Study Abroad

It would be hard to overestimate the value of study abroad—whether for a summer, a term, or an entire year. Many different programs and courses are available, some of which may count for credit toward a degree. The information presented here on study abroad programs is only a sampling of what is available. For information on other programs, please contact Dr. Lisa Parkes ( or the Office of International Programs, located in University Hall, Ground Floor South. Harvard Summer School offers numerous choices, and a one-month program in Scandinavia led by Professor Stephen Mitchell.

Harvard Summer School Study Abroad in Berlin, Germany, and Vienna, Austria

Gain a critical overview of literature, music, and the arts from the 19th century to the present, while exploring the vibrant capitals of Austria and Germany. Join other advanced German-language students in strengthening your written and spoken skills while studying the cultural history of Vienna and Berlin. Your studies are complemented by frequent performances at the cities' concert halls, opera houses, and theaters, as well as a workshop with a professional theater company in Berlin. In addition, the program features multiple excursions, including a weekend hiking trip in the Alps and a visit to Prague. For more information, visit the Harvard Summer School Study Abroad in Berlin, Germany, and Vienna, Austria website

Harvard Summer School Study Abroad in Scandinavia

“The Vikings conquer all in their path and nothing resists them.” So wrote a Frankish chronicler about the northern pirates whose collective name has come to represent the European ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries. This Viking studies program in Scandinavia offers the opportunity for you to explore the rich archaeological, cultural, and literary heritage of northern Europe in the early Middle Ages. During the program, you examine the sagas and eddas, visit numerous archaeological sites, and participate in a three-week archaeological field school. Specialists in many different aspects of Viking culture lecture and guide classes. For more information, please visit our website, or go to the Harvard University Summer School website, or contact us at (please indicate ‘HSS’ in the subject line). For information about other Harvard pre-approved study abroad programs in Scandinavia, visit the website of the Harvard Summer School Study Abroad in Scandinavia program.

Masters Study and Research in Germany (for graduating seniors)

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) awards fellowships to graduating seniors at Harvard interested in pursuing masters studies and research at German universities. Basic knowledge of German (A2) at the beginning of the candidate’s stay in Germany. If the Masters program is taught in German, the candidates should have an advanced knowledge of German (B2) to meet the university requirements in Germany. Application cycle begins in November. For further information, visit the website of the Center for European Studies.

Non-Harvard Summer Programs


Fifteen branches of the Goethe-Institut in Germany (and more in Austria and Switzerland) provide language instruction in combination with a cultural and recreational program. The courses at the institute are standardized worldwide. You have the choice of superintensive, intensive programs, and special courses in business German, as well as such areas as German for young adults and cultural courses about architecture, theater, and fine arts (Goethe-Institut Berlin). You can reserve accommodations at any Goethe-Institut for private homes, dormitories, or single/double rooms. For more information, visit the Goethe-Institut's website or visit the Goethe-Institut Boston, 170 Beacon St., Boston.

DAAD/Summer Courses at German Universities

A wide array of courses are offered each summer at German universities and colleges. The Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst publishes two brochures containing information about courses on German language, literature, area and regional studies, music and dance, as well as on engineering, science, business, and economics. The courses are organized either by the higher education institutions themselves or by institutions that cooperate closely with them. The subject matter of the course is supplemented both by a closer insight into academic life and by extensive accompanying leisure programs designed to give participants an impression of political, economic, and cultural life in Germany. Accommodation is provided at a reasonable price in private homes or dormitories. Scholarships covering tuition, room, and board, in whole or in part, are available through two exclusive program channels: one for Canadians and the other for Americans. A small international travel subsidy is also paid. Four semesters of college German are required.  For more information, see the DAAD website. The Humboldt Universität zu Berlin offers both summer courses combining language instruction with seminars on a variety of topics and a number of cultural excursions. Each year's theme is announced in the DAAD program published in December. For more information see the HU International webpage. Freie Universität Berlin's four-week program offers approximately 16 courses on topics from various disciplines. Most of the courses focus on Berlin, Germany, and Europe. A considerable emphasis is placed on the humanities and social sciences. The course offerings range from architecture in Berlin to the political development of Germany after the war, and from German literature in the 20th century to the question how the Third Reich's seduction and terror could have emerged in German history. In addition, FUB offers courses on art and film theory, the European legal and political system, and Berlin's past during the Cold War and its new image as the “revolving door“ between East and West. The program is complemented by a variety of social and cultural activities, such as classical concerts and weekend trips. For more information, see the FUBiS website.

German Studies Research Grant

This small grant program is designed to promote the study of cultural, political, historical, economic, and social aspects of modern and contemporary German affairs from an inter- and multi-disciplinary perspective and offers department and/or program chairs the opportunity to nominate highly qualified candidates to DAAD. Harvard undergraduates with at least junior standing pursuing a German studies track or minor, Masters and Ph.D. candidates working on a "Certificate in German Studies," and Ph.D. candidates doing preliminary dissertation research are eligible. Nominees must have completed two years of college-level German and a minimum of three German studies courses by the deadline. Grant support for projects in either North America or Germany is intended to offset possible additional research costs or summer earnings requirements. Support cannot be provided for stays in Germany in the context of "study abroad" programs. 

iki Internationales Kulturinstitut

ViennaIKI, a non-profit school, is offering German courses at all levels in groups of 9 to 16 participants in the heart of Vienna. You can choose among seven course levels. In the summer, language instruction is complemented by leisure activities and cultural events. IKI is an examination center for the Österreichisches Sprachdiplom. IKI also provides accommodation in shared apartments or student residences. For more information, visit the website of the Iki Vienna.

