Study Abroad
Berlin - Metropolitan Studies Add to favorites
  • Berlin, Germany

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Why Berlin?

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 abroad in Berlin, and experience the energy and excitement of this amazing city.

What You'll Study

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 also 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. 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 Poland or France, that provide a comparative context for your studies. In these cities, you tour neighborhoods, visit museums, attend lectures, and meet with local university professors to discuss the topics you’re learning.

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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$5 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 $5 million 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 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.

Students will take 15-18 credits per semester. All courses are taught in English, excluding language courses, and are 3 credits. You will create your own academic experience by selecting from the following program components:

  • IES Abroad Berlin Metropolitan Studies core courses (required, minimum of 2)
  • IES Abroad German language course (optional)
  • International Affairs & Security Studies courses (optional, maximum of 2)

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. 

A 4-5-day course-related trip is integrated into all courses. Course-related trip destinations may include Poland or France.

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
US/AH 340 - Visual Culture and the Urban Landscape Fall, Spring English 3
Anthropology
Course Name Term Language Credits
AN/GE 313A - Bio-Politics and Migration in the 21st Century Fall, Spring German 3
Architecture
Course Name Term Language Credits
ES/AT/US 315 - Urban Design and Sustainability Fall, Spring English 3
Cultural Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/CU 330 - The Impact of Pop Culture on the Modern Metropolis Fall, Spring English 3
SO/CU 370 - Urban Identities in Contemporary Europe Fall, Spring English 3
Economics
Course Name Term Language Credits
EC/IR 326 - Globalization and the City Fall, Spring English 3
Environmental Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
ES/AT/US 315 - Urban Design and Sustainability Fall, Spring English 3
Film Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
FS 317 - Transnational Cinema: Germany and the U.S. Fall, Spring English 3
Geography
Course Name Term Language Credits
AN/GE 313A - Bio-Politics and Migration in the 21st Century Fall, Spring German 3
German Language
Course Name Term Language Credits
GR 101 - German Language in Context: Novice Abroad I Fall, Spring German 3
GR 301 - German Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad I Fall, Spring German 3
GR 401 - German Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad I Fall, Spring German 3
Gender Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/HS/GS 335A - The Politics of Gender in Germany: Past and Present Fall, Spring English 3
History
Course Name Term Language Credits
IS/HS 320 - Espionage in the 20th & 21st Century Spring English 3
SO/HS/GS 335A - The Politics of Gender in Germany: Past and Present Fall, Spring English 3
International Relations
Course Name Term Language Credits
EC/IR 326 - Globalization and the City Fall, Spring English 3
PO/IR 314 - At the Heart of Europe: Germany’s European and Global Challenges Fall, Spring English 3
SO/PO/IR 312 - The Global Challenge of Terrorism Fall, Spring English 3
International Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
IS/HS 320 - Espionage in the 20th & 21st Century Spring English 3
Marketing
Course Name Term Language Credits
MK 316 - Introduction to Global Marketing Fall, Spring English 3
Political Science
Course Name Term Language Credits
PO/IR 314 - At the Heart of Europe: Germany’s European and Global Challenges Fall, Spring English 3
SO/PO/IR 312 - The Global Challenge of Terrorism Fall, Spring English 3
Sociology
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/CU 330 - The Impact of Pop Culture on the Modern Metropolis Fall, Spring English 3
SO/CU 370 - Urban Identities in Contemporary Europe Fall, Spring English 3
SO/HS/GS 335A - The Politics of Gender in Germany: Past and Present Fall, Spring English 3
SO/PO/IR 312 - The Global Challenge of Terrorism Fall, Spring English 3
SO/US 375 - Metropolitan Development: Urban Studies in Comparative Perspective Fall, Spring English 3
US/SO 366 - Restructuring of Urban Space: Actors and Constellations Fall, Spring English 3
Urban Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
ES/AT/US 315 - Urban Design and Sustainability Fall, Spring English 3
SO/US 375 - Metropolitan Development: Urban Studies in Comparative Perspective Fall, Spring English 3
US/AH 340 - Visual Culture and the Urban Landscape Fall, Spring English 3
US/SO 366 - Restructuring of Urban Space: Actors and Constellations Fall, Spring English 3

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. Past destinations have included:

Dresden
2 days | Fall & Spring
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.

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.

 

Course-Related Trips

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
 

Required Course-Related Trip

This program includes one course-related trip per semester (4-5 days), which allows you to learn first-hand about the challenges facing dynamic countries such as Poland or France.

In France, you will spend time in Paris, where you will experience a new perspective on the French capital as you discuss migration and diversity from an urban studies point-of-view and explore the city's cultural and ethnic diversity in guided tours.

In Poland, your time will be focused in Warsaw but may also include time in a smaller city such as Wroclaw or Krakow. Here you will explore European history and urban development in a comparative perspective through architectural tours, museum visits and encounters with the local academic community. 

Course-related trips are required, integral academic components of this program, and include activities and assignments that are specifically related to the courses that you are taking in Berlin. Most costs of the course-related trips are included in the IES Abroad program fee. During the 4-5 days, you will visit one country.

Please note that trip destinations are subject to change.

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 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.

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.

We offer 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 usually 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 museums
  • Jewish Museum
  • German Parliament

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.

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: Fall 2018
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2018 $14,640 $2,920 $230 $17,790


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


Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 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 $5 million to our financial aid programs.

Our Center

The IES Abroad Berlin Center is located in Mitte, the central district of Berlin with its vibrant cafés, restaurants, and galleries. It is within walking distance from Humboldt University, the Museum Island, the Brandenburg Gate, and the governmental district.

Features include:

  • Classrooms, student lounge, and study space
  • Small library
  • Outdoor terrace
  • WiFi and printer access

Our Staff

Barbara Finke

Center Director

 

Barbara holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. degree in political science from the University of Mannheim in Germany. She also studied for a year at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore with a fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD. Barbara conducted her Ph.D. research on the legitimacy of non-governmental organizations in global governance with a case study on women’s NGOs in the United Nations system. She has taught and published on civil society in global and European politics and on international relations theory. From 2007 to 2017, Barbara was Program Head at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, a distinguished international graduate school that focuses on public policy and international affairs.

IES Abroad Staff

IES Abroad Staff
Katrin Arendt
Academics

Rolf Staudt
Student Visa & Residence Permits

Britta Tonak
Housing & Customized Programs

Nadine Birner
Internships & CORE

Gosia Piechowiak
Student Services & Housing

Sabine Berking
Academics