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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Berlin, Germany
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Rice applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Program Type: Affiliate, Internship Click here for a definition of this term Language Requirement: German - 4 semesters
Major: German Studies Terms Offered: Academic Year, Spring
Program Description:
Berlin 2Jacobs - German FlagBerlin


The Berlin Consortium for German Studies is an academic-year or spring semester program dedicated to helping students improve their German language skills by providing intensive language training, encouraging them to function independently in the German university system, and offering a program that allows them to fully experience German life, customs, and culture.
The academic year program runs from September to July, while the spring semester program runs February to July. There is no fall semester option.

Program Eligibility

  • Must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student in good standing
  • Must have completed at least two years of college-level German or the equivalent. It is highly recommended that students applying for the spring semester have at least one additional course beyond the required two years.
  • Minimum 3.0 average language GPA
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA


During their first semester (fall or spring) students enroll in the following for a minimum of 18 points:
German Discourse and Culture, 6 points
Taken during the orientation period prior to the start of the German semester, this mandatory six-week course combines extensive language study with an introduction to the discourse of German academic culture, both spoken and written, in preparation for successful study in the German university system. Special attention is paid to practical vocabulary for both academic and daily living applications. Satisfactory completion is required as a condition of enrollment in courses at the FU.
Selected topics in German studies, 4 points
The Academic Director determines the topic of this course every year, based on his or her own academic interests and background. The course takes advantage of Berlin and its resources to inform the coursework. Past topics have covered history, art history, literature, theater, and cinema. During the spring term, a course on German-American relations is offered by the Resident Administrative Director.
Supervised study in the German university system, minimum of 8 points
Direct enrollment into at least two courses in the German university system. Based on the results of a placement exam taken at the end of the practicum, BCGS staff assist students in finding appropriate courses for their language level and academic interests.

Student Life

More information can be found here: Student Experiences


Upon arrival in Berlin, BCGS students stay together in a youth hostel for orientation weekend.
During the first month of the program, students live with German hosts. The guest stay is an invaluable opportunity for students, providing a window into the daily rhythms and customs of Berliners.

After the homestay, students move into FU-arranged dorms or they will have independently found an apartment share for the rest of their stay in Berlin.

While apartment hunting can be challenging, most BCGS students choose to find their own shares because doing so provides another opportunity to improve their language skills, benefit from cultural exchange with their German roommates, and explore a different neighborhood.


Berlin is an edgy city, from its fashion to its architecture to its charged political history. The Berlin Wall is a sobering reminder of the hyper-charged postwar atmosphere, and yet the graffiti art that now covers its remnants has become symbolic of social progress. Check out the Weltzeituhr (world time) Clock, topped by a model of the solar system, then turn back time by dining at the historic Zur Letzten Instanz, a 16th century restaurant that was frequented by Napoleon and Beethoven.