Image of quaint German town on the water

Germany Study Abroad

Exploring Topics in Germany 

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

  • Hike the Painter's Path 8-stage Trail
  • Visit significant sites in Pirna, Dresden, Leipzig, Weimar, and Berlin
  • Visit museums showcasing the DDR, hygiene, Bauhaus, Goethe, and more
  • Walk through the Brandenburg Gate
  • See the Buchenwald Memorial and the Berlin Wall
  • And so much more!

In addition to the five days of planned group excursions, you will have ample opportunity to explore Germany on your own 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 transportation passes, so will be able to explore freely.

Travel Dates:  May 9 – May 25, 2023
Zoom Presentations: June 12 and 13, 2023

Application Deadline: March 1, 2023
Deposit Deadline:  $700 due March 15, 2023

Student Cancellation Deadline Without Penalty: March 24, 2023
Summer Tuition Bill Due, Including Remainder of Program Fee: May 3, 2023


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 Topics in German Speaking Cultures, PE 0175 Hiking, and PE 0210 Special Topics. All courses meet General Education requirements, meet major requirements for Humanities majors, and HU 3263 counts towards the German minor.

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 landscapes and sites of interest. Students will be encouraged to consider alternative perspectives and ways of understanding the world. They will keep a journal of their travels and will complete a class presentation via Zoom on June 12 and 13, 2023.

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 Tuesday, May 9, 2023. We will meet at the airport in Dresden on Wednesday morning, May 10. We will depart for the United States from the Leipzig Airport on Thursday, May 25.

While in Germany you will be based in two amazing cities:

Rathen, Germany

You will spend the first 8 nights at the Hinterland Hostel in Rathen, Germany 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.

Leipzig, Germany

Students will spend the last 7 nights at Groner’s Hostel in Leipzig. Leipzig is home to Auerbachs Keller, the second oldest restaurant in Leipzig, made famous by Goethe as the place where Mephistopheles takes Faust. There are museums of musical instruments, fine arts, applied art and contemporary history. 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 and discussions as well as dinners. From Leipzig we will have two group excursions to Weimar and Berlin.


Day Location Activity
May 9 Your local airport Leave for Germany.
May 10 Dresden Arrive Dresden in the a.m. Meet group at the airport, travel to Rathen, get settled in Hinterland Hostel. Group dinner.
May 11 Rathen Breakfast. Hike Malerweg stage 1 together. Free afternoon. Evening class.
May 12 Rathen Breakfast discussion. Visit Fortress Konigstein.
May 13 Rathen Breakfast. Group excursion to Pirna to visit DDR Museum, Sonnenstein Memorial, and Stadtmuseum.
May 14 Rathen Breakfast. Independent hiking or excursions/exploration. Evening: history, topics, discussion.
May 15 Rathen Breakfast. Group excursion to Dresden: walking tour, historical overview, museums.
May 16 Rathen Breakfast. Independent excursions, i.e. hiking, half day hiking and half day Dresden or other destinations.
May 17 Rathen Breakfast. independent excursions, i.e. hiking, half day hiking and half day Dresden or other destinations. Dinner, history, topics, events, discussion.
May 18 Rathen/Leipzig Relaxed breakfast in Rathen. Pack up, clean, head to Leipzig! Check in to Groners.

May 19

Leipzig Excursion to Weimar. Visit Goethe Haus, Bauhaus Museum, and Buchenwald.
May 20 Leipzig Independent exploration and research. Early evening class discussion.
May 21 Leipzig Independent exploration and research. Early evening class discussion.
May 22 Leipzig Excursion to Berlin. Walking tour includes Brandenburger Gate and  Berlin Mauer (Wall). Museums of choice.
May 23 Leipzig Independent exploration and research. Individual 1:1 discussion with professor.
May 24 Leipzig 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 25

Leipzig Travel to Leipzig airport; depart.
June 12 Anywhere Final Class presentations via Zoom
June 13 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 $1,200.  A $100 application fee and a $600 deposit must be paid to the Registrar's Office by March 15, 2023. Payment should be accompanied by a form designating payment to the faculty-led travel abroad index A 12055.  This index number should also be written on the check.

Students register for summer Track A credits with MTU.  Tuition and the remainder of the program fee ($600) are due by May 3, 2023.

The following is a summary of costs students can anticipate:

  • $1300 program fee, which includes:
    • Lodging for the duration of the faculty-led portion of the trip, May 10-25, 2023;

    • Local transportation passes;

    • Travel for group excursions;

    • 8 breakfasts;

    • Three dinners;

    • Trail snacks;

    • Instruction facilities;

    • Program administration.

  • MTU Tuition for course(s), 3, 3.5, 4, or 4.5 credits;

  • Plane ticket (multi ticket, U.S.-Dresden, Leipzig-U.S);

  • Health and travel insurance;

  • Other meals (kitchen facilities are available in lodging, so meals may be prepared to reduce costs);

  • Cell phones and SIM cards;

  • Spending money for souvenirs, entertainment, etc.;

  • Optional travel.

Additional Study Abroad Information

Have questions about studying aboard? Your program leader can help you with your pre-departure. Here are some other resources that will help you with your visit: