• Germany
    • Berlin
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Apartment Host Family


Price Details
Contact IES Abroad or see website for details.
What's Included
Accommodation Classes Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Visa
May 10, 2021
Feb 11, 2020
9 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

When you study in Berlin, you have one of the world’s most modern and diverse cities at your fingertips.

An average day could include a visit to the Berlin Wall before checking out a new music venue or art exhibition, since in Berlin, the past really does meet the present. Modern architecture and vibrant youth culture surround the historical sites that you read about in textbooks. Now let history surround you and dive into the vibrant cultural scene of Germany’s capital and largest city.

People from all over the world come to study in Berlin, making it the perfect place to study abroad. From international affairs and security to language studies—or even a full-time internship, one of our programs will provide you with the ultimate Berlin study abroad experience!

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Learn German during amazing IES Abroad language classes.
  • Take part in IES excursions to other European cities such as Budapest, Vienna, and Dresden.
  • Participate in optional internships to gain international career experience and to develop your résumé.
  • Experience local culture through housing with local residents in apartments throughout the city
  • Customize your schedule with courses options taught by world-class professors at our IES Abroad Centers and at prestigious local universities.

Popular Programs

students gathering around a Berlin Wall memorial piece on a rainy day

Specially designed to improve your German language skills, this program draws upon Berlin’s rich culture to connect your coursework with the living history of the city. Learn about German politics and policymaking in class and then visit the German Parliament or discuss multiculturalism in Berlin and then tour one of the city’s bustling Turkish neighborhoods. IES Abroad courses are taught in German by local faculty, and a variety of academic options are available at local universities.

student smiling on a rooftop with the Berlin skyline behind him on a cloudy day

Through comparative and interdisciplinary courses, you will study topics such as architecture, cultural identity, gender and sexual politics, multiculturalism, popular culture, and urban studies. Tour Berlin's neighborhoods and explore the city's architecture as you learn about metropolitan development and urban planning, or attend and discuss a local theater event as part of your pop culture class. Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city's many historical and cultural sites.

students sitting around a table in a courtyard

Berlin's geo-political history and its present importance make it the ideal place to study International Relations, Security Studies, Sociology, Business, and Economics, as well as Culture, Film, Art, and German Language. The English-taught courses delve into the pros and cons of the European Union’s open borders, strategies to combat terrorism, and the challenges and benefits that migration brings.

Flag of Germany blowing in the wind on top of a building with the Berlin skyline behind it

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.

Monument in Berlin with a circular columned base and a tall tower topped with a golden angel

This English-taught program explores topics in Urban Studies, Architecture, and Environmental Studies in Berlin, a city that has both rebuilt and redesigned itself over the past century. Courses integrate field study to provide a first-hand look at Berlin’s architectural innovations, methods for integrating sustainable design, and various historical and political movements. Field study trips to important sites within Germany round out the program.


IES Abroad Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

Financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why IES Abroad offers more than $6 million in scholarships and aid. IES Abroad offers a number of diversity scholarships and grants to provide opportunities for traditionally underrepresented communities in study abroad.

$500 - $5,000

Program Reviews

9.52 Rating
based on 42 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 85.71%
  • 7-8 rating 14.29%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 8.9
  • Housing 9.1
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 42 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A supportive environment for achieving my goals

Berlin is a fantastic city, and with the proper courage and support, most anyone can have an amazing experience there. IES Berlin did a great job providing this support and helping us students step out of their comfort zone to have the best experience that we could. IES made sure we had the basic familiarity with Berlin and German culture so that we could safely and productively explore. Regular trips and activities around the city and the country encouraging me to see important parts of the culture and history that I might have missed out on otherwise. (Mostly) excellent professors pushed our German language abilities so that I was able to interact more effectively with our surroundings and get the most value out of our time. The classes encouraged me to engage with Berlin, taking me on walking tours and making me interview Berliners. I had plenty of time to explore the things that attracted me once class got out too. Tinder, Facebook, and the like are alive and well for getting to know locals and finding out about events. The student assistants employed by the program were incredibly friendly and had tons of great recommendations and advice as we went out to find our own favorite bars, sports teams, and activities. Whenever I was in Berlin, I felt supported. Staff members were accessible around the clock, and we regularly received emails with notifications about events that might interest students feeling lost or isolated. The program also fostered a friendly environment around the center, so even if we were having trouble, there was someplace comfortable to go. I had to seek out the things I wanted to get out of my time abroad, but IES was there to help and support me the entire way.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish IES had been more clear about what a homestay meant - I was not living with a family, I essentially had an elderly roommate who kept mostly to himself and wanted someone to pay rent.
19 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Year of a Lifetime

