Office of International Programs

Travel European Union

Research in The European Union
With Study in Brussels and The Hague

May 18-June 2, 2013

POS 406: 3 credits (or 6 credits with instructor's permission)

The course is a great opportunity for USM students and for the general public to get direct access to the European Union institutions in Brussels and other international bodies in The Hague, such as the International Court of Justice for instance, as the best way to understand the complexity of international organizations. Participants will also be able to visit the main NATO headquarters in Brussels and attend presentations by NATO officials on current topics in the news with regards to foreign and military policy. Students will acquire a detailed knowledge of how the many bodies of the EU work together and how the EU itself has developed over time.

Using the assigned readings from the textbooks, the group will connect the information obtained from the materials to the specific institution they will visit. This is a rare opportunity to ask direct questions about how certain EU policies have developed and to understand why some decisions are made by some bodies in disagreement with other policy makers in the EU political game. Presentations by officials working for international bodies and visits to the institutions in Brussels and The Hague will take up most of the time during the week, but participants will be able to take weekend trips to Paris and/or Amsterdam on their own.

There is no pre-requisite to enroll in the class, although students are strongly encouraged to have taken any of the following classes to better prepare themselves to deal with materials on political institutions and governments: POS 205, POS405, POS 102J or also POS335.


Francesca Vassallo, Associate Professor of Political Science (Ph.D. in Government, Georgetown University, 2002), has joined the University of Southern Maine in 2002. She has researched and published on European politics, with a particular emphasis on France.


We are still accepting applications for this program even though the initial application deadline has passed. Please note that we cannot guarantee the same airfare cost and the program fee may be slightly higher due to current plane ticket costs. Contact the Office of International Programs for more details (207-780-4959).

A complete application includes all of the following items:

* Signed, completed application form*
* $500 non-refundable deposit (applied to the program cost)
* Typed 200-word essay
* A letter of recommendation from a faculty member or academic advisor
* Official copies of all academic transcripts

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. You will be notified by e-mail of your application status. If your application is not accepted, the nonrefundable deposit will be returned. If the program is canceled for any reason by the USM, all deposits will be returned.

*If you are having trouble downloading the application, please contact us at (207) 780-4959 or and we will send you one. You may also want to try upgrading to the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.


The program fee for the European Union program is $2250 for all participants who apply by January 15th. The cost of tuition and fees at the in-state rate are in addition to the program fee. The program fee includes accommodation, roundtrip airfare, ground transportation, site visits, field trips, breakfast each day, and comprehensive medical insurance through iNext. The program fee may be higher for participants who apply after January 15th because we cannot guarantee that the airlines will extend the same price on airfare.

Not included in the program fee is the cost of tuition, fees, books, academic supplies, lunches and dinners, or other personal expenses. Three credits of tuition is $759 plus $119 in regular university fees. If you choose to take six credits, tuition is $1518 plus $203 in regular university fees. All participants on USM travel courses receive the in-state tuition rate regardless of residency.

All participants will be automatically registered for a payment plan. The $500 deposit will go towards the cost of the program and the remaining balance will be due as follows:

50% of the balance due March 22, 2013

Remaining balance due April 26, 2013

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Federal financial aid and loans are available to matriculated students who participate in travel courses. In order to receive the benefit of financial aid, students must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits during the summer for a summer travel course. If financial aid does not cover the full cost of the program, students are responsible for paying the remaining balance according to the payment plan schedule.

Include the costs of this course in your FAFSA application. If you have questions about financial aid or completing your FAFSA, please contact the financial aid office at (207) 780-4166. If you are not a matriculated student at USM, please check with the financial aid office at your institution.

USM's Office of International Programs offers small scholarships for students enrolled in summer travel courses. Scholarships are competitive and awards are up to $500. The application deadline is February 8, 2013. Students applying for the International Summer Scholarship must apply to a travel course before or at the same time as submitting a scholarship application.