Duke in Berlin

SEMESTER & YEARLONG PROGRAMS

Study a mix of subjects at two German universities in Berlin

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No prior knowledge of German required

The Program

Duke in Berlin was founded at the Freie Universität Berlin (Free University Berlin) in 1988 a year before the fall of the Berlin Wall. All Duke in Berlin sessions—Fall, Spring, and Academic Year—are designed to accommodate all students, regardless of their prior study or knowledge of German. No prior knowledge of German is required to attend.

All three semesters are primarily 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 two Berlin universities that Duke in Berlin works closely with (Free University and Technical University). Qualified engineering students may take courses at the Technical University in Berlin during the spring semester. The courses taught by Duke in Berlin faculty help students advance their language skills, deepen their understanding of German culture, and broaden their grasp of the social sciences, humanities, and technology in a German and European context.

The City

Berlin is the capital of Germany and is the largest city in the European Union. As one of the major metropolitan centers of the world, Berlin offers students a wealth of opportunities. Berlin boasts innumerable places to explore and sights to see: lively streets lined with restaurants offering foods from all corners of the world, quaint neighborhoods inviting you to take a relaxing stroll, 175 museums showcasing art and cultural exhibits from around the globe, a vibrant street art scene, three opera houses and two symphonies, scores of theaters and music venues featuring performances in both German and English, as well as an abundance of parks, forests, and lakes, allowing you to enjoy nature right outside your doorstep. Berlin is also a city of higher education with four universities and nearly 100,000 students, a fifth of them from abroad, and around 20,000 researchers and professors. Student life is lively, diverse, and intellectually stimulating. Spending time is Berlin is exciting on so many levels.

The Universities

The program offers courses at two universities: the fall and spring-summer program is based at the Free University in former West Berlin. Engineering courses may be taken at the Technical University in the spring. 

The Free University Berlin (FU) was founded in 1948 in former West Berlin by professors and students. Since 2007, the FU has been one of only 11 German universities selected as an Exzellenzuniversität, a university of excellence, and ranks 4th among German universities. 34.000 students are enrolled at the FU who can choose from 170 degree programs.

The Technical University Berlin (TU) traces its origin back to 1770. However, the university underwent numerous reconfigurations until arriving at its current status as Germany's first technical university in 1946. Just like the FU, the TU was also named an Exzellenzuniversität, ranking 7th among German universities. Today, the TU enrolls about 34.000 students. 

PROGRAM FAST FACTS

Location: Berlin, Germany

Term: Fall, Spring, or Academic Year

Dates: August 25, 2022 - December 15, 2022 (Fall); February 3, 2022 - July 31, 2022 (Spring); January 6, 2022 - July 31, 2022 (Spring Engineering/Beginner Track)

Application Deadline: Extended to April 1st (Fall and Academic Year); October 1 (Spring)

Academic Theme(s): German Language and Culture

Credit Type: Duke Credit (Fall) or Hybrid Credit (Spring or AY)

Eligibility: Applicants must be in good academic standing with a B average. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke Affiliation: Duke Department of Germanic Languages & Literature

Housing: Homestays

GEO Advising: Request an appointment 

  • Students at the East Gallery, featuring part of the former Berlin Wall

  • The Berlin Cathedral

  • Students at the Berlin Cathedral

  • Potsdamer Platz

  • Students on top of the Reichstag

  • A view of Berlin from the Reichstag

Duke in Berlin Video by Rory Bradley

 

ACADEMICS

German Major and Minor: Most students who participate in a Duke in Berlin semester program are eligible to pursue a German major or minor. The German major requires 10 courses in German at or above the 200-level. The German minor requires five courses at or above the 200-level. All courses offered through Duke in Berlin count toward the major and minor.

  • FALL
  • SPRING
  • ENGINEERING

FALL

The fall program for students with beginning through advanced German offers a two-credit language and culture class taught in German (GERMAN 111A, GERMAN 212A, or GERMAN 312AS). Additionally, students choose two courses from among an art history class, an economics class, or an environmental policy class. Instruction in these courses begins in English and switches gradually to German. Students earn a full semester of Duke University academic credit.

Prerequisites

Applicants must be in good academic standing with a B average. A letter of recommendation from a professor of German (if applicant has taken German) and a second recommendation from any faculty member, a transcript, and a statement of purpose are required.

Special note to students with no prior German: For those students applying to the Fall program without any prior German (or without any German courses at Duke or their home institution), the required letters of recommendation may come from any instructors.

