Study Abroad
Berlin - Language & Area Studies Add to favorites
  • Berlin, Germany
Why Berlin?

The minute you step off the plane in Berlin, you’ll feel its energy. It’s a place of new ideas, where sustainable technology and modern design are a way of life, and art galleries can be found on nearly every corner. But don’t forget, this dynamic city is also a center of modern European history—it has no equal for leaving its imprint on the political, social, and cultural history of the 20th century. We invite you to study in Berlin and to explore one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

What You'll Study

Specially designed to improve your German language skills, this program draws upon Berlin’s rich culture and traditions to connect your coursework with the living history of the city. IES Abroad courses are taught in German by local faculty, and a variety of academic options are available at local universities. You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an internship placement and accompanying academic seminar.

Berlin will also be your classroom. Imagine learning about German politics and policymaking in class and then taking a quick walk to visit the German Parliament. Or discussing multiculturalism in Berlin and then touring one of the city’s bustling Turkish neighborhoods. Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city’s many historical, artistic, and cultural sites, and several courses also include course-related trips.

Daily Life

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 are here

Why Berlin?

The minute you step off the plane in Berlin, you’ll feel its energy. It’s a place of new ideas, where sustainable technology and modern design are a way of life, and art galleries can be found on nearly every corner. But don’t forget, this dynamic city is also a center of modern European history—it has no equal for leaving its imprint on the political, social, and cultural history of the 20th century. We invite you to study in Berlin and to explore one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

What You'll Study

Specially designed to improve your German language skills, this program draws upon Berlin’s rich culture and traditions to connect your coursework with the living history of the city. IES Abroad courses are taught in German by local faculty, and a variety of academic options are available at local universities. You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an internship placement and accompanying academic seminar.

Berlin will also be your classroom. Imagine learning about German politics and policymaking in class and then taking a quick walk to visit the German Parliament. Or discussing multiculturalism in Berlin and then touring one of the city’s bustling Turkish neighborhoods. Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city’s many historical, artistic, and cultural sites, and several courses also include course-related trips.

Daily Life

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.

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$4 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit more then $4 million each year to our financial aid programs.

Academics

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 German Language, History, Culture, and other topics through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.



You take 16-19 credit hours per semester. All courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified and are taught in German. You create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:

  • IES Abroad German language course  (required, 4 credits)
  • German-taught IES Abroad area studies courses (3 credits)
  • Internships (includes internship seminar followed by internship placement after the semester, 3 credits)
  • German-taught courses at partner universities (3 credits)

*Please note: Fall-only students will take an IES Abroad-taught German language course. Academic year students will take their fall and spring German language courses at Humboldt University. Spring-only students will also take their German language course at Humboldt University.

Courses

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.

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.

