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Europe 2023

Art as a Reflector and Shaper of Identity

This intercultural semester will explore the role that artists have played and continue to play in constituting and reflecting identity in Europe, primarily in Vienna, Austria and areas that were once under the rule of the Hapsburg Empire. Students will interact with artists (in the visual and performing arts) who are using their work to resist mainstream ideologies and aesthetics and to confront current issues facing Europe. These include the migrant crisis, secularization, European integration, and globalization. The work of contemporary artists will be contextualized through an historical study of the theories behind Pan European artistic movements and styles-Classical, Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic, and more. When possible, particular emphasis will be placed on the intersections between art and religion, non-violent revolution, and peacebuilding. Living within the thriving metropolis of Vienna, Austria and traveling to large, historically important cities throughout Europe will reveal these locations’ interconnected pasts. Students will also become acutely aware of the historical oppression faced in these lands by minority groups and people of dissenting opinions. Students will find their American conceptions of the romanticized European city complicated even as they learn to appreciate nuances in the cultures of the areas they visit.


Vienna, Austria
Salzburg, Austria
Prague, Czech Republic
England and Scotland


Estimated Cost: on campus tuition, room and board plus $3,500 travel fee (subject to change) 
Semester Leaders: Justin Poole, Theater Department, and Amanda Poole
Enrollment: 15 students
Credit: 15 semester hours


CCSSC 201 Cross-Cultural Social Science: Cultural Identity Formation and European Integration (3 SH)
Students will develop an understanding of the interconnected nature of European societies as well as their complex differences, as they study contemporary issues such as European integration and the migrant crisis. Special emphasis will be placed on how people negotiate their complex identities in former Hapsburg areas, especially Vienna, Austria.

CCLNG 171 German Language (3 SH)
Students will undergo intensive German language instruction with a native German speaker. They will have multiple opportunities to use their German skills through an 8-week homestay with locals in Vienna, Austria.

CCTHR 301 Staging the Nation: Performance as a Reflector and Shaper of National Identity in Europe (3 SH)
Students will attend numerous world-class performances, such as theater, opera, ballet, music concerts, and more. Through written responses and class discussions, they will develop a sophisticated awareness of various performance styles and the centrality of live performance in Europe. Students will develop an original play based on a contemporary event as a final collaborative project.

CCART 301 Pan European Movements and Local Adaptations: History and Theory of European Art (3 SH)
Students will travel to many museums, churches, mosques, fortresses, palaces, and famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They will gain appreciation for the ways that styles of art and architecture evolve and influence each other across borders. Particular emphasis will be placed on the development of the Baroque and Historicist styles, which Vienna and Prague imported from Italy and France.

CCREL 311 Religion and Identity in Contemporary Europe (3 SH) CIW
Students will study ways that Christianity shaped European civilization and how Christianity’s legacy continues to inform European society, despite the apparent decline of religious fervor in most countries. Through interaction with immigrants, we will broaden understanding of some of the apparent culture clashes stemming from increased immigration to Europe.


Required Immunizations

  • Routine vaccines – MMR, DPT series with last booster within 10 years, IPV or OPV
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • COVID-19 In an effort to maximize the safety of our hosts and our students, EMU Intercultural Programs requires all employees and students who plan to travel for intercultural immersion, both domestic and international, to have completed their vaccination regimen for COVID-19 more than 14 days prior to travel. This requirement is one of the standard immunizations required for enrollment, effective Mar. 1, 2021.

Immunizations and prescriptions may be obtained at EMU Health Services by appointment.
Immunizations may also be obtained from your local health department or primary care provider.

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