Great Cities: A Journey to Post-Communism

From Berlin to Prague, Budapest, & Sarajevo


This study abroad program will be led again by Dr. Yehuda Lukacs and will take students from Berlin to Prague, Budapest, and Sarajevo. Participants will have the opportunity to examine political, economic, social, and cultural developments in post-communist, East-Central Europe.

By visiting four countries - Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Bosnia and Herzegovina– students will be able to observe the tremendous transformation of East-Central Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. History in this region is not merely confined to dusty books in libraries; the burden of history seems to resonate in the lives of individuals and plays a key role in the formation of a collective identity within each society in the region. By walking the streets of these magnificent European cities, visiting relevant sites, and talking to locals, participating students should be able to develop an appreciation of what is meant by “the burden of history” in East-Central Europe.



Berlin: December 28-January 3

Berlin wall section

Potsdamer Platz, Berlin

The program begins in the German capital with visits to the Victory Column, Chancellery, Reichstag (Parliament), new Government Quarter, Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial, Unter den Linden (Opera House, Catholic Church, Protestant Cathedral), Island of Museums, Fernsehturm (TV Tower), St. Nikolai Church, Pergamon, Gendarmenmarkt, French Church, Checkpoint Charlie, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin Wall remains, Memorial Church (WWII-Memorial), Charlottenburg Palace, and Kurfürstendamm.

Prague: January 3-8

Next is Prague, where you will enjoy a city tour and lectures. Potential visits include Old Town, Prague Castle, Wenceslas Square, Charles Bridge, and many more!

Budapest: January 8-14

Budapest skyline

Baths in Budapest

Onward to Hungary where you will tour the Heroes Square, Matthias Cathedral, Fischerman’s Bastion, Citadel, House of Horror, Shoes at the Danube Prominade, and Dohany utca Synagogue. You'll enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city as well as a trip to the countryside, including the wine region. Some lectures will be given at the Elte University.

Sarajevo: January 14-17

Cityscape of Sarajevo

Winter in Sarajevo

There are lots of sights to see in Sarajevo. Program visits may include the war tunnel, the clock tower, and Markale city market. Discover the yellow and white bastions, experience guest lectures at the university and interact with local professionals.

January 18- Depart for the United States

Schedule is tentative. More details coming soon!

Academic Director

Dr. Yehuda Lukacs

Yehuda Lukacs is associate Provost for International Programs and Director of the Center for Global Education. Dr. Lukacs also teaches International Relations and History at George Mason University. He has taught at the School of International Service at American University and the University of Maryland at Baltimore County. In January 2002, Dr. Lukacs was a visiting professor of International Relations at University College Cork, Ireland. He has published several articles and books dealing with contemporary international relations and Arab-Israeli affairs.

Dates: December 28 - January 18, 2015*

You should plan to leave the United States at least one day prior to the program start date to arrive in Berlin for the first day of the program. You can schedule your return to the United States from Bosnia and Herzegovina for the last day of the program or choose to travel independently.

Do not purchase airfare until you are advised by your Program Officer.

Approximate Program Fee: $4,945

The Center for Global Education Program Fee includes:

  • Tuition

  • Double or triple occupancy rooms in hotels

  • Transportation

  • Speakers

  • Daily breakfast

  • Most entrance fees and tours

  • Pre-departure orientation

  • Emergency medical insurance, including medical evacuation and repatriation


Scholarships are available to George Mason students through the Center for Global Education as well as through outside resources.

CGE Scholarships

Open to George Mason University students who participate in CGE Winter Break and Summer Programs. CGE Scholarship amounts range from approximately $250 to $1,000 and are both merit- and need-based. Students who are awarded a Global Scholarship may volunteer to assist CGE in the promotion of study abroad upon their return.

CGE Scholarships Information Page

Financial Aid

Mason students may also use financial aid (external link to FAFSA Student Aid) to cover a program's cost. If you are not a George Mason university student check with your study abroad office or office of financial aid to learn more about how to cover the cost of your study abroad.

How to Apply

Consult the How to Apply section for detailed instructions.

  1. Start by completing the online application.

  2. Pay the $150 registration and processing fee ($200 for non-Mason).

Note that all supplemental documents are required by the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Contact the Program Officer for further application forms and instructions specific to your program.

*CGE reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, or any other unforeseen circumstances.