Study Abroad at Bard College Berlin,
a Liberal Arts University
Letter of Introduction
Dear Prospective Student:
Greetings from Berlin, the site of one of Bard College’s most exciting study abroad opportunities! The Bard in Berlin program is designed for those of you pursuing majors in the humanities and social sciences—and particularly those in the fields of philosophy, art history, economics, literature, political science, history, or the practicing arts—who wish to deepen your engagement with the major questions and currents of Western thought in a rigorous, interdisciplinary fashion, and in a city rapidly becoming the new center of Europe.
Berlin has staged some of the most profound upheavals and transformations of the modern world. It was, famously, the capital of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi dictatorship and the site of the Berlin Wall. It was also home to Frederick the Great’s Enlightenment court; to some of the grandest collectors of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art; to Bauhaus architects; and the theater of Bertolt Brecht. For this reason, Bard in Berlin is built around a multidisciplinary core course that offers you the city as a lens and a laboratory for engaging with the historical development and contemporary perplexities of Western modernity. Combining a lecture series, small-group seminar discussions, and guided visits to major museums and landmarks, this core course covers topics such as the Enlightenment, romanticism, industrialization and the growth of the urban metropolis, avant-garde aesthetics, war, capitalism and communism, and the development of the notion of “Europe.” In doing so, it reaches beyond a concern with Germany to a broader exploration of the shared intellectual traditions and experiences that orient much of the world today.
As part of the Bard in Berlin program, along with participating in the core course, you also choose advanced-level elective courses in categories such as literature and rhetoric, art and aesthetics, philosophy and ethics, or economics and political theory, which further your progress toward your major or minor. You may also take foreign language classes (including but not limited to German) or complete an internship at a political organization, NGO, cultural institution, or business. All courses are conducted in English and are held jointly with the distinguished faculty and diverse international student body of Bard College Berlin.
Bard College Berlin’s leafy campus is perfectly placed to allow you both space and time for intellectual reflection and easy access to the bustle of urban life. I hope to meet many of you here.
Florian Becker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of German and Comparative Literature, Bard College
Director of Bard Programs at Bard College Berlin