Berlin Summer - Language & Culture


Program Description


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

This program combines the development of language skills with English- and German-taught courses that expose you to Germany’s fascinating history and present-day culture and society. German language courses are available at the beginning and intermediate levels. A German-taught Literature course is offered for advanced-level students. Course-related trips play a central role in the program, taking you outside the classroom to discover the rich heritage and contemporary culture of Berlin and Germany.

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.


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 two courses for a total of 6-7 credits. You may take the third course for a total of 9-10 credits at an additional cost. Students with beginning or intermediate language skills are required to take a German language course.

  • IES Abroad German Language courses (4-credits) (required for students with less than one year of college-level German; optional but highly recommended for intermediate-level students)
  • English-taught IES Abroad area studies courses (3-credits)
  • German-taught IES Abroad Literature course (3-credits) (prerequisite: at least 4 semesters of college-level German)


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.

  • 20th Century German Art and Architecture
  • Global Challenges to the 21st Century City: Design and the Promise of Sustainability
  • From Lenin to Lola: Contemporary German Film
  • German Language in Context: Novice Abroad
  • German Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad
  • Politics of Remembrance: Berlin - Memory, Identity, and Modernity
  • Berlin in Literature - Literature in Berlin
  • Germany and European Unification
  • Global Challenges to the 21st Century City: Design and the Promise of Sustainability
  • Politics of Remembrance: Berlin - Memory, Identity, and Modernity

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 optional trips are subsidized by IES Abroad, though extra costs may apply. Here are a few possible destinations:


1 day | Summer

Visit the capital and crown jewel of the state of Brandenburg, and admire Sanssouci’s fabulous palaces and surrounding gardens.

Baltic Sea

3 days | Summer

Visit one of the nicest and most charming areas of Germany. Whether you are looking for nice white beaches, wanting to explore the 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 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

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.


You will spend your first 2 days in Berlin participating in the mandatory, comprehensive IES Abroad Berlin Summer program orientation. IES Abroad staff will guide you through the following activities during this time:

  • An introduction to the IES Abroad Berlin Summer program, staff, and your fellow students
  • A guided tour of Berlin
  • A presentation on student life in the city
  • Course registration
  • A welcome reception
  • Workshops on housing, health and safety, and intercultural issues
  • Registration with the city

Additionally, CORE, IES Abroad's Comprehensive Orientation and Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focused on goal achievement, cultural adjustment, and preparing for the return home.


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 residents are living. Our goal is that when you leave Berlin, it will feel like home.

Living with Locals - Live with local residents throughout the city. Hosts may be single adults, single parents, families, or German university students. No meals are provided.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events


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

  • German history museum visit
  • German Parliament visit
  • Berlin city tour
  • Potsdam day trip


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.

Summer 2020

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Summer 2020 $4,540 $1,375 $135 $6,050

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

Summer Need-Based Financial Aid

Up to $1,000.

Open to students who apply to and attend an IES Abroad or IES Internships summer program.

Criteria reviewed to determine award:

  • Level of financial need as determined from the information provided on the application. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients.
  • IES Abroad program location.
  • IES Abroad membership status of the home campus.

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
Last updated Nov 2019

About the School

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectation ... Read More

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 6,000 study abroad students every year. Read less
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