European Studies - Track

This special track offers you the opportunity to explore the history and culture of Europe.



Course Level
ECTS credits
Course location(s)
Utrecht, The Netherlands


Studying in the beautiful medieval city of Utrecht, you will not only look into the various European cultures and identities, but also study the key issues related to ‘the rise of modern Europe’ from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century. You will examine the three major wars that shaped the 20th century in Europe: WW I and II, and the Cold War.

The topics we will study during your first two weeks in Utrecht will help you to understand the complicated structure of Europe and will shed light on the motives for integration as well as the obstacles on the way to European unity. Lectures will focus on the history, social and economic structures, culture, and current political and social debates within the wider European community. 

The next two weeks are more of an ‘experience’. This historical journey, which illuminates Europe from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century from the perspective of the city of Utrecht, will help you understand the many social, historical, religious and cultural factors that came to shape modern Europe. The many museums, cathedrals and canals of Utrecht and visits to, for example, Amsterdam, are included in the programme and will offer you some of the most breathtaking highlights of Dutch history and culture. Topics include for example the Dutch Golden Age, the era spanning roughly the 17th century in which the Dutch became one of the world’s greatest maritime, economic and artistic world powers.

Excursions will lead you through Utrecht and Amsterdam, visiting several historical museums in Utrecht and Amsterdam. In the last two weeks, the focus shifts to the 20th century. During this century, Europe did not just experience one, but three horrific wars: the First and Second World War and the Cold War that followed in their wake. However, this century can also be regarded as an age of rebuilding, transatlantic collaboration, and global connections, thus making the 20th century much more diverse. You will receive lectures on a variety of historic topics; spanning not only the histories of the three wars, but also topics such as international cooperation and multilateralism, which resulted in international organizations such as the United Nations, the relation of the United States to Europe, the fall of communism and decolonisation. Throughout this track, you will be taken on a number of excursions, which will be listed in the day-to-day programme (expected in February 2024). 

C09 Syllabus_The Twentieth Century - Europe in Three Wars_2024-compressed_0.pdf

C55 Syllabus_Making of Europe_2024-compressed_0.pdf

C01 Syllabus European Cultures and Identities 2024 DRAFT_0.pdf

Target audience

The course is open to all students from different fields of study with an interest in culture, society, European studies and politics.

Aim of the course

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the social and cultural aspects of the nations within the European community. At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Describe and evaluate different theories and conceptualisations of the historic development of Europe, with specific attention for The Netherlands and the wars during the 20th century;
  • Show an understanding of various historic monuments and their relation to historic developments;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of political, socio-economic and cultural aspects of the European developments;
  • Discern and analyse key factors of the various wars, expanding international relations and other related phenomena;
  • Demonstrate this critical knowledge and understanding in written and verbal form.


  • Price €2250.00
  • Fee covers Course + course materials
  • Housing fee: €1200
  • Housing provider: Utrecht Summer School

Additional information

The housing costs do not include a Utrecht Summer School sleeping bag. This is a separate product on the invoice. If you wish to bring your own bedding, please deselect or remove the sleeping bag from your order.