Study Abroad

Academic Year Programs

The following programs have been approved by the Department of German Studies and the Office of International Programs. Students, however, may seek approval for programs not listed below. All students interested in studying abroad should consult departmental faculty and the Office of International Programs.


  • The Berlin Consortium for German Studies
    Based in the city of Berlin and managed by Columbia University, the Berlin Consortium for German Studies (BCGS) offers an intellectually challenging and diverse program of study meeting the highest academic standards common to its member institutions. The BCGS was established in 1995 by the University of Chicago, Columbia University/Barnard College, The Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, and Princeton University together with Freie Universität Berlin. Vassar College joined the BCGS in 1999 along with Cornell University. Qualified students can attend for either the whole year or just the spring semester.

Other approved programs in Germany

  • Duke-in-Berlin Program
    The Duke-in-Berlin program uses the facilities and faculty of the Humboldt Universität in the fall semester and the Freie Universität in the spring semester. Courses in the fall are taught in a mixture of English and German, while courses in the spring semester are offered in German, with most offered directly at the university. Though students can enroll in either the fall or the spring semester (or attend for the entire year), the Department of German Studies prefers that qualified students attend the spring semester. Students live with carefully screened families on either side of the city.

  • Middlebury College at Johannes-Gutenberg-University in Mainz or the Free University of Berlin
    Middlebury College offers two abroad programs to Germany, one to the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität in Mainz, which has been operating since 1959, and one to the Freie Universität in Berlin, which Middlebury began in 2002. Students take courses directly at the university on either program. Students in Mainz generally live in a dormitory, while students in Berlin have the choice between a dormitory or a furnished one-bedroom apartment. Though Middlebury encourages students to attend for an entire year, it is also possible to participate for one semester only.


  • IES Abroad Vienna—Music
    The IES Abroad Vienna Music Program is ideal for students majoring or minoring in Music, and offers you the opportunity to participate in a wide selection of courses focusing on Music and European culture and society. The program is organized in conjunction with the Vienna European Society & Culture Program.

Other Recommended Programs

(Require Prior Approval from the Office of International Programs)

  • Heidelberg College at the Universität Heidelberg
    The Universität Heidelberg is the oldest German university, located in fabled Heidelberg. The program begins with intensive German classes designed to prepare students for the proficiency exam, required to enroll in courses at the university. Qualified students can attend the entire year or choose between the fall and spring semesters.

  • Wayne State University at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich
    Wayne State's Junior Year in Munich is the oldest U.S. academic study abroad program to Germany. Students matriculate directly to the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and can take courses in any of the 170 subject areas (except for medicine and law) as well as courses offered at the JYM institute. Students live in Studentenstadt Freimann, located 10 minutes by U-Bahn from the city center. The student village features restaurants and pubs as well as dormitory buildings.

  • Tufts-in-Tübingen Program
    The Tufts program in Tübingen enrolls 20 students. Students take courses directly at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität, which was founded in 1477. Students may enroll for the entire year or for just the spring semester.

  • The Academic Year in Freiburg
    The Academic Year in Freiburg has been conducted since 1964 by a consortium of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which is the lead administrator. Students enroll in a combination of specially-designed program classes and university courses offered at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg. Students live in single rooms in university dormitories along with German students and other international students.

Other Work-Study Opportunities for Undergraduates

There are many exciting opportunities for students interested in studying and working abroad. In many cases, students can earn up to one unit of field work credit for internships completed in Germany or Austria. Consult an annotated list of internship resources (below), the Vassar Community-Engaged Learning Office and faculty members in the department.


  • International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE)
    IAESTE is an organization that places students in internships in Germany for 8-12 week summer stays. Very useful and helpful in building connections.
  • Studienforum Berlin
    Studienforum-berlin is an organization that will find you an internship and housing for summer or during the year. Their high placed connections in many fields of work (political, social, economic, medical, etc.) and reliability are well worth the participation fee. Studienforum Berlin also offers a highly competitive, professionally oriented educational semester and German language programs.
  • CDS International
    Very useful search engine for internships and scholarships for work and study in Germany.
  • Council on International Educational Exchange
    Much information on Internship, Work, and Study opportunities in Germany both during the summer and academic semesters.
  • German American Chamber of Commerce
    Great search engine and link to internship opportunities in Germany for summer and academic year.
    German search engine for internship and work opportunities for international students.
  • Robert Bosch Foundation Tutor Program
    Run by the The Deutsches Studentenwerk - DSW (German Association of Student Affairs Organisations), this program offers the chance to do paid work in Germany during the academic year.

German Language Programs

  • Goethe Institut
    The Goethe Institut has institutions in countries all over the world (including U.S. and Germany), and offers year-round language courses of varied durations(from as short as 2 weeks to semester and year programs) and certification exams Zertifikat Deutsch, Zertifikat Deutsch Plus, Zentrale Mittelstufenpruefung, Zentrale Oberstufenpruefung. Coursework completed at the Goethe Institut is not eligible to be transferred back to Vassar for academic credit.
  • School for International Training (SIT)
    Summer and semester study programs offered.

Search Engines