Germany: Human Rights and Cosmopolitanism in Frankfurt

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Germany study abroad posterNote: The summer 2014 application cycle is now closed. Check back in the fall for information about upcoming study abroad programs.

This course will explore different dimensions of global and cosmopolitan citizenship by offering students an opportunity to live and learn in the historical city of Frankfurt, Germany. Frankfurt is a city with a long historical tradition, which has been at the center of German, European and international intellectual, commercial, and political life for centuries. Through an intensive four week program this course will offer students the possibility to immerse in the study of the German language, to learn about German culture, history, and philosophy, and to research about human rights and cosmopolitanism. Students will have an opportunity to experience how these themes evolved at different times in German history.

Frankfurt, is a bustling international metropolis that is steeped in history, tradition, and the arts. Since the Middle Ages, the city, which is located on the banks of the River Main, has been an important urban center and a crossroads for European trade and commerce as well as politics and philosophy. It was the official venue for imperial elections since the Middle Ages, the seat of the German Confederation, the birthplace of the German modern nation state following the 1848 Revolution and the establishment of the Frankfurt Parliament, the intellectual center of Critical Theory (the Frankfurt School), the court for the Auschwitz trials, a center for Jewish and Muslim studies, the most multicultural city in Germany, and the financial center of the Euro-zone.

The University of Frankfurt is one of the most important intellectual centers in Europe, offering courses in English and German, housing several research institutes, and producing leaders who have earned international reputation in areas such as philosophy, history, sociology, law,  economics and others. Internationally renowned scholars work in these areas as part of a research cluster on normativity. Their work focuses especially on themes related to human rights and cosmopolitanism.

Academic contentFrankfurt buildings and street life

Lectures, seminars and field trips will cover topics such as:

  • Medieval through Modern history
  • Modern cultural and intellectual development
  • Social, political, and economic aspects
  • Contemporary relevance of the city
  • Visits to museums, historic sites, tourist attractions, etc
  • Participation in festivals and other cultural events

Students have two options for this program (courses are offered on a credit/no credit basis):

Option 1

Students new to the program earn 15 credits for the following combination of courses:

  • TIAS 109, 209 or 309, depending on level of proficiency - German Language (6 credits) Part of the language course will be offered by lecturers at the University of Frankfurt.
  • TIAS 330 or 530, undergraduate/graduate - German Culture, History & Philosophy (6 credits) Lectures and seminars will be led by UW faculty Johann Reusch and Amos Nascimento.
  • TIAS 490 or 590, undergraduate/graduate - Research on Human Rights/Cosmopolitanism: (3 credits) Research will be led by UW faculty with the support of local university faculty and staff.

Option 2

This option is for students returning to the Germany program (prerequisite: TIAS 330/530). Students earn 9 credits for a combination of German Language and either Internship or Directed Readings as follows: UWT students at lunch in Frankfurt, Germany

  • TIAS 209 or 309, depending on level of proficiency - German Language (6 credits) The language portion of the course will be offered by the University of Frankfurt.

In addition, students earn 3 credits of one of the following undergraduate/graduate courses:

  • TIAS 496 - Internship in the public or private sector, supervised by a faculty member. Permission based on approval of proposal submitted in advance of the internship.
  • TIAS 498 - Directed Readings. Faculty-supervised individual readings in areas of special need for students. Topics will vary.
  • TIAS 590 - Independent Study at the graduate level.
  • TIAS 599 - Directed Research at the graduate level.

Directed Readings, Independent Study and Internships are supervised by the UW faculty leading this program.

We recommend that all students check with their academic adviser for placement of credits within their degree program.

Program ScheduleCastle in Germany

The program is scheduled for the Summer Quarter, term B. Travel to Frankfurt will take place August 1 - 31st, with follow-up class meetings at the UW. Student participation in on-campus preparatory seminars is required as part of this program. The preparatory seminars will precede the stay in Frankfurt.


Students stay in dormitory-style housing at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität-Frankfurt or Wohngemeinschaften with local students. The university was founded in 1914 by local citizens and became one of the most dynamic intellectual and scientific centers in Germany. Today the University of Frankfurt is a center of excellence with more than 40,000 students and 3,000 faculty members.


