1 discussion with professor. Dinner together. Final discussions on topics, history, current events, how to carry the experience forward, insights, observations, thoughts.

May 22

Berlin Travel to Berlin Brandenburg airport; depart.
June 10 Anywhere Final Class presentations via Zoom
June 11 Anywhere Final Class presentations via Zoom

Costs for Students

The program fee for Topics in German Speaking Cultures: Landscapes and Cityscapes by Foot and Public Transportation is $1,100 with 12 students.


A $500 deposit must be paid to the Registrar's Office by March 15, 2024. Payment should be accompanied by a form designating payment to the faculty-led travel abroad index A 12055.

Students register for summer Track A credits with MTU.  Tuition and the remainder of the program fee ($600) are due by May 1, 2024.

The following is a summary of costs students can anticipate:

  • $1100 program fee includes:
    • Lodging for the duration of the faculty-led portion of the trip, May 7-22, 2024;
    • Local and regional transportation passes;
    • Entrance to museums, cultural events, factory tours, and other activities;
    • Travel for group excursions;
    • all breakfasts;
    • Eight dinners;
    • Trail snacks;
    • Instruction facilities;
    • Program administration.
    • International health insurance;
  • MTU Tuition for course(s), 3, 3.5, 4, or 4.5 credits;
  • Plane ticket (multi ticket, U.S.-Dresden, Berlin-U.S);
  • Non-included meals: ~7 dinners, 9 lunches (kitchen facilities are available in lodging, so students may grocery shop and prepare meals to reduce costs);
  • Cell phones and SIM cards;
  • Spending money for souvenirs, entertainment, etc.;
  • Optional travel.

Additional Study Abroad Information

Have questions about studying abroad? Contact Casey Nelson at the  MTU Study Away and Abroad Office.  Your program leader can also  help you with your pre-departure. 


Here are some other resources that will help you with your visit: