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

You are here

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 Paris, France, 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.

Click to launch the virtual tour.

$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 English 3
Architecture
Course Name Term Language Credits
US/AT/ES 315 - Urban Design and Sustainability Spring English 3
Cultural Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/CU 330 - Pop Culture and the Modern Metropolis 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 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 English 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 Fall, Spring English 3
History
Course Name Term Language Credits
HS/IR 320 - Espionage in the 20th & 21st Century Spring English 3
HS/PO 300 - Security in Europe: Actors and Constellations Fall, Spring English 3
SO/HS/GS 335A - The Politics of Gender in Germany Fall, Spring English 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 in the 20th & 21st Century 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 Constellations Fall, Spring English 3
IE/PO 318 - Germany in the Global Economy Fall, Spring English 3
Sociology
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/CU 330 - Pop Culture and 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 Fall, Spring English 3
US/SO 366 - The Restructuring of Urban Space Fall, Spring English 3
Urban Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
US/AH 340 - Visual Culture and the Urban Landscape Fall, Spring English 3
US/AT/ES 315 - Urban Design and Sustainability 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. These trips are subsidized by IES Abroad, though extra costs may apply. Past destinations have included:

Dresden
2 days | Fall & Spring
See the breathtaking historic sites of this Saxon capital, the “Florence of the North,” with its culture and nightlife. You’ll visit the Zwinger palace, the Frauenkirche, and museums full of countless art treasures. This trip is partially subsidized by IES Abroad.

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 German culture and society. Past activities have included:

  • Architectural tours of different districts of the city
  • Lectures at governmental institutions, organizations, and think tanks
  • Tours of art and advertising on Berlin’s public transportation
  • Tours of Berlin’s multicultural neighborhoods
  • Tours of a Cold War-era prison and other historical sites
  • A soccer game
 

Required Course-Related Trip

This program includes an exciting course-related trip to either Paris (fall) or Warsaw (spring), where you learn firsthand about the challenges facing cities. This course-related trip is a required, integral academic component of this program (activities vary by course).

PARIS, FRANCE
4 DAYS | FALL
This academic trip to Paris will provide you with a new perspective on the French capital. You will not only visit its world-famous and historical sites, but will also have the opportunity to discuss migration and diversity from the lens of Urban Studies, and explore the city’s cultural and ethnic diversity through guided tours.

WARSAW, POLAND
4 DAYS | SPRING
Explore European history and urban development in a comparative perspective through this trip to Warsaw, Poland’s vibrant capital, along with a smaller Polish city with a distinct historical heritage, such as Wrocław or Kraków. Architectural tours, museum visits, and encounters with the local academic community are organized for an enriching academic and personal experience.

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

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

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


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


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