• Home
  • Microbiology in Western Europe

Microbiology in Western Europe

Biomedical Research and Public Health Aspects in Western Europe
Earn three hours of biology credit and visit some of Europe's leading pharmaceutical companies and infectious disease research units.
Paris, France; Strasbourg, France; Heidelberg, Germany; Geneva, Switzerland; London, England
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
Exercise Science
Community Health
Program Type: 
Open to non-KU Students
Faculty Led
  • Explore the differences between European and US health care systems by visiting leading European public health organizations, reserach institutes, and pharmaceutical companies.
  • Spend three weeks exploring and experiencing remarkable cities in France, Germany, Switzerland, and England.
  • Earn three Biology credit hours towards your degree.
  • Review our coronavirus information page for details on how we're planning for study abroad this summer.
  • Visit the 'Location' section below for 2022 itinerary details.
Program Summary: 

This program will take students to some of the leading infectious disease research institutes and pharmaceutical companies in Germany, France, Switzerland, and England.  Participants will be exposed to many of the public health approaches and aspects of western European countries giving them the opportunity to compare and contrast those found within the United States.  The itinerary will also include visits to historical sites related to infectious disease impacts on human development (e.g. plague, pox vaccine, etc.), industry visits highlighting food microbiology processes, as well as cultural tours and activities.


The program will visit the following cities in Summer 2022:

  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Basel, Switzerland
  • Strasbourg, France
  • Heidelberg, Germany
  • Paris, France
  • London, England

2022 Itinerary

May 21 - Depart U.S.

May 22 - Arrive in Geneva, Switzerland (4 nights in Geneva): The program begins with an orientation session and guided walking tour of Geneva to see highlights of the city. The following days in Geneva will include visits to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), UNAIDS Headsquarters, the Red Cross Museum, and a free day to explore.

May 26 - Travel to Basel, Switzerland (2 nights in Basel): Participants will visit Hoffmann-La Roche, a Swiss multinational healthcare company with pharmaceutical and diagnostics divisions to learn about their reserach in the health care sector. Other visits will include the Anatomic Museum, the Pharmacy Museum, and Novartis, a global leader in innovative pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and consumer health products.

May 28 - Travel to Strasbourg, France (2 nights in Strasbourg): From Basel, students will travel to Strasbourg, the capital of the Grand Est region of France and the official seat of the European Parliament.  A visit to the hospital group Saint Vincent will provide participants with a comparative view of the French and US health care systems.  The itinerary also includes a winery tour and a tour of the Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle, former residence of Wilhelm II.

May 30 - Travel to Heidelberg, Germany (4 nights in Heidelberg): Participants will then travel on to Heidelberg, home to one of Germany’s most reputable universities. A guided tour of the Germany Pharmacy Museum and Heidelberg Castle will start things off. During their time in Heidelberg participants will have the opportunity to visit several leading research institutions such as the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the German Cancer Research Center, and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research. The group will also visit Heidelberg University and the Heidelberger Kulturbrauerei where the brew master will explain the scientific steps involved in brewing beer.

June 3 - Travel to Paris (5 nights in Paris): The program in Paris begins with a guided boat tour down the Seine River, one of the most relaxing ways to view the sights of Paris. The following days in Paris will include visits to the Palace of Versailles, the Musée du Louvre, the Museum of the History of Medicine, Micalis Institute, the Institut Pasteur, and a free day.

June 8 - Travel to London (4 nights in London): For the final leg of the program, participants will take a train to London. The group will enjoy a walking tour of London and visit the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, the Science Museum, the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum, and take a day trip to Oxford for a tour of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and a free afternoon in the famous university town.

June 12 - Program ends.

Note: All itinerary details and planned visits are subject to change.

Academic Information: 

Three hours of upper level undergraduate credit are granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program.

Credit:  BIOL 423 – Non-laboratory Independent Study

BIOL 423 will count towards the elective requirement for all biology majors, and it also satisfies KU Core Goal 6.


Participants will stay in conveniently located hotels in Paris, Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Basel, Geneva and London.  Rooms are double or triple occupancy, and continental breakfast is included daily.

Identity Abroad: 

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Additional Resources

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.


Open to undergraduate and graduate students, sophomore level and above, from any accredited US college or university who have a minimum 2.5 GPA.

No prior biology experience or knowledge is required, but priority will be given to students pursuing one of the Molecular Biosciences majors. Priority will be given to current KU students, but students from other colleges and universities will be accepted if space is available. 

Due to the entry requirements of countries this program will visit and the policy of the organization KU works with to organize this program, full vaccination against COVID-19 is required for participation in this program.

Program Faculty: 

Dr. Scott Hefty, Professor and Undergraduate Studies Director for the Department of Molecular Biosciences will lead the program.

8051 Haworth Hall


Summer 2022 programs now accepting applications !

Study Abroad Information & Advising
Our office is available to help you with your study abroad questions.  Book a virtual appointment. 

Study Abroad Financial E-Advising
Personalized financial aid & scholarship advising Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM,
Book a virtual appointment.


Follow KU Study Abroad


Jayhawks Abroad Blog

Study Abroad Events
IIE Generation Study Abroad Partner

9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
18th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
28.1% of KU undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation.
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
Study Abroad & Global Engagement and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times