History of World War II Study Program

Study Tour and History Minor at The Ohio State University


2017 Program Students at Omaha Beach

2017 Program Students at Omaha Beach

Our powerful interdisciplinary academic/study abroad program is an in-depth look at how World War II shaped our world. We expect our students to build a strong foundation for their future leadership rolesin their professions, communities, and in the world.


We welcome undergraduate students from every discipline across campus to compete for the 20 places available. During Spring semester, program students take two required courses related to on World War Two: History 3570, History of World War II, the general lecture course with Professor Mark Grimsey; and History 3670, Transnational History of WWII in Europe, the program seminar course with Professor David Steigerwald.  These classes and meetings prepare students for a three-week tour during May semester, History 3798.02.  This course studies the war at close range through visits to relevant European museums, battlefields, memorials, Auschwitz, and other sites.  Stays include London, Normandy, Paris, Poland, and Berlin.   

Brandon Fawbush

The World War II study abroad trip is favorite memory of my undergraduate experience. I never imagined myself lying under the Eiffel tower while it sparkled against the Parisian night sky. I also never imagined myself walking through the gates of Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen. The aura of these locations is indescribable but an opportunity I will never forget or give up. The trip has given me some of my closest friendships and experiences that have accelerated my understanding of the human condition and broadened my skills for after graduation.

Brandon Fawbush, 2017 Program, History of War Major and USMC Veteran, at National Guard Memorial, Omaha Beach, Normandy

Nicole Beck (r), 2017 Program, Bio-Med/History, with Jonathon Schulman, Birkenau-Auschwitz

I had an incredible experience. This trip allowed me to see more of Europe than I would have in any other program at OSU and gave me such memorable experiences I will take with me for the rest of my life. This trip had a great balance of learning and exploring, which allowed us to see every part of each city we wanted while also giving us a greater connection and more meaningful experiences in those places through our study of WWII.

Nicole Beck (r), 2017 Program, Bio-Med/History, with Jonathon Schulman, Birkenau-Auschwitz

Sarah Holbert, 2017 Program, Political Science Major, Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation

Reading about the events of WWII in a textbook or lecture is one thing, but seeing them for yourself teaches you more than a book ever could. This program gave me the chance to see how the events we learn about all our lives truly shaped the world we live in, and how a little over seventy years is truly not that long ago. It gave me a deeper understanding of not only WWII, but also the challenge that society faces in preserving history while simultaneously integrating the lessons learned from the past into decisions made today.

Sarah Holbert, 2017 Program, Political Science Major, Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation



History Minor


Our World War II program situates non-History majors to complete a History minor easily.  The History minor requires 12 hours of courses at the 2000-level or above.  All participants in the program receive 9 hours of eligible credit, leaving only one more course to satisfy a minor.

For that reason, the program has been popular with non-History majors.  Here are a few examples:

Charlie O’ Brien, 2017 Program, Communications/Business, Pegasus Bridge, Normandy

I don’t believe I could have had a better introduction to traveling abroad. With 22 close friends, I explored London, stood on Omaha Beach and experienced Auschwitz, a concentration camp that altered my perspective of the world. This trip was powerful and inspiring. It strengthened my passion for history, and I caught the “travel bug.” I want to see the rest of Europe, and I know that one day I will return to all the places I enjoyed on the program.

Charlie O’ Brien, 2017 Program, Communications/Business, Pegasus Bridge, Normandy

Tyler Webb, 2017 Program, Bio-Med/History, Musee de le Memorial, Caen, Normandy

To read about World War II in books is one thing. To personally witness the scale of Omaha Beach, look down from the breathtaking cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, and the chilling sensation of walking through the gates of Auschwitz is entirely another. The World War II Study Abroad Program provided me with a once in a life time experience to be immersed in history and better prepared me for any challenge I will encounter in life.

Tyler Webb, 2017 Program, Bio-Med/History, Musee de le Memorial, Caen, Normandy

Katie Wierzbicki, 2017 Program, Aviation, Wannsee House, Potsdam, Germany

This study abroad trip was by far the best thing I have done in my college career. Not only has it given me plenty of unforgettable memories throughout some of the most remarkable locations in Europe, but it has given me a group of friends that have become some of my closest companions.  It was truly humbling to stand in the same place and see the same sights that so many brave Americans did during WWII.

