Harvard Summer Program in Berlin, Germany, and Vienna, Austria
Gain a critical overview of literature, music, and the arts from the 19th century to the present, while exploring the vibrant capitals of Austria and Germany.
Join other advanced German-language students in strengthening your written and spoken skills while studying the cultural history of Vienna and Berlin. Your studies are complemented by frequent performances at the cities' concert halls, opera houses, and theaters, plus multiple excursions, including a visit to Prague.
This eight-week program comprises two courses: one advanced German-language course and one cultural history course, conducted in English. You will critically examine the arts from the nineteenth century to the present, as well as the import of Central Europe’s rich artistic legacy.
Please note: While this program is organized around an advanced language course, it may also be possible for intermediate German language students to participate. Please contact the program directors for information about alternative tracks of study.
GERM S-33 Study Abroad in Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany: Intermediate German Language and Arts (34251)
This course aims to develop students' proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, as well as develop interpersonal and cultural competency. By exploring the cities of Vienna and Berlin and their rich cultural history, students learn to navigate urban life, to interact in a variety of situations, and to communicate about art and architecture, literature, theater, and music. The grammar reference, Handbuch zur deutschen Grammatik, provides a thorough review and expansion of important grammatical structures and exercises for vocabulary building. Last, but not least, guided explorations of Vienna and Berlin ensure immersion in the spoken language. Harvard students who complete this course may enroll in fourth-semester German (German 20b) in the fall semester.
Prerequisite: Two semesters of college-level German or the equivalent.
GERM S-43 Study Abroad in Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany: Advanced German Language and Arts (33499)
This course is designed to develop students' spoken and written language skills at the advanced level. By exploring the cities of Vienna and Berlin and their rich cultural history, students learn the language of urban life, art and architecture, literature, theater, and music. In doing so, students broaden and refine their grammar, vocabulary, and idiom, as well as analyze the stylistic features of various written and spoken genres. In particular, students develop their ability to describe their urban environment with precision, and to respond critically to the cultural events, performances, and artwork. Last, but not least, guided explorations of Vienna and Berlin ensure immersion in the spoken language, and are reinforced by in-class discussions, oral reports, story-telling, debates, and interviews.
Prerequisite: Four semesters of college-level German or the equivalent.
GERM S-100 Study Abroad in Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany: Central European Cultural History (33500)
For centuries, Vienna and Berlin have been at the heart of European civilization and arts, thriving on a dynamic and frequently impassioned tension between the social conservatism of imperialism and the many cultural revolutions and violent upheavals that ultimately witnessed the decline of the aristocracy. This course offers a comprehensive examination of the cities' key roles in major literary, musical, and artistic movements across the centuries, viewed in relation to broader considerations of Central European history up to the present day, when Vienna and Berlin persist as vital centers for the arts as an energetic and energizing source for fresh advances in human expression. The broad variety of museums, galleries, concert halls, and theaters, together with a vibrant tradition of cabaret, popular theater, and the famed cafes, is a testament to the cities' commitment to fostering culture in all its kaleidoscopic wealth. Lectures are directly enriched by performances, field trips, excursions, and other special events.
Where You Live and Study
The program takes place in Vienna and Berlin, the two primary cultural capitals of Central Europe, with an extended stop-over in Prague.
In Vienna, you stay in apartments in the elegant art-nouveau Hotel Carlton Opera. The hotel is located in the heart of Vienna’s lively Fourth District—directly adjacent to the Naschmarkt, Vienna’s famous open market and just a brief walk to all of the city’s major sites and shopping promenades.
Apartments have air-conditioning, free wi-fi, and kitchens so that you are able to prepare some of your own meals. Breakfast is included, and there are many restaurants and coffee houses nearby.
While in Berlin, you reside with local families in a homestay.
How to Apply
Review How to Apply before submitting your application.
Application materials include:
- A statement of interest in the program
- Include information on relevant coursework and level of German language study, interest, or experience in the arts, as well as travel experience abroad (previous travel is not a prerequisite)
- Harvard College applicants: You may submit an unofficial transcript accessed from my.harvard.edu.
- Non-Harvard applicants: Submit an official transcript from your university.
- A $50 nonrefundable application fee
Note: Interviews may be requested.
Applications are now closed. You will be notified of admission decisions by mid- to late-February.
The program fee includes tuition, accommodation, scheduled excursions and activities, and some meals.
See Payment and Funding for information on how to submit payments and funding options.
In addition to the program fee, you will need to budget for a number of personal expenses:
- International airfare ($1,300 to $1,600)
- Local transportation ($150)
- Some meals ($1,200)
- Course materials ($80)
- Personal expenditures, communications, and miscellaneous ($300)
Please note: The amounts are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not listed here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including your personal spending habits and currency exchange rates. If you have specific questions about budgeting, please contact the program directly.
- Questions? Contact John Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lisa Parkes at email@example.com.
- Need an accommodation? See Students in Need of Accommodations to request one through the Accessibility Services Office.
- Accepted to the program? See Admitted Students for information about predeparture requirements.
- John T. Hamilton, PhD, William R. Kenan Professor of German and Comparative Literature, Harvard University
- Lisa Parkes, PhD, Senior Lecturer on Germanic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University