A diverse cultural program is available to students, both in conjunction with the core course, Berlin: Experiment in Modernity, and through the Residential Life Office of ECLA of Bard. Berlin course excursions may include (depending on the semester) trips to museums and galleries; historical monuments such as the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wall, and the Sachsenhausen concentration camp; the palace of Frederick the Great in Potsdam; and, further afield, the city of Dresden. In the fall semester, Residential Life offers a dynamic “Berlin Weekend” orientation program to introduce students to some of the different neighborhoods of the city. It also conducts a series of events throughout the semester, including sports tournaments and movie nights, opera or theater outings, and hikes at the nearby lakes.
Over the last two decades, relatively low living costs have drawn artists, designers, and young entrepreneurs to the city, creating a vibrant mix of politics, academia, media, and creative industries. Though Berlin is a large city with a population of 3.5 million, getting around is easy. The excellent public transport system—with a dense network of subways, buses, trams, and trains—means that, no matter where you are in Berlin, you are just a short walk from the next station.
The public transportation website, www.bvg.de
, has complete listings and maps for all subway, tram, and city rail lines in Berlin. It also has a handy "journey planner" function. The Berlin Weekend and other group activities will help to familiarize you with the ins and outs of using Berlin's public transit system.