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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

UTSA in Berlin

UTSA Summer Study Abroad Program in Berlin
May 30 - July 5, 2018


  • 3 credit hours in GER 4213 or CSH 1213
  • No German language requirement
  • All texts and discussions in English
  • Open to all majors
  • Includes a research project tailored to your individual major and interests


Study Abroad Overview:

This UTSA faculty-led summer study abroad course will provide students with the unique opportunity to experience contemporary life in Berlin firsthand while also gaining greater insight into this city’s and Germany’s rich history and cultural offerings, all while designing and conducting a research project customized to your interests!

Berlin, one of the most vibrant and important cities in all of Europe, has so very much to offer. As the capital of Germany and the site of much history, it is also home to a thriving arts and food scene, is fabulously multicultural, and has some of the best cafés and nightlight in Europe.   

In other words, there is so much to experience, and this study abroad sets out to explore as much of it as possible! This five-week course is divided into two segments. During the first two weeks, we will meet at UTSA in order to prepare for our trip abroad through readings and discussions. German language skills are not a prerequisite – all texts and class discussions will be in English. A few basic greetings may be taught before setting out for Germany, but don’t worry: Berlin is an international city in which English is readily spoken everywhere.

The remaining three weeks of the semester will be spent in Berlin, out exploring all the city has to offer. Lodging will be at a hostel in the gorgeous neighborhood of Mitte, a hip part of town with lots of restaurants, cafés, and bars, located in the center of Berlin: perfect for exploring the rest of the city!

The study abroad structure is that we will have class in the mornings, discussing Germany’s history and how it transformed itself from dark villain to the role model of the free world in less than 50 years. To this end, we will discuss history, read works of literature, watch movies, and most of all, trace these changes through exploring the city itself.   

In the afternoons, you will work on a project of your own design. The aim of this project is to tie your experience of Berlin with your major or interests, in order to create a study abroad experience that will be enriching and beneficial to your future endeavors.


Some examples of past projects:

A student majoring in Criminal Justice visited a prison and sat in on court in order to then compare the justice system in the two countries – all without speaking a word of German!

Another research project focused on music and Sauer organs, which led to interviews and the student being able to play the organ at Berlin’s cathedral.

An English major attended acting classes and theatre performances.

A student interested in the music industry researched a Berlin-based recording company and attended music festivals in order to compare the music scene.  

What will your project be?


Highlight of our morning excursions:

We will explore Berlin’s cutting edge street art scene and visit art galleries including the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Villa Liebermann.

We will explore Berlin’s Jewish history through visits to the Holocaust Memorial and the Jewish Museum.

We will also explore aspects of Berlin’s role during WWII through a visit to the Topography of Terror.

And we will examine our understanding of life and political structures during the Cold War, in which Berlin was a divided city, and explore how this past continues to shape Berlin by visiting neighborhoods, seeing the East Side Gallery and visiting the Gedenkstätte Bernauer St.

To round out the experience and get to see some of the other highlights of Germany, we will also take daytrips:

To nearby Potsdam, to tour Schloss Sanssouci. Sanssouci is considered Germany’s equivalent to the famed French palace of Versailles and is gorgeous! A must see!

We will also go to Oranienburg to visit the Gedenkstätte Sachsenhausen, a former concentration camp and now memorial site, in order to address the horrors of the Nazi regime.


Students are welcome to stay in Germany on their own after the program has ended, in order to travel around Germany and the rest of Europe or to participate in other programs / internships.


You can register under GER 4213 in order to earn upper-level German credit, or as CSH 1213, which earns credit for the Language, Philosophy, and Culture component of the Core Curriculum.



Contact: Email Dr. Sara Budarz or stop by MH 4.02.06.

Language: No knowledge of German is required or needed. However, German language students can earn language credit for the study abroad if arranged ahead of time.

Price: TBD

Financial Aid: Financial aid is available to eligible students; Scholarships range from $300-$3600.

Eligibility: All students with 2.5 GPA or higher are eligible to apply.