Berlin Consortium for German Studies - BCGS

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The Berlin Consortium for German Studies (U Chicago, Columbia U, Cornell U, Johns Hopkins U, U Pennsylvania, Princeton U) is an academic-year or spring semester program dedicated to helping students improve their German language skills by providing intensive language training, encouraging them to function independently in the German university system, and offering a program that allows them to fully experience German life, customs, and culture.

Students enroll at the Freie Universität Berlin, which hosts a broad variety of departments. Students may also consider taking select courses at other universities in Berlin. Studying in Berlin for the full year opens the possibility of arranging full-time internships during the semester break in February and March.

The equivalent of at least two years of college-level German is required to apply to the program. The academic year program runs from September to July, while the spring semester program runs February to July.

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based on 16 reviews
  • Academics 9.6
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.9
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The Best German Exchange Program in the U.S.

BCGS provides the perfect balance of support and independence for students who want the most out of their time abroad. The somewhat rigorous first weeks of the program involve an intensive German language class and a guest-stay at a local family's home. I remember waking up each day genuinely enthusiastic about heading to the university to see what was next on the agenda. And that enthusiasm carried over into the lectures and seminars later on in the semester, when I could comfortably participate in class discussions and prepare oral presentations.
I made lots of local friends both through the university and a men's rugby club that I joined my very first week in Berlin. From concerts, to operas, to summer festivals, I constantly had the almost overwhelming feeling of not having enough time to accomplish everything.
But on the other hand, there was also something quite special about becoming part of the day-to-day lifestyle of Berlin. As my attention gradually shifted from music, parties, and museums to grocery shopping and recycling, I found myself feeling truly at home in Germany's capital.
At the end of the program, thanks to the superb teaching at BCGS, I qualified for C.1 German proficiency and I am now pursuing a master's degree in Berlin. I honestly believe that I accomplished much thanks solely to this program, and that there would have been no better way to spend my junior year of college.

Yes, I recommend this program

About Berlin Consortium for German Studies

The Berlin Consortium for German Studies (BCGS) is a joint venture of the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Princeton University in association with the...