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Berlin - Metropolitan & Urban Studies Add to favorites
  • Berlin, Germany

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Berlin - Metropolitan & Urban Studies

Why Berlin?

Stroll through the streets of Berlin, and you’ll see soaring modern buildings that incorporate cutting-edge sustainable technology. Around the next corner, you’ll find 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 metropolis.

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 cultural identity, 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. 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 an extended program-related trip to destinations like Warsaw, Poland, or Vienna, Austria, which provides a comparative context for your studies. On this trip, you tour neighborhoods, visit museums, attend lectures, and meet with local university professors to discuss the topics you’re learning about.

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 a variety of courses that explore topics related to urban societies and culture through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our experienced faculty facilitate a unique academic experience and provide you with new perspectives both in and out of class.

You take 15–19 credits per semester. All courses are worth 3 credits, excluding the 4-credit German Language courses. All courses are taught in English, excluding language courses, which are taught in German.

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. 

If you have sound German language skills and test into GR401 or higher, you will also have the option to take a German-taught course offered in our Language & Area Studies Program as part of your course load. Students who test into GR351 will be considered for this option on a case-by-case basis.

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/US 375 - Evolution of the Modern City: Urban Development and Architecture Fall, Spring English 3
Anthropology
Course Name Term Language Credits
AN/GE 313A - Bio-Politics and Migration in the 21st Century Fall, Spring English 3
Architecture
Course Name Term Language Credits
US/AT/ES 315 - Urban Design and Sustainability Fall, Spring English 3
Cultural Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/CU 350A - German Popular Culture Fall, Spring English 3
SO/CU 370 - Urban Identities in Contemporary Europe Fall, Spring English 3
Environmental Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
US/AT/ES 315 - Urban Design and Sustainability Fall, Spring English 3
Film Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
FS 317 - Transatlantic 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 English 3
German Language
Course Name Term Language Credits
GR 101 - German Language in Context: Novice Abroad I Fall, Spring German 4
GR 201 - German Language in Context: Novice Abroad III Fall, Spring German 4
GR 301 - German Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad I Fall, Spring German 4
GR 351 - German Language in Context: Independent Abroad I Fall, Spring German 4
GR 401 - German Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad I Fall, Spring German 4
IB/GR 333 - Let's Talk Business (Wirtschaftsdeutsch) Fall, Spring German 3
Gender Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/HS/GS 335A - The Politics of Gender: Berlin Past and Present Fall, Spring English 3
History
Course Name Term Language Credits
HS/IR 320 - Espionage and Diplomacy in International Politics Fall, Spring English 3
HS/PO 300 - Security in Europe: Actors and Challenges Fall, Spring English 3
SO/HS/GS 335A - The Politics of Gender: Berlin Past and Present Fall, Spring English 3
International Business
Course Name Term Language Credits
IB/GR 333 - Let's Talk Business (Wirtschaftsdeutsch) Fall, Spring German 3
International Political Econ
Course Name Term Language Credits
IE/PO 318 - Germany in the Global Economy Fall, Spring English 3
International Relations
Course Name Term Language Credits
HS/IR 320 - Espionage and Diplomacy in International Politics Fall, Spring English 3
PO/IR 319 - Europe and the Middle East Fall, Spring English 3
Marketing
Course Name Term Language Credits
MK 316 - Global Marketing for Startups Fall, Spring English 3
Political Science
Course Name Term Language Credits
HS/PO 300 - Security in Europe: Actors and Challenges Fall, Spring English 3
IE/PO 318 - Germany in the Global Economy Fall, Spring English 3
PO/IR 319 - Europe and the Middle East Fall, Spring English 3
US/PO 368 - The Entrepreneurial City Fall, Spring English 3
Sociology
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/CU 350A - German Popular Culture Fall, Spring English 3
SO/CU 370 - Urban Identities in Contemporary Europe Fall, Spring English 3
SO/HS/GS 335A - The Politics of Gender: Berlin Past and Present Fall, Spring English 3
US/SO 366 - The Restructuring of Urban Space Fall, Spring English 3
Urban Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
AH/US 375 - Evolution of the Modern City: Urban Development and Architecture Fall, Spring English 3
US/AT/ES 315 - Urban Design and Sustainability Fall, Spring English 3
US/PO 368 - The Entrepreneurial City Fall, Spring English 3
US/SO 366 - The Restructuring of Urban Space 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. Field trips are offered at an extra cost. Here are a few possible destinations:

