Brown in Germany

At a Glance
City: Berlin
Partner: Humboldt University
Housing: University student housing or independent shared apartment with local German students
Language Requirements: Track 1 - GRMN500, Track 2 - GRMN300
Calendar: Full Year or Spring semester
Accepts Non-Brown Students: Yes


Imagine yourself in the lively capital city of Berlin, where you will find yourself immersed in Germany’s rich culture and complex history. Continuing to grapple with the effects of the 1989 reunification while experiencing steady growth of its ethnic minority population, Berlin offers an ideal venue to study the changing face of present-day Europe and a fascinating glimpse into Germany’s past, present and future.


Brown's Berlin program begins a month-long orientation that includes a credit-bearing intensive German language course, cultural activities, and visits to different areas of the city. 

Intensive German as a Foreign Language Course

All students enroll in an intensive month-long German language course offered by Humboldt University prior to the start of the regular semester courses. Students who successfully complete this course earn 7 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits

Track 1 vs. Track 2

Track 1 is a full immersion experience in which students take all of their courses in German at Humboldt University. Students are required to have completed at least GRMN 0500 (fifth-semester college-level German or the equivalent) to participate in this track. 

Track 2, for students who have completed GRMN 0300 (or the equivalent of third semester college-level German), may take advanced level courses in English at Humboldt University. Track 2 students are required to enroll in a German language course during their regular semester, in additon to the intensive language course during orientation.


Following orientation, students enroll in four to six courses at Humboldt University; students must complete a minimum of four courses for evaluation through a schein (a document confirming that you have completed the course and received a letter grade) in order to obtain a full semester credit equivalent at Brown. Students may choose from Proseminare, Seminare (junior/senior level courses) or Übungen (lab courses with field trips). Students are encouraged to attend Vorlesungen (lecture courses in which there is no assessed work).  Students may take a maximum of two Vorlesungen and may opt to enroll in one or both for credit. Students who wish to earn credit must arrange with the professor to be given work on which a grade can be assessed. Please visit the Humboldt University course catalog for the most current list of course offerings.

Past program participants have studied history, art history, international studies, political science, religion, German, Medical Studies, natural sciences, chemistry, physics, computer science, comparative literarture, and international relations. Students may enroll in all departments of the universities for which they have appropriate academic preparation. 

In addition to academic programs, students have pursued internships at art galleries, the Aspen Institute, and the American embassy. 

Humboldt University

Founded in 1810 by the Prussian king, Friedrich Wilhelm III, Humboldt University's mission has long been to achieve a unity of teaching and research and provide students with an all-around humanist education. By drawing on and contributing to the rich history and cultural life of the city, Humboldt has remained true to its principles and become an internationally acclaimed institution.

Academic Calendar
Participants may enroll for either the spring semester or the full year. Approximate dates are provided based on past programs; students should expect them to vary by year.  Please refer to the program calendar for specific information about program dates. 

  • Full Year: September through late July/early August
  • Spring Semester Only: March through late July/early August


Students may choose to apply for student university housing through Humboldt University or live in a shared apartment with local German students. Students who opt for shared apartment living are initially housed in temporary housing arranged by the program for the orientation period. Throughout the orientation period, students work with the on-site coordinator and a local housing agency to find a room in a shared apartment, where they will live with local Germans for the remainder of the semester or year.

Application Instructions

Apply by the deadline using Brown's online application system via the "apply now" and "return to application" buttons on the right side of this page.  Applications typically require faculty recommendations so it is important to begin the process early.