Academic Information

Exploring Central Europe Courses

All courses are subject to change and may not be available every semester.


Required Courses:

Negotiating Identities Across Europe’s Borders

GEO/HST/PSC/WRT 433/ANT 303/IRP 333/CRS 300.1 (3 credits; required)

Traveling through Europe, one is constantly confronted with memories of conflict and reconciliation in places that have experienced dramatic upheavals. The urban and rural spaces of Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary will give us unique insight into contemporary Europe.

Note for Syracuse University international relations students: This course is approved for the IR capstone, if you meet eligibility requirements .

Syllabus available upon request. Pass/Fail grading is not an option for this course.

East Central Europe in the 20th Century

PSC/HST 481 (3 credits; required)

It is impossible to understand contemporary Europe without analyzing the joint influence of Nazism and Stalinism on the continent. The two totalitarian systems left a particularly complicated and traumatic legacy in East Central Europe. The effects of totalitarianism in this area were mediated not only by the local political regimes, but also by the region’s socio-cultural makeup—its diverse populations, languages, cultures, ethnic tensions, and competing historical memories. Our studies here will focus on exemplary sites of shifting borders, ethnic cleansings, forced migrations and related traumas that marked the lives of populations in this part of the world. In the course, we will also explore the complex history of opposition movements in Central Europe after WWII.

Syllabus available upon request.


Optional Courses:

    • Exploring Culture and Society in Transition: Gender, Sexuality, Ethnicity, and Disability in Poland

    ANT/QSX/WGS 300.2 (3 credits; students must enroll in this course or PHI/PSC 300.3)

    This course will expose international students to contemporary Polish film, while allowing them to explore the issues of power, agency, and intersectionality in the lives of women, queer people, ethnic minorities, the poor, the elderly, and the disabled, both during the communist era and today.

    Syllabus available upon request.

    • Discord and Unity: Engaging the Contemporary World Through Ethics and Philosophy

    PHI/PSC 300.3 (3 credits; students must enroll in this course or ANT/QSX/WGS 300.2)

    The course discusses important moral, social, and political dilemmas of today including the condition and future of democracy, rising challenges of bioethics, problems of social justice, the changing position of the state and citizenship in the globalizing world, the role of language as a means to understanding social reality, or the challenges of multiculturalism to classical models of rationality, with the goal of helping students to productively discuss these dilemmas through the application of philosophical and ethical concepts.

    Syllabus available upon request.

    • Civil Society East and West

    PSC/SOC 380 (3 credits; optional)

    This course will present and discuss issues related to the notion of civil society in comparative perspective. The general theoretical framework of the course combines universal notions of human agency in bringing about social change with pluralist perspective on particular historical, cultural and political-ideological contexts.

    Syllabus available upon request.

    • Personality, Identity, and Self-Presentation – NOT OFFERED FALL 2020

    PSY 380 (3 credits; optional)

    This course introduces the eclectic view of variety personality theories, as well as related conceptions of the self, self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-presentation. Among the goals of the course, there is also the debate about the relation between these concepts and the term of identity. We also propose the discussion of identity among different generations and different values. Moreover, the course explores the issue to what degree the person is able to change all these mentioned psychological phenomena of her or his own. During this seminar we want to offer a debate between American, Polish and European Erasmus students. In our seminar we are going to use active methods such as: dialogue, psychodrama, writing scenarios, and interview. We propose reflection and active research.

    Syllabus available upon request. Matriculated Syracuse students may not earn credit for both this course and PSY 393.

    • Economic Development in Western and Eastern Transition Countries in Europe

    ECN 300.1 (3 credits; optional)

    The course will examine the late 20th and early 21st century economic processes in East-Central and Western Europe, focusing on international and domestic circumstances and consequences of the transition period (following the 1989 collapse of the Communist bloc and integration of the former state-socialist economies into the European Union). We will compare the developments in these two parts of Europe by examining the theoretical, political and practical aspects of socioeconomic development.

    Syllabus available upon request.


    Polish Language Instruction at the University of Lower Silesia

    Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in one of the following language courses:

    Polish 101

    POL 101 (4 credits; optional)

    This course is intended for students with no previous knowledge of Polish. By the end of this course, you will be introduced to enough grammar and vocabulary to carry on basic conversation in authentic situations and read/understand simple texts with the use of a dictionary. To master these language skills, the lessons will vary between those based on conversation and those based on the grammatical analysis of reading passages (and grammar explanations). Each unit will contain exercises reinforcing all four skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) and important vocabulary of past lessons.

    Syllabus available upon request.

    Survival Polish

    POL 180 (1 credit; optional)

    The purpose of this course is to help students to study and live in Poland by developing your use of the Polish language in everyday situations and to overcome the initial difficulties in communicating. During the course, you will have the opportunity to learn and practice basics of grammar, spelling, and pronunciation, to learn a set of basic vocabulary and expressions used in everyday life, as well as to get a sense of cultural specificity of the Polish culture and language.

    Syllabus available upon request.


    Other Courses:

    If you need to fulfill a degree requirement that cannot be met by the courses above, courses in the following disciplines may be available at three local universities by special request:

    Courses in chemistry, biology and other STEM disciplines may be available at the University of Natural Sciences in Wroclaw.

    Courses in economics, finance, business, and other social science disciplines may be available at the University of Economics and the University of Wroclaw.

    Any special course request must be made by the deadline published in the Academic Packet. Please note that enrollment in classes outside of Syracuse Abroad Exploring Central Europe program offerings is not guaranteed.