European Summer Institute (ESI)

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*Please note: All interested students should apply on the Rutgers Global - Study Abroad website HERE or directly from ESI page HERE.  

 Due to Covid 19 Pandemic, the 2020 ESI program was cancelled.  Our hope is to continue our relationship with the University of Kassel for 2021, when both our countries feel it is safe to do so.  Please be sure to check back on the Rutgers Global Study Abroad website for 2021 ESI details.

The European Summer Institute (ESI) is a joint educational venture between the MA Program in Political Science - United Nations and Global Policy Studies, Rutgers University, and the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) at the University of Kassel, Germany.  The ESI collaborates with Rutgers Department of Women's and Gender Studies, Center for European Studies and Political Science Department of the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers Newark

Host City:  Kassel, Germany

Kassel is a lively city of about 200,000 inhabitants in the State of Hessen in central Germany.  It is a city which constantly shapes urban culture and art, and owes much of its fame to the legacy of the Brothers Grimm.  Kassel has one of Europe's most palatial patio nurseries, the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is easily accessible from all major cities of Germany.

Program dates:   May 19, 2020- July 1, 2020


Rutgers students will have an opportunity to take two courses (6 credits) at the ICDD, taught by professors from the University of Kassel and Rutgers University:

  • Frauke Banse: Policy Making in the European Union (incl. study tour to Brussels)
  • David O’Connell: United Nations and International Migration (incl. study tour to Geneva)
  • Praveen Jha: Global Exploitation Chains: Restructuring of the Global Division of Labor
  • Pamela Ngwenya: Feminist Political Ecology
  • Christoph Scherrer: Political Economy of Germany in Europe and the World
  • Roland Rich: Democracy, Development and Human Rights

Syllabi for each course will be made available to students during the spring 2020 semester.

For information about Study Abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts, please visit the Academics section of the Center for Global Education website.

Excursions and Study Tours:  

Students will have an opportunity to participate in study trips and excursions:

  • Brussels, Belgium (5 days) where they will study at the offices of the European Commission, European Parliament, European Trade Union Confederation and others;
  • Geneva, Switzerland (5 days) where they will study at the UN Office of the Higher Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Office of the Higher Commissioner for Refugees and other agencies;
  • Berlin, Germany (3 days) with study at the Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation and visits to the Holocaust Museum and Museum Island;
  • Other sightseeing visits

Accommodations and Meal: 

Students will be housed with German homestay families in the neighborhoods adjacent to the University of Kassel's campus.  Breakfast and dinner will be provided as part of the homestay.

Financial Information: 

Program costs for 2020 will be updated by the end of the fall semester.

For more information about the Program Cost and additional Non-Billable Expenses for this program from 2019, please view the program budget sheet.

For more information about finances, including information about financial aid and tuition remission, please visit the Finances section of our website. 

As part of your preparation to apply for this study abroad program, please familiarize yourself with the Center for Global Education withdrawal policy.


Students are encouraged to start researching scholarship opportunities as early as possible.  There are many kinds of scholarships available, with different eligibility requirements and application criteria.  To get a sense of what scholarships are available for your program, please download the Scholarships At-A-Glance worksheet, and visit our Scholarship Directory for a comprehensive list of study abroad scholarships.

For Study Abroad opportunities - please reach out to Rutgers Global for their scholarships.  Be sure to check out the USA State Department Study Abroad Program for other scholarship opportunities that may be suitable for your studies.  


Yasin Bennane - Summer 2019

"Studying abroad in Germany and Switzerland with the ESI program has equipped me with a stronger understanding of how global politics operates in different contexts. Visiting the historical sites in Kassel and Berlin and UN Headquarters and International Committee of the Red Cross office in Geneva has tremendously complemented my academic studies through being able to witness the dynamic relationship between political theory and the practice of global affairs".

Briana Peters  - Summer 2019

"I’ve done previous Rutgers summer study abroad programs in Japan and France, but I was unsure about staying in Germany for 6 weeks with a host family. However, I quickly became part of the family, got closer to my peers, and even made other international friends thanks to my “host sister” – an international student from China my family was also hosting at the time. After touring a few fantasy-like castles, feeding a swan chips in Geneva, learning about the UN by actually visiting headquarters, and eating some bratwursts along the way, I embraced the ESI experience". 

Hamza Karoumia - Summer 2019  

"ESI was a phenomenal opportunity for me. I was exposed to new ways of academic thought and perspectives. I met fascinating students from all walks of life, and established connections that will last a lifetime. The excursions were wonderful because we got to interact and question some pivotal world leaders on certain economic policies. Some of the leaders we had the privilege of meeting represented the European Commission, ACP, and other state officials. There was also plenty of time to explore Germany and Europe as a whole. I thoroughly enjoyed the ESI".

Video of Summer 2019:  Watch HERE