Dr. Vicki Birchfield, Program Director


Dr. Vicki L. Birchfield is Professor in The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, currently in residence at Georgia Tech Lorraine, GT’s European campus in Metz, France.  She is co-director of the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies and has served as director of the EU study abroad program since 2000. Dr. Birchfield earned a D.E.S. from the Graduate Institute of International Studies at the University of Geneva, Switzerland and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Georgia.  In 2013 she was bestowed the honor of “Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite” by the French government.

What do you love most about the program?

“As much as I love the thrilling experiential aspects of our study abroad program where students have ‘up close and personal’ encounters with the movers, shakers and power places of European politics, I would say ultimately what I cherish most is witnessing the personal and intellectual growth of the students and seeing the many unique (and often unexpected) and lasting friendships that form. I also cherish the special and enduing relationships we have with our wonderful host families. Many students maintain those bonds with their host families well beyond the summer experience.”

Visit Dr. Birchfield’s page to learn more.

Get to know the Program Director!

Dr. Eliza Markley, Participating Faculty


Dr. Eliza Maria Markley, a native of Romania, joined the Georgia Tech faculty as a Lecturer in the Sam Nunn S

chool of International Affairs in August 2015. Dr. Markley earned a PhD in International Conflict Management in 2014 at Kennesaw State University. Her research interests include the development of social capital in the global security context, the role of international security policy education in building professional cooperation and networks, and immigration and conflict. Dr. Markley’s research has been supported by the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany.

What do you love most about the program?

“I am amazed every year to witness students transitioning from timid visitors in May to confident and knowledgeable “people of the land” in July. Europe grows on our students with every class, every visit to a historical site, and every meeting with European leaders. Having a humble role in shaping our future global leaders inspires and enriches me.

But most important of all, and I am writing this at a time when five months have passed since my last face-to-face interaction with my students, is the extent of interpersonal connection – between myself and my students, and between the students themselves. By the end of our ten weeks in Europe we become a cohesive group. We build relationships and networks that last well beyond the study abroad.”