IES Berlin: Metropolitan Studies

  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Language of Instruction: English, German
  • Minimum GPA: 2.7
  • Class Eligibility: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors


Berlin, a center for modern European history, has no equal for leaving its imprint on the political, social and cultural history of the 20th Century. One of Europe’s most vibrant cities, Berlin boasts a wide array of museums, art galleries, and theaters. Its taste for artistic and social experimentation and effervescent nightlife are once again alive today as they were in the 1920s. The IES Center is a five minute walk to the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate and the German Parliament.

  • Visa:

    Not required; must obtain temporary residence permit.

  • Fees: Students pay regular tuition and room to Haverford College.

  • Requirements

    No previous German language study is required. Improve your German through IES Abroad German language courses (required for beginning- and intermediate-level students). Students are required to take one appropriate-level IES German language course. This program does not fulfill Haverford’s language requirement.

    Academic Credit

    Each semester, students must carry 15 semester credit hours. Students are not permitted to take less than 15 credits unless they have the permission of their dean and advisor in advance. Haverford credit can only be granted for grades of “C” or better.


    With nearly half of the world’s population living in urban environments, metropolitan studies is an increasingly important topic among world leaders.  A center of modern European history, Berlin was both destroyed and reinvented in the 20th century.  Today, as one of Europe’s most vibrant cities, Berlin is a center for business, politics, culture, and innovation and the perfect place to study today’s metropolis.  Students will have full access to the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin’s excellent facilities, including libraries, cafeterias, and computer and sports centers.

    Course Highlights

    Art History, Cultural Studies, Economics, Film Studies, Gender Studies, History, Literature, Political Science, Sociology, Independent Research, Urban Studies.

    Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

    Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

  • Non-Academic Overview

    Orientation: Two-week orientation program. Part I: Introduction to IES Abroad Berlin Metropolitan Studies Program. During the first few days, the IES Abroad Berlin staff will introduce you to the city of Berlin, the IES Abroad program, and student life in the city. Part II: German Language Intensive and Introduction to Berlin: The second week is divided between intensive German language instruction in the morning and a series of lectures, tours, and excursions related to the history, art, and culture of Berlin in the afternoon.

    Number of Students: Enrollment of 30-40 students each semester.

    Housing/Meal Plans

    IES Abroad housing gives students the unique opportunity to live with local Berlin residents throughout the city.  Students will have their own furnished room in an apartment shared by Berlin residents.  Rooms are rented from single adults, German university students and a small number of “traditional families.”  Meals are not included with the program fee. Students typically prepare their own meals at the host’s kitchen or dine in affordable student cafeterias or restaurants. Haverford students may not opt for housing not arranged by the program.

    Opportunities / Cultural Events

    On field trips in Berlin, students will experience the streets, neighborhoods, and museums of Berlin, and learn by interacting with the local environment, cultural centers, consulates and embassies. Using Berlin as a case study, the Metropolitan Studies Program allows students to examine first-hand the interdisciplinary issues relevant to major cities today. Beginning spring 2014, extended field study trip to Istanbul is an integral part of the courses, which examines topics such as Cultural Identity, Gender and Sexual Politics, Multiculturalism, Politics, and Urban Planning.

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Apply to Study Abroad!

  • Semester/Year
  • Semester I: Late August to mid-December
  • Semester II: Early March to mid-June
  • Year: Late August to mid-June
Application Deadlines
  • Semester I: March 1
  • Semester II: October 1
  • Year: March 1
Faculty Contact

Ulrich Schönherr