Duke in Berlin

Our Duke in Berlin Program was founded at the Free University of West Berlin in 1988 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. The program offers courses at three universities: the fall program is based at the Humboldt University in former East Berlin and spring-summer at the Free University in former West Berlin. Note - Engineering courses may be taken at the Technical University in the spring.

Why Study in Berlin?

Duke offers two of the best global education programs available in what is today one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan cities in Europe – Berlin.

But the best way to learn about our program? 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.

Student Testimonials

Duke Undergrads Exhibit Documentary Photographs in Berlin

Wenqin Wang in front of her photographs at the exhibition opening at tête. 
Photograph by Susanne Freytag (detail).

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 foot steps 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.

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.

Josh Stillman (Trinity '12)

"You always hear people say that studying abroad in college was one of the best decisions they ever made – well, in the case of Duke in Berlin, I’m happy to vouch for that claim. I went into the program without knowing any other participants and with a limited knowledge of German culture. Six weeks later, I left with a deep appreciation for the country and some of my most enduring friendships. It was a leap of faith that continues to yield dividends to this day.

Rosa Patino (Trinity '12)

"I was fortunate enough to experience the Duke in Berlin Program in both the summer and the fall. Although I had a great time during the summer program, I think the fall program has more to offer. My 4 months in Berlin were well spent. I absolutely loved learning about the architecture in Berlin and then venturing off on my own in my free time to explore and learn more about it! That’s not something you can do just anywhere! Berlin was very affordable, yet lively! It was definitely one of the most amazing experiences in my life.

Why Berlin over other Study Abroad opportunities?

Andrew Rohm (Pratt '12)

"I'm an Electrical and Computer Engineering and German double-major. I thoroughly enjoyed the Spring semester engineering program in Berlin. As part of the semester, we enjoyed the continued hospitality of host families and numerous opportunities for cultural immersion.

Nick Bobrinskoy (Pratt '10)

"Enrolling in the Duke in Berlin program was easily one of the best decisions I made at Duke. The recent history molded by the Third Reich and Soviet Union makes Berlin unlike any other city in the world. It really is an amazing, culturally rich place. The professors were outstanding and most of my classes were taught while walking through the city or a museum instead of in the classroom. I tell all of my friends who aren't sure how to spend their summer to go to Berlin!"

Chris Lee (Trinity '10)

"I was a first-semester senior and sociology major when I studied abroad in Berlin during the spring of 2010. I didn't know what to expect going into it. I was pleasantly surprised – the city is unique and has so much to offer. Outside of the classroom, we as a program did so much – from seeing the Berliner Philharmoniker to seeing soccer games at the Olympidastadion, from visiting art galleries to visiting breweries, there were many social and cultural experiences to be had. My language skills definitely improved through taking classes at the Freie Uni and talking with my host family.