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  • Locations: Berlin, Germany
  • Program Terms: Autumn Quarter
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:
sociology italy
 Location Berlin, Germany
Autumn 2017
September 27 – December 8, 2017
 Estimated    Program Fee $5,650 ( includes $350 CHID fee)
 Credits 15 UW credits
 Prerequisites None
 Program      Directors Sabine Lang, Manuela Mangold
 Program  Manager Darielle Horsey |
 Application    Deadline March 1, 2017
 Information  Session(s) Tuesday, 1/17, 3:30-4:30, and Wednesday, 2/1, 5:00-6:00 in Padelford C101.
  General The Autumn 2017 CHID/JSIS European Studies program in Berlin will explore the city as a prism for German history, unification, and European integration, but also as a site of 21st century global challenges. Based at Humboldt University in central Berlin, we will engage with academics, journalists, artists, politicians, and activists to better understand Berlin’s place in historical and current international affairs.
Where You Will Study
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships

  Visas This country is part of the Schengen area. Please click here to learn more about important rules and restrictions for foreign visitors to this area.

Program Description

Berlin is a city with many faces: In the last century alone, it has been at the center of two World Wars, the site of the Cold War and the Wall, as well as the epicenter of unification and European integration and, most recently, one of the hubs of the European refugee crisis. The Autumn 2017 CHID/European Studies program in Berlin will explore the city as a prism for German history, unification, and European integration, but also as a site of political rupture and social conflict. We will trace the social, cultural, political, and architectural markers of a divided past and ask how they inform the present and future of this global city. What did political unification mean for the citizens of Berlin, and how have economic and social changes impacted post-Cold War German identities? What role does Germany play in the European Union? How have migration and the refugee crisis impacted the city? What are the challenges as well as the political and civic responses to a changing city of migrants? We will address these questions by way of urban explorations in the German capital, in meetings with public officials, social activists, artists, and journalists, as well as through a wide variety of thematic texts and other media. The primary goal is to investigate East/West and German/European cultural, economic, and political power and to expose students to the current challenges that the city and its citizens face.

Courses include two seminars and an independent research course, on-site visits, guided tours, and guest lectures. An optional four-week intensive language course will be offered in Berlin before the fall program begins (this option requires an additional fee). Students will be required to attend a 1-credit, C/NC orientation seminar in Spring 2017.

Berlin site visits include the German Parliament and different Ministries, the former STASI (secret police) headquarters, memorializing sites for the Berlin Wall, the Topography of Terror, the Jewish Museum, party headquarters, art galleries, and other relevant sites in Berlin. We plan field trips to Munich and Prague. Costs for these trips (transportation, hotel, entry fees) are included in the program fee. A partnership between the University of Washington and the Humboldt University allows our students to use Humboldt’s libraries and computer facilities and regional student transportation passes.

Here are some student comments from previous Berlin Programs:

  • “Berlin was amazing, easily one of the highlights of my college experience”
  • “The study abroad program was excellent in terms of leadership and coordination”
  • “Berlin is the most amazing city I have ever been to, hands down – and I had done a good amount of traveling. The opportunity to learn from these particular professors in such an astounding location is awesome”
  • “Studying in Humboldt University campus was a really positive aspect of the trip. The living arrangements were really good. Big apartments”
  • “It was one of the best experiences I have had. You fall in love with Berlin as soon as you get there and you learn so much. Berlin has such a rich history and being able to experience it was amazing”


Berlin, Germany


Munich and Prague


Students will live in apartments provided by BERLINOVO, a Berlin housing co-op that typically serves students. We have used these apartments on several previous programs and have good relations with the local staff of Berlinovo.

Some comments from the previous program that was housed in the same location: “The living arrangements were great. I loved having a whole apartment block to ourselves. It really helped all the students to bond. The apartments themselves were quite nice too and they had all the things we needed.”


Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

The program is open to students from all areas of study. Students of the social sciences and humanities as well as those with interests in European politics and business or related fields will find this program stimulating. We also welcome students from the natural sciences and other disciplines who are interested in exploring Germany and Europe through the prism of Berlin in order to round out their undergraduate education. The target group is advanced undergraduates. Graduate students with specific Germany or Berlin-related projects are also welcome.

German language skills are not required. Students should have an interest in the politics, cultures, and societies of Europe.

The program will require students to do substantial walking in the city and on field trips. The Berlin public transportation system, while generally excellent, does sometimes not provide adequate access for walking-impaired visitors.


