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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: German Click here for a definition of this term Core Program Attributes: Cornell In, Direct Enrollment
Click here for a definition of this term Minimum GPA: 3 Click here for a definition of this term Housing Options: Apartment
Click here for a definition of this term Approved by: A&S, AAP, CALS, ENG, HUM EC, ILR, SHA Program Advisor: Dr. Kristen Grace
Curricular Highlights: Economics & Business, Media/Communications, Natural Science, Politics/Policy/Law, Research, Sustainability
Program Description:
Berlin Header
Berlin Photo

At a Glance

City: Berlin
University Partners: Freie Universitat,
Housing: Apartments with German students or Student Residence Halls
Calendar: Fall: Early Sep.-Early March; Spring: Early March-End July; Year: Early Sep.-End July
Application Deadlines: Academic Year: March 1;  Spring: Oct 1
Budget:  Cornell in Berlin Spring 2017 Budget;  Cornell in Berlin Academic Year Budget
Cornell in Berlin Flyer


Studying abroad at Cornell in Berlin offers an incredible opportunity to master German language skills by engaging in intensive academic coursework
while integrating into German culture. Freie Universität Berlin, hosts a variety of departments including Biology, Economics, Political Science and much
more. Berlin’s vibrant nightlife, art scene and fascinating history create an exciting environment to experience life in the new Europe. Spending an
academic year opens the possibility of arranging full-time internships during the semester break in February and March. Students, with the help of the
program, have arranged many interesting internshipsover the years in political foundations, government offices, hospitals, opera houses, public relations
firms, and schools.


Why Berlin? Video



Berlin's largest university, the Freie Universität Berlin was established in 1948 under its founding motto, "Truth, Justice, Freedom." Some 33,000 students including more
than 6,000 international students make up its student body. This traditional university offers over 150 different programs of study.

Primarily located in Dahlem in southwest Berlin, the campus includes offices and classrooms housed in villas, some large lecture halls, parks, and wooded areas. In addition
to many research institutes, the FU Berlin also has a large library system, computer facilities, a center for recreational sports, and a wide array of student organizations. Like
most European universities, it is not a residential university, and its student body commutes to the campus from all over greater Berlin.

The BCGS facility is located on the main FU campus in Dahlem and functions as a home base for program participants. For an introduction to the FU in English, as well as
links to topics like "Studies and Teaching" and "Academia and Practice", please click on the following link:

Academic Calendar

The German academic calendar starts much later in the fall and spring, allowing for BCGS to offer a six-week German Discourse & Culture class.  However, the differences
in the calendar mean that it is only possible to study in Germany for the academic year or spring semester, both of which end in July.  For current dates, please see the
BCGS website.

During their first semester (fall or spring) students enroll in the following for a minimum of 18 points:

German Discourse and Culture, 6 points
Taken during the orientation period prior to the start of the German semester, this mandatory six-week course combines extensive language study with an introduction to the
discourse of German academic culture, both spoken and written, in preparation for successful study in the German university system. Special attention is paid to practical
vocabulary for both academic and daily living applications. Satisfactory completion is required as a condition of enrollment in courses at the FU.

Selected topics in German studies, 4 points
The Academic Director determines the topic of this course every year, based on his or her own academic interests and background. The course takes advantage of Berlin
and its resources to inform the coursework. Past topics have covered history, art history, literature, theater, and cinema. During the spring term, a course on
German-American relations is offered by the Resident Administrative Director.

Supervised study in the German university system, minimum of 8 points
Direct enrollment into at least two courses in the German university system. Based on the results of a placement exam taken at the end of the practicum, BCGS staff assist
students in finding appropriate courses for their language level and academic interests.


Housing Video

Upon arrival in Berlin, BCGS students stay together in a youth hostel for orientation weekend.

Guest Stay
During the first month of the program, students live with German hosts. The guest stay is an invaluable opportunity for students, providing a window into the daily rhythms
and customs of Berliners.

Shared Apartments or Dorms
After the homestay, students move into FU-arranged dorms or they will have independently found an apartment share for the rest of their stay in Berlin. While apartment
hunting can be challenging, most BCGS students choose to find their own shares because doing so provides another opportunity to improve their language skills, benefit
from cultural exchange with their German roommates, and explore a different neighborhood.
The program organizes a series of excursions and cultural activities in and around Berlin, which is integrated into the academic program. These trips are intended to provide
an insider's look into Berlin and Germany, and they often provide access to people and places students might not otherwise have.

Study Trips

Each semester, students also participate in three- or four-day study trips. Past destinations have included Bonn, Cologne, Dresden, Hamburg, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Munich,
and Weimar. During these trips, students participate in guided visits to places of historical or cultural interest, listen to program-exclusive lectures, and usually have an
afternoon free to explore on their own.

Freetime and Internships Video

Students who are motivated to apply their German in a professional setting and gain experience in a particular field can apply for an internship. The BCGS staff provides
assistance in finding internships, particularly during the winter semester break, but students must be proactive in pursuing and securing placement with their chosen
organization. Past internships have included:
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik (DGAP) (foreign policy think tank)
  • Rotes Kreuz (Red Cross, accounting division)
  • Deutscher Bundestag (German parliament)
  • Mayor's office (Division for Protocol and International Affairs)
  • Plan B Communication (public relations and marketing firm)
  • Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung (Berlin government office for urban planning)
  • Komische Oper (Opera House)Benjamin Franklin Krankenhaus (FU hospital)
Students are expected to communicate in German at all times in the BCGS Center and on BCGS-sponsored activities.  Students who choose to speak German primarily or
exclusively during their time abroad make considerable progress with their language.


Costs included on Bursar Bill:
-Includes tuition, CIPT, housing during language practicum, excursions

Estimated Out-of-Pocket Costs:
Airfare, local transportation, meals, miscellaneous, etc.

For an estimated budget, check out the Cornell in Berlin Spring 2017 Budget  as well as the Cornell in Berlin Academic Year Budget

Blog Journalists

Patrick Molligo

More Information

Dr. Kristen Grace
Cornell Abroad
300 Caldwell Hall

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Approx. Start Approx. End
Spring 2020 10/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Programs may fill long before their final deadline. * Recommendation--For SPRING: APPLY in MAY to study abroad the following spring. For FALL/YEAR: APPLY in DECEMBER. Late applications may be accepted, but colleges typically need time to process your approval.