Nobel laureate and Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz once said that he had “the privilege of coming from strange lands where it is difficult to escape history.” This Summer II Dialogue course is an experiment in "living history," experiencing and exploring that tumultuous past first hand. We invite students to explore 20th-century history through the East European lens. We will explore four cities: Prague, Krakow, Warsaw and Gdansk, examining the East European experience from World War II, through the communist era, and the post-communist transition.

This Summer II Dialogue will examine the history of the Second World War in Eastern Europe, with a focus on the Czech Republic and Poland. We will cover materials from the German invasion in September 1939, the Polish and Czech national resistance, the Holocaust, the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich and its aftermath, the Warsaw Uprising, the Soviet occupation of Poland and Czechoslovakia 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 and the Czech Republic. Excursions are planned in and around Prague, including Old Town and Lidice; Krakow, and the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau; Warsaw; 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 the Chopin Museum. More than any other, Chopin is the Polish composer who created the soundtrack of the Polish national resistance struggle.

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: October 20, 2017
  • * Priority Deadline: December 3, 2017
  • Application Deadline: February 1, 2018
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • $500 non-refundable deposit: Deposits must be paid through NUPay. Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.
  • Photocopy of Passport: This is to be given to your faculty leader after acceptance.
  • Faculty Interview: Faculty will schedule interviews with applicants of interest to determine acceptance. The interviews can occur anytime between the priority and final deadline.
  • Essay Questions: Answer each question in 2-3 paragraphs (completed online via GEO application).
    • What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    • How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    • What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    • What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?
    • Please summarize the reasons for your particular interest in taking part in this program. Please be sure to include any specific family, educational, work, travel or other experiences you consider to be relevant. Any related courses?

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

* Priority Deadline: All students that apply by the priority deadline will be considered for admission, as all dialogues remain open until the priority deadline. After the priority deadline, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the program fills. Programs are subject to close anytime between the priority deadline and the application deadline when a program receives the maximum number of students.

Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into the program and your the flight and accommodation details have been shared with you, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.00
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply during their first semester on the Boston campus. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.


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. The in-country program leader is a member of the cultural section in the U.S. embassy in Warsaw, Ms. Paulina Sieradzan.

  • HIST 4946 - Borderlands: World War II in Eastern Europe : Devoted to the study of Russia’s western borderlands before, during, and immediately following the Second World War, 1939-1948. Drawing from a variety of original documents, films, and recent scholarly studies, evaluates the impact of World War II on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Examines the basic history of World War II in the East, followed by several weeks of readings on special themes: Soviet occupation policy (1939-1941); Ostpolitik; German occupation policy in Soviet territory, 1941-1945; genocide and the Holocaust; partisans and collaborators; nationalism; ethnic reprisals after the Soviet liberation of occupied zones; and the origins of the Cold War.
  • INTL 4944 - Dialogues of Civilization/Regional : Each student will prepare an independent research project , connecting the classroom study and readings with visited sites and contacts. Each student will become a mini-expert on some aspect of the travel program. The faculty member will oversee all independent research projects, and assist students by early May with project selection, readings, contacts. This course counts as NU Core arts level 1.


Northeastern Tuition: $12,140
Dialogue of Civilizations Fee: $3,500
  • Northeastern Tuition and DOC Fee Includes: 8 Northeastern credits, international roundtrip airfare from Boston, accommodations for program duration, international security and emergency support, and program related expenses (local transportation, field trips, excursions and group meals)

Additional Estimated Expenses: $1,062
  • Students should anticipate spending the following out of pocket expenses during the program:  $207 on meals and $855 on incidentals.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Dialogue of Civilizations programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!


Additional Resources


Excursions are planned in and around Prague, then to Arado, an underground facility near Wroclaw, Poland, where the Nazis developed the V-1 and V-2 rockets as well as the jet engine (This is part of Hitler’s underground city—Project Riese (Project Giant)—the same location of the recently discovered Gold Train); the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Theresienstadt; Krakow (the site of the main school for training Nazi collaborationist police and prison guards); Warsaw; 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.


  • Hotel: This 4-star hotel is located in the center of historic Prague, a mere 3-minute walk from the subway. Spacious, luxurious rooms include wifi and a large free breakfast buffet with “wicked good” coffee.
  • Hotel: This 5-star hotel is located in the center of historic Wroclaw (Polish), or Breslau (German), just a few minutes’ walk from historic Old Market Square. Spacious, luxurious rooms include wifi and a “Super” free breakfast buffet.
  • Hotel: This 5-star hotel is located in the center of historic Krakow, a cultural center of Europe that survived World War II largely intact. The hotel is located at the edge of Krakow’s wonderful Market Square, and a short walk to Kazimierz (the historic centuries-old Jewish center). Spacious, luxurious rooms include wifi and a superb free breakfast buffet.

Host University or Organization

Our host and partner is the Institute of History at the University of Warsaw. The picturesque campus is located in central Warsaw, near Old Town.

Faculty Advisor