Stroll through the streets of Berlin and around one corner you’ll see soaring modern buildings that incorporate cutting-edge sustainable technology. Around the next corner, you’ll see art galleries, cafés, and shops lining old cobblestone streets. As a city that has been built and rebuilt over the past century, Berlin remains a city of contrasts—and of innovation. Come and study in Berlin, and experience the energy and excitement of this amazing city.
Using Berlin as a case study, this English-taught program examines issues relevant to major cities today. Through comparative and interdisciplinary courses, you study topics such as architecture, cultural identity, gender and sexual politics, multiculturalism, popular culture, and urban studies to better understand the development of the city and its culture.
Berlin will be your classroom. Imagine touring Berlin’s neighborhoods and exploring the city’s architecture as you learn about metropolitan development and urban planning, or attending and then discussing a local theater event as part of your pop culture class. Welcome to study abroad! Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city’s many historical, artistic, and cultural sites, and several courses include a hands-on, practical component.
In addition, your learning is enhanced by extended course-related trips to Istanbul, Turkey and St. Petersburg, Russia that provide a first-hand comparative context for your studies. In these cities, you tour neighborhoods, visit museums, attend lectures, and meet with local university students and professors to discuss the topics you’re learning about.
We want you to feel at home in Berlin, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible. You even have the option to improve your German language skills through a language partner program.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore Metropolitan Studies, Culture, Sociology, and other topics through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.
You take 15–19 credit hours per semester, and all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified. All courses are taught in English, excluding language courses. You will create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.
Two week-long course-related excursions are integrated into all courses. Course-related excursion destinations are St. Petersburg and Istanbul.
To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.
In addition to the two week-long field trips included in this program, we offer day excursions that complement your IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of German culture and society. Past activities have included:
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Berlin, it will feel like home.
IES Abroad Berlin housing gives you the unique experience of living wih local residents throughout the city. Hosts may be single adults, single parents, families, or German university students. Most housing is in apartments.
Students usually prepare their own meals at home or dine in affordable student cafeterias or restaurants. Meals are not included in the program fee.
Part of making you feel at home in Berlin is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
The program begins with a four-day orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Berlin staff, your fellow students, and the city of Berlin. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
The week following orientation is divided between intensive German language instruction and a series of lectures, tours, and excursions related to the history, art, and culture of Berlin and Germany. The language intensive period ends with an optional field trip to Potsdam or another nearby city.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Berlin through our cultural events, which include visits to:
This program includes exciting course-related excursions that allow you to learn first-hand about the challenges facing these dynamic cities. Course-related excursions are required, integral academic components of this program (activities vary by course). The cost of the excursions is included in the IES Abroad program fee; the weekend trip to Dresden partially subsidized by IES abroad.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Tour St. Petersburg, visit the Hermitage Museum, attend a ballet performance at Mariinsky Theater, explore the architecture of Basil Island, and meet with Russian university students and faculty.
Istanbul, Turkey7 daysExplore Istanbul, a city located on both the European and Asian continents, and visit the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Basilica Cistern. You'll also meet with Turkish university students and faculty.
In addition to these course-related excursions, IES Abroad Berlin also arranges an optional weekend trip to historic Dresden or another city in Germany that is partially subsidized by IES Abroad.
See the breathtaking historic sites of the "Florence of the North" with its pubs and nightlife.
The IES Abroad Berlin Center is located in Mitte, the central district of Berlin, and is within easy walking distance of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Museum Island, and the Berliner Dom.
The two IES Abroad programs at the Berlin Center (Language and Area Studies and Metropolitan Studies) are conducted on separate floors of the same building.
Barbara Gügold has been the Director of IES Abroad Berlin since 1992. She is a member of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin faculty where she teaches the methodology of foreign language teaching. She received her doctorate from Martin-Luther-Universität Halle in English Literature, and obtained a master’s degree in English and Russian from Leipzig Universität. She has worked in Sweden, Poland, Belgium, and the U.S. as a frequent guest lecturer. In her spare time she takes full advantage of the wealth of cultural opportunities in Berlin.
IES Abroad Staff
John SchulzeProgram Coordinator
Ella WinterStudent Affairs, Housing, and Field Trip Coordinator
Sabine BerkingCultural StudiesDoktor philosophiae
Columnist at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper
Wolfgang BialasCultural StudiesDoktor philosophiae, University of Leipzig
Ulrich BrücknerInternational Business, Political Science
Doktor philosophiae, Free University Berlin
Stanford University in Berlin
Dorothea LöbbermannLiterature, Film Studies
Doktor philosophiae, Humboldt University, Berlin
Humboldt Universtät zu Berlin
Andreas ButterArt History, Urban Studies
Doktor philosophiae in Art History, Technical University, BerlinLeibniz Institute or Regional Development and Structural Planning
Burkart EnckeGerman Language
Birgit GlockUrban Studies, Sociology
Doktor philosophiae, Humboldt-University, BerlinCamino Werkstatt für Fortbildung, Praxisbegleitung und Forschung im sozialen Bereich
Ondrej KotasGerman Language
Hannah Lotte LundHistory, Gender Studies
Dr. philosophiae, Humboldt-University, Berlin
Center for Jewish Studies, Berlin Brandenburg
Kerstin MahssasseGerman Language
Jan Otakar FischerUrban Studies, Architecture
Masters in Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of DesignNortheastern University School of Architecture in Berlin
Martina Langermann-MarquardtGerman Language