Signature Seminar and Field Trips

Berliner Dom

European Identity Seminar

Please note: In spring 2021, the pre-semester Signature Seminar will be replaced by a variety of all school field trips throughout the semester. 

The Strasbourg program begins with a Signature Seminar for students in all programs (except Music Performance students, who will go on their own seminar later in the semester). This three-credit course serves as an introduction to some of the most pressing issues facing today’s Europe. You will get to see firsthand how history, geography and politics are woven together to create multi-layered European identities.

It introduces you to the forces that have led Europeans to define themselves in a number of ways such as French (or German, etc.), Alsatian (or Saxon, etc.), Catholic or Protestant or Jew, workers or capitalists. The multilayered nature of cultural and political identity in Europe is the key to understanding contemporary political and social action in the expanding “New Europe.”

The fall seminar, which begins in Berlin, takes the group to Wroclaw, Poland and Vienna, Austria. This region has a history of shifting borders and populations, which in turn has led to the formation of complex identities. Students will learn about the post-1989 transition from communism to capitalism, and the more recent accession of Eastern European states into the European Union.

The spring seminar begins in Paris and travels to Amsterdam; Bruges, Belgium; and Cologne, Germany. This seminar focuses on issues of multiculturalism and examines the way immigration is affecting the national identities of France, the Netherlands, and Germany.

All-School Field Trips

Additional trips are available to all students in the Syracuse Strasbourg program, and explore more of France and Germany during the semester.