Study program

The International Summer University Frankfurt offers courses on current financial and political topics. The program is unique in that it takes place at two different universities in Frankfurt - at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Courses are taught by professors from Frankfurt UAS or the Goethe University.

Classes are taught in a block style and meet daily in the morning and afternoons. Each module consists of 60 contact hours and is worth 6 ECTS points.

Students also participate in German language courses. Courses are available in four different language levels. Each course consists of 40 contact hours and is worth 3 ECTS points.

Students can earn a total of 9 ECTS points upon successful completion of the ISU Frankfurt program.

European Banking

  • Introductory Course: Intercultural Communication

This course features an overview of intercultural studies and the necessity of intercultural competencies for resolving conflicts in business and politics. The following topics will be discussed: types of cultures (national, local, professional, etc.), the pervasiveness and persistence of culture, the important role of values and attitudes, and the process of acculturation. Furthermore, the Hofstede Model, as well as verbal and non-verbal communication will be discussed in detail. Culture shock and cross cultural adjustment will be addressed, as well as cultural profiling, including profiling one’s own cultural styles and competence. Case studies and critical incidents dealing with conflicts in intercultural work situations will be presented.

  • Unit 1: Banking in Europe

The course provides students with an overview about the German and European banking sector, the corresponding institutional design, and provides a good understanding of different business models of banks. This course covers the following topics: brief introduction to banking, the German banking system, European banking systems, bank business models, trends, and current issues in banking.

  • Unit 2: Central Banking in the Eurozone

This course gives a non-technical overview of the main concepts of monetary theory, the monetary system in the Euro area, and the current challenges for central banks and governments to handle the so-called Euro crisis. Students will learn the economic concepts necessary to form their own opinion about the pending (sovereign) debt crisis and be able to argue, using the acquired scientific apparatus, on a theoretical basis in one direction or the other. 

  • Unit 3: Risk Management in Banks

Risk management is a core competency of banks. This course deals with the ways in which risks are quantified and managed by banks. Among the topics covered are the major risks and the common techniques currently employed by banks to manage those risks today. Throughout the course, some aspects of financial regulations and lessons from the credit crisis which started in 2007 are also discussed.

Download the Course Outline for European Banking for more detailed information.

(pdf,  0,46 MB)

European Studies

  • Introductory Course: Intercultural Communication

This course features an overview of intercultural studies and the necessity of intercultural competencies for resolving conflicts in business and politics. The following topics will be discussed: types of cultures (national, local, professional, etc.), the pervasiveness and persistence of culture, the important role of values and attitudes, and the process of acculturation. Furthermore, the Hofstede Model, as well as verbal and non-verbal communication will be discussed in detail. Culture shock and cross cultural adjustment will be addressed, as well as cultural profiling, including profiling one’s own cultural styles and competence. Case studies and critical incidents dealing with conflicts in intercultural work situations will be presented.

  • Unit 1: History of European Integration

The aim of this course is to describe and analyze, both empirically and in theory, the process of the European integration. Different stages of the European integration following WW2, the institutions, and functioning process of the European Union are discussed, as well as the different approaches of governmentalism and federalism in the European integrations history. Students will understand how the European Union is designed and how it works as a result of these two theoretical approaches towards European integration. These historic circumstances, different approaches towards integration, and different national cultures are important to be recognized to be able to analyze the situation of the Union today.

  • Unit 2: Integration through Law in the European Union

This course gives an overview of the European institutional framework and gives an introduction to the most important EU-Institutions. It describes the legal structure of the European Union and the law-making instruments employed by its institutions.  The second part of the course deals with some specialties of the European Company Law and European and national economic regulation issues such as employee participation or cross border movement of companies.

  • Unit 3: European Economic and Social Policy

The course focusses on the economic structure of the Union and the interaction between national and European approaches in economic and social policy, as these approaches do have complementary and conflicting effects at the same time. The course gives an overview on the existing national and European approaches in economic policy and social security systems and tries to answer the question of what a common economic and social policy in Europe might look like in the future.

Download the Course Outline for European Studies for more detailed information.

(pdf,  0,38 MB)

International Business

As companies around the world become increasingly connected, the importance of international business is greater than ever. In this module, special attention will be paid to the implementation and maintenance of sustainable business practices across international boundaries, including building socially, economically, and environmentally effective organizations in a culturally diverse world. The module will focus on selected aspects of international business in Germany and the European Union. Students will have the opportunity to compare such business practices with those from their home countries.

A more detailed module outline, including unit descriptions, will be available soon!