Courses & Credits

GERMAN 111A
Intensive First-Year German
(FL) 2.0 credits

Students will be exposed to the fields of reading, writing, listening, and speaking and will be trained so that they can take full advantage of being in Germany. After a short period, students will be able to communicate with native German speakers on a basic level. The course combines in one semester the work of German 101 and 102. Taught by program faculty.

GERMAN 212A 
Intensive Intermediate German
(CZ, FL) 2.0 credits

Intensive grammar review and practice of spoken and written German. The course combines in one semester the work of German 203 and 204. Taught by program faculty. 

GERMAN 312AS 
Advanced Intensive German Language and Culture
(ALP, CCI, CZ, FL, W) 2.0 credits

Development of advanced proficiency with particular emphasis on speaking and writing. Through analysis of literary and nonliterary texts, excursions, museums, films, theater performances, students gain in-depth knowledge of various aspects of German culture and society. Advanced grammar review, vocabulary building, oral presentations, as well as a variety of writing assignments. This course fulfills major requirement for German 305S and German 306S. Taught by program faculty.

ARTHIST 296A / GERMAN 322A
Berlin: Architecture, Art, and the City, 1871 to the Present
(ALP, CCI, CZ) 1.0 credit

Development of urban Berlin, from the Gründerzeit (the Founding Years) of the 1870s to the present. Architecture of Imperial Berlin, the Weimar and Nazi periods, post-World War II and the reconstruction as a unified city, from late Historicism to Postmodernism. Taught by program faculty. 

ECON 260A / GERMAN 321A
Economics of a United Europe
(CCI, SS) 1.0 credit

Implications of a common monetary policy, common welfare standards, unemployment, and migration in the European Union. Taught by program faculty.

POLSCI 295A / PUBPOL 201A / GERMAN 320A
Environmental Policy in Europe
(CCI, SS) 1.0 credit

Economic concepts and environmental policies with their application to selected environmental issues in Western and Eastern Europe, transboundary pollution problems, and the role of the European Community. Taught by program faculty.

SPRING

The Spring semester offers students at all levels of German language (beginners to advanced) the opportunity to study in Berlin.

Spring students are required to take 4 courses but may take up to 6 courses, combining Duke courses with direct enrollment courses/transfer credit courses at the FU and/or the TU. This is possible because of the extended length of the German university semester, which runs from mid-April to the end of July.

Students with no previous knowledge of German attend the Spring semester program and take intensive introductory language courses from January to March and follow those with language and culture content courses at the intermediate level based at the Free University from mid-April to the end of July.

Those students who already have knowledge of German before starting the program take GERMAN 319AS and GERMAN 352AS and they choose another course from the Duke in Berlin program offerings. They must select a fourth course from the offerings of the FU or the TU and may, in addition, take an elective fifth course at one of the two universities.

For Free University courses, check www.fu-berlin.de/.

For Technical University courses, check https://www.tu.berlin/.

Students enroll in four, five, or even six courses and earn a full semester of academic credit.

To secure transfer credits for the FU or TU courses (mid-April to the end of July), Duke students will have to observe transfer credit policies.

Many courses at the FU or TU have been pre-approved by Duke University and recorded in the GEO Approved Course Database. Courses listed in the database do not have to be re-approved by a departmental DUS.

Application Materials

The selection of students for the program is based on a transcript review, a letter of recommendation from a professor of German (if applicant has studied German), a second letter of recommendation from any faculty member, and a statement of purpose. Students with no previous German language instruction can provide recommendation letters from any two faculty members. A review of the student's application and consultation with the Academic Director and Resident Director will determine language course placement in Berlin.

Courses & Credits

GERMAN 111A
Introduction to the German Language
(FL) 2.0 credits

Students will be exposed to the fields of reading, writing, listening, and speaking and will be trained so that they can take full advantage of being in the target country. After a short period, students will be able to communicate with native German speakers on a basic level. Taught by program faculty. 

GERMAN 319AS 
Advanced Intensive German
(CCI, CZ, FL) 1.0 credit

Advanced language work in comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Includes discussion of current events from various media. Prepares students for the German language exam required of all students whose native language is not German enrolling in German universities. Taught by program faculty from February until March or early April when the university language entrance exams are administered. Taught by program faculty. 

GERMAN 352AS 
Berlin in Literature and Culture
(ALP, CCI, FL) 1.0 credit

Examines at the works of modern German writers with a special focus on Berlin and the political-cultural heritage. Emphasis on the art and architecture of the city as well as the vibrant cultural scene. Taught by program faculty.

