As the capital of Germany and the largest city in the country, Berlin plays a pivotal role in the success of Germany as well as the entire European Union. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, no other city has seen more change and advancement than this great region, and the two Berlins have morphed into one cutting-edge location for culture, entertainment, architecture, and education.

Because of its innovative and high-energy atmosphere, Berlin has become a destination for gappers from all over the world, and offer opportunities that very few other locations can support.

It seems unfair that New York coined the nickname of “the city that never sleeps” as this truly describes Berlin. Residents of this city, particularly young people, are never bored, as there are more museums, restaurants, malls, pubs, and clubs than any normal person knows what to do with.

Beyond the typical attractions, Berlin also offers endless classes, internships, volunteer opportunities, and other educational experiences. Berlin’s vibrant charm makes it the perfect place for a gap year, as visitors are guaranteed to be challenged and ultimately flourish.

There are many different types of gap year programs available in the big city of Berlin, and gappers should have no problem finding one that fits their needs. Whether you speak German fluently or can only say “Prost!”, there are plenty of options for you.

When selecting a program, be sure to consider factors such as language level, dates and costs, extra experiences such as cultural excursions, and if it will be a homestay situation versus independent living.

Language Study

Most people take a gap year in order to see the world and learn a language before starting college or a new career direction. Because of the popularity of language programs, there are many options available for those looking to learn as much German as they can while in Berlin. One of the most popular is CESA Languages - Gap Year Program in Berlin, which offers beginner classes up through practically fluent. For other language school options, check out these awesome German language programs.

Internship

Many gappers go abroad with a clear professional or educational direction in mind, and taking a gap year doesn’t have to mean they take time off from their goals. Whether you want to be a high profile business executive, an art curator, or a translator, consider picking a program that will let you intern somewhere.

Cultural Immersion/Volunteer

A great option for gappers who want to learn outside of the classroom, culture or volunteer programs are also very popular. These are ideal if you want to be exposed to as much German as possible through interacting with locals in real-world situations. Europe Tour by GapForce is a solid option for those who want to go beyond just Berlin and experience as much of Europe as possible, as this program also takes students to Spain, France, Italy, and several other locations.

Au Pair

Au pair gigs in Berlin are hot commodities. Germans love having a reason for their children to learn as much English as possible, and there is no better way to accomplish this than by hiring a native English speaker to live in their home. In big cities like Berlin, au pair jobs are especially competitive but there are more options for job-seekers. For more information, check out our article on au pair jobs in Germany.

Health and Safety

Berlin is a very safe city. As long as visitors use common sense and do not attract attention to themselves, it is extremely unlikely that they will be targets for petty crime. Be sure to watch out for people shoving paper at you and asking you to sign something -- these are almost always pick-pocketers.

Germany in general is a very healthy country and no immunizations are required to enter. The standard of healthcare is high, especially in Berlin, where most doctors speak fluent English. Most Germans love being active so stay on the lookout for a gym or fitness classes to join (a great way to stay healthy and make new friends!).

Visa Information

Visas are not needed to enter Germany if you are staying for under 90 days. For a longer stay, gappers will need to obtain either a student visa or a work visa prior to leaving the US. For information on how to apply for a visa, please visit the German Missions website.

Culture and Etiquette

Germans hold themselves to very high standards, and more so in cities such as Berlin. They are punctual, very respectful of other people (especially those of authority), organized, and take great pride in their homes and heritage. With this said, Berlin is a huge city and its large immigrant population has given the city a very open, live-and-let-live attitude.

The two biggest areas of confusion for foreigners are in tipping and smoking. Generally speaking, tips are included in the bill, so simply round up to the nearest euro unless it was a large party. Germany has banned smoking in public places but in restaurants in bars it varies state to state.

Berlin is particularly lax on this, so take your cues from the other people around you. If you are conscientious about your behavior and have a good sense of humor about the culture shock process, you should have no problems!

Like most European cities, Berlin is not cheap to live in. However, it is on average much more affordable than other big cities such as London or Paris, especially for students. Gappers can expect to spend about $400 per month for rent in a house share situation, which is less expensive than the majority of other German cities.

Berlin has an excellent public transportation system that is also cheaper to use than most other German cities, and gappers will save further money by purchasing a travel pass instead of daily tickets (these travel passes are valid on all modes of transportation).

Also, always stay on the lookout for student discounts, as Europeans love spoiling their students. The majority of museums, theaters, and even bars will offer student discounts or “student nights”.

Even without a discount, the most upscale bars and clubs only cost $15-20 (but the majority are free). Unlike other European destinations, Berlin is a relatively easy city for gappers to stay within their budgets.