German Language Courses

Students will be placed into one of the following courses:

  • German Beginner 1

This course is for students without any prior German language knowledge. Students will learn some basic structures and vocabulary in order to communicate during their stay in Frankfurt. Additionally, pronunciation training and information about everyday life, culture, and history are always a part of the language training. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Level: A1

  • German Beginner 2

This course is for students with minimal German language knowledge. In this course students will learn to understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance. Pronunciation training and information about everyday life, culture, and history are always a part of the language training. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Level: A2

  • German Intermediate

This course is for students who have an intermediate knowledge of the German language. Students will be able to produce simply connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest, as well as describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions. Additionally, students will be able to give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Level: B1-B2

  • German Advanced-Business

This course covers aspects of the German economy. Students will take a look into the history and current developments of well-known German companies. Students will combine facts about German companies, interesting information about Germany as a country, and learn expressions to describe business matters in German. The class also incorporates German grammar exercises. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Level: B2-C1

Download the German Language Course Outline for more detailed information.

Credits and Assessment

The academic modules are made up of three units which take place over three of the four weeks during the program. During the first week of the program, all students take Intercultural Communication as an introductory course. Each academic module has 60 contact hours and is worth 6 ECTS point. The German language classes are made up of 40 contact hours and are worth 3 ECTS points. In total, successful completion of the ISU Frankfurt is worth 9 ECTS points. Please see the ISU Frankfurt Schedule for more information.

Learning will be assessed at the end of each unit. Assessment could be in the form of a written exam, group presentation, or case study, etc. Please refer to the respective Module Outline for more information on how learning will be assessed for each individual unit, or ask your lecturer for more details. Learning in the German language courses will also be assessed.

Grading will be determined by the lecturer for each unit. Some lecturers choose to award grades based on a mixture of class participation and assessment results. Please check the Module Outline or contact your lecturer for more information.

All participants will be issued a Certificate of Participation and a Transcript of Records during the closing ceremony at the end of the ISU Frankfurt. Your Transcript of Records will show two grades: one grade for the academic module you participated in (this grade is the average of all grades you earned in the module) and one grade for your German language class, as well as the ECTS points awarded. The Transcript of Records is signed and stamped by both Frankfurt UAS and the Goethe University. This document can be given to your home university for recognition of credits.


Alumni Testimonials

George Zacharias
EDHEC Business School
ISU Frankfurt 2018

"The ISU Frankfurt 2018 was an incredible experience. During my 1 month stay, I learnt many valuable things concerning the German & European Banking. The professors were really kind and they taught us about different concepts. However, ISU Frankfurt 2018 was not only about studying. Visiting the ECB, the Deutsche Bundesbank, the trip to Strasbourg and the everyday activities organised by the wonderful team are some of the events I will not forget. Frankfurt is a vivid and wonderful city and I am happy that I spent my summer there with many students from all over the world. I would definitely do it again."

Kendal Senko
University of Saskatchewan
ISU Frankfurt 2018

"My time attending ISU Frankfurt summer program was truly invaluable. I loved how well structured the program was and it helped me to experience so much of Germany in 4 short weeks. Looking back on this trip, I will always remember and cherish how close I became with each of the students in the program. It is because of the people, that I can come back home saying I did not only experience German culture, but also Asian, Italian, French, Spanish, and so many others. I will always be thankful for this opportunity pushing me out of my comfort zone and helping me to gain such diverse world knowledge."

Bruna Pereira dos Santos
Faculdades de Campinas
ISU Frankfurt 2018

"My summer at ISU Frankfurt in 2018 was a unique experience. The program was really well structured and the team gave us a lot of support during our stay. We were able to experience not only debates and studies on the topics we have chosen, but also we had a great experience with the extra activities and trips. Besides that, we had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world with different cultures, which made each day more special. As I always say: 'you always come back different from a trip' and I have no doubt how grateful I am to this summer."

Sydney Lewis
University of Wisconsin Parkside
ISU Frankfurt 2018

"My summer in Frankfurt was an amazing experience that I will always hold dear to my heart. It being my first time out of the country was extremely nerve-racking, but the ISU team made sure I felt safe, comfortable, and were there to answer all my questions. I enjoyed wandering around Frankfurt trying traditional German foods, shopping, and exploring the beautiful city. The ISU trip was also fun because we got to go on excursions to other cities like Berlin, Marburg, and Strasbourg. Since returning home I feel as though the ISU program has helped increase my cultural awareness, given me insight on European Banking and German culture, and has left me with memories to last a lifetime."

Arrow Fang
Saint Mary's University
ISU Frankfurt 2018

"There were literally students from all over the world without any dominating culture at ISU. Different ideas were sparking out of our young, passionate souls. That’s the time that I realized that spirits and values speak so much louder than languages and cultures. And that was the first time I’ve ever experienced the true sense of harmony brought by diversity. I highly recommend doing this exchange program, there will be so many new things to discover, about the world, and about ourselves." 