Year / Term Programs

Junior Year in Munich/Wayne State University

The Junior Year in Munich is America’s oldest academic year abroad program in Germany. Renowned for its arts and culture, its enviable geographic location, and its high standard of living, Munich is understandably rated by Germans as the city in which they would most prefer to live. Participants in the program are admitted to the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, one of the oldest universities in German. JYM students have access to the full range of university courses in arts and sciences, language and literature studies, history, cultural studies, art history, political science, and so on. Although the program normally runs for a full year, there are one-semester options. At least two years of college-level German with an average grade of at least B or the equivalent are required for admittance to the program. For the second-semester option, five semesters of college German with an A average are required. Undergraduate students accepted into the Junior Year in Munich program are eligible to apply for JYM scholarships ranging from $500 to $4,000. Application deadline: March 15 full-year and first-semester programs; October 15 second-semester program only.

Smith College Junior Year/Semester in Hamburg

The Smith College Junior Year Abroad Program, established in 1961, serves students from a wide variety of majors. The Smith program integrates students fully into the academic and social life of the German university. With a population of 1.7 million, Hamburg boasts more canals than Venice, more foreign consulates than New York and the oldest stock exchange in Europe. Hamburg is home to 19 museums and archives, some 24 theaters, the Hamburg State Opera, three symphony orchestras, a conservatory, an art school, and two universities. Located in the heart of the city, the University of Hamburg enrolls approximately 2,000 foreign students within a total student body of 40,000. The University offers courses in all the liberal arts disciplines as well as graduate degrees in law, medicine, theology and business. Students must have two years of college-level German or the equivalent.

Duke in Berlin

Students on the Duke in Berlin program may enroll in either the fall or spring-summer term or combine the two. The fall term takes place at Humboldt University in the eastern part of Berlin. The spring-summer term is at the Free University of Berlin. Students live in the city with German families. The resident director is a native German and a German studies specialist. The fall program offers language and culture classes taught in German and art history, economics, and political science classes that begin in English and segue into German. Students must have one year of college-level German or the equivalent. All spring term courses are taught in German; two years of college-level German or the equivalent are required. Application deadlines: early March for fall and full-year program; early October for spring-summer program.

Baden-Württemberg Exchange Program/UMass

The University of Massachusetts sponsors the Baden-Württemberg Exchange Program, which enables students to spend a semester or a year at one of the nine universities of Baden-Württemberg. The program is for undergraduates and graduates of all majors and provides opportunities for study in virtually all academic disciplines. During September students take part in an intensive, month-long language and orientation course before enrolling directly in a Baden-Württemberg university. Although the majority of students in the program are from UMass, it is open also to students from other universities. A good command of German and a strong background in the major field are important for students planning to earn credit by taking regular university courses. Some classes are also taught in English. Most students live in dormitories. Application deadline: February 15 for fall semester and academic year; October 15 for spring semester only.

Salzburg Program/Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green State University sponsors a yearlong academic year abroad in Salzburg, Austria. The program, open to students of all majors, offers a wide selection of courses at the University of Salzburg and for qualified music students at the Mozarteum. The prerequisite is two years of college German or the equivalent. Students live with Austrian students in dormitories. Students can earn up to a full year’s academic credit. 

Academic Year in Freiburg

The Academic Year in Freiburg program is offered by a consortium of Michigan State University, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which is the lead administrator. The program offers students the opportunity to improve their language skills while taking a blend of program classes and regular German university courses, the latter offered at Albert-Ludwigs Universität in Freiburg. The program begins with a month-long orientation, after which students may enroll in a combination of specially designed program courses in German grammar and composition and regular university courses, depending on their language skills. Housing is in university dormitories. Students must have at least 4 semesters of college-level German or the equivalent with a grade point average in German of at least a B. Application deadline: Second Friday in November.

Berlin Consortium

Science, social science, and humanities majors who have completed at least two years of college German (preferably more) with grades of B or better and who have a 3.0 GPA can attend a German university for an entire academic year or just the spring semester through the Berlin Consortium for German Studies. After a brief period of orientation and intensive language instruction, students, attend classes at the Freie Universität Berlin (FU). Instruction is in German. The FU offers an exceptionally wide range of courses. The natural sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences are the largest faculties. Smaller, more specialized disciplines are particularly well represented and range from religious studies and ethnology to studies in Asian culture, antiquities, art history, and musicology. Since Harvard is not a member of the consortium, places for Harvard students are limited.


The Tufts-in-Tübingen program, which enrolls 20 students, is completely integrated into the German university system. Program participants spend the academic year at the Eberhard-Karls University, which was founded in 1477. Tufts-in-Tübingen students have enrolled in courses in many different departments, including art history, biology, chemistry, economics, German, history, music, philosophy, political science, and psychology. Although students are encouraged to spend a full year abroad, it is also possible to apply for the spring term only. Students must have at least two years of college-level German to apply.Tübingen is located in southwest Germany in the State of Baden-Württemberg (Swabia) not far from Stuttgart and has about 80,000 inhabitants, including a student population of 20,000. The city is more than 900 years old and is centrally located. It is only about two hours from Stuttgart to Munich; the French border (Strasbourg) is also very close, as are the Black Forest and Zurich.