Begin in Berlin

Contact Us

Bard College Berlin

Dr. Kerry Bystrom
Bard Faculty Representative to Bard College Berlin
Associate Professor of English and Human Rights, Bard College

Phone: +49 30 43733123

Die Bärliner

Bard College Berlin
Student Blog

On the Die Bärliner blog, Bard College Berlin students share first-person accounts of their experiences in Berlin, in the classroom and beyond. As Maria Khan writes of her time in Berlin, "Be it through academic or leisure activities, I often find myself rediscovering the world all over again."

Student Handbook

Click below to download the Begin in Berlin student handbook.

Location Guide

Click below to download a location guide which includes information on the essentials of daily life in Berlin.


Studying abroad can be one of the most transformative experiences of college life. Students undergo great personal growth as they are immersed, perhaps for the first time, in a different and exciting culture. They develop a global perspective and discover new personal and academic passions. They explore opportunities for civic engagement in their host countries, finding new ways to engage with the world and developing life-changing relationships. The study abroad experience is one of the cornerstones of the Bard education and we are delighted that your son or daughter has chosen to take on this challenge.

Below you will find some frequently asked questions from parents of students studying in Berlin, as well as some resources and tips for preparing your child and your family for study abroad. We also encourage you to review the Student Handbook—this comprehensive guide has further details about preparing for departure and life in Germany. As always, please feel welcome to contact the Begin in Berlin program with any questions.

Supporting Your Student’s Study Abroad

Parental support is important as students prepare for their study abroad experience and during their time away. Here are some things you can do before and during your child’s study abroad:
  • Review the “Before You Leave” student checklist on this page with your son or daughter and assist them in completing these items before they leave for Berlin.
  • Read through the Student Handbook. Make sure your son or daughter does, as well.
  • Develop a plan for handling family emergencies that may arise while your student is away.
  • Review the other resources found on this page and contact us with any questions ahead of your student's departure.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do Begin in Berlin students travel to Berlin?
  • Do we need to take any special action if our family receives financial aid?
  • What do we need to know about finances in Berlin?
  • Will my son or daughter have health insurance while studying in Berlin?
  • Should my child bring his or her medications to Berlin?
  • What should we do about cell phone use in Berlin?
  • How do we call Germany from the United States?
  • What is computing like on campus? Should my son or daughter bring a laptop?
  • Will U.S. electronics work in Germany?
  • What security precautions should we take?
  • How do I send my son or daughter a care package?
  • Can I visit my child while he or she studies in Berlin?

“Before You Leave the U.S.” Student Checklist

  • Visit the doctor for a check-up and any needed vaccinations
  • Fill all needed prescription medications for the duration of your program
  • Visit the dentist for a check-up and cleaning (do not plan to go to the dentist in Germany)
  • Check with your bank to make sure they do business in Germany and that your ATM card will work at German banks; alert them that you will be using your debit card in Germany for the period of your program
  • Make a list of emergency numbers to keep with your passport, including:
  1. Your family phone numbers and e-mail addresses
  2. Phone numbers for your bank and credit card companies (to cancel stolen cards)
  3. Phone numbers for your U.S. medical insurance
  4. Phone number and e-mail address of Mary Ann Krisa, your contact person at Bard
  • Make photocopies of:
  1. Your passport photo page
  2. Your ATM/credit cards
  3. Your U.S. medical insurance policy/card
  • If applicable, take and print out photographs of your musical instrument to demonstrate to German customs officers.