Contributed by Rebecca Murphy

Gap Year Programs in Berlin

Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 programs
EF Gap Year
EF Gap Year: Customizable 25-Week Program in Multiple Destinations
Multiple Countries
9.67 •12 reviews

Eager to become more worldly and prepared for college in just 25 weeks...

CESA Languages
CESA Languages - German Gap Year Program in Berlin
Germany
10 •1 review

The CESA Languages Berlin Gap Year course is ideal for anyone on a Gap...

EF Gap Year
EF Gap Semester: Customizable 12-Week Program in Multiple Destinations
Multiple Countries
New Program

Embark on a unique global experience in 12 weeks. EF Gap Semester is...

CIEE
CIEE College Gap Programs
Multiple Countries
New Program

Deferring your fall 2020 semester? Customize a gap experience with...

CIEE Global Navigator
CIEE Gap Year in Berlin, Germany – Global Entrepreneurship
Germany
New Program

Jump into the bustle of Germany’s capital city, home to nearly 3.5...

GeoVisions Foundation
GeoVisions - Tutor English to a Host Family in Germany
Germany
8 •1 review

GeoVisions' Tutor English to a host family provides volunteers a...

Au Pair International
Explore Germany as an Au Pair with API
Germany

Our Au Pair Program provides young people with a wonderful opportunity...

MovingWorlds
MovingWorlds Institute Global Fellowship: Social Impact & Career Growth
Multiple Countries

Our virtual career acceleration program is for professionals looking...

Latitude International Education
Au Pair in Germany
Germany

This program is offering you a unique opportunity to experience the...

CIEE Global Navigator
CIEE Gap Year in Berlin, Germany – Language & Culture
Germany

There’s never a dull moment in this dynamic city. Break free on a gap...

Irish Gap Year
European Explorer Program
Multiple Countries

The European Explorer Program is a structured, four-week, group...

GeoVisions Foundation
Au Pair in Germany with GeoVisions
Germany

GeoVisions Au Pairs travel to Germany to experience German life while...

World Unite!
Working Holiday support in Berlin and Germany
Germany

Berlin is a buzzing metropolis with an exciting cultural scene and...

Gap Year Internships in Berlin

Make the most of your gap year experience with an internship in Berlin
  • Cultural Vistas
    Cultural Vistas Internship Program in Germany
    Germany
    8.83 •6 reviews

    The Cultural Vistas Internship Program in Germany provides students...

  • Global Players
    Global Players- Coaching and Leadership Program
    Germany
    10 •3 reviews

    This Global Players program is for the student-athlete that seeks a...

  • FU-BEST
    FU-BEST Internship Program in Berlin
    Germany
    9.67 •3 reviews

    Looking for work experience that matches your career goals? FU-BEST...

  • Intrax Global Internships
    Intrax Global Internships in Berlin, Germany
    Germany
    10 •2 reviews

    Spectacular festivals and avant-garde fashion fairs contrast with the...

  • Educational Programmes Abroad (EPA)
    EPA - Internships in Germany
    Germany
    9.5 •4 reviews

    EPA Internships provide challenging pre-professional experience in an...

  • ArtBound Initiative
    Creative Internship in Berlin
    Germany
    8.92 •13 reviews

    ArtBound Initiative (ABI) offers customized internships for students...

  • iXperience
    iXperience Berlin – Learn + Intern Abroad
    Germany
    9.57 •7 reviews

    iXperience Berlin is an intense credit-bearing* six-week career...

  • Global Experiences
    Summer 2020 Internships with Global Experiences
    Multiple Countries
    9.75 •4 reviews

    Intern Abroad in the summer and have a life-changing travel experience...

  • City Travel Review
    City Travel Review - Travel Writing Gap Projects in Berlin
    Germany
    8 •1 review

    Employers today value work experience very much that a straight A...

What People Are Saying

I am incredibly grateful for the travel, service, and educational opportunities that EF has provided for me. I chose to do service learning in Tanzania and an internship in Sydney, Australia for my...

A glimpse of the Whitsunday Islands

I was a student in EF Gap's first-ever cohort in 2018-19, and it was an unforgettable experience. I was fresh out of high school, tired of classrooms, and just wanting to be different, so I decided...

Some of my friends and I at Ashridge

The EF Gap Year transformed me into a world traveller and gave me more confidence and knowledge to take on college. My fellow gap year friends are like my family, and I now have friends all across the...

airplane view of one of my favorite cities, Queenstown

Related Gap Year Articles