Enriching Horizons: The Brown in Germany Program

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Group of students cheerfully hanging out by a pond.

Enriching Horizons: The Brown in Germany Program

Are you ready to trade your textbooks for pretzels and lecture halls for quaint cobblestone streets? If you’re nodding “yes,” welcome to the Brown in Germany program—a portal to academic brilliance, cultural depth, and transformative experiences.

Picture walking through Berlin’s lively districts, chatting in German, and gaining insights far beyond your textbooks. The Brown in Germany program is more than an option; it’s a transformative expedition that will reshape your college journey.

Prepare for an exciting ride, readers, as we delve into the Brown in Germany program. This blog will tackle all your questions, from the program’s basics to the application process. Let’s dive into this adventure and explore everything the Brown in Germany program has to offer.

What is the Brown in Germany program?

The Brown in Germany program offers a thrilling academic journey, immersing you in Germany’s vibrant culture, history, and educational scene while you work on your college degree. Run by Brown University, an Ivy League school known for its academic rigor, this program enables students to spend a full academic year in Germany, becoming part of the local academic fabric.

Envision strolling through Berlin’s energetic core, a city buzzing with life and drenched in Germany’s rich culture and complex history. As you navigate its lively streets, you’ll feel the historic pulse of the 1989 reunification, blending with the dynamic shifts of its varied ethnic groups.

Berlin, with its constantly evolving character, is an ideal setting for a deep dive into contemporary Europe’s narrative. It offers a mesmerizing journey through Germany’s layered history, present dynamics, and a peek at its limitless future possibilities.

Group of students gathered in a table.

Orientation: Your Gateway to Berlin’s Academic Adventure

Get ready for an adventure blending academic rigor with cultural immersion in the lively city of Berlin, courtesy of Brown University’s Berlin program. Your journey kicks off with a month-long orientation, laying the groundwork for an extraordinary experience. This immersive start features a credit-bearing intensive German language course, a wealth of cultural activities, and fascinating tours across the city. This orientation is your gateway to understanding Berlin’s dynamic culture and history, setting you up for an unforgettable academic year.

Intensive German Language Mastery

Before you dive into your regular semester courses, you’ll have the opportunity to hone your linguistic prowess through an intensive month-long German language course meticulously crafted by Humboldt University.

This linguistic journey not only equips you with invaluable language skills but also rewards your efforts with 7 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits – the equivalent of one Brown course credit.

For those seeking an advanced level of language immersion, the Advanced track offers a holistic experience where all courses are conducted in German at Humboldt University. Meanwhile, students on the Intermediate track have the flexibility to take advanced-level courses in English at Humboldt University. However, Intermediate level students will also engage in a German language course during their regular semester in addition to the intensive language course during orientation.

Academic Exploration Unleashed

After the enriching orientation, you’ll dive headfirst into regular semester courses at Humboldt University. Your academic journey in Berlin requires a minimum of 25 ECTS credits to receive a schein, a coveted document affirming your course completion and letter grade. This, when coupled with your intensive language course, seamlessly translates into a full semester credit at Brown.

You’ll have a diverse array of academic choices, including Proseminare, Seminare (junior/senior level courses), and Übungen (lab courses with immersive field trips). Furthermore, you’re encouraged to participate in Vorlesungen – lecture courses where assessment is absent. For those who wish to earn credit, collaboration with professors can lead to graded assignments.

The academic landscape at Humboldt University spans various disciplines, and past participants have explored history, art history, international studies, political science, religion, German, Medical Studies, natural sciences, chemistry, physics, computer science, comparative literature, and international relations. You have the freedom to enroll in up to two departments, aligning your choices with your academic preparation and aspirations.

View of students walking in the campus.

Beyond Academics: Opportunities Unveiled

In addition to the rich academic spectrum, Berlin program students have ventured into diverse internships, forging their own unique pathways. Whether it’s at art galleries, the prestigious Aspen Institute, or even within the corridors of the American embassy, the opportunities for personal and professional growth are boundless.

As you navigate your academic and cultural expedition in Berlin, remember that this program is more than just a study abroad experience; it’s a transformative journey that will shape your perspective, ignite your passion for learning, and leave an indelible mark on your academic trajectory. Berlin is your canvas, and the Brown in Germany program is your brush – it’s time to create your masterpiece.

Why should you join the Brown in Germany program?

