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Spring Break 2017, Krakow, Poland

"Europe Today” Course -- Political Science or History dual-enrolled

(POLS or HIST 2110, 3 cr — also for International Studies Minor credit!)

Professor: Joshua Spero ( & Assistant James David (

Students enjoying a meal together in Krakow, Poland

Student perspectives from Our Trip to Kraków during Spring Break/2015:

"Kraków, Poland is rich with culture and historical experiences you don't want to miss." – James David, Political Science/International Politics Major, Philosophy Minor

“Kraków is the most enchanting city I have ever been to. It breathes, laughs, and excites. We were given an invaluable opportunity to explore major historical sites and resilient cultures at an affordable cost. The friendships and connections I have made with my classmates, professors, and the world have been life changing. I am counting down the days until I can return to Kraków!” — Yvonne Renard, Economics Major, International Politics and International Studies Minors

“My most memorable part of our Kraków trip was having the opportunity to walk through and relive history. All the places we visited made me feel like I was actually there when it happened. I learned a lot more about Poland and what it became today.” — Alexis Podedworny, Communications Media Major/Graphic Design, Business Administration and Political Science Minors

“The most memorable part of Kraków for me was traveling to a new country and getting to experience a new culture — between eating the new foods and learning a little bit of the language and visiting places that hold so much history.” — Michelle Keohane, Political Science/International Politics Major, International Studies and Sociology Minors

"I think the most memorable part of the trip was being able to share the experience with my classmates and professors. And discovering a brand new culture that I know I'll return to someday.” — Kristi Violette, Communications Media Major

“I still talk about my trip to Poland with friends and colleagues today as one of the most surreal experiences I've ever had. I talk about Kraków as the cultural hub, the historical sites and the beautiful church architecture and decor, and of course the food! I took this trip on a whim, and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. This adventure to Poland has inspired me to travel to other less-traveled countries and immerse myself in new cultures and explore new environments!” – Taylor Emma, Computer Information Systems Major, Business Administration Minor

“I incorporated my significant experiences in Poland into my high school teaching practicum, particularly in my Global Perspectives classes, about the Holocaust and Wawel Castle, showing my students pictures and asking them how many would go to such significant places like Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Most said they would instantly and I told them that it's important to take in history, no matter how unpleasant.” – Jeff Pintabona, History and Secondary Education Major, Political Science Minor

Group of students holding a sign that says "Wieliczka 2015"

"Europe Today" is an introductory course focusing on major themes in modern European history, politics, philosophy, and economics. The course offers students a unique window into the heart of Europe, as we will travel to Kraków, Poland for Spring break — a 1,000 year-old city experiencing a beautiful renaissance!

Kraków is a cultural bastion of Europe and represents an enchanting international crossroads for Western and Eastern civilization. By taking Europe Today, students gain credit in either History (HIST 2110) or Political Science (POLS 2110), and can also gain credit in the International Studies Minor.

To prepare for Europe and our Poland trip, we'll study the roots of contemporary Europe, particularly the post-Communist era with the fall of the Berlin Wall, collapse of the Soviet Union, re-emergence of democracy in Central-East Europe, and subsequent challenges of a post-9/11 Europe.

In very affordable Kraków, Poland, we’ll explore this exciting European country alive with incredible culture, history, tradition, relaxing and touring in and around Kraków: Wawel Royal Castle, Jagiellonean University (founded in 1364!), Wieliczka Salt Mine, Oskar Schindler’s Factory (from Spielberg’s Schindler’s List), and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

Students and their faculty leader, Dr. Spero and his assistant James David, welcome you to join them on this amazing journey to experience the greatness of European Kraków and its wonderful café and night life culture.

The course culminates in this spring break trip (no classes after spring break!), with students completing a final individual written project upon their return and making a group presentation to the University and the larger Fitchburg community about their Kraków experiences.

Please note that a student may be eligible for financial aid to offset costs associated with the trip. Students should meet with their financial aid counselor for more information.

Please complete the Faculty Led Study Abroad Application to apply.

Please note:  Due to ongoing contract negotiations, the payment/deposit structure for this program has changed. All participants should refer to emails from the Office of International Education for updates. If you have any further questions, please contact Tracey Sarefield.

Program dates:

Depart from Boston – March 10, 2017

Arrive Krakow – March 11, 2017

Return to Boston – March 19, 2017

Program Fees:

$1275.00 + airfare *estimated*

Click here for a budget for this program that can be submitted to Financial Aid.

Program fee includes...

Roundtrip airfare*, housing, in-country transportation, medical insurance, most meals

...but does not include

Some meals, spending money

Payment Schedule: All payments can be made at Student Accounts

Deposit: $250 due by December 2, 2016

Payment #1: December 9, 2016: $750

Final Payment: January 13, 2017: $800

The final payment will be updated as we have an airfare estimate. 

Refund Policy

After January 13, 2017 all money paid is non-refundable unless the course is cancelled by Fitchburg State University.