Heart of Europe Program in Germany and Poland with Professor Spero

Join Professor Josh Spero in spring on this trip to explore Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands.
Group photo of Heart of Europe Spring Break trip

May 18 - June 2, 2025

Apply Now

Students should apply for the Global Ambassador Scholarship in October 2024 on Academic Works and will find out what/if they received the scholarship before the first payment due date.

Estimated Total Program Cost: $3,000 - $3,500 (subject to change)

First payment due November 8, 2024
Second payment due December 10, 2024
Third payment due January 10, 2025


Pending financial aid does not cover study abroad payments. Please call Student Accounts for more details at 978.665.4126.

POLS or HIST 2110: Europe Today

3 Credits  

LAS Attributes: AIA, CTW, GDC, HI, or IHIP

Take this 3 credit course that introduces major themes in contemporary European history, politics and economics before traveling to see some of the most significant places in the world. During the program, you will travel to three European countries; the Netherlands, Germany and Poland with Professor Spero and your classmates. You will meet and engage informally with collegial German and Polish university students. Together, we’ll experience incredible cultures and societies with this window into the heart of Europe, as we walk centuries-old cobblestone streets and witness some of the most extraordinary architecture and cities internationally.

Our course and its European program expand our partnership with European and other international students and faculty at Rhine-Waal University, our exchange partner in Germany (Kleve and Kamp Lintfort Campuses), as well as our emerging partnership with the University of Warsaw in Poland. Students from both countries participate in workshops with us on US-European relations and continue advancing our cooperative university-to-university research project to enhance our "US-European Transatlantic Relationship."

We will also decompress a lot with Europe’s wonderful café culture for ample time to relax and sightsee, in addition to our touring such significant, historic, and monumental European sites as:

  • Amsterdam and the International Court of Justice/The Hague (both in the Netherlands);
  • Rhine-Waal University (RWU) and its Kleve/Kamp Lintfort cities (in Northwest Rhineland / Germany);
  • University of Warsaw, its government and palatial architecture, old town and Warsaw Ghetto (in Northern Poland);
  • And, finally, via train from Warsaw to Kraków (Southern Poland), the latter with its Wawel Castle, and our excursions to the famous Wieliczka Salt Mine and the important Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

Students from all majors and years should apply.

For more information please email Professor Joshua Spero jspero@fitchburgstate.edu or the Office of International Education inthelp@fitchburgstate.edu.

Working Itinerary

Depart from Boston
Arrive in Amsterdam, Netherlands in the morning. Travel to Kleve, Germany by bus in the afternoon.
Sightseeing with RWU colleagues in Kleve and Kamp-Lintfort campuses.
Discussions and simulation crisis management game at RWU with faculty and students about European security and transatlantic relations.
Sighting and free time in Kleve and North Rhine Westphalia Germany's old town areas.
Bus to Amsterdam Airport / early morning departure – Flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Warsaw, Poland.
Sightseeing and free time in Warsaw, around the Old Town, the Presidential Palace, and the Warsaw Ghetto -- with recommended visits to either: Warsaw Rising Museum, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, or Palace of Culture and Science
Discussions and simulation crisis management game at University of Warsaw with faculty and students about European security and transatlantic relations.
Train from Warsaw, Poland to Kraków, Poland. Sightseeing and free time in Kraków around Old Town, Palace/Castle, and market areas.
Travel and tour by bus of Nowa Huta -- communist era city with historic sights.
Travel by bus to Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. Travel by train to Wieliczka Underground Salt Mine.
Depart from Warsaw to Amsterdam, then depart from Amsterdam to Boston.

Hear from our students

Heart of Europe Study Abroad Reflections (2023)

Check out our episode on the Perseverantia podcast Classroom Stories, where students from Professor Josh Spero's Spring 2023 study abroad class, reflect on their experiences traveling to Europe.
Read more about: Heart of Europe Study Abroad Reflections (2023)
Sean in Europe 2023
Heart of Europe 2023

Sean Krieger

"I would say the biggest highlight for me was the celebration of the friendship between Fitchburg, Mass and Kleve, Germany...It showed me how people will happily go above and beyond. Studying abroad has given me the opportunity to see and listen to the stories that are hidden, and it has widened my perspective on life. I highly encourage anyone to study abroad while they're a student."
Karla Taveras Guerra talking about her experience during the Heart of Europe Program in 2023
Heart of Europe 2023

Karla Taveras Guerra

"Nothing compares to being physically standing where so many events that marked our history happened. That feeling when I think, "Oof, I have been there". I am grateful and honored for the opportunity."
Students in the 2019 Heart of Europe Program
Political Science Major / International Relations Concentrator, Class of 2020

Hannah Pollan

"There have been a lot of decisions in my life that have changed my direction completely. My choice to go to Europe is probably one of the most influential decisions I have ever made."

Questions? Let us know!