Hamburg
2 days | fall & spring
Explore Germany’s second largest city on this weekend trip to Hamburg, an economic and cultural hub with Europe’s third largest harbor, stunning modern architecture, and trendy shopping areas.

Leipzig
2 days | fall & spring
Join us for a weekend trip to Leipzig, the cultural and economic center of Germany’s East, to experience its bustling art scene and electrifying nightlife.

Potsdam
1 day | fall & spring
Tour Potsdam, the former residence of Prussian kings, and its stunningly beautiful castles, parks, gardens, and scenic waterfront views.

IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.

Course-Related Trips

Course-related trips within Berlin complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of urban development, societies, and culture in Berlin. Past activities have included:

  • Architectural tours of various city districts
  • Visits to museums and art galleries
  • Architectural tour of UNESCO World Heritage compound
  • Tours of Berlin's markets and multicultural neighborhoods
  • Visits to start-up hubs within Berlin
 

Required Program-Related Trip

This program includes an exciting course-related trip to either Vienna or Warsaw where you learn firsthand about historical and contemporary challenges cities are facing. The trip is a required, integral academic component of this program.The cost is included in the program fee.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA
5 DAYS | FALL
This academic trip will provide you with a new perspective on the Austrian capital. In addition to exploring its world-famous historical sites and museums, you will have the opportunity to discuss urban governance topics with local scholars and explore the city’s rich architectural heritage in relation to urban development.

WARSAW, POLAND
5 DAYS | SPRING
You will explore European history and urban development in a comparative perspective through this academic trip to Poland’s vibrant capital, viewing its distinct historical and cultural heritage through architectural tours, museum visits, and encounters with the local academic community

IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.

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 and walking tours that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services.

Orientation

The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Berlin staff, your fellow students, and the city of Berlin.

Our Comprehensive Orientation & Re-Entry Experience (CORE™) begins right when you arrive and continues through the semester with activities focusing on academic and cultural adjustment. Detailed information about housing, public transportation, culture, health and safety, and other important topics are also covered.

Following orientation, you divide your time between intensive German language instruction and a series of lectures, tours, and trips related to the history, art, and culture of Berlin.

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 centrally located for you to reach the IES Berlin Center as well as public transport. We offer two options to you, but please note that meals are not included in the program cost for either.

Living with Locals - 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. You will live in a single room or with another IES Abroad student.

Apartments - Starting from Fall 2019, we will offer same-gender, shared rooms in student apartments. Live with other IES Abroad students in apartments with fully equiped kitchens. 

Students usually prepare their own meals at home or dine in affordable student cafeterias or restaurants.

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 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2019 $14,995 $2,920 $230 $18,145

Term: Spring 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2019 $14,995 $2,920 $230 $18,145

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 historical center of Berlin with its vibrant cafés, restaurants, and galleries. It is within short walking distance from Humboldt University, the world-famous Museum Island, the Brandenburg Gate, and the governmental district.
Features at the Center include:

  • Classrooms, student lounges, and study spaces
  • 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

Dr. Barbara Finke Center Director

Dr. Sabine Berking

Academic Program Coordinator
Nadine Birner Internship and Core Coordinator
Gosia Piechowiak

Student Affairs Coordinator

John Schulze Assistant Director
Rolf Staudt Head of Administration
Britta Tonak Head of Customized Programs and Student Affairs
Ella Winter Student Affairs Coordinator