Ivan Brtan
University of Zagreb
ISU Frankfurt 2018

"Such a great experience ISU Frankfurt was. Studying while traveling is a great thing to do. Every day I learned many new things about Finance and how German and EU Banking System works. Living and breathing every day with people from around the world was remarkable. Everyday I could experience another culture as I live in everyday German culture as well. We visited a lot of different cities and buildings which are important for Germany. Let's not forget beautiful Frankfurt. With a fascinating skyline, great Universities and fast-moving life I can totally imagine myself living, working or studying there again!"

Isabelle Cuperus
University of Western Australia
ISU Frankfurt 2018

"Taking part in ISU Frankfurt was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made – it allowed me to experience Germany in a unique way that has shaped my appreciation for the world around me. The course catered to many different skill levels and interests and so there was something on offer for everyone, and our time spent in the classroom was complemented perfectly by the numerous tours and excursions we took part in throughout the program. I never thought that travelling to Germany would allow me to experience so many different cultures from all around the world, but I feel so fortunate that I was able to do so, while also making lifelong friends and amazing memories."

Yuna Lee
Konkuk University
South Korea
ISU Frankfurt 2018

"It is actually hard to get gathering people from all over the world but I am really surprised that we were all together there. I literally had no idea that I was going to have an amazing experience by participating ISU Frankfurt 2018. The course I took was European Studies and it was excellent. Sharing the cultures made me to have better, wide sight. Learning German was attracting to me a lot. I could still remember that the students had a lot of fun during the German class. Also, this program took us to go to Marburg, Berlin, Strasbourg and many places like European Parliament and German Central Bank. We are living in the same world and there are many things to learn through ISU Frankfurt program. I am really thankful to have this opportunity and If I can take part in this ISU Frankfurt program again, I really want to go for it AGAIN."

Erick Chamorro Alfaro
ESAN University
ISU Frankfurt 2018

"The program was an incredibly rewarding experience. What I liked more in Frankfurt was the efficiency of the public transportation. This program has given me the skills to interact with people from different cultures, to understand how different is my country from others and what I need to improve as a person. The professors at the ISU Frankfurt were very kind and patient, they answered all my questions. I really enjoyed every place in Frankfurt but the place that had a great impact on me was the Dialogmuseum because it puts you in the shoes of a blind person. This program has also given me the foundations to understand and analyze some political and economic issues in Europe. Finally, I will never forget the friendship I made with some members of the ISU program, so someday I hope to see them again! If I had to choose again which summer program should I go, I would choose again the ISU Frankfurt."

Harold Chen
University of Toronto
ISU Frankfurt 2018

"The people, the adventures, the classes, the activities, the culture, the language, the travelling... The sum of those parts far exceeds the whole. ISU Frankfurt is a memorable and fulfilling experience very well-organized by Noelle and her team. A balanced and well-thought-out programming allowed the quick building of community and camaraderie among all participants from across the globe, before being immersed in finance and German language classes by day, and city excursions, group activities and free time by night. It was truly a pleasure exploring and getting to know Frankfurt, and further discovering German and European culture via trips to Berlin, Marburg, Strasbourg, among other places. Whether it's visiting major European economic and political landmarks, speeding down a zipline at a climbing park, going on adventures with new friends, taking in the sights and local lifestyle, having a meal, catching the bus and studying together, or learning about German culture, first-hand, I find it hard to holistically describe this wonderful experience in words. All that is to say is: 10 out of 10, would do again."

Paulo Jose Whitaker Wolf
State University of Campinas (Unicamp)
ISU Frankfurt 2018

"The International Summer University Frankfurt jointly organized by the Goethe University and the University of Applied Sciences was a lifetime experience which I would definitely recommend. I chose the European Studies course and I had the chance to learn more about the most audacious regional integration project in history in the area where some of the most important decisions regarding its future are taken. The course presented it through different perspectives and encouraged proficuous discussions and reflections. Furthermore, it was possible to see all the work being done during the study excursions to the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank), the European Central Bank and the European Parliament. The German course gave me the chance to improve my knowledge about the language. I could practice it during the days spent in Germany, whether in the punctual buses, trains and trams, interesting museums, impressive churches, narrow and cobbled streets, beautiful squares, huge parks or various stores. In fact, there is a lot to see, to hear, to taste...there is a lot to experience. Frankfurt and its surroundings have an impressive capacity to merge the new and the old, the modern and the classic, and past and future with elegance and charm. The intercultural studies course was the best way to begin these four intensive weeks. It gave us the chance to get to know each other from a different perspective. We discussed and compared our different cultures and backgrounds, that is, our different ways to see things and to do things. And it made it explicit that these differences should never be seen as an obstacle of any kind. On the very contrary, it must be seen as a huge virtue. It made everything more special and enriching. It showed how much each one has something to teach to and to learn from the others, and was an incredible source of amusement. I am very grateful to the ISU Frankfurt team for all the attention, dedication and care which contributed in a decisive way to make it something I will never forget."