GERMAN 354SA 
Contemporary Art in Berlin 
(ALP, CCI, FL) 1.0 credit

Overview of the main locations, events, and protagonists of the contemporary Berlin art scene. Examination of art and its omnipresence in the urban environment; includes explorations of street art, art in public spaces, museums, private collections, galleries, studios, and art academies. Taught only on the Duke-in-Berlin study abroad program.

ENGINEERING

Spring/Summer Engineering Track

This special spring/summer track is designed to give students in all engineering majors (biomedical, civil and environmental, electrical, and mechanical) an opportunity to develop advanced proficiency in German through intensive language study from January through March and to take engineering courses in their major at the Technical University (TU) from April through July.

STEM students may also be interested in research study opportunities on the Duke in Berlin program. They should consult with the German Department and/or GEO about this option.

The January course is a 4-week, 1 credit course, entitled GERMAN 213A (CZ, FL) Intensive Intermediate German for Engineers. It is taught by program faculty. (Students with advanced language preparation are encouraged to join the January cohort and may take a level-appropriate tutorial that will acquaint them with engineering terminology.) Students participate in excursions to technical museums, power plants, automobile design and manufacturing sites, environmental institutions, and cultural sites.

Following this course, students will feed into the advanced language course (GERMAN 319AS Advanced Intensive German, see 'Spring' tab) that begins the regular Duke in Berlin spring semester program. This course, which runs until the beginning of the regular German university semester in mid-April, enables students to develop advanced proficiency in German. Engineering students who have had Intensive Intermediate German for Engineers, as well as the Advanced Intensive German course, will be well qualified to take up to two engineering courses in their field at the TU starting in mid-April.

Courses at the TU run from mid-April until the end of July, so students who begin in January will have had three months of intensive language study plus total immersion in the German language and culture before beginning the content courses. Students who participate in the January course and continue on through July can, as a result of the extended semester, earn up to 6 course credits.

To secure transfer credits for courses taught at the FU or TU, Duke students will have to observe transfer credit policies.

Some courses at the TU have been pre-approved by Duke University and recorded in the GEO Approved Course Database. Courses listed in the database do not have to be re-approved by a departmental DUS.

Activities

Cultural Events

During the fall and spring-summer programs, students are invited to attend a series of cultural events such as concerts, theaters, and operas at no additional charge. The group usually attends up to six such events.

Excursions 

One of the most popular aspects of Duke in Berlin is the series of day trips arranged each semester. These trips combine sightseeing and recreation with connections to the content in the courses taught in the program. Included at no extra cost during the day trips are transportation by train or bus, guided tours, museum visits, and lunch.

Extracurricular Activities

Access to a wide array of activities such as athletics, music, choir, orchestra, swimming, dance courses, basketball, volleyball, soccer, etc. is guaranteed to participating students at little or no extra cost. Also, students are invited to social events such as receptions at universities or dinners as well as informal gatherings like “Stammtisch” to promote cultural understanding.

Language Partner Program

“Tandem,” a German language partner program, assists students in finding one or more people with whom they can meet and practice their conversational German at no additional cost. Students find that such activities have a positive and influential impact on their language acquisition skills and provide a venue for meeting and getting to know Germans.

NON-ACADEMIC INTERNSHIPS

Berlin is a commercial and cultural hub of western Europe. A number of non-academic internship opportunities are available for those students with greater German proficiency and an interest in augmenting their academic work with practical professional experience. With the permission of the program administration, some positions exist for students with limited German language exposure. If you are interested in investigating internships or volunteer opportunities in Berlin, please talk with the Duke in Berlin on-site staff or contact Susan Pratt at pratt.susan@duke.edu.

Housing

Spring 2022

Students participating in the program will live with families during their stay in Berlin. (Due to COVID-19, homestays were temporarily suspended for Fall 2021.) The homestays are frequently cited as one of the highlights of the students' experience. Over the past twenty years, the longtime former Resident Director, Jochen Wohlfeil, carefully selected local hosts to match them with students so that interests and needs of both parties involved aligned nicely. This tradition continues with the new Resident Director, Tin Wegel.

In the application, students are asked to specify the degree to which they would like to be integrated into a host family. Tin Wegel, together with the program assistant Lina-Sofie Raith, works with this information to find each student an accommodating living situation. If, for any reason, a student feels uncomfortable and finds that the match is not quite right, the resident director will work to facilitate communication, mediate, and, if necessary, find a new host for the student.

