CIEE Berlin: Open Campus Program

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Customize your study abroad experience. Our Open Campus program at the new CIEE Global Institute – Berlin offers maximum flexibility to engage and experience Berlin in your own way. Match the academic experience with your interests, aspirations, and degree requirements: Pair two or three six-week blocks for your perfect amount of intensive study and cultural engagement, select your academic track from five diverse options, then choose your electives from our wide range of courses and subject areas.

No matter how you build your program, you’ll immerse yourself in the German language, culture, and people vibrant Kreuzberg district – a hub for the arts, techno, and the world’s digital currency boom. Live in a new residence hall, study in state-of-the-art classrooms, and get involved with fun activities, interest groups, and sports on a campus designed to connect you with the local community.

  • EXPLORE BERLIN’S architectural masterpieces and world-class arts scenes.
  • STAY IN BERLIN FOR THE DURATION of your study abroad or add on blocks in other CIEE Open Campus locations in Cape Town, London, Paris, Rome, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Copenhagen, or Madrid
  • SEE HOW GERMANY AND THE EUROPEAN UNION are addressing major healthcare challenges through courses and fieldwork.

Questions & Answers


based on 12 reviews
  • Academics 7.7
  • Support 8.9
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 12 of 12
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Open Campus Berlin

Berlin is a great city to study in. When comparing places, it won't wow you with beautiful tourist attractions (although those are in Berlin too) but it is a very dynamic city where there is always new stuff going on. I would feel bad when I saw people visiting for the weekend because it's a city that can't be captured in a weekend. In terms of making the transition, I would definitely recommend going in the fall when the weather is still nice, because around November it gets gloomy, cold, and dark very early. So in January and February it would make it tougher to get out and explore, and might make the transition tougher. CIEE is a very solid program to study with. They care a lot about the students and make a large effort to get there students out into the city and community with class excursions and several weekly optional excursions

How can this program be improved?
The communal kitchens can be a real problem. Most people clean their dishes, but they pile up real quickly from those who don't, and the kitchens get disgusting at times. There is supposed to be a cleaning schedule, but it isn't followed. It's just not an ideal thing to have to deal with. It would also encourage kids to explore more if we were given month passes on the public transportation every month, instead of little booklets of tickets that are just meant for our class excursions.
Yes, I recommend this program

Berlin Spring 2017

My 6-week block with CIEE Berlin was incredible. If you are reading this because you are considering studying abroad here, then DO IT!

I had the most amazing time in Berlin. The city itself has a rich history that you just have to experience in person, the food was undeniably good and the overall atmosphere of Berlin was just incredible. Living in the heart of Kreuzberg was a huge plus, and I loved the trendy, young, hip vibes of the neighborhood.

The CIEE Berlin staff was always there to help me with whatever needs I had- whether it dealt with academics, housing, exploring the local area or just having someone to talk to. From the professors to the security guards, someone is always willing to help.

I am so glad that I chose to study abroad in Berlin with CIEE, and my biggest regret may possibly be not staying longer. I miss my friends, Curry 36 and Mustafa's every single day. Hopefully I will make it back to Berlin in the near future!

Again, if you have to chance to study abroad with CIEE Berlin, then please please please do it!

How can this program be improved?
More excursions for classes would've been great that way students aren't stuck in the classroom all day and get to explore different areas of Berlin while still learning in the context of the class.

I also would've liked to see more staff members getting hands-on with students and really engaging and forming relationships/connections with everyone there.
Yes, I recommend this program
East Side Gallery

Okay Joke's Over. When Can I Go Back?

I always knew I wanted to study abroad. However, as the time to fill out applications was quickly approaching I was growing increasingly doubtful about leaving my home university. I transferred to my current school and found my home. I was heartbroken to leave my friends for a semester. I knew that I would enjoy my time in Europe but I was not prepared for how much I enjoyed my experience abroad with CIEE in Berlin.

I already want to go back to Berlin and I hope to live there in the near future. I knew basically zero German (besides the basics) before I chose to go to Berlin and I still thrived. I cannot express enough how much I loved this program and experience. Studying abroad in Berlin truly changed my life (everyone says that but it's true). Berlin is very diverse and it's refreshing to live there. There is always something to do in Berlin and an endless amount of restaurants (I'm a picky eater... this was important to me).

The way the CIEE Global Institute Berlin program was structured allowed me to experience and immerse myself in Berlin culture while learning from a different perspective in my classes. I actually learned more in my classes in Berlin than I ever have in any other course I've ever taken. In these courses we would often go on excursions that would allow us to make connections between class lessons and real life or history in Berlin.

I applaud this program and would recommend this experience to everyone. (I'm serious. I can't praise this program enough).

Yes, I recommend this program
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Berlin in Summer

My summer in Berlin was unbelievable. From seeing President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel speak at Kirchentag to walking the streets at night and watching the city light up to getting döner for lunch, dinner, or just a snack, Berlin in summer is something you have to experience. The city comes alive. Berlin has it all: culture, history, art, diversity of people, festivals, a mix of architecture, excellent public transportation, beautiful parks, and good food. CIEE Berlin makes it easy to explore the city. Its central location and comfortable accommodations only add to your experience. And now it's time for you to go and find out for yourself just how wonderful Berlin in summer really is.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Berlin: The Ideal City for University Students

I would definitely recommend this program to individuals who are interested in traveling abroad and learning more about German culture.

Location: Berlin is the ideal city for university students--everything is relatively cheap or affordable, and there is a lot to do around the city and outside of it. The CIEE Berlin location is in Kreuzberg, which is a neighborhood close to central Berlin that has lots of good eats and cute cafes to explore. While living in the CIEE institute, I felt safe as security was reliable and the area around campus was not incredibly dangerous.
Facilities: The rooms are decently large, and each one has a bathroom inside. I stayed in a double room by myself because there were not too many people on campus at the time of my program. Most program participants do not spend too much time in their rooms either because there is a lot to do outside. Nonetheless, the living accommodations are nice.
Classroom/Global Exposure: Most classes offered by the program include site visits around the city, which I thought made the classroom experience more interesting and immersive. However, being constantly surrounded by other American students in the class and on campus made it somewhat hard to meet local German students. I would say this is definitely one of the drawbacks of the program.

Overall, I had a wonderful time in the city of Berlin. I absolutely love the city of Berlin and see myself going back soon.

Yes, I recommend this program
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CIEE Berlin - Jan - May 2017

I was lucky enough to spend my junior year spring semester abroad with the CIEE program at their Berlin location. In the Kreuzberg district, I was met with a buzzing arts scene, a rich history, well-prepared curriculum and accommodating, friendly staff. For 16 weeks, there were organized social events and travels throughout Europe - I went with the group to Leipzig and Prague. I'd arrived with a very limited knowledge of the German language and by the end of my semester had fairly basic proficiency. I made friends in the program that I'm confident I will take with me wherever life may lead me as well as a whole new perspective on politics, culture and life in general. I'll always remember my time at CIEE fondly and believe that my time there has helped shape me into who I am today. I would highly recommend this program to anyone, regardless of their familiarity with Germany (you will become familiar), so long as they have an open-mind. The professors challenged me but also fostered a wonderful learning environment, the facilities were top-notch, and ultimately every factor was supportive of tremendous personal growth. I credit CIEE with facilitating many of my favorite memories from my semester abroad and as a major influence in my hopes to return to Berlin/Europe/the world as whole.

Yes, I recommend this program
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My Time In Berlin

I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and attend the University of Oklahoma so Berlin was a unique and completely different experience culturally. I was fascinated with the amount of art (mainly graffiti) architecture, and the dense history that Berlin had to offer. Living in a culture with a completely different language was hard but unbelievably rewarding. I really had to open my mind and learn how to navigate through the culture and immerse myself into the way Berliners act, move around the city, and how they balance their work and leisure time. Almost every night in Berlin had something new to offer, specifically their club and bar scene. Berlin is a great place to study abroad if you want to widen your ideologies and figure out new ways of thinking that might not have crossed your mind before while also experiencing a great alternative party culture. CIEE Open Campus in Berlin had a great living facility and immediate access to the city for any needs a person might have.

Yes, I recommend this program

Spring in Berlin

My time in Berlin, Germany through the CIEE program was incredible. Looking back I wish I could have been there longer than for just one semester. Cherish the time you have there. I would recommend keeping a diary like I did. You will experience so many great things that only a diary can help you keep track of all the amazing little details. Not only is the city perfect for broke college students, but it is the perfect city to live in if you plan on traveling a lot on a budget while studying abroad. Of all the cities that I was able to visit during my time abroad, none will have a place in my heart like Berlin does.

Yes, I recommend this program
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When Can I Go Back to Berlin?

