The Cities


Nobody who comes to Amsterdam wants to leave. One of the world's safest and most charming cities, and home to some of the greatest troves of art in the world. Amsterdam will be your classroom for six incredible days of learning and discovery. You will live in a hostel in the center of the city, right next to gorgeous Vondelpark and the city's amazing rings of canals. From the Rijksmuseum to the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House, The Compass Program SM faculty and local Navigators will help you explore a wide swath of European history, art and culture that you'll never forget.

Capitalism was born in Amsterdam. The city was also home to the northern Renaissance. The Compass Program SM core class, The Needle, will guide you through the literature, museums and cityscapes of Amsterdam. Along the way, you'll also discover that no people are more open and friendly than those who call this cosmopolitan city home.


Few European cities have paid for destructive ambitions like Berlin, where multiple histories live together on the same street corner. Are you looking at a building from the Nazi era? Or from when Communism built the infamous wall that divided this city and the world? The Compass Needle will take you inside the story, as you meet this city's brilliant and horrific legacies head on. Meanwhile, your upper-division Compass Dial course will start here, giving you a second way to see Europe and the world. Your hostel will be just blocks from the centerpiece of old Communist Berlin, Alexanderplatz.

As you set out to experience Berlin's legendary nightlife, you could find yourself walking past the law school where Nazi students burned Jewish books. Or the Brandenburg Gate, not so far at all from a run-down apartment parking lot where the Fuhrer's bunker once stood. They are all reminders of a terrible past, coexisting with Berlin's incredibly vibrant world-class present.


No city conjures up romance like Paris, the City of Light. From the riotous Latin Quarter, where students have found a home for almost a thousand years, to the incredibly grand Right Bank of the Seine and its iconic Arch de Triomphe, Paris is both a city and a vision. With a centrally located hostel as your base, you will get to know this Paris intimately. The Compass Needle and Dial will lead you through centuries of history, art, politics and the life of the mind. When it's time to leave Paris for the D-Day beaches of Normandy, you will understand what Hemingway meant when he said that you will carry this city with you, for "Paris is a moveable feast."


London is a city that has been built and rebuilt countless times. Walking through its interconnected gardens and parks you could discover ancient ruins, or vestiges of the 1970s Punk past. Through The Compass Needle, you'll experience Shakespeare's South Bank, and get up close and personal with treasures of art and artifacts in the city's unparalleled museums and libraries. London will be your home for the last week of The Compass Program SM, as you live and learn in a city-center hostel, and get ready for your finals and one of the most celebrated moments of each summer: Final Night Dinner, hosted in your honor at The Oxford-Cambridge Club in Pall Mall. You will fly home to the USA from London, finally. As a new citizen of the world, forever changed by your journey.