My year abroad in Berlin has been one of the best experiences of my life. Studying abroad provided me with a chance to truly experience the German culture and language firsthand while also getting to learn a different side of myself. This experience has shaped me into a person who is willing to be adventurous, chase understanding, and explore new sides of myself and my surroundings. But not only have I gotten to know myself, but I have become a part of the language and culture around me. Being able to take classes both through IES and Humboldt University, I have been able to learn about the German educational culture while furthering my German language skills immensely. But while these aspects of my education have given me a greater understanding and appreciation of studying in Germany, they almost do not compare to the amount I have learned outside of the classroom. Living in Berlin has taught me more about Germany - in the past and the future - than I could have ever hoped to learn from afar. I have been able to live and be part of the history of Germany. My home-stay taught me about the German culture and past from the point of view of someone who lives it everyday. It is truly amazing to be able to discuss things like the Berlin Wall with someone who lived in Berlin from the time of the Wall's creation until the time of its destruction. There is nothing better than learning from those who saw it happen. These are the moments that made my experience abroad something that I will remember forever. Things like that can only happen on a study abroad like this, and this is just one small example of the amazing things I have been able to experience through this study abroad experience. Studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made. No matter what I do in the future, I know that this experience has helped shaped me into an independent, open, and ever-learning individual. I could not be more satisfied with my IES Abroad Berlin experience, and I highly recommend the opportunity to anyone and everyone.

22 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Two Thumbs Up for Berlin

I was fortunate enough to complete my dream of traveling to Europe, specifically Berlin, Germany. Coming here to study for a semester was the best decision I have made in my entire life. I went to this country alone, not knowing anyone, but came out with friendships that will last a lifetime. I was able to live in a homestay, which made this journey a lot more fun. I was fortunate enough to already know German before coming, and I was able to continue learning with a German class at IES. I got to travel to so many different places within Berlin and check out all the historical aspects, the wall, and many museums. There is so much to do in Berlin that there was never a day that I was bored. The city is so easy to navigate and public transportation can get you basically anywhere. I can't wait to come back someday and visit my old stomping grounds.

19 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Berlin offers me new perspectives

Berlin has a contemporary and relaxing atmosphere, but it also has important layers of history. Many of my classes here touched upon history through different lens. For example, in Metropolitan development class, we discussed how different political ideologies in East and West Berlin influenced urban planning and architectural designs. In Recycled City class, we talked about economic challenges after reunification and how neoliberal housing policy led to gentrification. The program here delves into underlying mechanism of how urban space is practiced and its physical manifestations. During my time in Berlin, I also got to meet new people from different cultural backgrounds. I attended dance classes in a contemporary dance studio and met a Korean girl who was studying theater in Sweden. While dining out, I got to learn stories of immigrants from China, Vietnam, and Turkey. Each individual carries his/her own bits of history and every conversation we share becomes a moment of cultural exchange. I really enjoy such moments.

20 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Language and Cultural Exploration

I was enrolled in the Language and Area Studies in Berlin and all my classes gave me different perspectives of the city. Students in this program will take 5-6 classes (all conducted in German) including one German intensive class. This made me nervous but all the professors understand that we are learning the class as well as the language itself. All my classes have excursions to different places in the city such as the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin's State Parliament (Abgeordnetenhaus) and many more. The center itself is supportive in helping students and they put together different events for the students. IES also hosts weekend trips to other cities like Dresden and Hamburg, so we learn more about the different cities in Germany.

