Germany: Berlin - A Cultural Extravaganza

Germany: Berlin


June 10 - June 28, 2019  

Program Description 

Rock star David Bowie called Berlin "the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine." One of Europe's most cutting-edge cities, Berlin has something for every taste and budget. Hundreds of historical sites, world-class art and architecture, beautiful parks and lakes, excellent international cuisine, and a fascinating youth culture are just some of the things you will enjoy in this amazing city.

Our three-week course will have a dual focus. In the first part of the course, you will learn about the concept of "cultural memory," and how it is playing out in our society today. Together we will look back in time at key moments connected with WWII and the Cold War. We will visit famous sites (and sights) across the city to examine how contemporary Berlin is coming to terms with its dark historical past through its many memorials.

In the second part of our course, we will look ahead to Berlin's bright future in the realm of sustainability and green culture. Together we will explore vibrant sites across Berlin where locals are successfully engaging in "green living." You'll discover unique spots like neighborhood gardens, green design centers, repurposed parks, and even eateries offering "green cuisine."

Using their extensive firsthand knowledge of the city, your course instructors will show you some of the best that Berlin has to offer.

All course participants will stay in comfortable hotel accommodations in central Berlin, within walking distance of our study center and many of Berlin's famous sights. Out-of-class fieldwork and excursions will provide ample opportunities to discover this wonderful city. All field trips and activities are included in the course fees. Highlights from previous years have included:

  • Walking tour with one of Berlin's best guides (Preston Meyer of Brewer's Berlin Tours)
  • The Jewish Museum
  • Guided tour of the Berlin Wall
  • The Reichstag
  • Memorial of German Resistance
  • Graffiti & street art tour
  • Brewery visit
  • Exchanges with local university students
  • Princess Garden
  • Tempelhof Field
  • Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Vegan cooking class
  • Immigration theatre performance



COMM 195 Special Topics in Communication Studies (3 units)

COMM 193 Activity Projects in Intercultural/International Communication (3 units)

This special session combines COMM 193 (Activity Projects in Intercultural & International Communication) & COMM 195 (Special Topics in Communication Studies) for a total of 6 units.

These two courses will give you a deep understanding of two complementary topics: cultural memory and green culture in Berlin. Together we will use historical and cultural sites across the city of Berlin as our classroom to engage in direct observations, explore, analyze, and learn about these topics.

Anyone can apply for the Berlin, Germany FLP!
All majors are welcome.
All class levels from Freshmen to Master's students are welcome.
If you're not a COMM major, contact your advisor about how to use this course toward your major requirements.

COMM majors please note:

  • COMM majors can apply this coursework toward FIP requirements.
  • COMM course substitutions can be arranged.
  • If you've already taken COMM 193 and/or COMM 195, you can still take the Berlin courses and get alternative credit for it.




Program Leader: Bettina Brockmann

Bettina Brockmann teaches Communication Studies courses at SJSU and other Bay Area campuses. She specializes in environmental communication and disability studies. Having been born and raised in Germany, she is a huge fan of Berlin.





faculty-germany-barrettProgram Leader: Kendall Barrett

Kendall Barrett Sooter is an Instructor in the Communication Studies Department at SJSU and Cabrillo College. Her research focuses on Rhetoric, Environmental Communication, Identity, and Intercultural Communication. She has spent months in Europe throughout her life, including living in Luxembourg for 3 months. From visiting Germany as a child up to recent excursions this year, she is excited to share in the creation of new memories for students in the Berlin study abroad 2019 program. 




It is important to note that each program's total cost will vary depending on the location and the package it offers.  

$1,500 SJSU Special Session Tuition ($250 per unit)
$200 Administrative Fee 
$3,295 Program fees, lodging, class materials and class related tours approximately*
$4,995 Total Program Cost


* Airfare is not included. Students will need approximately $500-$1000 for meals and activities during free time.


"Berlin was simply spectacular. I've made lasting bonds with some of the most wonderful people, experienced the rich history and lived the culture of Germany, tried and loved some new foods, and made memories that I'll treasure forever. It was the best time of my life, and I look back on it all with no regrets because I've learned so much about myself while navigating the beautiful streets of Berlin. Seeing the intricate art and rich culture come to life before my eyes was astounding and I'm so grateful for having the opportunity to take part in such a rewarding and exciting experience. I've always loved to travel, and my time in Berlin has only instilled within me a deeper love of the world I live in and am looking forward to exploring in the future." - Alice

"Berlin is a city that grows, innovates, expands, learns, establishes, creates, and launches itself in ever direction and even through time. Having had the opportunity to not just visit Berlin, but to study there has changed the way I view the world. Why don't we start thinking about what connects us all instead of what makes us so different? Why don't we start innovating together? Berlin was my launchpad to thinking about the world from different views and I'm still amazed by what I learned in the program." - Stephanie

"Going to Berlin on this trip was one the best things I could have ever done for myself! This course is so unique from other study abroad programs, in this program the city is our classroom and it is definitely a memorable experience. Not only are you given the opportunity to travel Germany, you also get to interact and meet people from all around the world. Having the freedom of traveling on the weekends and before and after the program, is an amazing experience to add to an already wonderful study abroad program!" - Paisley


Check out these additional resources for your program.

  • Itinerary
  • Info sessions