Duke in Berlin



Apply Now

This six-week, two-course program, offered in cooperation with Rutgers University, is based in Berlin, the political capital of Germany and the economic capital of Europe. Directed by Germanic Studies Professor Jakob Norberg and Susanne Freytag, Duke in Berlin offers a range of elective courses in a stimulating and historical urban environment. The program is interdisciplinary in nature and attractive to students with a substantial interest in German politics and culture.

Students with no prior German are welcome. Choose from an array of upper-level courses in English, as well as all levels of German. You can choose to take both classes in English, both in German, or one in English and one in German (most popular option).

Graduate students in all departments are welcome to apply and may enroll in all courses. It is advised you apply for funding from your own department or from other sources.


Location: Berlin, Germany

Term: Summer

Dates: May 18  to June 29, 2018

Application Deadline: February 1

Academic Theme(s): German language, politics, and culture

Credit Type: Duke Credit 

Eligibility: Open to all majors. Open to all graduate students. You need not have taken German courses to participate except as noted for specific courses. Language students will be placed in courses prior to departure. Must be in good academic standing.

Duke Affiliation: Co-sponsored by Duke’s Department of Germanic Languages and Literature

Housing: Apartments

GEO Advisor:  Alayne Wood


You’ll enroll in two Duke faculty-led courses, each offering one credit. Courses will be offered in elementary, intermediate, and advanced German. In addition, upper-level content courses taught in English fulfill German Studies, Public Policy, Jewish Studies, History, ICS, Literature, Theater, Art History, and other departments’ requirements.

The Duke in Berlin summer program offers three tracks:

  1. English only
  2. German only
  3. One course in German and one in English (This is the most popular option.)

Neither the pass/fail option nor auditing is permitted. The following courses have been offered recently and are proposed for the upcoming summer:

Courses Taught in German

GERMAN 101 First Year German I (FL) 1.0 Credit
Introduction to German language and culture. Four skills (understanding, speaking, reading, writing) and communicative approach to the language of everyday life in German-speaking countries, the language of their histories and societies, their arts and letters.

GERMAN 102 First Year German II (FL) 1.0 Credit
Second semester of introductory language course. Practice in spoken and written German, vocabulary building, building cultural awareness. Focus on topics of everyday life in German-speaking countries through stories, poetry, music, video, internet, as well as grounding in basic structures of the German language.

GERMAN 203 Intermediate German I (CZ, FL) 1.0 Credit
Each of these courses builds language proficiency through a topic-oriented syllabus focusing on contemporary German-speaking cultures and societies (family, leisure, work, education, environment, current events).

GERMAN 204 Intermediate German II (CZ, FL) 1.0 Credit 
(See description of GERMAN 203 above.) Increased focus on reading, speaking, essay writing. Extensive reading includes one full-length play by a contemporary German, Swiss, or Austrian writer.
GERMAN 303AS  Advanced German in Berlin  (ALP, CCI, CZ, FL) 1.0 Credit
Reading and discussion of advanced material centered largely on contemporary Berlin. Development of written and oral proficiency in German, as well as insight into the cultural and historical aspects of the capital. Prerequisite: GERMAN 204 or equivalent. May substitute for 305S or 306S to fulfill major requirement.

Courses Taught in English

Economics of Green Germany 
(SS, STS, EI) 1.0 Credit

Comprehensive overview of the Energiewende—Germany's effort to reshape its energy system, the industry, and building sectors into a nuclear-free, low-carbon economy. Application of a range of analytical methods—including economic assessment tools, legal analyses, and political science—to shed light on different facets of the Energiewende and to help understand the public and academic debates around it. The course thus offers different angles—looking at the economics of the Energiewende, as well as the technological, social, ethical, legal, and political implications. 

Art & Architecture of Berlin: Fifteenth to the Twentieth Century   
(ALP, CCI, CZ) 1.0 Credit, Professor Matthias Pabsch

The main goal of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the visual arts of Germany from the 15th to the 20th century through lectures conducted in Berlin’s museums and cultural institution. Classroom lectures will be kept to a minimum so that students may encounter actual works of art in the city’s magnificent collections. Some lectures will be conducted by guest speakers, such as curators from the Bauhaus Archiv or the Neue Nationalgalerie.

Students will learn about the German Old Masters, such as Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach, as well German Romantic and Realist artists, including Caspar David Friedrich and Adolf Menzel. Germany’s powerful modernist art movements, such as Expressionism and New Objectivity, will be considered in relation to the many upheavals in modern German history. By the end of the course, students will not only have a broad understanding of the development of the visual arts in Germany but also of how art has served in the elusive search and articulation of German cultural identity. Includes architectural bus & walking tours, as well as an excursion to the castles of Potsdam.

Capturing the City: Documentary Photography in Berlin 
(ALP, CCI) 1.0 Credit

Through excursions to museums, art galleries, and studio visits with photographers and documentarians in Berlin, students will learn and practice the analysis and interpretation of still photography. Students will conduct documentary photography fieldwork projects focused on interpreting cultural life, public spaces, landscapes, and people in Berlin and will mount an exhibition of their work.

Students will learn the techniques and practice of color photography—composition, lighting, color correction, editing, and sequencing—alongside studying the history and development of documentary photography in Germany since the 19th century. Project fieldwork sites may include Tempelhof airfield (a Nazi-era airport made famous during the 1948–1949 Berlin Airlift and now used as a public park as well as reception center for refugees), flea markets, and the Berlin U-Bahn.

