Duke in Berlin was founded at the Freie Universität of West Berlin in 1988 before the fall of the Berlin Wall. All Duke in Berlin sessions - Fall, Spring, and Academic Year- are designed to accomodate all students, regardless of their prior study or knowledge of German. No prior knowledge of German is required to attend.
Since 1990 the fall semester has taken place at Humboldt Universität in former East Berlin while the spring-summer semester continues to be based at the Freie Universität. Students attend Duke University courses taught by German faculty and by the program’s resident director. Students with sufficient German may take courses in the Berlin universities. Qualified engineering students may take courses at the Technische Universität Berlin. The program helps students advance their language skills, deepens their understanding of German culture, and broadens their grasp of the social sciences, art history, and technology in a German and European context.
Berlin is again the capital of Germany. One of the major metropolitan centers of the world, Berlin offers a wealth of opportunities for the student. It is one of the most culturally exciting cities in the world. The biggest city in the biggest country in Western Europe, Berlin boasts three opera houses, two symphonies, scores of theaters and music venues, and virtually innumerable museums. Berlin is etched with indelible images: the Old Prussian capital, the Roaring 20’s, postwar ruins, the Berlin Airlift, the Wall, reunification, modernization. Berlin is a city of old immigration and new, of xenophobia and multiculturalism juxtaposed. Berlin is a city of learning with four universities and nearly 150,000 students. Student life is extraordinary, diverse, and diffuse. The possibilities waiting to be explored are unlimited. To study in Berlin is to have an unparalleled experience.
The program offers courses at three universities: the fall program is based at the Humboldt Universität in former East Berlin and spring-summer at the Freie Universität in former West Berlin. Engineering courses may be taken at the Technische Universität in the spring. Humboldt was founded in 1810 as the University of Berlin. After World War II, it fell under Soviet administration in the divided city. Numerous students and faculty members left the east for the freedom of West Berlin, where they founded the Freie Universität in 1948. The Freie Universität is today regarded as one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the world. It has a student body of 45,000. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the German government moved quickly to transform Humboldt Universität, which has again become a magnet for students and researchers. More than 30,000 students are now enrolled there. The Technische Universität Berlin traces its origin back to the late 18th century and is today the largest technical univer¬sity of Germany with a very high percentage of foreign students. It has a student body of 28,000.
Elise Mueller, Duke in Berlin