Study Abroad in Germany
Berlin is the capital of Germany and one of Europe’s greatest cities. After World War II it lost its capital status of the West German Government. Today, the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 are becoming distant memories, and all the talk in Berlin is of the future. Government bodies have moved back to Berlin, and there is renewed investment from many other parts of the country and from all over Europe. Coupled with this wave of new construction is a city laden with historical charm. Visitors come to savor the intoxicating mix of old and new. Big business is booming as well with key industries such as electronics, manufacturing and information technology reflecting the hopes for a brighter future for Berlin.
Bonn and Cologne
Bonn was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government for the Federal Republic of Germany until 1999. When the Federal Government and the Bundestag moved to Berlin, Bonn continued as a center of politics and administration, with roughly half of all government jobs remaining there. Bonn is also home to 16 United Nations organizations. Culturally, Bonn is best known as the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven and for its prestigious university. Located just south of Cologne on the river Rhine, Bonn remains a popular choice for large-scale exhibitions and conferences. Internship possibilities abound in politics, government, business, health, the arts, and international media as well.
Cologne is Germany’s fourth-largest city with about 1 million inhabitants. It is one of the oldest cities in Germany, having been founded by the Romans in 38 BC, and it is also home to one of Europe’s oldest universities. Cologne is a major center for business, the arts and media, and a wide range of internships are available to EPA students in these fields.
The EPA Internships in Europe programs in Germany require at least two years of college-level German or the equivalent. Students take classes in German and are placed in professional work environments where they are required to speak, read, and write in the language.
Most students in Bonn live with host families, although short-term apartments and student dormitories are sometimes available. The program has a long-standing relationship with a number of families who enjoy having American students live with them and seek to maximize the students’ cross-cultural experience. In Berlin, students live in apartments. In both cities, the accomodation for the students is always pre-arranged before their arrival.
Contact with Local Students
All three locations, Bonn, Cologne, and Berlin are major German university cities. The EPA on-site director assists students in gaining contact with the local university population as well as community clubs and activities.
The Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), or German Academic Exchange Service, offers several scholarships and grants for US college students studying abroad in Germany. https://www.daad.org/undergrad Other funding resources can be found at NAFSA.org.
You must have a passport valid for the duration of your stay abroad.
To apply, go to the County Clerk’s Office in your area.
Call ahead to find out if there are any regulations or fees specific to your area.
The processing of a passport application can take 12 weeks or more. If you don’t already have one, apply now!
No visa is needed for US students to study in Germany for less than 90 days.
Educational Programmes Abroad has undergone a review for educational oversight by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).
Internships and Classes in Berlin
The main orientation for all students takes place during the first few days the program. Orientation includes informational, cultural, and social activities to acquaint students with each other and with life and business culture in Germany. All aspects of the program are covered in detail during these meetings. Internships and classes begin after orientation.
(Unpaid, Academic Work-Placements)
Berlin offers placements for political science and international relations majors with strong German language skills. All students work at their internships for at least 20 hours per week. EPA is proud to be one of the few organizations that can offer internships in the German Parliament, or Bundestag. Interns have worked for Members of Parliament and for governmental offices within the Bundestag as well.
Politics Internships Placements are available in offices of Members of the Bundestag. Interns conduct research, do translations, attend plenary sessions, committee and party meetings, and deal with correspondence and press work. Politics interns do not need to be political science majors, but should have a background in German politics and good spoken and written German skills.
The program in Germany is the only one of EPA’s programs where the classes are not held at a local university. Participants cannot be directly enrolled at the local universities due to the fact that the academic calendar at German universities does not match that of the American semester system. However, all of the professors teaching the EPA courses hold teaching or research posts at German universities or equivalent institutions
Politics in Reunited Germany
This course is an introduction to German politics, with a special emphasis on the political parties and the party system and on the issues of German unity. Other topics include comparative politics with comparisons to the political systems of the United States and other countries.
This course is an introduction to European politics, centering on the processes of European co-operation and integration, with special reference to the European Community and European Union.
View this student’s discoveries about Berlin. (Deutsche Welle, DW English, 2014)
EPA does not offer a summer session in Berlin. Students who desire to intern during the summer may wish to consider Bonn/Cologne.
Cost of Attending
The price of the program includes tuition and housing, internship placement and oversight, pre-departure and visa application materials, comprehensive on-site orientation, welcome and farewell dinners, on-site student support, and on-site program management. Grade reports and supervisor evaluations are also sent to schools upon completion of the term.
You’ll want to budget for the cost of academic credit, air travel ($1000+), visa fees (Semester $500+), meals, and commuting. These costs are NOT INCLUDED in the program fees. Most students budget $200-$300 per week for expenses depending on their lifestyle and the value of the US Dollar.
For more information on the exact fees for individuals paying directly, click here.
EPA offers programs in Berlin during the fall and spring terms. For more information on the exact dates, click here.
- Fall (Mid-August until Mid-December)
- Spring (January until Mid-May)
- No Summer Program
Scholarships and Aid
Some students finance portions of their semester abroad through scholarships and grants. Check with your university for specific opportunities. You might even want to consider a GoFundMe campaign.
We listed a few opportunities below to help you get started!
Due to the differences in the German and American academic calendar, students participated in EPA-directed courses. Since internship placements in Berlin are all in politics, the courses are focused European and German Politics. Both courses are taught in German. Read more in the Courses & Internships section.