Frontier City Berlin: Facing History's Great Challenges  
(CZ, CCI) 1.0 Credit

This course deals with some of the great challenges and conflicts of the 20th and 21st century, such as capitalism vs. communism and authoritarian vs. democratic governance, and focuses on Berlin as a city at the forefront of historic struggles. In particular, it treats Berlin as the site of the first socialist revolution in a highly industrialized nation (1918/19); the rise of fascism amidst an advanced urban culture; the legacy of world war and totalitarian rule; the Cold War division of Berlin; the fall of communism and the crises of capitalism; and the search for an environmentally sustainable future.


The various program courses will make use of site-specific resources, such as the Berlin Jewish Museum, the Stasi Museum, the new museum of the former GDR (East Germany), the Bundestag (Federal Parliament Building), and the Gemäldegallerie (an art museum devoted to painting), to name but a few.

You will have the opportunity to hear the world-famous Berlin Philharmonic as well as to attend a variety of other cultural events in Berlin. We will offer optional day trips which may include Potsdam, Dresden, Wittenberg, the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, or other destinations to be determined by the program director. The program includes one long weekend trip to another German city.


You will be housed in shared apartments with full kitchens (two or three students per two-bedroom apartment) in Kreuzberg, a culturally vibrant section of Berlin. You will be responsible for a refundable housing damage deposit. There is also an optional cell phone rental program.

Students are responsible for all meals.


Costs below are estimates based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change. 

Summer 2018

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $6,780 $6,780
Program Fee $1,500 $1,500
Transcript Fee N/A $40
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $12,932 $12,972


FAQ Costs

What does the program fee cover?

The program fee for this program includes: 

What is not included?

Use the following list to assist with budgeting for expenses outside the program fee. This list contains common examples but should not be considered exhaustive.

  • Airfare
  • Airport transportation to/from host site
  • On-site accident and health insurance policy
  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Immunizations
  • Visa and/or residency permit
  • Passport
  • Textbooks and class materials
  • Internet usage
  • Mobile phone (Rental program available)
  • Independent travel and entertainment
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Incidentals
  • Meals

Personal Spending

Personal expenses can fluctuate greatly depending upon habits and preferences of the individual. It’s also wise to budget for unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies. You can use a cost-of-living comparison tool to get an idea of what daily life costs in the program host location.

When will payments be due?

Step 1: Within 2 weeks of acceptance to the program, submit the Summer Participation Agreement found in your MyGlobalEd application to confirm your enrollment. A parent/guardian’s co-signature is required. This form takes the place of a deposit.

NOTE: If you withdraw after March 31, you will be charged a cancellation fee of $2000 for this 1 credit program.  

Step 2: Summer invoices will be sent via email to your Duke email address and home email address. Remit payment to the Bursar per due date and address indicated on your online statement. All financial arrangements involving Duke University must be completed prior to departure for the program.

Duke Bursar’s Office

Can I use financial aid to pay for this program?

Duke students receiving financial aid are eligible for aid for this program (work-study funds must be converted to loans). Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.

Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.

Are there scholarships available for this program?

This program offers the following scholarship opportunities:


Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted.

  • Arrival: May 18, 2018
  • Departure: June 29, 2018


You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. You are expected to arrive on the arrival date cited above, which usually means departing the U.S. one day prior. Once you have a flight itinerary, log in to MyGlobalEd to update your travel registry.

Housing Before/After

You will need to make your own housing arrangements if you will be arriving before the program start date or leaving later than the program end date.




No visa is required of U.S. citizens to participate in this program. Non U.S. citizens should check visa requirements for their specific citizenship by contacting their country’s embassy to find out if any visa requirements or restrictions are in effect.


All participants must have a valid passport. Make sure your passport has at least six months of validity beyond the program end date to avoid unintended disruptions. For instructions on obtaining or renewing your U.S. passport, visit passports.state.gov.

International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

An International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is optional. ISIC is the only internationally recognized form of student ID, endorsed by UNESCO. The ISIC will allow you to enter many museums free or for reduced fees, and will often entitle you to travel discounts. If purchased in the U.S., the card also carries with it a supplemental insurance policy, which can prove to be very helpful in the event of serious injury.

You may purchase this card through www.myisic.com. Processing of the card takes between 4-15 days. After confirmation of enrollment and prior to departure for the program, email your ISIC card/policy number and expiration date to globaled@duke.edu.


  • Deadline: February 1, 2017. This program has rolling admission. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered.
  • Priority: Priority is given to applicants who submit all materials by the deadline.
  • Minimum GPA: 2.7 on a scale of 4.0. If your GPA is lower than 2.7, you must obtain permission from your academic dean to study away. See: GPA Waiver Form.
  • Non-Duke students: This program is open to all majors and applicants from accredited colleges and universities. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.
  • Late applicants: After the published deadline, qualified applicants will be considered on a space-available basis.


The Duke in Berlin program director can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the Global Education Office.

Susanne Freytag

Visiting Lecturer of Germanic Languages and Literature

Susan Pratt

GEO Asst. Director & Regional Manager


Apply Now

Please start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.

To apply to this program, please submit the following items using MyGlobalEd

  1. Online application
  2. Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted.
  3. Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate
  4. Academic letter of recommendation (one)