In this program, students are most likely to live with a host-family and I love my host! They are a family of four and really care about my experience and always there to help me. Coming from a school of 1,500 students in a small city makes me a little bit worried about being in a big city like Berlin, but I love every moment of my experience there!

20 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


Although I was looking forward to studying in Berlin, I didn't know how much I would love my time abroad. On the first day of the program, IES student assistants took us all to get SD cards, take residency permit photos, and gave a tour of the area around the IES center. When I expressed concerns about being trans, a staff member invited me into her office to check in with me and make sure I was doing okay, as well as offer any support I needed. Furthermore, the academics and professors were great. Although only about 40 students were enrolled in my program, there were a variety of classes offered for all different interests. Through classes, being in Berlin, speaking German with my host family, and making local friends with whom I also spoke German, my understanding and ability in the language significantly increased. I had so much fun in Berlin going to museums, exploring the city's night life, and meeting people. Additionally, I traveled to Hamburg and Luebeck through IES and it was great to see different parts of Germany in a pre-planned trip.

What would you improve about this program?
We did not receive the semester schedule until about a week before the program started, so I didn't know that I had a week break in September. It would have been great to find that out earlier so I could plan a trip, along with just wanting to know how the semester was set up.
19 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Definitely exceeded expectations!

After four months in Berlin with IES, I can confidently say that I have found a new home in Berlin! Not only was the city itself a lively place to live as a student with countless concerts, exhibitions, parties, and other events going on every week, but my homestay was cozy and comfortable and my host family super kind, generous, and excited to chat and help me improve my German. In the case of any concerns or problems, the staff at IES was always available and willing to help, super approachable and friendly.

From an academic standpoint IES also exceeded expectations. I took only classes with IES (I wish I could have taken classes at Humboldt or Freie Universitat, but due to the German university schedule (fall/winter semester classes end in February) I could not), which worked well for me, as I prefer small seminar-style classes and being able to speak with and get to know my professors. The course load was manageable, and all of my professors were so friendly, funny, and smart. I actually wanted to go to class and learn from them. Above all, they were sympathetic to the fact that all of us were German students, not native speakers, and it was clear that they cared about our success. The student assistants at IES, all students at Humboldt, were available for tutoring sessions to help proofread assignments or simply to provide general advice and recommendations in Berlin. They were a great resource!

All of my classes also put an emphasis on using Berlin as a classroom, which meant lots of "field trips" and excursions to relevant museums and monuments, libraries and archives, or to theater performances. That was definitely a huge plus to being in Berlin, and one of the academic highlights for me.

On the whole, I would definitely recommend IES Berlin for anyone looking to improve their German and interested in really learning and getting to know this beautiful city. I will definitely be back!

What would you improve about this program?
My only complaints would be an occasional lack of organization and communication, especially at the beginning of and prior to the program about scheduling.
18 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Ich bin Berliner!

My first study abroad experience with IES had been a phenomenal experience. As a German major, I wanted to improve my language speaking skills, however, I wasn’t ready to submerge myself into super German Bayern region. I fell in love with the city of Berlin because there was never a moment where I didn’t have anything to do. In addition, IES placed me in a very wonderful home-stay in Prenzlauer Berg. For courses, the IES program offered classes that were exciting and entertaining, such as Contemporary German films and Berlin Literature. With the literature class, I received full immersion to discuss texts verbally and write essays in German. From the beginning of my arrival to Germany, I went from not being able to ask for directions to conversing casually with the Döner stand owner about how his stand was my favorite place to get Döner and how I will miss it when I return to the US.

19 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

No, the general requirement is three prior semesters of German, though I think they may sometimes make exceptions for two semesters of study. All classes and coursework are in German, so you would definitely struggle with no prior knowledge. HOWEVER, IES have a number of other programmes in Berlin for which German is not a pre-requisite, but you take German courses while there-- for example, the...