Berlin, Germany

German Language & Culture

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Information for term German Language & Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jan 5 – Apr 2, 2020 (13 weeks)

Application Deadline

June 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Aug 11, 2020 – Apr 2, 2021 (33 weeks)*


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Hip, diverse, and student-friendly, Berlin is a beloved hub for international study.

There’s never a dull moment in this dynamic city. Break free on a gap year in Berlin and don’t miss a beat. Here you can be part of the cutting-edge cultural scene while practicing and perfecting your language skills in one of Europe’s most popular hot spots for creativity, innovation, and international study.

Whatever your level of German language proficiency – beginner, intermediate, or advanced – you’ll make impressive strides through interactive coursework five days a week at the CIEE Global Institute and everyday conversations with your homestay back home. Out on the town, put your skills to the test in shops and cafés and with friendly locals – all while immersed in a fascinating multicultural melting pot. After German and English, did you know the most commonly spoken foreign languages in Berlin are Turkish, Russian, Arabic, Polish, Kurdish, Vietnamese, Serbian, Croatian, and Greek?

Twice per week, you’ll complement your coursework with cultural activities in and around Berlin, focused on the fascinating history and architecture, art and culture, and food and diversity of the city. Take in the sights and sounds – and incredible international cuisine – all around you, for the global experience of a lifetime.

The Take-Aways

  • Language Proficiency

    20 hours per week of German language instruction spanning three levels at the CIEE Global Institute or a local language institute.

  • Global Citizenship & Cultural Competence

    Completion of CIEE’s Global Competence course providing you with a strong foundation in the core components of intercultural learning

  • Certificate

    A Certificate of Learning in German

  • of alumni say their language skills improved

  • say they learned to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds

  • say their level of independence increased


Location & Culture

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Break free in Europe’s leading capital of creativity and innovation.

A lively café culture, an innovative art and music scene, abundance of green city parks and a laid-back vibe make for a near-perfect student environment. Berlin’s efficient public transportation makes it easy to get around, and the welcoming atmosphere makes it easy to practice your German while out on the town.

Berlin is a city of districts and neighborhoods. The CIEE Global Institute is located in the heart of Kreuzberg, known for its youthful energy, sidewalk cafés, street festivals, and vibrant cultural scene. Checkpoint Charlie, the Jewish Museum, and Berlin’s historic “Mitte” district are all within walking distance. A 10-minute bike ride takes you to the expansive oasis of Tempelhof, the former airport of Berlin Airlift fame and now a giant urban park. Central Berlin is a quick subway ride away – the station is right in front of the Global Institute!

Home to more than 3.5 million people, the centuries-old capital of Germany is now a rich and vibrant city with many different cultures and subcultures living side by side. About one-third of Berlin is parkland or gardens, contrasting with its urban reputation. The Brandenburg Gate serves as a historical center of Berlin, famous for its association with the Berlin Wall, which fell in 1989. Recently refurbished, it is a national symbol of peace and unity.

Berlin’s cuisine is a combination of the traditionally German eisbein (pork knuckle) and dishes influenced by the different communities who have made Berlin home, including two student street-food staples: the currywurst or the döner kebab, made famous by Berlin’s Turkish community.

Daily Life

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Daily Life

"After my trip with CIEE I have definitely grown in ways I never could if I had stayed in the US."

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blog.


  • Housing

    Private bedroom in home of carefully screened homestay.

  • Local Support

    CIEE resident staff available 24/7.


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Sample Activities & Excursions

  • Spend an evening at the world-famous Berlin Philharmonic
  • Take in a few featured films at the renowned Berlin International Film Festival
  • Walk the last remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall still in place at the East Side Gallery – the longest open-air art gallery in the world
  • Take a guided tour of the historic Wilhelmstrasse, former home of the Third Reich
  • Check out famous landmarks such as Checkpoint Charlie, the Jewish Museum Berlin, the Reichstag building and the Mitte district
  • Pay your respects at the Holocaust Memorial
  • Relax in the expansive oasis of Tempelhof, the former airport of Berlin Airlift fame, and now a verdant urban park
  • Take cooking classes and whip up some of Berlin’s most famous dishes
  • Sample Berlin’s famous street food – an amazing range of international and local foods are sold on almost every corner of the city

Every semester, our program includes one day trip and at least one overnight or multiday excursion to discover Germany and the region with other CIEE Gap Year Abroad and Study Abroad college students. Itineraries change every semester and are confirmed upon arrival in Berlin.

Past groups have enjoyed day trips to Potsdam, Frankfurt, or the Baltic Sea, and multiday excursions as far as Cologne, Leipzig, Dresden, Hamburg, or even Prague!

Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

What People are Saying

  • Taking a gap year was the best decision that I could have made before heading off to college. I have come out a more mature, open-minded, culturally aware, and ultimately happier person. I entered college with a sense of accomplishment for already having spent a year in transition and I find that it is already paying off both socially and academically. If anyone is considering taking a gap year, the answer should be yes!

    Kira F., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna
  • I learned that a happy life is not determined by how much money you have, it’s not determined by how smart or pretty you are, it’s not determined by your success or your job and it’s certainly not determined by how much stuff you have. It’s determined by the relationships and love you have with those around you. And I would not trade that for all the things in the world.

    Christina C., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna

Eligibility & Fees

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Eligibility & Fees


Fall: Rolling Admissions
Spring: October 15
Contact CIEE for more information.


  • High school graduates in good academic standing.
  • Students must demonstrate, through the application and interview process, flexibility and maturity.
  • Students must be 18 years or older at the time of their departure.
  • No previous language experience required.

Application Fee


You can create a duo program by combining any two CIEE Gap Year Abroad semesters and get 10% off the second semester.

Apply four weeks before the application deadline and receive $400 off the cost of your program.

Program fee includes iNext travel insurance. Full inclusions are found online.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Spring 2020 13 weeks Rolling Admissions Jan 5, 2020 Apr 2, 2020


Academic Year 2020 33 weeks Jun 1, 2020 Aug 11, 2020* Apr 2, 2021*
Fall 2020 12 weeks Jun 1, 2020 Aug 11, 2020* Nov 3, 2020*

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

Ready to change your life?