Duke in Berlin students are encouraged to think of themselves as residents of Berlin, not as tourists. To improve both their linguistic fluency and their cultural understanding, students are asked to immerse themselves in the city. The local hosts they are living with are part of this immersion, offering a springboard to navigate and appreciate Berlin's richness.

Students with further questions regarding homestays are encouraged to contact the Resident Director, Tin Wegel, who can provide more details regarding homestays.

Fall 2022

Students participating in the program will live with families during their stay in Berlin. The homestays are frequently cited as one of the highlights of the students' experience. Over the past twenty years, the longtime former Resident Director, Jochen Wohlfeil, carefully selected local hosts to match them with students so that interests and needs of both parties involved aligned nicely. This tradition continues with the new Resident Director, Tin Wegel. In the application, students are asked to specify the degree to which they would like to be integrated into a host family. Tin Wegel, together with the program assistant Lina-Sofie Raith, works with this information to find each student an accommodating living situation. If, for any reason, a student feels uncomfortable and finds that the match is not quite right, the resident director will work to facilitate communication, mediate, and, if necessary, find a new host for the student.

Duke in Berlin students are encouraged to think of themselves as residents of Berlin, not as tourists. To improve both their linguistic fluency and their cultural understanding, students are asked to immerse themselves in the city. The local hosts they are living with are part of this immersion, offering a springboard to navigate and appreciate Berlin's richness.

Students with further questions regarding homestays are encouraged to contact the Resident Director, Tin Wegel, who can provide more details regarding homestays.

DATES

Note about the German Academic Calendar: The calendars for the two Duke in Berlin semesters are distinctly different due to the German academic calendar. Please note the start and end dates carefully, and make sure you are particularly aware of the length of the Spring semester when considering this program. German universities are generally in session from mid-October until mid-February (Wintersemester) and mid-April until end of July (Sommersemester).

 

  • SPRING 2022
  • FALL 2022

SPRING 2022

Spring 2022: Engineering / Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Freie Universität / Technische Universität

Beginning German and Engineering Program January 2022 Calendar

January 6

Arrival in Berlin and move in with local hosts

January 7-8 Orientation
January 10

German 111 (Beginner instruction) and German 213 (Engineers) begin; both German 111 and 213 courses end March 18

Intermediate, Advanced, and Engineering Program Semester 2022 Calendar

February 3

Arrival in Berlin and move in with local hosts

February 4-5 Orientation
February 7

German 319, German 352, and German 354 begin

March 18 German 111, German 213, and German 319 end
March 19-22 Excursion week 
March 23-April 3 Spring Break
April 15-18 Easter Weekend
in April Exact date to be announced: Direct Enrollment Registration at Free University(FU) and Technical University (TU)
April 19 Classes begin at FU and TU
May 1 Labor Day (Tag der Arbeit)
May 26 No classes on Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt)
June 6 No classes on Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag)
July 23 Classes end at FU, TU, and Duke in Berlin
July 31 Last day of Duke in Berlin Spring Semester

All dates for additional excursions, museum visits, and other special events will be announced at the beginning of and throughout the program. Anyone wishing to plan travel in advance should email the Resident Director for Duke in Berlin, Tin Wegel, at christina.wegel@duke.edu.

Exams at the FU and the TU may be scheduled until late July. When making travel arrangements, please do not book your return flight for a date prior to Sunday, July 31, 2022.

FALL 2022

Fall 2022 Schedule

August 25

Arrival and move-in with homestay providers

August 26-27 Orientation
August 28

Free day

August 29 Classes begin
September 23-25 Excursion 
September 30 - October 4 German Unity Day break
October 21-30 Fall break
December 2-4 Reading Days
December 5-8 Finals week
December 10 Farewell reception
December 15 Last day of residency

Note: Students may depart as early as Sunday, December 11, 2022

ESTIMATED COSTS

Fall 2022 or Spring 2022

Estimates are based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change. Spring Engineering/Beginner program costs are in parenthesis.
 

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $29,042.50 ($33,942.50) $29,042.50 ($33,942.50)
Program Fee $1,300 $1,300
Transcript Fee N/A $120
Other Costs

Other costs (Fall)

Other costs (Spring)

Other costs Engineering/Erasmus

Other costs (Fall)

Other costs (Spring)

Other costs Engineering/Erasmus

TOTAL (Estimated) $38,572.50 – $38,822.50 ($45,172.50) $38,692.50 – $38,942.50 ($45,292.50)

Explanation of Costs

Financial Aid

Duke students receiving institutional need-based grant aid are eligible for aid for this program; work-study funds are converted to grants. 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.

VISA & PASSPORT

VISA

No visa is required of U.S. citizens to participate in this program. Non-U.S. citizens should pay special attention to the visa requirements for their specific citizenship by contacting the country embassy to find out what the student visa process entails or if any visa restrictions are in effect.

PASSPORT

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.

PROGRAM FACULTY & STAFF

In Berlin

The Duke in Berlin on-site staff is available to students before the start of the program and during the entirety of the semester or year that students are in Berlin. The staff is available to students once they have arrived in Berlin and will participate in on-site orientation activities, introducing students to Berlin, the Free University campus and facilities that are available to students, cultural and other activities, and the public transportation system. Duke in Berlin staff are also available to students who are in need of support or have an academic or other issue. In addition, the staff can advise students on travel opportunities within Germany and counsel students on health, safety, and security concerns.

The resident director, Tin Wegel, earned her PhD at UCLA and was a faculty member in the Carolina-Duke Graduate Programing German Studies before returning to her native Germany. She has been at the helm of Duke in Berlin since summer 2021. Together with her Berlin-based staff, she and her team are the go-to source for all matters academic and personal while abroad. The DiB team also places students in homestays.

The program assistant, Lina-Sofie Raith, earned her master’s degree in German as a Foreign Language at Humboldt University in Berlin. She spent several years teaching German abroad, most recently at Duke University. Since 2018 she has been working for Duke in Berlin, organizing homestays and ensuring that the office runs smoothly.

At Duke

Tin Wegel

Resident Director, Duke in Berlin

Sarah Pourciau

Assistant Professor

Lina-Sofie Raith

Program Assistant, Duke in Berlin

Susan Pratt

GEO Asst. Director

ADMISSIONS

Deadline: Extended to April 1st (Fall semester/Academic Year); October 1 (Spring semester)

This program has a set application deadline. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered.

This program has rolling admission. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until the program fills; after that, qualified students are added to a waitlist and notified of openings. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered.

Priority: Priority will be given to juniors and seniors having an overall GPA of 3.0.

Minimum GPA: The minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) required for Duke students wishing to study away during the semester is 2.7 (3.0 for Pratt students) on a scale of 4.0. 

Non-Duke students: Non-Duke students are welcome to apply for this program. 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.

APPLY

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.

Submit the following items using MyExperientialEd

  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 before submitting their transcript.
  3. Personal statement, one page minimum, explaining why you would like to participate on this program
  4. Two academic letters of recommendation (one from a German instructor)*
  5. Home university approval form (non-Duke students)
  6. Passport copy

*For those students applying to the Fall or Spring programs without any prior German (or without any German courses at Duke), the required letters of recommendation may come from any faculty members.

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

The best way to learn about our program is to hear what former Duke-in-Berlin participants have to say about it. Their stories give us a taste of the variety of cultural, academic, and social experiences that are open to students who participate in our programs.

Oliver Gibson (Pratt ‘22)

I was fortunate to spend my sophomore spring semester of 2020 abroad in the Duke in Berlin Engineering program. What attracted me to the program was the immense opportunity to grow – to achieve a “flow state” of speaking, reading, and hearing German every day and being able to navigate the offerings of a historically rich city. I found a great community with the other students as we bonded over our leap of faith to live abroad for 7 months, all wanting to make the most of our time in Berlin in different ways. For me, it was about bringing my experience in a German household full circle and trying to envision a future career or life in Germany. One highlight of the Duke in Berlin program is the staff. They are engaging, supportive, and taught fantastic classes tailored to our language level that helped me prepare for my summer classes at TU Berlin. They also planned many excursions including a BMW motorcycle factory tour, a trip to Dresden for a Volkswagen electric vehicle factory tour, visits to art, science, and film museums, a night at the Berlin Philharmonic, a soccer game at the Olympiastadion, and much more. Unfortunately, my program ended early – but you can bet I’ll be back in Berlin as soon as possible.
 