Undergraduate and graduate students from any UW campus may apply. Participants are selected on the basis of high scholarship, academic preparation, faculty recommendation, motivation, emotional maturity, and financial responsibility. No previous international/language experience is required.


Applications are due on March 31, 2014 *April 21, 2014. Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis until April 21 or until the program is full. Applicants will be notified of acceptance decisions on a rolling basis. Click the "Apply Now" button below to begin. (*Deadline has been extended.)

Apply now button

Travel documents and insurance

All program participants must have a valid passport in order to travel to Germany. No visa or other paperwork is required for U.S. citizens.

Study abroad insurance coverage is required. We recommend UW students take advantage of the UW Study Abroad Insurance, as an easy and affordable option. Students with personal insurance may petition for a UW Study Abroad Insurance waiver. For details, please contact the UWT International Programs office.

CostsRoman ruins in Germany

The total cost of each program option is as follows:

Option 1: $3,850

Option 2: $2,400

Program cost includes:

  • Course fee and instruction for either 15 UW credits (option 1) or 9 UW credits (option 2)
  • Fee for German course at University in Frankfurt
  • Housing and public transportation in Frankfurt
  • Student ID providing discounted rates for meals, museum admission, cultural events, etc.

Program cost does not include:

  • Airfare, private transportation, phone calls, etc
  • Costs of travel documents (passport)
  • Study abroad insurance
  • Meals

Payment schedule

  Option 1 Option 2 Due
Administrative Fee $250 $250 upon acceptance to program
Program Fee $3,600 $2,150 July 11, 2014
Total $3,850 $2,400  

Method of payment: The Administrative Fee of $250 is due upon acceptance to the program. This payment can be made in person or by mail and will need to be paid by personal check, cashier's check, or money order made payable to University of Washington Tacoma. Please write "Germany Summer 2014" in the memo line of the check. The Administrative Fee of $250 must accompany your acceptance confirmation and payment contract for the program. Please submit the check along with the appropriate paperwork to our office in GWP 102 or by mail to:German architecture

International Programs
University of Washington Tacoma
1900 Commerce Street
Tacoma, WA 98402

For other methods of payment, please contact Tracey Norris, Study Abroad Coordinator, International Programs Office (253) 692-4426. [Additional contact information]

The last payment will be charged automatically to your UWT student account upon registration and can be paid online through your MyUW account. Please note: Students do not register themselves for this program. The Office of International Programs will register the student once the Administrative Fee and all appropriate program requirements have been completed.

Financial Aid

Students receiving financial aid which they intend to apply toward the program cost should consult with a financial aid adviser before applying to the program. Some sources of funding, i.e. the GI Bill, do not cover the cost of study abroad programs. Check with a financial aid advisor to understand how your funds apply toward study abroad. Please bring the student financial aid budget form with you to your meeting. [Click to view and print]

Be aware that you may not receive financial aid in time to cover initial program costs. You should be prepared to pay your expenses out of pocket until your financial aid is dispersed. The deadline for program payment cannot be waived or postponed.

Refund Conditions for Fees

Once you confirm your participation in the program:Students working on coursework in a classroom in Germany

  1. If you withdraw prior to April 21, 2014, all payments, less the $250 non-refundable administrative fee, will be refunded to you.
  2. If you withdraw on or after April 21 but prior to August 1, 2014, you are obligated to pay 50% of the total cost of the program.
  3. If you withdraw on or after August 1, 2014, you are obligated to pay the full cost of the program. No refunds will be given for unused accommodations, meals or other fees and services.

Notice of Withdrawal from the program MUST be made in writing to:

UWT International Programs
University of Washington Tacoma
1900 Commerce Street
Tacoma, WA 98402

Changes in costs or scope of the program

In the event of significant devaluations of the dollar, some adjustments to program activities may be necessary. If there are any political events that might compromise the safety of the participants, a rescheduling or cancellation of the program may be necessary. If such changes occur, students will be notified of the changes and options will be presented.

Program cancellation

If viable enrollment is not reached by April 21, 2014, the program will be cancelled. Participants will be notified and the Administrative Fee will be refunded.

Equal opportunity and disability accommodations

The University of Washington reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran in accordance with University policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations. The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process contact Disability Support Services at least ten days in advance.