IES Abroad Berlin Summer - Language & Culture
96% Rating
(7 Reviews)

IES Abroad Berlin Summer - Language & Culture

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 level. A German-taught Literature course is offered for advanced-level students. Field study plays a central role in the program, taking you outside the classroom to discover the rich heritage and contemporary culture of Berlin and Germany.

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Program Type
Subject Areas
Art History
Jewish Studies
Degree Level
Online Application
Official Transcripts
Age Requirement
GPA Requirement
Health Requirement
Price Details
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Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 7 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 8.7
  • Housing 8.9
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 7 of 7
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Experience of a Lifetime

Study abroad was a life changing experience for me. I have always known that I wanted to visit Germany, but I did not know how much I would fall in love with it. Everywhere you look you see something different and full of history. The more time you spend in the area, the more you notice the little things full of meaning that are often overlooked. Leaving Germany was like a bad break-up and I would do anything to go back.

While Berlin was amazing, the icing on the cake was the IES Abroad-Berlin staff that made the experience so much better. They were very helpful in helping me with question about coming back to Germany to continue my studies in Biochemistry or pursue a career in Medicine. The teachers that I had were invested in helping us learn more about their culture and more about Germany as a whole. I would not trade this experience for anything as it helped me decide that if I had the opportunity to study or work in Germany, I would take it in a heartbeat.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I can think of to improve this program is to have actual German students come and be with us while taking classes. This would help improve our German by a lot as what we hear is German without an American accent.
Yes, I recommend
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Summer Abroad In Berlin

I had a fantastic time on the IES Abroad Summer Language and Culture Program in Berlin. The program staff were available to help me with any problems I had and even checked in with me before I left to see how I was feeling. Once there, all the staff were very accessible and available to answer any questions I had. The program has got safety down to a science, there are phone calls to check you can be contacted in case of an emergency and a special website that warns you of any threats present in Germany. Berlin itself is very safe, I never felt threatened or unsafe, just use common sense and you’ll be fine! The home stay experience was one of my favorite parts of the program. I was initially very worried about living with a German family, however my host mom was very friendly and helped me improve my German speaking skills greatly. My classes at the IES Center were also very good and interesting. The professors are very qualified, and also understand that you are there to experience the culture of Berlin. My classes were always interesting and tied to things I could experience right there in Berlin. I went on field trips around the city and saw things relevant to my classes, such as museums and even the buildings where historical events took place. Berlin is a beautiful city which is full of history, and I got to experience that first hand! The city of Berlin is a fantastic city on it’s own. It is full of green space, history, food of all kinds, outdoor markets and events going on everywhere. The public transportation is great, and IES provides you with a pass to get around the city. The center is right in the heart of Berlin and in a very safe area. The center itself is very well laid out and includes a lounge and an area to study in. Overall, I had an amazing time in Berlin with IES and would highly recommend this program!

Yes, I recommend
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Sweet Home, Berlin

I spent the summer of 2016 studying in Berlin through IES -- and I had probably the best summer of my life. Even before you leave for Berlin, the program guides you through pre-registration for classes, what to pack, and generally how to best prepare yourself for time abroad. Upon arrival, the program began with a few days of orientation, which were incredibly helpful in introducing us to the public transport system, the IES center and staff, things to do around Berlin, safety procedures, etc. IES really cares about their students: they make sure each student has a working phone while abroad so everyone is in contact should anything critically important arise. This orientation set IES apart from a summer program I did the summer before, and my time in Berlin started off on the right foot.

Classes are rigorous but not demanding; there is plenty of time outside of class to explore the city. Part of the program fee includes monthly public transportation passes, which you get on your first day of orientation (no having to figure out the system and buy them yourself!). These were INVALUABLE. You just hop on and hop off whatever tram, U-bahn, or S-bahn your heart desires. But make sure to have them on you! Officers will randomly check cars, and if you don't have yours, you have to go to the BVG (public transit) headquarters and pay 60 euros. It is a major bummer -- trust me.

You definitely have to put in effort if you want to spend time with the locals, since many of the student assistants are Americans who are living in Germany. That being said, your social life is sure to be amazing: there are SO many things to do in Berlin! IES plans a handful of events throughout your summer, including a free trip/tour to the very lovely Potsdam and a free bus tour around Berlin. There is also an optional but not free tour -- this summer it was to the Baltic Sea. It was a bit pricey for me, but my friends who attended enjoyed it. I also went to concerts, visited museums, toured historical sites, among other things. Notable places to visit in Berlin are the famous Mauerpark Flea Market (complete with karaoke!) and Tempelhof Airport, an airport no longer in use that makes a great park! I had one of my best nights in Berlin at Tempelhof: some friends and I packed picnic things and watched the sunset. I remember sitting in the grass, the wind blowing through my hair, and just feeling so alive.

