Poland: From Occupation to Resistance (CLOSED)

Warsaw, Poland

Program website not available Type:   |  Minimum GPA:
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  • Summer 2 Semester - July 5 to August 7, 2015 (dates subject to change)

Application Deadline

  • Summer 2 Semester - Priority Deadline: November 15, 2014

Final deadline for Dialogue of Civilization programs is February 1st. Program accepting applications until filled and is subject to close at any time.


Faculty Leader: Prof. Jeffrey Burds (j.burds@neu.edu)

Study Abroad Coordinator: Liz McClanahan (e.mcclanahan@neu.edu)

Term: Summer II


  • HIST4946 Central Europe Abroad (Field Research)
  • INTL4944 Dialogues of Civilization/Regional,  NU Core arts level 1


Warsaw has rapidly become a second Prague in Europe—safe, negotiable in English, a beautiful and haunting 1200-year old city that represents the very best of several European cultures.

This Summer II Dialogue will examine the history of the Second World War in Poland--from the German invasion in September 1939, the Polish national resistance, the Holocaust,  the Warsaw Uprising, the Soviet occupation of Poland from autumn 1944, and the Solidarity Movement that brought Polish independence in the 1980s.  Based at Warsaw University, the program includes regularly scheduled classes with lectures by the Dialogue leaders and local scholars, plus visits to relevant historical and cultural sites around Poland.  Excursions are planned to the concentration camps at Auschwitz; Krakow (the site of the main school for training Nazi collaborationist police and prison guards); Zakopane—a mountain resort town where the Nazis had schools for SS and Abwher (military intelligence) assets; and Gdansk, the site of the Solidarity Movement that brought liberation of Poland from Soviet power in the 1980s.  The program will include a visit to Zelazowa Wola, the birth place and museum of Chopin, and attendance of a performance of his music. More than any other, Chopin is the Polish composer who created the soundtrack of the Polish national resistance struggle.

The Program leader is Professor Jeffrey Burds, an award-winning teacher and scholar whose work on the history of the Soviet secret police throughout Eastern Europe has earned him an international reputation. Program co-leader is Izabella Burds, a native of Warsaw, with an advanced business degree and more than 20 years of experience in Polish corporate life during the transition from Soviet satellite to one of the most successful of all post-Soviet economies. The program Resident Assistant is a member of the cultural section in the U.S. embassy in Warsaw, Miss Paulina Sieradzan.



HIST4946 Central Europe Abroad (Field Research)

INTL4944,  NU Core arts level 1 Dialogues of Civilization/Regional


Host University

Institute of History, University of Warsaw

Eligibility Requirements

  • 2.5 GPA Recommended
  • At least 2 terms at Northeastern

Application Procedure

    • Online Dialogue of Civilizations application (available on OISP website and myNEU)
    • $500 non-refundable program deposit paid through NUPay.* Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.**
    • One copy of passport ID page – to be given directly to your faculty leader after acceptance.
    • 2-3 page essay answering the following questions (copy and pasted into online application):
    1. What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    2. How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    3. What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    4. What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?

    *If you are not accepted into your Dialogue program, the $500 deposit will be credited to your student account.

    **Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

    **Faculty may require additional information and/or interview (after application deadline)

Schedule Appointment →


Tuition: $10, 634

DOC Fee: $2,750

Tuition and DOC Fee cover 8 Northeastern credits, round-trip airfare from Boston, housing for program duration, International Security and Emergency Support, as well as some local transport, excursions and group meals.


Intercontinental Hotel-WARSAW (Jozefow)[Operated by Holiday Inn]

Students will share rooms (double-occupancy) in this internationally acclaimed 4-star hotel, rated “Excellent” by hundreds of reviewers, located on nearly 30 acres just 15-20 minutes from the center of Warsaw. Each room is air-conditioned, with two full-size beds, two desks, telephone, flat-screen satellite television, refrigerator, hair dryer, coffee-maker, and wifi. The hotel offers free access to a large swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, basketball court, and fitness club. Reduced fees for access to the hotel’s paintball, a rope/obstacle course, a golf course, tennis courts (grass and clay), bicycling, and spa services.

All classes will take place between 10 am and noon, most on the grounds of the hotel in a modern facility with full electronic wifi access and electronic screens for power point lectures.

In Warsaw, the program also covers on most days three meals a day in the hotel’s gourmet kitchen: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In 2013, students lovingly referred to this program as the “Food Dialogue” because of the fantastic menu at the hotel.

Laundry services are available for extra fees, though most program participants will probably prefer to hand wash.


Twenty-one days in and around Warsaw with day-long or afternoon visits to the following sites: A tour of the political prison at Rakowiecka 37, a notorious torture prison of the Soviet KGB; a tour of Jewish Warsaw and the haunted Warsaw Ghetto; a tour of Warsaw’s Old Town; visits to the Jewish Historical Institute, the Warsaw Uprising Museum, the Katyn Museum, the Lech Walesa Institute, and the world-famous Warsaw University Library Garden. There will also be tours of the Institute of National Remembrance and Trakt Krolewski.

Eleven days in Krakow, Zakopane and Gdansk: One week visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Krakow (Wawel Castle, Wieliczka Salt Mines – on UNESCO’s list of the World’s Heritage Sites; Kazimierz Old Jewish Quarter [setting for Spielberg’s film “Schindler’s List;”] etc. ), Rabka’s Villa Tereska—the site of an SS Training Camp/School for camp guards and policemen; hiking in the Tatra mountains near Zakopane, a famous ski resort and the “Winter Capital of Poland” that was also the site of the Abwehr German Military Intelligence elite school for spies behind the Eastern Front; and a rafting trip down the Dunajec River.

Four-day visit to Gdansk, a northern port city on the Baltic Sea: visits (by boat) to Westerplatte, to the Solidarity Museum, and to the Museum of World War II; a beach day on the Baltic; Old Town, Gdansk. Our visit to Gdansk corresponds with St. Dominic’s Fair, a wonderful old European Fair that is one of the biggest cultural open-air events in Europe.


Blogs on the 2013 program:      Blog1-Poland-2013




Blogs on the 2014 program:      Blog1-Poland-2014