You might be wondering, “Why should I consider the Brown in Germany program?” Hold onto your lederhosen because we have some compelling reasons for you.

Cultural Immersion: Living and studying in Germany provides an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in one of Europe’s most vibrant and culturally rich countries. You’ll experience the daily life, traditions, and language of the locals, expanding your worldview in ways that only firsthand experience can offer.

Academic Excellence: Brown University’s reputation for academic excellence extends to its international programs. You’ll benefit from high-quality education while earning credits towards your degree.

Language Proficiency: If you’ve ever dreamt of becoming fluent in German, this is your chance! Living in Germany and interacting with locals will rapidly improve your language skills.

Travel Opportunities: Germany’s central location in Europe makes it the perfect hub for exploring neighboring countries. Weekend trips to France, Italy, and other European gems are within arm’s reach.

Global Perspective: In an increasingly interconnected world, having international experience on your resume is a valuable asset. Employers and graduate schools value candidates who can navigate different cultures and perspectives.

View of two students walking in the campus.

How do you get into the Brown in Germany program?

Getting into the Brown in Germany program is undoubtedly competitive, but you can make it happen with determination and careful planning. Here’s a brief overview of the requirements:

Eligibility: You must be a Brown University student, typically in your sophomore or junior year, and meet the program’s academic requirements.

Academic Preparation: Ensure you’re on track with your coursework and fulfill any prerequisites required for the program.

Language Proficiency: While some programs offer courses in English, a strong grasp of the German language is often essential. Brown offers language courses to help you prepare.

Letters of Recommendation: Secure strong letters of recommendation from professors who can vouch for your academic prowess and suitability for the program.

Eligibility for the Brown in Germany Program in Berlin

The Brown in Germany program, based in Berlin, welcomes Brown University undergraduate students and visiting undergraduate students from other institutions. To participate in this program, students must maintain a good academic standing. Additionally, there are specific language prerequisites that vary depending on the chosen track:

For the Intermediate level track, students should have successfully completed Intermediate German I/GRMN 0300, which is equivalent to the third-semester college-level German course, or demonstrate proficiency at that level.

For those opting for the Advanced level track, a prerequisite is the successful completion of Twentieth-Century German Culture/GRMN 0500, a fifth-semester college-level German language course, or an equivalent level of proficiency.

These language prerequisites ensure that students are well-prepared to engage fully in the academic and cultural experiences that await them in Germany.

a female student in an online class

How to apply to the Brown in Germany program?

To participate in the Brown in Germany program, students must meet certain requirements and follow specific application procedures. Here’s a concise guide on how to get into the Brown in Germany:

Eligibility: The program is open to Brown and visiting undergraduate students who are in good academic standing. Students must have completed Intermediate German I/GRMN 0300 (third-semester college-level German) or the equivalent for the Intermediate track or Twentieth-Century German Culture/GRMN 0500 for the Advanced track.

Application Process: Obtain application materials from the Office of International Programs (OIP) and submit them by the specified deadline, usually at the beginning of October, for study in the second semester. Submit a writing sample (in German or English) of approximately 20 pages. Foreign students will also need to take the TOEFL exam.

Program Details: The program is based in Berlin and is in partnership with Humboldt University. It includes a month-long orientation with a credit-bearing intensive German language course, cultural activities, and visits to different city areas.

Following orientation, students enroll in regular semester courses at Humboldt University and must complete a minimum of 25 ECTS for evaluation through a schein, which, along with the intensive language course, would allow them to obtain a full semester credit equivalent at Brown.

It’s essential for prospective participants to review the specific requirements and deadlines on the official Brown University website and contact the Office of International Programs for further details and guidance.

Students can successfully apply and participate in the Brown in Germany program by following these steps and meeting the necessary criteria.

How hard is it to get into the Brown in Germany program?

While the Brown in Germany program is competitive, your chances of acceptance greatly depend on your academic performance, language proficiency, and the strength of your application.

Female student looking out the window.

Program Costs Overview

The Brown in Germany program involves two main expenses: the Program Fee and the Student Resources Fee. The Program Fee, billed by Brown University, is $32,828 for the spring semester and $65,656 for the academic year.

This covers tuition, housing, and essential services. The Student Resources Fee, also billed by Brown, is $502 for the spring semester and $1,004 for the academic year, providing access to support services. These costs are essential to consider when planning your participation in the program. To check the complete breakdown of expenses for this program, check the Germany Costs page.