IES stands apart in my mind because it works so incredibly hard to ensure its students are prepared for their time abroad. From the get go, I felt like I knew what I was getting into, and because I did not have to worry about figuring everything out on my own, it was all the easier to begin exploring the city! Studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity to reconsider who you are and what kind of global citizen you want to be, and IES is a wonderful program that will help you do just that. I really felt at home in Berlin and at IES. And because I felt so comfortable, I really was able to make the most of my opportunity there and get to know my peers, my professors, my host family, and the city.

How can this program be improved?
The one thing I had hoped to do more while I was in Berlin was interact with locals. Because IES does not employ many local Germans as student tutors or assistants, there weren't many opportunities provided by IES to interact with local Germans. That being said, it just means you have to work a little harder to meet some Berliners, which is certainly not impossible!
Yes, I recommend
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Great experience!

I really enjoyed my experience with IES Abroad. The courses were challenging, but not too overwhelming and there were a lot of opportunities to get involved with the local university. It's a bit hard to meet Germans, but I think that's true for most foreigners in Germany. Berlin is an amazing city and worth the trip. The only problem was my homestay. I asked to be "independent of host" and was placed with someone who was very clingy and wanted to be overly involved in my life. Other than that, everything was fine.

How can this program be improved?
Find better housing options and correlate them better to the student's request
Yes, I recommend
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How to be comfortable speaking a foreign language

I had studied German for four years, so when I went to Berlin to study abroad everyone assumed that it would be a cinch since I knew the language. Needless to say it was quite easy to get around because I could read signs, but speaking to Germans in German was frightening! But I over came my odd fear by just being immersed in German language and culture. It definitely helped to be studying it as one of my courses, but what really made me feel confident about my ability to speak was having random conversations with German locals. It really was a wonderful experience to meet friendly Germans who obliged in a not-so perfectly spoken conversation. These spontaneous conversations in all sorts of places in Berlin will remain as the highlight of my learning experience.

How can this program be improved?
I would've liked to have had my home stay information prior to arriving, because I would have liked to have established a connection to my host parent prior to arriving and known where I was living.
Yes, I recommend
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Excellent program, outstanding staff

I highly recommend this program for anyone considering Germany as a study abroad destination. Berlin is the perfect city to experience culture, nightlife, art and academics, and the IES program provides everything you need to enjoy all of these. The center staff is exceptional; they are very friendly, always eager to help in any way, and its obvious that they all enjoy their work.

The program does a great job of walking the line between guiding you and allowing free time. You will be on your own most of the time, but they organize several group events such as dinners and excursions to other cities. You can choose just how involved you want to be at the center for yourself. They start by providing you with all the necessary resources (maps, food info, transportation cards, emergency resources, etc.), and guide you around the city a bit, but then you are really free to explore.

As far as safety goes, its hard to imagine having felt any safer while I was there. I had some issues en route (missed flights, stranded at Berlin airport), and the staff worked late into the night to contact me and get me to my homestay, doing everything possible to help me. I got a little sick during my stay and visited the doctor (one is located less than 10 minutes away from the center, which is convenient). It was fast, efficient, and free, thanks to the insurance. In the extremely unlikely event that something bad happens to you in Berlin, the center has all the contact info you need provided on a card that they give you.

My homestay was fantastic. I was well matched with my host, who provided a great opportunity to practice German and share interests (in my case cooking and literature), and the apartment was gorgeous and comfortable. Judging by the other hosts I encountered, they have a really good vetting process at IES since they were all awesome people.

The academics were excellent as well. I learned a lot from both of the courses I took, and we frequently visited various museums and historical parts of Berlin to get a well rounded understanding of the topics. The grading was fair, and although I wouldn't say it was easy, homework and papers definitely won't be consuming a lot of your time here.

I really don't think I could have enjoyed this program more. I would highlight the truly outstanding staff, who are always going out of their way to make things fun and engaging. This was especially true of the optional Prague trip we took, which I highly recommend signing up for.

How can this program be improved?
There could be a few more opportunities to learn German around the center for those who are at a lower level. They don't pressure you to speak much German at the center, but the flipside of this is that you are free to do so if you want. At the end of the day its up to you to decide how much you want to speak.
Yes, I recommend
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Amazing Summer Experience Through IES

The IES program was truly the best experience of my life. I learned so much about living on my own in a big city, taking classes in a foreign country, and speaking German. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone interested in Germany or just looking to broaden their experiences.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe encourage the speaking of German around the center a bit more. But other than that, this experience was amazing.
Yes, I recommend

About IES Abroad

IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student...