15 Credits


CHID 471A or JSIS A 494 (5 credits)

Almost 30 years after the fall of the wall, Germany is taking on a new role in Europe. Refugee integration, the crisis of the European Union, the UK’s exit from the EU, NATO realignments, and controversial arrangements with an increasingly authoritarian regime in Turkey are just a few of the arenas in which Germany now acts at the center of European politics. Given European historical legacies, this is a domestically and internationally controversial role for Germans to play. In this course, we will explore major transformations in post-1989 Germany with a focus on domestic and international challenges. Taking the post-war division as a starting point, we will assess the different economic and political trajectories of East and West Germany and analyze the fall of the wall and its repercussions for Germany’s role in Europe. Understanding the politics of unification in a global context, we investigate the dynamics of change and adaptation in the new “Berlin Republic,” such as the renegotiation of East and West German identities, the push for welfare and economic reform, the political culture of gender and ethnicity, and the challenges of being an immigration country with a rising populist right. Finally, we will assess the new power of Germany in international relations, in particular its controversial leadership position in the European Union during the recent financial crisis and refugee crisis and its claim to be the integrating force between Western and Eastern Europe.

Learning Goals: 

The primary learning goal of this class is to introduce students to the history and politics of a country long divided by ideology, culture, and economic and political systems, and to help them identify the legacies of division and adaptation in the fabric of the city. The more general objective is to develop students’ understanding of the sources and dynamics of social change as well as of the different voices that claim these processes of change as “theirs.” Exposing students to a range of actors in the post-unification remaking of Germany, the course will instill a sense of how a new polity is actively made and not just passively experienced (or suffered). Discussions with activists, journalists, and politicians will provide students with direct exposure to the different narratives of Germany’s past and future role in Europe. Assessments will be based on a number of exercises and requirements, ranging from participant-observation of events to independent research and essay writing.

CHID 498 or JSIS 488/JSISB 365 (5 credits)

This course is designed to facilitate independent student explorations of urban cultures in Berlin. The goal is to foster connections between the more general topics developed in JSIS A 494/CHID 471A and students’ experiences living in the city. Projects will be specified in the first two weeks of classes and should ideally be group projects of two or three students. During the pre-departure course, we will identify areas of research and involvement that students might want to engage with. These include, but are not limited to: Berlin as an immigrant city; the refugee crisis in Berlin; Berlin as a gentrifying global city; economic differences in East and West Berlin 30 years after unification; Berlin as a cultural European capital; Who pays for art? Public media in unified Berlin; public art and symbols of constructing German identity; the German women’s movement East/West; Berlin as Europe’s start-up capital.

Learning Goals: 

The primary learning objective of this class is to facilitate independent research and experiential learning in the city. The instructor will help students network with local actors or groups to immerse themselves in specific areas of Berlin’s political and civic culture. Students will conduct independent fieldwork in groups will meet with the instructor to discuss assignments, and will present their research at the end of the course. This final product can take a number of forms: It can be a research paper, a video documentation, the development of a resource website, or a photographic essay. If a visual format is chosen, it needs to be accompanied by a shorter analytic paper.

CHID 471B/JSIS B 467 (5 credits)

There are numerous strands that are interwoven in the historical memory of today’s Berlin. The city – its past and its projected future - has been constructed and deconstructed numerous times throughout a turbulent twentieth century. Its “identity crisis,” a result of the relative absence of one foundational state-sponsored historical narrative, is why Berlin remains a fascinating place: the bombast of a statuesque Kaiserreich, the dizzying modernity of Weimar Berlin, the violent upheavals and myth-building of a National Socialist capital. It then became the administrative center of the Holocaust. After its almost wholesale destruction during the Second World War, it was reimagined as both a model of democratic capitalism and state socialism. An ‘island mentality’ informed the historical topography of both East and West Berlin. However, neither those on the East or West of the Berlin Wall could entirely ignore the other. Their histories remained linked, despite being drawn on the fault line of Cold War propaganda. The reunification of East and West Germany also brought with it a reconstructed past. Now, once again as Germany’s capital, it possesses numerous sites where one can unpack the layers of history through an appreciation of the politics of space. It is a unified city, and one that has considerable attraction for those outside and inside Germany alike. However, the lines of division can still be seen, and provide us with a unique insight into the historical construction not only of Berlin, but also of twenty-first century Germany.

Learning Goals: 

This course will introduce students to ideas of Berlin’s construction and deconstruction through an exploration of connections between historical memory, space, and place. Students will be assessed through various means, including assignments and oral presentations on sites visited.

Program Directors & Staff

Sabine Lang, Department of JSIS, Program Director

Sabine Lang is Director of the Center for West European Studies at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies of UW and Associate Professor of European and International Politics at JSIS. She has lived in Berlin for more than 20 years and has directed the Berlin Study Abroad Program numerous times.

Manuela Mangold, Program Co-Director

David Meeres, Staff

Program Expenses

Cost: $5,650

Estimated Program Fee of $5,650, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, food (about $25/day), UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$1,400 - $1,600* roundtrip

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
CHID Fee $350 October 13, 2017
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 October 13, 2017
Program Fee Balance $5,300 October 13, 2017


There are a variety of scholarships available to help fund your study abroad experience. Visit the Global Opportunities page for more information and application deadlines.


To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Application Process

The application includes a Personal Statement, three short answer questions, two recommendations from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the on-line application process students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. You can do so by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $350 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the Program Director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.