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Summer 2017: Berlin

Berlin: Capital of Modernity

  • Berlin, GERMANY: Dates TBA
  • TRAVL-UG 9500 | 4 credits | Instructors: Karen Hornick (NYU Gallatin) & Fredric Smoler (Sarah Lawrence College)
  • LEVEL: Undergraduate, NYU and non-NYU students
  • TOPICS: Literature, film, cultural history, World War II, and more
  • DEADLINES: Round 1: Dec. 5 | Round 2: Feb. 6 (priority for Gallatin Dean's Scholarship) | Round 3: March 6

Info Session

Meet Prof. Hornick and learn more about the course! Location: 1 Washington Pl. (Gallatin Building)

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 ~ 3:00pm–4:00pm ~ Room 801


Course Description

Some of the most thrilling, momentous, and terrible events of the 1900s occurred in Berlin, which present tales of warning and inspiration to the present century. This four-week interdisciplinary seminar tracks these major events and traces change through the study of primary materials (literature, film, art, buildings, music, political discourse) and secondary readings drawn from a range of disciplines including history, sociology, philosophy, and critical theory.

Berlin's streets, buildings, memorials, and cultural monuments offer cautionary tales about the folly of nationalist ambition; inspiring sagas of intellectual and physical courage; cold testimonials of crime and retribution; lyrical ballads of brutal honesty; personal records of hope and despair. From one perspective, all of these narratives are episodes in an epic whose grand and central scene is World War II; this is the point of view to be adopted in this course.

Students will take in many of the sights and sounds of old and contemporary Berlin but will focus on the involvement of twentieth-century, Berlin-based politicians, activists, artists, architects, bohemians, writers, and intellectuals with the causes, experience, and consequences of World War II. Our period of study begins just before the outbreak of World War I and ends during the astonishing building boom of the post-Wall 1990s and early 2000s.

Classes, taught in English, will meet four days a week. Survival German language courses will be offered daily. Group site visits will occur throughout the week and on weekends but students will be given ample opportunity to explore Berlin and develop individual projects. Field trips will encompass the rich resources of the city's museums, neighborhoods, historical sites, memorials, and cultural monuments.

Gallatin students: This course fulfills 4 credits of the Interdisciplinary Seminar as well as the Humanities foundation requirement.


  • Undergraduate students of all NYU and non-NYU schools
  • Must have completed at least one full-time college semester before the course begins
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA, good academic & disciplinary standing
  • Must be matriculated at a college or university during the Summer 2017 term

Application Requirements

    ●  Online application [coming Fall 2016]
    ●  Personal statement
    ●  Transcript (non-NYU students only)
    ●  Reference contact information (faculty member or primary academic adviser)


    Round 1: Dec. 5
Round 2: Feb. 6 (priority for Gallatin Dean's Scholarship)
    Round 3: March 6

Students are admitted on a rolling basis and the program may fill quickly. Early application is encouraged. Only completed applications will be reviewed. Admission decisions are based on strength of students' academic performance and the personal statement, as well as space remaining in the program.

Personal Statement: A 250-word statement addressing academic reasons for wanting to participate in this program as well as any experience living or traveling in another country.

Transcript: Required for non-NYU students only (Gallatin's Office of Global Programs will review transcripts for NYU students in Albert). An unofficial electronic transcript may be submitted through the online application (preferred); emailed as a PDF attachment to; or delivered to Gallatin Global Programs, 411 Lafayette St., 3rd Fl., New York, NY 10003.

Interview: Not required for program admission, but some final candidates may be contacted for an interview as needed.


Note: fees below are from 2016; update coming soon

  • Tuition, 4 credits: $3550
  • NYU Registration & Services Fee: $680
  • Program Fee: $850
  • Housing: $1350

Other Costs to Consider:

  • Round-trip airfare (students purchase their own tickets and are responsible for their own accommodation for travel beyond the program dates); students will be notified when to book flights
  • Fees for passport; fees for travel visa, if required

Financial Aid

The Gallatin Dean's Scholarship is available for this program. See our Financial Aid for Study Away page for details on eligibility and additional opportunities.

Important Travel Details

Program Fee: Includes mandatory excursions, some meals, and mandatory international health insurance, which is provided for the program duration.

Housing: Students are required to reside in accommodations arranged by NYU Gallatin. Students will live in apartments conveniently located near the classroom and must provide their own meals.

Travel Documents: All program participants are required to have a valid passport, and certain participants might need a travel visa. These documents should be obtained well in advance of the program start date.

Helpful LinksLonely Planet Berlin, US State Department: Travel to Germany

Contact Info

NYU Gallatin Office of Global Programs
411 Lafayette St., 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003
1 (212) 998-7133 phone
1 (212) 995-4265 fax

Social Media: Facebook | Instagram (@gallatinglobal) | Twitter (@gallatinglobal)

Past Photos from "Berlin: Capital of Modernity"