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Dickinson in Germany

Bremen, Germany

Bremen, a harbor town on the Weser River with a population of more than half-a-million people, is Germany's smallest city-state.  With a history dating back more than 1,200 years, Bremen is remarkably adept at blending the traditional and the contemporary:  "preserve the old, try the new" has long been a Bremen motto.  The old city center still is surrounded by earthen ramparts and a moat, although the latter now serves as a public park.  The city plays host to a number of industries familiar to Americans, including Airbus, Mercedes-Benz and Beck's beer.

University of Bremen
Dickinson's host university in Germany, the University of Bremen, was founded in 1971 and has been a model for German higher education ever since.  During a recent German initiative to identify the country's best universities, the media dubbed the University of Bremen the "Marvel on the Weser," and Bremen was named among the top 10 institutions of higher learning in Germany.  Hallmarks of a University of Bremen education include interdisciplinary study and research, research-based teaching projects and a pervasive focus on internationalization.

A great variety of course offerings are available at the University of Bremen, which has an enrollment of about 19,000 students.  Although the school is relatively large when compared to Dickinson, instruction is personalized.

By enrolling directly in the University of Bremen under the guidance of an academic director, participants, who must be suitably proficient in German, get the best of both worlds:  the experience of studying in the German university system, which requires students to be more self-motivated and self-directed, and the type of faculty oversight that most American students are accustomed to receiving.

Program participants have numerous opportunities to engage with the university outside of the classroom and to immerse themselves in the local community.  Many students play on university sports teams or join one of Bremen's many sports clubs.  Others sing in choirs, join bands and participate in other new activities and established hobbies.  The city of Bremen also serves as a hub for social life beyond the campus.  Daily life in the city, coupled with academic excursions to other regions of Germany, gives students ample opportunity to experience German culture throughout the program.

Academics
Students may spend a full academic year or the spring semester studying in Germany.  All participants first take part in a pre-semester orientation and complete a four-week, one-credit, intensive language course.  For academic-year participants, this gives students the freedom to brush up on their German language skills in another part of the country before settling in Bremen.  Spring semester participants complete their language intensive course at the University of Bremen.  During the regular academic year, students are required to complete a one-semester core course relating to German area studies and, in addition, take from four to seven courses at the University of Bremen.

Classes are available in a wide range of disciplines, including German language and literature, fine arts, anthropology, business, economics, sociology, music, political science and religion.  Those who study in Germany only during the spring semester usually enroll in classes in German language, literature, history or cultural studies.

Students who successfully complete the academic year in Bremen earn between eight and nine credits, depending upon their selected courses.  Students who study in Bremen for the spring semester may earn up to five credits, if they successfully complete the pre-semester intensive language course.

Internships
During the spring semester, some academic-year participants choose to complete internships.  In the past, students have interned at various organizations as art instructors, computer programmers, public-relations assistants and conservation educators.  Many other opportunities are available.  The academic director will help to match students with appropriate internship opportunities, although placements are not guaranteed.

On-Site Administration

The program is supervised jointly by an academic director and a program coordinator.  The academic director oversees contributing faculty, academic integration between the University of Bremen and the Carlisle campus and the internship component of the program.  The academic director also may assist with the planning of academic excursions.  The program coordinator's responsibilities range from accommodation and orientation coordination to general management of the program's logistics.

Housing
Both dormitory living and private-room rentals in Bremen are available. Some participants choose to live in student cooperatives, which combine the benefits of private living with ready contact with other students.

Quick Facts

  Dates Program Fee* Application Deadline
Academic Year mid-Aug. to mid-July $49,860 Feb. 15
Spring early Feb. to mid-July $24,930 Sept. 15

* This is the program fee for 2009-2010; the program fee for 2010-2011 will correspond to on-campus tuition and fees and will be determined during spring 2010.

Program Fee Includes
• tuition and fees
• room and board
• pre-departure and on-site orientations
• academic excursions

The program fee does not include primary health insurance, airfare, passport, visa, immunizations, optional travel, personal expenses, meals and housing during vacations, books or supplies.

Special Requirements
2.8 GPA
Students must complete the equivalent of two years of college-level German and at least two additional courses taught in German (preferably in literature and culture) before studying abroad

Links

Dickinson Germany blog

Bremen Handbook

Bremen Student Budget Sheet

University of Bremen
Photos from the Bremen Program

 

 

For more information, contact
Prof. Sarah McGaughey, On-Campus Coordinator

Department of German
Dickinson College
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013-2896
Phone: (717) 245-1279
E-mail: mcgaughs@dickinson.edu

 
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