• Germany
    • Berlin
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships, BIPOC funding
Health & Safety

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
Nov 27, 2023
Mar 24, 2022
24 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

Diversity & Inclusion

LGBTQIA+ Support

Today, and every day, we celebrate who you are and who you will become. We take pride in simply getting to know you, and look forward to adventuring through this incredible world with you.

Studying abroad as part of the LGBTQIA+ community can present unique opportunities and challenges in exploring a new culture, so we have compiled resources on sexual orientation, gender identity, and allyship to help prepare you and support you along the way.

Neurodivergent Support

Going abroad, whether this is your first time or your umpteenth, can be a trip both literally and figuratively. Seeing something new or being someplace unfamiliar has its own challenges, especially when it comes to mental health and physical accessibility. With IES Abroad, you won't handle these concerns on your own.

We have not only compiled resources on mental health, physical health, and self-care to help prepare you and support you along the way, but we also have a dedicated Student Affairs staff that are available for you to contact from the United States and once in your host country.

Accessibility Support

Going abroad, whether this is your first time or your umpteenth, can be a trip both literally and figuratively. Seeing something new or being someplace unfamiliar has its own challenges, especially when it comes to mental health and physical accessibility. With IES Abroad, you won't handle these concerns on your own.

We have not only compiled resources on mental health, physical health, and self-care to help prepare you and support you along the way, but we also have a dedicated Student Affairs staff that are available for you to contact from the United States and once in your host country.



As part of IES Abroad's Global Good Commitment, IES Abroad employs sustainability measures in the following ways:
-Moving toward more sustainable Headquarters and Centers abroad
-Producing printed materials mindfully
-Hosting events and conferences in LEED-certified buildings
-Purchasing carbon offsets for staff air travel
-The formation of the IES Abroad Sustainability Team - a dedicated group of volunteers responsible for implementing sustainable practices across our organization. The team comprises of members across our Centers, departments, teams. It is truly a global effort, and we are better for it.

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

4.86 Rating
based on 44 reviews
  • 5 rating 86.36%
  • 4 rating 13.64%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.1
  • Support 4.75
  • Fun 4.65
  • Housing 4.75
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 44 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

Fell in love with Germany during my first time abroad

Berlin is an incredible city, so filled with history and culture! I felt at home very quickly at the start of my program, and I have to attribute much of that to the lovely staff at IES's Berlin Center. They welcomed us in with much care and support, and the faculty were really knowledgeable. My courses were striking and very relevant to my degree in International Affairs. I feel I've returned with a better understanding of the relationship between America and Europe, and how my identity fit as an American in Germany. The staff took us on day trips to Hamburg, Potsdam and Dresden, which were very enjoyable! They also provided opportunities to attend cultural events and visit local museums. Our pre-departure information meetings with the Center staff were very informative; learning about grocery stores and prepaid cellular providers beforehand saved me time during our first week of adjustment. The neighborhood our student apartments were in is a very cool area, and public transport across the city is great. I became really close with the other students in the program, and we bonded more because we lived in the same building. I'd highly recommend Berlin to anyone looking to visit Europe for the first time, and I'd advocate for any of IES's other programs in Germany as well!

  • Fantastic location with easy transportation methods for urban, national, and regional travel
  • Solid academic engagement that nicely blended German culture within it
  • Great opportunities to build relationships with students, faculty and staff
  • Wished the excursions outside of the city were longer
  • I felt more academic stress than I expected to at times, but perhaps that was influenced by personal performance standards
89 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My Student Abroad Experience

Studying abroad on the IES Metropolitan Studies in Berlin was one of the best times in my life. My cohort was the first ones back since the pandemic so many things were different, so please take my review with a grain of salt. However, I had the most fun ever. The group that came was much smaller than a typically year so as a result we all got to know each other quite well. We all lived in the same apartment buildings so we frequently collaborated on meals and gatherings. This worked well for my program as it was nice to live in a community of others from the States and allowed for an easier transition into Germany. We had many planned trips through IES which were a lot of fun and the classes were incredibly interesting as they used the city of Berlin as a case study. Overall can't recommend enough, the staff were incredible as well and so friendly. You will truly be supported on this program if you decide to go.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
There is so much to do in Berlin. Don't feel the need to do it all at once. If you fall in love with Berlin come back and do it then. Just enjoy yourself, it's Berlin. Eat Döner kebabs, get beer, go to a museum. Come back and do it all again!
94 people found this review helpful.
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.
119 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.

130 people found this review helpful.
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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.

122 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.

121 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!

128 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
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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.
116 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...