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Summer 2016: Berlin


Berlin, Capital of Modernity

  • Berlin, Germany: June 4-July 1, 2016 (4 weeks)
  • Instructors: Karen Hornick, NYU Gallatin & Fredric Smoler, Sarah Lawrence College
  • 4 credits, TRAVL-UG 9500

Application Deadlines

  • February 1, 2016 (priority for Gallatin Dean's Scholarship, Gallatin students only)
  • March 1, 2016 (final)

Programs fill on a rolling basis and may fill quickly. Students are encouraged to apply early. Only completed applications will be reviewed. Admission decisions are based on strength of a student's academic performance and his/her personal statement, as well as space remaining in the program.

Info Session

Meet Prof. Hornick and learn more about the course!
Location: 1 Washington Pl. (Gallatin Building)

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 ~ 5:00 - 6:00 PM ~ Room 801

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 ~ 12:30 - 1:30 PM ~ Room 501

Course Description

Some of the most thrilling, momentous, and terrible events of the 1900s occurred in Berlin, which present tales of warning and inspiration to the present century. This four-week interdisciplinary seminar tracks these major events and traces change through the study of primary materials (literature, film, art, buildings, music, political discourse) and secondary readings drawn from a range of disciplines including history, sociology, philosophy, and critical theory.

Berlin's streets, buildings, memorials, and cultural monuments offer cautionary tales about the folly of nationalist ambition; inspiring sagas of intellectual and physical courage; cold testimonials of crime and retribution; lyrical ballads of brutal honesty; personal records of hope and despair. From one perspective, all of these narratives are episodes in an epic whose grand and central scene is World War II; this is the point of view to be adopted in this course.

Students will take in many of the sights and sounds of old and contemporary Berlin but will focus on the involvement of twentieth-century, Berlin-based politicians, activists, artists, architects, bohemians, writers, and intellectuals with the causes, experience, and consequences of World War II. Our period of study begins just before the outbreak of World War I and ends during the astonishing building boom of the post-Wall 1990s and early 2000s.

Classes, taught in English, will meet four days a week. Survival German language courses will be offered daily. Group site visits will occur throughout the week and on weekends but students will be given ample opportunity to explore Berlin and develop individual projects. Field trips will encompass the rich resources of the city's museums, neighborhoods, historical sites, memorials, and cultural monuments. Students will live in apartments conveniently located near our classroom and must provide their own meals.

Students are required to live in accommodations provided by NYU Gallatin.

Note for Gallatin students: This course fulfills 4 credits of the Interdisciplinary Seminar as well as the Humanities foundation requirement.


This course is open to undergraduate students of all NYU and non-NYU schools. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and be in good academic and disciplinary standing, must have completed at least one full-time undergraduate college semester before the travel course begins, and must be matriculated at a college or university during the Summer 2016 term.

Application Requirements


February 1, 2016 (priority for Gallatin Dean's Scholarship, Gallatin students only)
March 1, 2016 (final); DEADLINE EXTENDED

  • Online application [APPLICATION HAS CLOSED; we are no longer accepting applications]
  • Personal statement
  • Transcript (non-NYU students only)
  • Reference contact information (faculty member or primary academic adviser)

Personal Statement: A 250-word statement addressing academic reasons for wanting to participate in this program as well as any experience living or traveling in another country must be submitted through the online application.

Transcript: A transcript is required for non-NYU students (the Office of Global Programs will review transcripts for NYU students in Albert). An unofficial electronic transcript may be submitted through the online application (preferred) or may be emailed as an attachment to (DOC, DOCX, or PDF) or mailed/hand-delivered to Gallatin Office of Global Programs, 411 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10003.

An interview is not required for program admission, but some final candidates may be contacted for an interview as needed.


  • Tuition for 4 credits: $3550
  • Program Fee (includes some meals, excursions, and entrance fees): $850
  • Housing Fee: $1350
  • NYU Registration and Services Fee: approx. $650, based on past semesters
  • Travel visa, if required: students are responsible for the cost
  • Incidental Costs: Round-trip airfare (student purchases his/her own airfare)

Financial Aid


Eligibility: Current Gallatin students and incoming Gallatin transfer students (Gallatin admission must be confirmed) who apply to Gallatin January Term and Summer travel courses. Students must have good academic standing and must have a current FAFSA on file and show unmet financial need. Continuing students who will apply the course credit towards their degree requirements receive priority consideration.

The amount awarded is typically equivalent to full or half course tuition. Scholarships are awarded based on the availability of funds. Also note that the scholarship awarded will reflect the total amount that can be received from both Gallatin and NYU's Office of Financial Aid for that particular travel course. Applicants may investigate additional funding options but because summer aid for study away tends to be limited, awardees should anticipate covering the remaining costs of the program without additional aid.

Students apply for the Dean's Scholarship when submitting the travel course online application.

Dean's Scholarship Deadline: Summer 2016: February 1 (priority)

Final scholarship decisions will be made in February. Students who disqualify may receive earlier notification.


For information on other opportunities, including NYU Summer Financial Aid (which requires summer enrollment in at least 6 credits), please visit the NYU Office of Financial Aid webpage.

Past Photos from "Berlin: Capital of Modernity"