European Encounters: Diversity and Integration from West to East - Track

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level
This course is closed and you can't apply anymore. Please check our other courses.

This track is a joint programme on European integration by the Summer School of Utrecht University and the University of Latvia. The aim of the course is to introduce the diversity and unity of European identities, the European Union, (shared) foreign policy, security dilemmas and new challenges. The course delves into the different and diverse political and economic perspectives that can be found in Europe, and provides an insight into the Baltic States, going from the past to the future.

The first two weeks will be offered by Utrecht University in the Netherlands, where you will take a deep dive into European Politics and Economy. The European Union (EU) is a political partnership of 27 democratic European countries. With almost 500 million citizens, it has become a major player in global politics. In this course, the European Union is the main object of study. You will be introduced to the Union's history, institutional structures, current aims and future challenges. Lectures will explain the historical background and the various stages of integration.

The second two weeks will be delivered in Riga, Latvia. students will be provided with an overview of one of the key trends in soft and hard security dilemmas and opportunities of the Baltics states. Included are: countering disinformation, critical thinking, media literacy, propaganda and emotions and their impacts on large scale groups. 

There will be two parts: 

  1. Coverage of the historical background of the Baltics and experience of systematic Russian gaslighting designed to make people doubt their national history, culture and economic development;
  2. Hard and Soft Security Dilemmas with practical examples, including Russia relations and how to deter Russia in the Baltic region from a EU perspective. Also, this part will cover the Baltics experience in countering with disinformation, propaganda, fake news and media literacy. There will be practical fieldtrips to the Latvian Institute, LATO (Latvian Transatlantic Organization), STRATCOM (NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence) and the parliament (Saeima) of Republic of Latvia

Please note: This track is a joint programme on European integration offered by Utrecht University and the University of Latvia. Students will receive two transcripts of records, one issued by Utrecht University and one issued by the University of Latvia.

C18 Standing for the West on its Borderlands 2023_0.pdf
Syllabus Course Latvia_0.pdf
C15 European_Politics_Economy_2023 Programme updated version_0.pdf
Utrecht Summer School Welcome Day 2023_36.pdf
Course director
Carolien Boender, Dr. Dr. Kristian Mennen & S. Struberga

Target audience

This programme is especially designed for students coming from countries outside Europe (but it is open to all students). The course has a focus on political and economic sciences, with an emphasis on European institutions and integration.

Aim of the course

The aim of this track is to introduce non-European students to the continent of Europe, through exploration of multiple topics such as culture, information security, economics and politics. More insight will be given on hard and soft security dilemmas of small countries with big neighbours.

Study load

Full time course, lectures, seminars, field trips and self study.


Course fee:
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School

Additional information

If you would like to make use of the Utrecht Summer School student accommodation, please make sure to check this page. You can check in on or after Sunday 2 July 2023, after 12.00 (noon) in Utrecht. More information regarding the check-in will be shared with you in the pre-departure document. This document will be available to all fully registered students, as of March 2023.

In Latvia, housing will not be arranged for you. Students have to look for their own accommodation. If you are interested, please contact the University of Latvia, and they will provide you with a list of several options. The housing costs are expected to be about € 300 (the approximate price for fourteen days in the city of Riga).

Transfer: The course fee includes travel between Schiphol Airport (near Amsterdam) to Riga. Transport from Utrecht to the airport and from the airport in Riga to the accommodation is at your own expenses. Four weeks prior to the start of the course, you will receive additional information and your e-ticket. If you wish to arrange your travel from Utrecht to Riga yourself, you are more than welcome to do so. Please do mention this in your motivation once you apply for the course. If you are accepted, we will give you a 200 EUR travel discount on the course. The transfer from Amsterdam to Riga will take place on Friday July 14.

The transfer from Utrecht to Riga is included in the course fee based on current prices (November 2022). In case transfer prices increase drastically, with 10% or more, you will receive an additional invoice. By applying to this track via our website, you agree to the above terms.

Contact details

Utrecht Summer School | E:

University of Latvia | Marta Vilkausa | E:


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline