Duke Middle East in Europe (Berlin & Istanbul)


Program Alert

The Duke Middle East in Europe program will not run in Summer 2023, but plans to relaunch in Summer 2024. Program details will be updated before applications open in November 2023.

An Examination of Political and Cultural Legacies between Europe and the Middle East

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Taught in English

This four-week, one-credit program, examines and rethinks the relations between Europe and the Middle East (ME). Within an interdisciplinary and interregional framework that includes policy and popular culture, the program excavates the political and cultural legacies of Europe in the ME as well as the ME in Europe. Our goal is to create an undergraduate learning community around historical and current geopolitical issues that address the plight of Muslims in and on the periphery of Europe, particularly Turks in Germany and Syrian refugees in Türkiye. Berlin and Istanbul provide the two urban locales for the program. The director of the 2022 summer program will be Erdağ Göknar (PI, AMES).

The first three weeks of the program will be held in Berlin and the last week will be held in Istanbul, Türkiye.


Location: Berlin, Germany and Istanbul, Türkiye

Term: Summer II

Dates: July 4, 2022 -  July 31, 2022

Application Deadline: Extended to March 1st

Academic Theme(s): The Middle East in Europe, Politics and Culture, Public Policy, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: No prerequisites. Knowledge of German and Turkish is not required. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke Affiliation: Duke Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

·       Housing: Efficiency Apartments in Berlin, Hotels in Istanbul

GEO Advising: Request an appointment 

  • Group at Bundestag

  • Berlin, Germany

  • Middle East in Europe 2018 students

  • Kiron students


All participants enroll in one course, which carries one Duke credit. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted for the course. 

Course Description

Politics and Culture Between Europe and the Middle East
1.0 credit  Professor: Erdağ Göknar (PI, AMES)

What is the history of Islamic polities in European contexts? Why are Muslim migrants and refugees considered an ongoing political and cultural issue in the region? How does the outlook and understanding of these issues change when considered from the perspective of Istanbul? This seminar introduces students to intersections of politics and culture between Europe and the Middle East by examining historical and contemporary European contexts of Islam and Muslim “integration” from the late Ottoman Empire to the present. Ongoing issues of Islamophobia will inform our discussions of refugees, minorities, and Muslim populations. The program will furthermore draw on a variety of urban experiences and the international expertise of scholars in Berlin and Istanbul. Discussions will have a theoretical focus, including work by cultural critics and policy experts.


The program includes weekly activities in Berlin, as well as excursions to other German and European cities such as Hamburg, Leipzig, and Amsterdam. Other activities will include visits with immigration NGOs and organizations as well as guest speakers. The last week of the program will be spent in Istanbul, Türkiye.


You’ll share apartments with kitchen facilities with other program participants in groups of 2-4 students per apartment. Apartments are located in central Berlin. You will cook your own meals in the apartments, and eat local food at nearby restaurants and cafés. Some group meals will also be part of the program.

In Istanbul, students will be housed in a centrally located hotel.



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

Summer 2022

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $2,600 $2,600
Program Fee $4,800 $4,800
Transcript Fee N/A $120
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $11,690 $11,810

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.


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 (in Berlin): July 4, 2022
  • Departure (from Istanbul): July 31, 2022


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 MyExperientialEd 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 pay special attention to the visa requirements for their specific citizenship by contacting the country embassy to find out if any visa 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

An International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is optional. ISIC is the only internationally recognized form of student ID, endorsed by UNESCO. 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. 


Program faculty director(s) can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the GEO representative listed.

Erdag Göknar

Associate Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Kayla Soltis-Katella

GEO Assistant Director


Deadline: Extended to March 1st

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. Application opens November 1.

PriorityPriority is given to applicants who apply early.

Minimum GPA: There is no minimum GPA.

Non-Duke studentsNon-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.


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, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate
  4. Academic letter of recommendation (one)


Sarah on Duke Middle East in Europe: Scholarly Passion Secured

“This program confirmed my interest in working on the human rights side of migration. Advocating for and finding solutions to protect economic, social, and cultural rights is what I plan to pursue in my long-term career."

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