Germany: Berlin - A Cultural Extravaganza

Germany: Berlin



SUMMER 2020 ONLINE - June 1 - July 2, 2020

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. 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 society today. Together we will look back in time at key moments connected with WWII and the Cold War. We will visit famous sites across the city to examine how Berliners are coming to terms with Germany’s dark historical past through the city’s many monuments and memorials.

In the second part of our course, we will look ahead to Berlin's bright future in the realm of contemporary culture. Together we will explore vibrant countercultural sites, uncovering Berlin’s unique street art, exploring its hidden neighborhoods, discovering lively community spots, and more.

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. Daily field trips and excursions around Berlin will provide ample opportunities to discover this wonderful city. All field trips, course activities, and course excursions are included in the course fees. Highlights from previous years have included:

  • Historical walking tours of Berlin
  • 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
  • The palaces of Potsdam



COMM 195 Special Topics in Communication Studies (3 units)

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

The Berlin course combines both COMM 193 (Activity Projects in Intercultural & International Communication) and COMM 195 (Special Topics in Communication Studies) for a total of 6 units.

This two course combination will give you a deep understanding of two complementary foci: cultural memory and contemporary culture in Berlin. Together we will explore historical and cultural sites across the city of Berlin, engaging in direct observations, interviews, and activities to learn about these important topics.

  • Anyone can participate in the Berlin, Germany FLP.
  • All class levels from Freshmen to Master's students are welcome.
  • All majors are welcome.

If you're not a COMM major, contact your advisor about how to use the Berlin coursework toward your graduation requirements.

COMM majors take special note: COMM majors can apply the Berlin coursework toward the COMM FIP requirements. If you've already taken COMM 193 and/or COMM 195, you can still take the Berlin courses and get alternative COMM credit for it.




Program Leader: Dr Tabitha Hart

Before coming to SJSU, Dr. Tabitha Hart lived and worked in Berlin, Germany. This experience combined with an enduring love for this unique and exciting city led her to create the Berlin FLP (with colleague Bettina Brockmann) in 2013. Since then she has been co-directing the Berlin FLP each year. Dr. Hart teaches and researches in the area of communication studies, with a special emphasis on cultural communication and ethnography.






faculty-germany-barrettProgram Leader: Dr Andrew Wood

Professor Andrew F. Wood is a fervent believer in the life-changing possibilities of study-abroad experience. He has led student groups to Austria, China, Finland, Slovenia, and Taiwan (facilitating side trips to Estonia, Russia, and Sweden). Dr. Wood is also dedicated to academic scholarship, having authored or co-authored books on urban design, internet communication, reality television, roadside Americana, and the 1939-40 New York World's Fair.




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 
$3295 Program fees, lodging, class materials and class related tours approximately*
$4995  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

    Tuesday, Sept 24
    HGH 255
    Friday, October 4
    9:00-10:00 am
    HGH 255
    Monday, October 7
    HGH 255
    Tuesday, October 15 10:30-11:30 HGH 255
    Monday, October 21
    HGH 255
    Wednesday, October 30
    HGH 255
    Friday, November 8 9:00-10:00 HGH 255
    Tuesday, November 12 - 10:30-11:30 HGH 255
    Thursday, November 21
    online via Zoom at
    Wednesday, December 4 from 4:30-5:30 HGH 255