Duke University : Global Education for Undergraduates

Duke in Berlin

The Program

Duke in Berlin was founded at the Free University 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 University in former East Berlin while the spring-summer semester continues to be based at the Free University. Students attend Duke University courses taught by German faculty and by the program’s resident director. Students with sufficient German may take courses at the Berlin universities. Qualified engineering students may take courses at the Technical University in Berlin. The program helps students advance their language skills, deepens their understanding of German culture, and broadens their grasp of the social sciences, humanities, and technology in a German and European context.

The City

Berlin is the capital of Germany. One of the major metropolitan centers of the world, Berlin offers a wealth of opportunities for the student. 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 also 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.

The Universities

The program offers courses at three universities: the fall program is based at the Humboldt University in former East Berlin and spring-summer at the Free University in former West Berlin. Engineering courses may be taken at the Technical University 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 Free University in 1948. The Free University 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 University, which has again become a magnet for students and researchers. More than 30,000 students are now enrolled there. The Technical University traces its origin back to the late 18th century and is today the largest technical university of Germany with a very high percentage of foreign students. It has a student body of 28,000.

    • Visit to the Top of the Reichstag
    • Visit to the Top of the Reichstag

    • Brandenburg Gate
    • Brandenburg Gate

  • Berlin Wall