European Union Studies

  • Building display showing people, flags from European countries

About This Program

Fall Quarter 2015

  • Application deadline: February 10
  • IPD study abroad fellowship application deadline: February 10
  • Tentative program dates: Saturday, August 29 (date of arrival in Paris) - Saturday, December 12 (date of departure from Paris)

Fall 2015: $21,783 or $22,783, depending upon accommodations selected

Total fees charged by Northwestern: $15,208 or $16,208, includes:

  • $10,558 tuition fee covers courses and excursions
  • Accommodations options:
    1. Homestay with daily breakfast and dinner: $5,500
    2. Homestay with daily breakfast only: $4,500
    3. St. John's University dormitory with weekday breakfasts: $5,500
  • $150 for HTH Worldwide Health Insurance
  • $0 Study Abroad Administrative Fee

Estimated additional costs: $5,575 or $6,575, includes:

  • $1,500 round trip airfare to Paris, France (students book their own airfare; rates vary)
  • $1,000-$2,000 for additional meals
  • $400 for books and supplies
  • $175 for visa fees
  • $2,500 for discretionary expenses, including local transportation, personal expenses, and incidentals

Students applying to this program are eligible for IPD Study Abroad Fellowships and may be eligible for external funding opportunities.

Students participating in this program are subject to the Withdrawal and Refund Policies for Northwestern-Sponsored Programs.


The European Union Studies program is designed to provide students with a solid understanding of the political background and current dynamics of the European Union. Courses familiarize students with the issues and conventions governing the European economy, the structure of the EU and mechanisms for negotiation, and the roles of and interaction between major EU institutions. Developed jointly by faculty from Northwestern and Sciences Po, this unique program comprises seminars, lectures, and excursions to EU sites of historical and political significance. Past trips have been organized to the European Commission and NATO headquarters in Brussels, the European Parliament in Strasbourg, and the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Students also take intensive French language classes and visit historical and cultural sites in Paris and elsewhere in France.

Host Institution

Established in 1872, Sciences Po is one of Europe’s most distinguished and well-known schools of public affairs. The majority of France’s political leaders are alumni, including former presidents Jacques Chirac and François Mitterrand. The Paris campus, located near the Seine and within walking distance of Notre Dame de Paris and the Louvre, is the most famous of the seven Sciences Po undergraduate campuses located all over France. While the University primarily conducts classes in French, the education has a strong international dimension, where students are expected to study at least two foreign languages in addition to French, and many courses are offered in English. Forty percent of Sciences Po’s student population is international, with 60 different nationalities represented.

Housing & Meals

Accommodations and a meal plan are provided as part of the program package.

Students will have two options:

  • Living with a French family in a homestay. Students select between a "half-board" meal plan option, with breakfast and dinner included daily, and a "bed & breakfast" option, with breakfast only provided daily.
  • Staying in the dormitory at St. John’s University's Paris Campus with breakfast provided daily.


This is a Northwestern program with a set curriculum, so students must enroll in the Northwestern courses listed below. All courses and grades appear on students' Northwestern transcript and are factored into their Northwestern GPA.

POLI SCI 363-SA: The Political Economy of the European Union

Students learn about the political production, structure, and regulation of economic activity in the EU. The course aims to familiarize students with the most important discussions and debates regarding the European economy, its attitude toward a globalized world, and economic governance.

POLI SCI 364-SA: France and the European Union

This course provides students with an introduction to French politics in the framework of European integration. It addresses France's participation in European integration, while also exploring French identity politics, state institutions, and the development of French social policy. This is a required course for all students participating in IPD programs in Paris.

POLI SCI 365-SA: Decision Making in the European Union

This course offers an analysis of the European Union’s complicated institutional structure for political decision-making. Through a combination of lectures, a simulation of a negotiation, and visits to the European Commission and European Parliament, students become familiar with and critically evaluate the EU decision-making process.

POLI SCI 366-SA: The Dynamics of Law Making in the European Union

Students examine the dynamics of law making in the EU and conflict or balance between domestic and regional law. The course covers the constitutional foundations of the EU and the laws of the European international market.

FRENCH 199-SA or 299-SA: French Language

  • Taught by French instructors at Sciences Po

While there is no language prerequisite to participate in this program, students are required to take intensive language training in French while in Paris. Three to four levels of language instruction are offered, depending on students' skill levels.


Northern France

On one of the first weekends of the program, students will travel to see the beaches of Normandy and the American and German cemeteries from World War II. The trip provides a great opportunity for students on the program to get an introduction to France and to each other.

Brussels, Belgium

Students will visit the European Commission in Brussels, where they will observe EU policy-making in action. Visits to the European Council and to NATO headquarters will also be scheduled if possible. 

Strasbourg or Luxembourg

Students will also visit either the European Parliament in Strasbourg or the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Students will learn about the structure and function of these important European institutions and speak with representatives about the role of the EU in international politics, economics, law, and human rights.