Katie Wierzbicki, 2017 Program, Aviation, Wannsee House, Potsdam, Germany

Beau Bilek, 2017 Program, Health Systems Management, Bletchley Park, England

There are a number of reasons why the program is worthwhile. You make a lot of great friends who will be there for you through thick and thin, and you also learn about yourself. Through this program you can and will grow as a person. Most importantly, and unique to only our study abroad, is that you gain an immense knowledge about one of the greatest events in the history of mankind. You build this knowledge in the time leading up to the departure date, and then do not slow down, as you visit museums and historical sites across what was once the European Theatre.

Beau Bilek, 2017 Program, Health Systems Management, Bletchley Park, England

Kevin Roberts, 2017 Program, Political Science, at Les Moulins Draw, Omaha Beach, Normandy

In the future when I speak of my most beneficial experiences within Ohio State, the WWII study abroad program will be at the top of my list. Academically the program is challenging but unbelievably stimulating. Even non-history buffs can immerse themselves in experiences overseas. I encourage any student of any major to experience the program. Don't be intimidated by all the history! The friends you make and the experiences you will live are truly priceless. I'd give anything in the world to go back. 

Kevin Roberts, 2017 Program, Political Science, at Les Moulins Draw, Omaha Beach, Normandy

________________________________________________
 

World War II Endowment Scholarships

 
Because of the extraordinary generosity of Friends of WWII Studies, this program has an exclusive endowment used only to help defray student costs. All students accepted into the program will be considered for some aid.  Those students who complete the requirements for the Minor program will be considered for the full range of named program scholarships.
 

Morgan Moon, 2017 Program, History, Russian, and International Security, St. Florian’s Gate, Krakow, Poland

The summer 2017 World War II Program was truly everything I had hoped for. As someone studying military history, the trips itinerary really appealed to all my interests. From walking along Omaha Beach, crossing the murky English Channel, and being brought to tears within the gates of Auschwitz, I was transported into the very text that I have been studying throughout my time at Ohio State.  This trip taught me to think critically about each countries narrative and form my own conclusions about the war and this is a practice that I will apply from now on in both my undergraduate and graduate career.

Morgan Moon, 2017 Program, History, Russian, and International Security, St. Florian’s Gate, Krakow, Poland

Rachel Harriman, 2017 Program, Journalism, Churchill War Rooms, London

The trip exceeded even my wildest expectations. I was able to make lasting friendships, get out of my comfort zone, and embark on an absolutely unbelievable European adventure! The different sites and museums we visited were both moving and informative, and after a semester of preparation, I was really able to absorb the new material to get an extensive overview of such an interesting event in our world's history. I cannot recommend this trip enough! 

Rachel Harriman, 2017 Program, Journalism, Churchill War Rooms, London


Applications


Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Students must have completed at least 30 semester hours at Ohio State to apply. A letter of application, student advising report, and a letter of reference from an Ohio State University professor or staff person is due on October 18, 2017. Applications will be accepted only through the Education Abroad web site.
 
For more information, contact Professor David Steigerwald at steigerwald.2@osu.edu and Tiffany Pierskalla at the Office of International Affairs—Education Abroad at pierskalla.5@osu.edu

Program Costs


Students are responsible for spring semester tuition and fees plus the study abroad program fee. The program fee for this study abroad program for 2017 has not yet been set.  The fee includes all accommodations, all program field trips and excursions, interior travel from London to Berlin, two group dinners, and international health insurance.  Students are responsible for international airfare, pre-departure expenses (passport), non-group meals, and personal expenses.


2017 Buckeye Finale, Jesse Owens Allee, Olympic Stadium, Berlin

2017 Buckeye Finale, Jesse Owens Allee, Olympic Stadium, Berlin


 

0


To find course availability and times, please visit the Ohio State Course Catalog and Master Schedule.