Art History
Course Name Term Language Credits
AH 332 - Early 20th Century German Art and Architecture: 1900-1933 Fall German 3
AH 334 - German Art And Architecture In The 20Th Century: 1933 To The Present Spring German 3
Anthropology
Course Name Term Language Credits
AN/GE 313 - Between Life and Death: Bio-Politics and Migration in the 21st Century Fall German
Cultural Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU/SO 360 - Multicultural Berlin Spring German 3
SO/CU 350 - German Popular Culture Fall German 3
Drama
Course Name Term Language Credits
DR 444 - Theater In Berlin Ii: From Brecht To The Present Spring German 3
Film Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
HS/FS 342 - From Lenin to Lola: Contemporary German Film Fall German 3
Geography
Course Name Term Language Credits
AN/GE 313 - Between Life and Death: Bio-Politics and Migration in the 21st Century Fall German
German Language
Course Name Term Language Credits
GR 351 - German Language In Context: Independent Abroad I Fall German 4
GR 401 - German Language In Context: Emerging Competent Abroad I Fall German 4
GR 451 - German Language In Context: Competent Abroad Fall German 4
History
Course Name Term Language Credits
HS 300 - Berlin: Eagle, Phoenix, or Vulture Spring German 3
HS/FS 342 - From Lenin to Lola: Contemporary German Film Fall German 3
HS/PO 352 - German Political Thought: Revolutions, Wars, and Walls Coming Down Spring German 3
Internship Seminar
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/IN 395 - Internship Seminar: Social Market Economy: Selected Topics Fall, Spring German 3
International Relations
Course Name Term Language Credits
IR/PO 360 - Nation-Building & Democratization from the 19th to the 21st Century: Germany Between Western & Eastern Europe Spring German 3
IR/PO 361 - Germany and European Unification Fall German 3
PO/IR 425H - Honors Seminar in International Relations: Berlin Behind the Scenes: Institutions in the Political Center of Germany Fall German 3
Literature
Course Name Term Language Credits
LT 450 - Berlin in Literature - Literature in Berlin Fall German 3
LT 460 - German Literature from 1945 to the Present Spring German 3
Political Science
Course Name Term Language Credits
HS/PO 352 - German Political Thought: Revolutions, Wars, and Walls Coming Down Spring German 3
IR/PO 360 - Nation-Building & Democratization from the 19th to the 21st Century: Germany Between Western & Eastern Europe Spring German 3
IR/PO 361 - Germany and European Unification Fall German 3
PO/IR 425H - Honors Seminar in International Relations: Berlin Behind the Scenes: Institutions in the Political Center of Germany Fall German 3
Sociology
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU/SO 360 - Multicultural Berlin Spring German 3
SO/CU 350 - German Popular Culture Fall German 3
SO/IN 395 - Internship Seminar: Social Market Economy: Selected Topics Fall, Spring German 3

Partner Institution(s)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Founded in 1810 by the German statesman and philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt, the then-named Universität Berlin pioneered the model of the liberal arts education and became known as the “mother of modern universities.” During 40 years of socialist rule following the Second World War, academic and political freedoms were heavily restricted; following German Reunification, the university underwent an intensive restructuring and has since regained its former preeminence.

The University’s courses are held in buildings of historic and architectural significance throughout the city. The Palais Unter den Linden, which is presently occupied by the renowned Museum für Naturkunde, was the former Prince of Prussia’s residence in the mid-18th century.



Courses

Below are some of the numerous disciplines in which IES Abroad students have enrolled in the recent past. Visit the Humboldt Universität's website for a list of current and past course offerings. Course offerings vary by semester and are not available until shortly before the start of each semester.

  • Accounting
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Classics
  • Communications
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Studies
  • Finance
  • Fine Arts
  • Foreign Languages
  • Gender Studies
  • Geography
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Music History
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Theater
  • Ubran Planning

HU Sprachenzentrum

If you do not do well enough on the language entrance exam to take regular classes at Humboldt University, you can take courses at HU’s Sprachenzentrum (Foreign Language Institute) for your initial university experience, but are encouraged to take regular university courses with the support of a tutorial. The Sprachenzentrum offers courses in various aspects of German language and culture, as well as courses in many foreign languages. For specific course offerings, visit the Sprachenzentrum website.

Location & Commute Time

The university’s main campus is located on the main boulevard, Unter den Linden, in Mitte, Berlin’s central district. The IES Abroad Berlin Center, Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, German Opera and main shopping streets are all a short walk away. Most students take public transportation to travel to and from their classes. HU’s satellite campus for the natural sciences, where most of the university’s research labs are located, is in the neighborhood of Adlershof, about 45 minutes by train southeast of the main campus.

University Clubs & Events

The Humboldt-Universität was recently recognized by the German Foreign Office for offering the best support to international students of any university in the country. Its Cultural and Academic Orientation Program (KUSTOS), subsidized by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers orientation seminars and support to international students.

The university has an International Division devoted to providing assistance for international students at HU.

In addition, there is a student-run club for international students (Orbis Humboldtianus) on campus which offers student-to-student mentoring for exchange students, a Tandem Partner service, which matches students with language partners, and regular social and cultural events where international and German students can meet.

Freie Universität

Although the Freie Universität was founded only 50 years ago, as early as the beginning of the 20th century the neighborhood in which it is located, Dahlem, was home to several academic research institutes. Early researchers conducted ground-breaking research and won several Nobel Prizes.

