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  • Locations: Kraków, Poland; Lublin, Poland; Warsaw, Poland; Zamosc, Poland
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Host Program Website: Click to visit
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications
Fact Sheet:
Study Abroad Advisor: Meredith Bryson Minimum GPA: 3.0
Class eligibility: Junior, Senior, Sophomore Open to Non-UNC students: No
Housing options: Guest House, Hostel Program type: Faculty-Led
Language prerequisite: No Language of instruction: English
Program Description:
Location| Courses & Credits| Housing| Program Costs| Application Process | More Information|

UNC Burch Jewish Life in Poland

This program will not run Summer 2019. Check back for updates for Summer 2020! 
Poland was one of the heartlands of Jewish civilization from pre-modern times to the Second World War, giving rise to many of the most important religious, cultural and political developments in Jewish history and in the contemporary Jewish world. In this 5-week, 6-credit seminar through Poland, we will visit the neighborhoods where Jews lived before the genocide of approximately 6 million European Jews; the synagogues where they prayed and the cemeteries where they were buried; mass graves in forests; and the ordinary places where the crematoria of the Nazi camps were located. Through these physical reminders of the murdered Jewish populations and other victim groups, we will examine competing narratives of memorials and museums built in different postwar periods and by different groups as well as the country’s grappling with this history’s significance for contemporary politics and national identities.

Our visits will connect memory of the Holocaust with the cities, towns, and Nazi camps where the events took place, helping us to understand a central problem in studying this history: how to approach a past that is both part of the mundane world and therefore explicable, but also, according to those who experienced it, a world seemingly impenetrable to those who did not.

Studying the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, particularly during visits to sites of genocide, can be an intensive experience. Students should take this into account before deciding to undertake this study-abroad trip. All students will meet individually with the faculty director before the trip and in regular small-group discussions during the trip during which they will have an opportunity to reflect on the often emotionally charged content of Holocaust sites.


Students on the program will spend five weeks traveling across Poland, based in Kraków and Warsaw.

Courses & Credits

Students participating in the program will be enrolled in two interrelated courses taught by Professor Karen Auerbach (Department of History): 

HNRS 353.001S: “The Texture of Memory,” Part I: Jewish Life in Eastern Europe before the Second World War (HS, History elective credit)
HNRS 353.002S: “The Texture of Memory,” Part II: The Holocaust in Eastern Europe (HS, History elective credit)

These courses will be taught through a combination of lectures, site visits, and discussions, including recitation-like discussions of readings. On some days, lectures and discussions will take place as we visit sites related to the history we will be discussing. On other days, lectures will take place during classroom sessions. Lectures will be given by the instructor as well as by guest lecturers, drawing on the expertise of local scholars. Talks will also occasionally be given by Holocaust survivors and other Jews who live in the cities we will visit.

The students will develop together a web site for the course that includes a shared blog about their encounters; and materials from their course presentation about an individual whose life relates to one of the locations we will be visiting, using testimonies, memoirs, diaries, and other written or recorded primary sources.

Courses in this program are UNC Graded Credit.
UNC Graded Credit Programs (often taught by UNC Faculty): No action required
  • These courses automatically show up on your Tar Heel Tracker and UNC Transcript.
  • You will receive a letter grade for those courses, and this does affect your GPA.
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Housing for the program will be in youth hostels and guest houses in Krakow and Warsaw. Students will share accommodation with their peers on the program.
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Program Costs

Review the Budget Sheet posted above for detailed information on costs and fees. Costs vary per term and are subject to change.

Tuition and fees for the program are based on the cost of operating the program abroad and are subject to change due to exchange rate fluctuation. Tuition and fees will be charged to the participant’s UNC student account. Review the Budget Sheet for additional Cashier Billed Expenses and Out-of-Pocket Costs. The Study Abroad Office strongly encourages students to budget carefully for their time abroad. 

Getting Started: Funding Study Abroad
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Application Process

Complete the required UNC application by clicking “Apply Now” at the top of the page. If you have not done so already, create a profile to start your application. Selected applicants may be required to interview with program faculty and staff. 

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More Information

For information on requesting ARS accommodations (academic, health, and mobility concerns) for a study abroad program, contact the Advisor for Access.
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Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications