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Berlin: Global City in the City of Europe 2013 - An Unforgettable Study Abroad Experience
by Mark Davis

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Karey Fuhs
Assistant Director, IPD Study Abroad

Schedule Appointment

Open to non-NU students.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Institution: Humboldt University
Term: Summer Quarter (2014 Program Dates: June 15 - August 17)
Application Deadline: March 1, 2015
Fellowship Application Deadline: March 1, 2015
Language Requirement: None; All courses will be taught in English


This unique Northwestern IPD program introduces students to contemporary German and European affairs, with a particular focus on the city of Berlin, its history, culture, music, economics, and politics. The program is divided into two sessions and is geared toward students who either have no background in the German language or have completed the German Department’s first-year sequence. Students with greater knowledge of German are also encouraged to participate. In addition to classes taught by Northwestern and Humboldt University faculty, students take organized excursions to major historical and cultural sites in Berlin and other cities, including a three-day stay in Weimar during the intersession.


The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, founded in 1810, is one of Berlin’s oldest universities. Located in the center of Berlin, Humboldt offers over 240 degree programs spanning from the humanities to the social and natural sciences, many of which offer courses taught in English. Named after one of the great Enlightenment reformers in the field of higher education, Wilhelm von Humboldt, it is often considered the first modern research university, founded on the idea that advances in knowledge are the premise of effective teaching. The university is home to many of Germany’s greatest scholars, scientists, and thinkers, past and present, including the philosopher G.W.F. Hegel, the mathematician Karl Weierstrass, and the physicist Max Planck. Fifteen percent of the student body of Humboldt-Universität comes from abroad, with the university hosting about 1,500 international students each year.


Accommodations and a few group meals are provided as part of the program package, but students are responsible for most of their own meals. Students are housed in two-room apartments at the Gästehaus Berlin Mitte, which include a living room, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a mini-kitchen for preparing meals.


  • Session I Courses Taught by Northwestern Faculty:
    *Students enroll in a German language course plus one content course. Students receive direct credit and grades on their Northwestern transcript for the classes taken during Session I.

    German Language I (beginning, intermediate, advanced levels offered)
    Students will be placed in German 101 or German 102 according to prior experience with the German language. No previous knowledge of German is required. Advanced courses will be offered by Humboldt University faculty. Course Instructors: Clemens Ackermann (German 101), Ingrid Zeller (German 102)

    Choose one course from:
    Introduction to German Culture, Politics and Economics
    Few cities have been so thoroughly transformed in the 20th century as Berlin. In the 21st century, Berlin has emerged as a vibrant city that reveals many layers of historical complexity throughout its urban spaces. In this course, students will be exposed to the history and culture that define Berlin as well as the political and economic transformations that characterize Berlin as both a historical and modern city. Readings will be accompanied by excursions, thus combining textual analyses with hands-on experiences of spaces with historical and cultural significance. Course Instructors: Katrin Völkner and Jörg Kreienbrock

    Music History through the Lens of Berlin, 1800-2000
    This course is organized around two interconnected themes: musical works that received their premiere performances in Berlin, and present-day musical institutions with legacies stretching back through centuries of musical life in the city. The course combines lectures with required attendance at performances and guided visits to important musical sites in Berlin. Course Instructor: Jesse Rosenberg


Berlin Sites and Neighborhoods
Students on the program will have the opportunity to visit several of Berlin’s most famous sites. Possible visits include: Checkpoint Charlie, the Bundestag, the Reichstag, the Berliner Philharmonic, the Jewish museum, and Kreuzberg.

Located southwest of Berlin, Weimar is a city with a rich cultural heritage. It was the focal point of German Classicism, home of leading writers, philosophers, and musicians, and was recognized as the birthplace of Germany’s Weimar Republic as well as the internationally known movement and school for art and design, the Bauhaus.


Summer 2014 Program Fee= $7,700, which includes tuition, housing, program-related excursions, and HTH Worldwide Health Insurance. Students should also budget $850 in fees (Study Abroad Administrative Fee for NU students), about $1,600 for international airfare, and $2,500 for books and personal expenses, including meals, non-program transportation, personal travel, and other incidentals. Refer to the Downloads for a cost information sheet for this program.

Students applying to this program may be eligible for IPD Study Abroad Fellowships and for external funding opportunities. Students participating in this program are subject to Withdrawal Policies for Northwestern-Sponsored Programs.

For more information about billing, finances, and financial aid for study abroad, please refer to the Money Matters resource page of the Study Abroad Office website or contact Krista Buda Bethel in the Financial Aid Office.