The Freie Universität’s faculties and administrative offices are housed in many of the same buildings as the former institutes. With the addition of more contemporary, architecturally-significant buildings nearby, the campus resembles the structure of a university campus in the United States.

IES Abroad extends to its students the Freie Universität’s tradition of academic quality and research through the university’s broad curriculum.

Courses

Freie Universität offers IES Abroad students exciting opportunities in the faculties below.

The University is particularly known for its courses in Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Geosciences, Human Medicine, Language & Civilization Studies, Law, Mathematics, Pedagogy, Pharmacy, Political Sciences, and Social Sciences.

Note: Enrollment in partner university courses requires that you place into an advanced German language level during the program orientation.

Visit the Freie Universität website for a list of current course offerings.

  • Biology, Chemistry, and Pharmacy
  • Economics
  • Geosciences
  • History and Cultural Studies
  • Law
  • Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Medicine
  • Pedagogy and Psychology
  • Philosophy and the Humanities
  • Physics
  • Political and Social Sciences
  • Veterinary Medicine

Course offerings vary from semester to semester. Exact course availability is determined shortly before the start of each semester. For this reason, it is not possible for you to officially register until you arrive in Berlin.

Location & Commute Time

Located in the quiet, residential garden district of the southwestern neighborhood of Dahlem, the Freie Universität is a 50 to 60 minute commute by public transportation from the IES Abroad Berlin Center, or about seven miles.

University Clubs & Events

IES Abroad Berlin students taking courses at the Freie Universität have access to the university’s libraries, clubs, and events. The University frequently sponsors guest lecturers. The FU also has an International Club, which organizes over 30 events per semester for international and German students. The student government at the FU runs a center for LGBTQ students.

Technische Universität

Founded in 1879 through the merging of several renowned research institutions, Berlin’s Technische Universität has a long history of innovation, but also periods of hardship. After World War II, the University opened a new Humanities faculty, intended to focus students and faculty on ethics and social responsibility. As the first technical university in Germany to encourage study of the Humanities, the University continues to emphasize the connection between society and technology. Additionally, TU is home to Berlin’s famous Center for Anti-Semitism Studies.

Courses

The TU is divided into seven faculties, each of which contains several institutes. Visit Technische Universität's website for a list of current course offerings (click on Vorlesungsverzeichnis).

  • Faculty I. Humanities: Philosophy, Theory, and History of Science; German Literature; History and Art History; Metropolitan Studies; Social Sciences and Political Education; Educational Science; Languages and Communication; Vocational Education; Gender Studies, Anti-Semitism Studies.
  • Faculty II. Mathematics and Natural Sciences: Chemistry, Mathematics, Solid-State Physics, Optical and Atomic Physics, Theoretical Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics.
  • Faculty III. “Process Sciences”: Biotechnology, Energy Technology, Food Science, Process and Chemical Engineering, Environmental Protection Technology, Material Science.
  • Faculty IV. Electrical Engineering: Energy and Automation Science, High Frequency and Semi-Conductor Systems Technology, Telecommunication Systems, Microelectronics, Software Engineering and Theoretical Computer Science, Economic Information Systems and Quantitative Methods.
  • Faculty V. Mechanical Engineering and Transport Systems: Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics; Psychology and Occupational Science; Land and Sea Traffic; Air and Space Travel; Construction, Micro- and Medicinal Technology; Industrial Engineering; Mechanics.
  • Faculty VI. “Planning—Building—Environment”: Applied Geosciences, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Geodesy, Landscape Architecture, Ecology, Sociology, City and Regional Planning.
  • Faculty VII. Economics and Management: Technology and Management, Business Management, Economics and Economics Law.

Note: Enrollment in partner university courses requires that you place into an advanced German language level during the program orientation.

Course offerings vary from semester to semester and are determined shortly before the start of each semester. For this reason, it is not possible for you to register until your arrive in Berlin.

Location & Commute Time

The Technische Universität’s main campus is in Charlottenburg, a lively, cosmopolitan borough in the former West Berlin. The campus is also close to the Tiergarten and main shopping boulevard of Kurfürstendamm. The Technische Universität's main campus is about three miles from the IES Abroad Center, or 10 minutes by train.

