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Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences

This flexible summer program at the Free University Berlin International Summer School offers several study options depending on your goals. You can study German language at any level, you can take courses taught in English, or you can do both! Courses taught in English are available in a wide variety of fields in the humanities and social sciences.

Unique study opportunities

  • Join a close-knit community of international students from all over the world.
  • Participate in field trips, excursions, and activities that introduce the cultural riches of Berlin.
  • Examine international subjects from a fresh perspective in courses such as Europe, Migration, Refugees or Global Challenges—Sustainable Futures.
  • Take upper-division courses that foster dialog in a variety of fields from anthropology to music, business, urban studies, political science, literature, and sociology.


Language of Instruction: English, German

German Language Study: Optional

You have the option to study German language on this program from the beginning to advanced levels. Beginning to Intermediate German language courses are lower division. Intermediate II to Advanced level German language courses are upper division. 

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take 10 quarter/6.7 semester UC units; one or two courses.
  • If you are enrolled in two courses, you may take one of them for pass/no pass.

Current Program Courses

Select one of the following three options:

  1. One intensive German language course: 10 quarter/6.6 semester UC units; letter grade required.
  2. One semi-intensive German language course and one upper-division course taught in English: 5 quarter/3.3 semester UC units each
  3. Two upper-division courses taught in English: 5 quarter/3.3 semester UC units each

Course offerings are consistent from year to year and usually include the following topics:

  • Architecture in Berlin
  • Law, Society, and Politics in Comparative Perspective
  • Global Challenges- Sustainable Futures
  • European Business Management
  • History of European Art: Centres, Protagonists, and Cultural Identities
  • Urban Imaginaries: Between Place and Space in Berlin
  • Berlin and the Digital Music Era
  • Europe, Migration, Refugees
  • Popular Culture: Berlin and Beyond

Research and independent study are typically not available on this program.

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

The International Summer School classes are taught by distinguished German and international faculty. The rigorous courses are designed specifically for international students. To introduce German culture, history, and politics, the curriculum includes a variety of field trips to museums, memorials, as well as political and cultural institutions. Semi-intensive German language courses meet three days a week and intensive German courses meet every weekday. Subject courses meet two days a week. Due to the focused nature of this program, internships, research, and independent study are not possible.

You will enroll in courses prior to departure as part of your application to the Free University Berlin International Summer School. 


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Grades are typically available in early September.