Ruth Bieber-Stanley (Oberlin College '21)

I was lucky enough to participate in the Duke in Berlin program in Spring 2020. What initially drew me to Duke was the length and the breadth of the program. The mix of intensive language study, the host family experience, and direct enrollment at the Freie Universität in Berlin were all things I knew would create an immersive and rich experience. Though I was met with some culture shock upon moving to a massive international city, my host family and my fellow program mates anchored me. We became very close in a short period of time and I'm still friends with many of them today. The program also did an amazing job of involving us in the cultural life of the city, whether through a philharmonic concert, Stammtisch at a local bar, or the contemporary art course, which let us explore galleries and museums I might not have sought out otherwise. I was also pleasantly surprised at how much my German improved during my time in Berlin. It wasn't long before I was able to have interesting and involved conversations with my friends, teachers, and host family, and I felt prepared to undertake university study. Though my stay in Germany was sadly cut short by COVID-19, I was amazed at how quickly I was able to create a life for myself in Berlin, even in just six weeks. The longer I stayed the more Berlin felt like home, and I am so grateful for my time with this program. I was able to develop not only my language skills, but my independence and love for cultural exploration, lessons which in retrospect are equally as important as academic growth, if not more so. 

Devyn Gortner (Trinity '16)

"One the biggest reasons I came to Duke for my undergraduate education was due to the wonderful reputation of the Duke in Berlin program. Berlin was where I found my niche—the people I met and the other students I shared the experience with became some of my greatest friends. However cliched it may sound, there is truly something for everyone in Berlin. The city has a pulse—an indescribable energy unlike anywhere else I have ever traveled. There is ALWAYS something to do, and every interest is accounted for (even if you don't like to drink, although the beer there is pretty wonderful). There is incredible art, history, music, nature, and food right at your fingertips. As someone who has never wanted to live in a city, I still would firmly support the notion that Berlin is for everyone.  

Duke in Berlin changed my life in many ways; but, most importantly, it allowed me to step back from my life at Duke and back home in the States and see the bigger picture of where I was in life and where I want to go. If you're on the fence about going abroad, I urge you to do it. Discover for yourself what it means to step outside of your bubble. And if you're not sure if Berlin is the right place for you, all I can say is: Yes it is. Go. Go and take me back with you."

Eileen Lin (Trinity '16)

"I was part of the Duke in Berlin Fall semester program last year. It was one of the best decisions I made during my Duke career. Berlin is a vibrant city that has a rich culinary culture as well as a hipster art and music scene. My footsteps across the city accumulated moments of fond and precious memories, from Warschauer Straße to Prenzlauer Allee, from Zehlendorf to Stadt Mitte. I was most fascinated by the city's tangible history, given that we can still witness the transition between destruction and renovation. I loved it so much that I went back to Berlin for a summer museum research project. If you are thinking about doing the program, I sincerely recommend it!"

Liaowang (Zoey) Zou (Trinity '17)

"I did Duke in Berlin Spring program in my sophomore spring. Berlin is an amazing city. It is not like any other city in Germany. It's a blend of the old and the young, of politic and art, of profundity and vibrancy. I am so glad that I could spend 7 months in Berlin. Every bit of it was absolutely amazing. As a language beginner, I never expected myself to pick up German so fast. I stayed with a host family and had German bread and cheese for breakfast with the 7-year-old and 12-year-old "Gastgeschwister" (guest siblings) at home every morning. The program took us to numerous concerts, football games, and theater performances and even parliamentary session in German Bundestag. People in our program were really close as a group. At the same time, we also mingled with local students. We attended classes with German students at local university. I also joined a Pop and Jazz choir group. Sometimes we just need a change of perspective, to interact with people with different culture, different backgrounds and different ways of thinking."

Read Q+A interview with Zoey Zou

STUDENT STORIES

Anya Parks

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A Night at the Opera

"I was reminded yet again how rich the cultural history of Germany is and how different it is from that of the United States."
 

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Sally on Berlin: The City is the Classroom

“To really learn about what's going on in this world, both past and present. I now know that I have to step beyond books and talk to people to get a real understanding.”
 

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The Best of Times, Not the Wurst

"Being exposed to another culture has sparked my interest in learning more as well as makes me want to continue sharing my Native American culture with others."
 

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Duke in Berlin — Riley Hiers

"It was the picnics in Berlin’s massive Tiergarten, the casual Sunday swims in the Wannsee, and the €5 Döners (which never disappointed) that made my six-week stay in Berlin more than I could have ever hoped for."
 

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Stephanie on Duke in Berlin: Fitting Right in!

“One thing that really surprised me about the spring program, even after completing the summer program, is how independent I became in Berlin. By the spring I felt much more like a resident of Berlin, instead of a Duke student on study abroad."
 

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Spring in Berlin: On classes, host family, and friends

"I am a Chinese national, and I went to high school in Singapore. I knew coming into Duke that I wanted to study abroad somewhere and I wanted to learn a new language. Duke in Berlin allowed beginners and, compared to other programs, that was unique."
 

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