I could not have asked for a better place to spend my semester abroad than in Berlin. The history, the club/social scene, the variety of cuisine, and the public transportation system were all incredible.
To start off this review, I want to express that yes, this will be a scary experience-you're stepping outside of your comfort zone. However, don't let that stop you: the faculty are incredibly supportive and will help you any way they can. If you've been seeing a counselor at your home university, there are English speaking counselors, one of which I saw while abroad. It was a Godsend to have someone to share all the highs and lows of my experience with.
I lived in a homestay, which (as with everything) had its pros and cons. Faculty will warn you about getting caught in the "American Bubble" where you stay in a comfortable space (aka the CIEE building) and don't explore and interact with Berliners. By being in a homestay I prevented getting caught in this American Bubble. However, I do think I missed out on some social perks of staying in a dorm with other students. The dorms are average as far as dorms go; the kitchens are shared, which means they are almost always a mess. As far as academics, the courses I took were interesting and all the professors are incredibly intelligent. One of my professors used to be the director of Doctors Without Borders in Berlin, and he took us to meet with them during one class period! Professors are encouraged to use Wednesday mornings or class time for "academic excursions", which I think added greatly to the class and helped me explore the city of Berlin more. The classes were just challenging enough without impeding on my desire to explore the city outside of class time. The one downside of the academics was the lack of students taking classes taught in German; as a German minor I was excited to take German classes, but many of the courses I wanted to take were cancelled due to low enrollment.
The absolute best part about this program were the weekend trips. There were three total-one for each block-and hotel, breakfast, two meals, and two tours/activities are included in tuition! I know some students opted out of the trip (you always have this option) to travel on their own, which I never understood; a free trip with interesting locations? Sign me up! A word of advice that I'm sure the faculty will also express: spend some weekends in Berlin. As much as you'll want to travel outside of the city, Berlin has so much to offer, and you'll get more out of your experience if you don't go away every weekend. That being said, I really enjoyed meeting some of my friends in Oslo, Norway, and Copenhagen, Denmark, for long weekend trips!
Studying abroad was one of the best choices I made during my undergraduate career. I learned so much more about the German culture and particularly the culture and history of Berlin. Traveling alone made me so much more confident and independent. I caught the "traveling bug" and am looking forward to the next time I travel overseas (because there will be a next time!)

How can this program be improved?
The program offers an opportunity to complete an internship over the course of 6 weeks (the semester is divided into three blocks consisting of six weeks each). This is not an ideal amount of time to do an internship, and though I was placed in the incredible Charite University Hospital, I know many students who were unhappy with their internship placements. I think a better internship program would involve an internship over the course of the entire semester, with students given the option to find their own internship prior to arriving.
Yes, I recommend this program

Inga's review

This program was amazing. The staff was there to help whenever you needed it and hey were all so kind. They had ample opportunities for you to experience parts of Berlin, but ayou also had enough time to explore the city with friends. It's located in a perfect part of tthe city where it is very accessible to the Ubahn and various shopsx restaurants and grocery stores. Although you are surrounded by a makority ofther American students, you are so close together that you create a tight knit family.

How can this program be improved?
Creating a kitchen routine that would keep the kitches cleaner.
Yes, I recommend this program

Find Yourself

To imagine that I almost missed out on the study abroad experience...

It was an incredible experience to study abroad in Berlin, the heart of a mix of cultures, acceptance, and history. It was such an incredible place to explore, study, and make new friends that will last a lifetime. Not only did my language skills develop immensely, but my sense of self-identity blossomed in Berlin. I could find anything and everything that was at the heart of my passions, and was surrounded by people who only encouraged me to embrace it. Whether it was something super nerdy like Star Trek or very sporty like fussbal, fellow colleagues, staff, and the local German people supported anything that my heart could desire.

The location of the CIEE Berlin - Open Campus dorms and university and centered in the heart of Kreuzberg, not far from anywhere you would want to go in Berlin -- close to the zoo, the science museum, TWO comic book stores, antique shops, a very large variety of restaurants, and, of course, historical sites that anyone visiting Berlin must see.

How can this program be improved?
Encourage more travel within Germany, so that students can experience the variety of culture within Germany and also the similarities within regions.
Yes, I recommend this program

Berlin open campus

Best far the best part of this program were the professors. I always felt I could go to them with anything even if it was something like weekend suggestions. Even professors I didnt have made it a point to learn my name! All of the time I spent doing the outside the classroom activities were my favorite. My favorite was when my advanced German class went to the Turkish market for the day! We were able to work on our skills in a real world setting and I felt accomplished after this experience! Even in non langauge classes were encouraged to go out and engage witht he community which was such a good experience! Overall I loved my time avroad and I can't wait to go back

How can this program be improved?
One thing is to work on the WiFi and the printers!
Yes, I recommend this program


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A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international study and exchange programs. For 65 years, CIEE has helped thousands of students, professionals, and educators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and...