University Clubs & Events

The TU has an International Student Counseling Center, which offers administrative guidance to international students, as well as organizing a social events and excursions throughout the year. As part of a program for international students, the university offers a “subject mentoring service.", consisting of small, weekly seminars for international students, run by advanced TU students and covering topics such as paper-writing and background mathematics required for technical courses.

The Language and Culture Exchange (Sprach-und Kulturbörse, or SKB), through which language courses are available, also organizes regular cultural outings and social events for German and international students.

The SKB has a Tandem-partner service as well, through which students can find language partners.

There is also an organization of LGBTQ students and their allies on campus.

Additional Universities

Courses may be available at the following universities.

  • Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin
  • Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee
  • Universität der Künste

Prerequisites and additional application materials may apply.

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Berlin, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. These trips are subsidized by IES Abroad, though extra costs may apply. Here are a few possible destinations:

Potsdam
1 day | Fall & Spring
Visit the capital and crown jewel of the state of Brandenburg, and admire Sanssouci’s fabulous palaces and surrounding gardens.

Dresden
2 days | Fall
Visit the Saxon capital which is called “the Florence of the North,” and see the Zwinger palace, the Baroque Königsstrasse, the Frauenkirche, and museums full of countless art treasures.

Hamburg
2 days | Spring
Explore the Northern port city of Germany, walk below the river Elbe trough the Elbe-tunnel, go shopping in Hamburg’s fancy shopping areas, and try the fish from the North Sea.

Baltic Sea
3-4 days | Fall & Spring
Visit one of the nicest and most charming areas of Germany. Whether you are looking for nice white beaches, wanting to explore history and culture of Hanseatic cities like Stralsund or simply enjoy undisturbed nature and breathtaking scenery, you will find it all on the Baltic Sea.

 

Course-Related Excursions

We offer day trips that complement your IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of German culture and society. Past activities have included:

  • Tours of Berlin’s multicultural neighborhoods to examine topics of religion, migration, youth culture, and demographics
  • Tours of art and advertising found on Berlin’s public transportation
  • Attendance at a soccer game
  • Walking tours of the Stolpersteine Holocaust Memorial and Jewish Cemetery
  • Architectural tours of Potsdamer Platz and former East Berlin
  • Lectures at the American Chamber of Commerce
  • Meetings with Berlin-based ambassadors of foreign countries

Daily Life

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.

Orientation

The program begins with a three-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 two weeks following orientation are divided between intensive German language instruction and a series of lectures, tours, and trips related to the history, art, and culture of Berlin.

Get to Know Your New City

Relax in Parks & Green Space

Although the city is known for its vibrant arts and culture, Berlin has more than 2,500 parks and gardens to stroll, cycle, swim, picnic, or just unwind in.

Visit Neighborhoods

From the fantastic art and fabulous nightlight of Kreuzberg to the trendy shopping of Charlottenberg to the hub of sites, attractions, and cafes that make up Mitte, the city's neighborhoods give Berlin its unique character.

Explore Museums

Whether you are into art and design, ancient or modern history, or even currywurst, Berlin is a city full of excellent museums.

Observe the Architecture

Though it was nearly destroyed during World War II, Berlin has rebuilt, with restored historic buildings juxtaposed with some of the world's most breathtaking modern structures.

Check Out the East Side Gallery

The longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall is now an outdoor art exhibition, featuring the work of more than 100 artists.

Housing

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 with local residents throughout the city. Hosts may be single adults, single parents or families. Most housing is in apartments.

Students typically prepare their own meals at home or dine in affordable student cafeterias or restaurants. Meals are not included in the program fee.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Berlin through our cultural events, which may include visits to:

  • Concert halls and opera houses
  • German history museum
  • Jewish Museum
  • German Parliament

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Spring 2018
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2018 $14,545 $2,900 $230 $17,675


Term: Fall 2017
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2017
Academic Year
$14,345
$25,805
$3,100
$6,200
$230
$550
$17,675
$32,555

Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$4 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit more then $4 million each year to our financial aid programs.