When is the deadline to apply to the Brown in Germany program?

Application deadlines for the Brown in Germany program can vary, so it’s crucial to stay updated by regularly checking the program’s official website or consulting with your academic advisor. Typically, application deadlines fall in the early months of the year preceding your desired study abroad term. The deadline to apply to the Brown in Germany program is at the beginning of October for study in the second semester.

We recommend that you begin the application process early and obtain application materials from the Office of International Programs to ensure that they have enough time to complete the application requirements and submit them by the deadline.

When do I find out about my application to the Brown in Germany program?

The notification timeline for acceptance into the Brown in Germany program typically varies, but you can expect to hear back about your application in the spring or early summer. Be sure to keep an eye on your email during this time for updates.

Group of students smiling next to a building.

Where is the Brown in Germany program?

The Brown in Germany program finds its academic home at Humboldt University, a venerable institution with roots dating back to 1810 when it was founded by the Prussian king, Friedrich Wilhelm III.

Humboldt University has long been on a mission to harmonize teaching and research while bestowing students with a comprehensive humanist education. Situated in the heart of Berlin, this esteemed university is not merely a place of learning; it’s a cornerstone of the city’s rich history and cultural vitality.

Humboldt University’s commitment to these principles has propelled it to international acclaim, making it the ideal setting for the Brown in Germany program, where students can immerse themselves in a world-class academic environment while embracing the vibrant tapestry of Berlin’s past, present, and future.


When it comes to housing, students in the Brown in Germany program have two options to consider: student dormitories provided by Humboldt University or independent housing arrangements. For those who opt for student housing, an initial period of temporary housing organized by the program is available until March 1.

Please note that the student dormitories, or Wohnheime, come in various standards and price ranges, and they are not situated in the city center. The commute to the main campus from these dormitories takes approximately 50 minutes. It’s important to keep in mind that the availability of student dorms is limited, and allocation is determined through a lottery system.

Throughout this orientation period, students collaborate with the on-site coordinator and local housing agencies to secure a room, typically within a shared apartment setting, where they will reside alongside local students or young Berlin residents for the duration of the semester or year. This flexible approach ensures that students can find housing arrangements that best suit their preferences and needs.

Group of students walking around the campus.

When does the Brown in Brown in Germany program take place?

As you chart your course within the Brown in Germany program, you’ll have the flexibility to choose between two academic durations: the spring semester or the full year.

For those of you thinking of choosing the full-year journey, your academic experience will span from September through mid-August, allowing you to fully embrace the vibrant seasons and dynamic learning opportunities that Berlin offers throughout the year.

If you opt for the spring semester only, your educational adventure will commence in mid-February and conclude in mid-August, providing a focused yet comprehensive encounter with Germany’s academic and cultural landscape. Regardless of your chosen duration, the Brown in Germany program promises an enriching and transformative experience that transcends traditional classroom boundaries.

While Brown University provides approximate dates based on previous program iterations, it’s essential to bear in mind that these timelines may exhibit variations from year to year. Therefore, we encourage you to consult the program calendar below for precise and up-to-date information regarding program dates.

How long is the Brown in Germany program program?

The Brown in Germany program typically lasts for a full academic year, equivalent to two semesters. This extended period ensures you have ample time to delve deep into your studies and fully experience life in Germany.

Students sitting on the grass.

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The Brown in Germany program is an exceptional opportunity for college students seeking academic enrichment, cultural immersion, and personal growth. Get ready to go on an unforgettable journey of learning and discovery. Consider the Brown in Germany program as your gateway to a world of possibilities.

So there you have it! We hope this journey has ignited your passion for global learning and adventure. The prospect of studying in Germany isn’t just about acquiring knowledge; it’s about embracing a world of new possibilities, forging lifelong friendships, and gaining a deeper understanding of the world we live in.

So, whether you’re drawn to Berlin’s eclectic art scene, Munich’s enchanting Bavarian charm, or Freiburg’s picturesque landscapes, remember that the Brown in Germany program is your ticket to an extraordinary college experience. Seize this opportunity, dare to dream beyond the classroom, and let your academic journey take flight in the heart of Europe. Your future starts here, and the world is waiting for you to explore it!

Looking for assistance with pre-college program admissions? Join forces with college admissions experts like AdmissionSight. With extensive experience, we’ve guided countless students to successful admissions to prestigious international universities. Begin your educational journey today by scheduling a consultation with us!


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