Begin in Berlin

Students in front of Berlin's Reichstag

Bard College students may elect to start their college career globally by spending their first year or a semester of their first year at Bard College Berlin: A Liberal Arts University.

Approximately 20 Bard College first-year students may begin their college life at Bard's newest campus in Berlin, Germany. Begin in Berlin students participate in an intellectual community like no other. With small, discussion-based classes taught in English, a classically coherent curriculum that also responds to global changes and crises, an international student body, and a world-class faculty, Bard College Berlin is a good choice for students who wish to start their college career by experiencing life in an intimate environment within one of Europe’s great intellectual, political, economic and artistic centers.

Class session during the Language and Thinking Program

Students who elect the Begin in Berlin one-year program arrive in Berlin in August and take Language and Thinking with entering students from all over the world. They also take the same core course as other students there. In the fall, this is a course in Ancient Greek culture and civilization, entitled Plato’s Republic and Its Interlocutors; in the spring, it is a course on medieval Europe and its connections with the Arabic world, entitled Forms of Love. Increasingly, courses are offered covering aspects of arts and society, and civic engagement. Electives are available in a host of areas ranging from film, performance and literature to statistics, economics, philosophy, political theory and human rights, among many others (see the course list). All courses are taught in English and count toward the Bard College degree. The Annandale students who take the semester-long Begin in Berlin will complete Language and Thinking in Annandale and come to Berlin for their second semester.

Students studying at Bard College Berlin join a globally diverse and intellectually vibrant campus community. The student body comprises 140 undergraduates who come from more than 40 countries. Most of them will earn both a US and a German BA degree. The common language of classes and daily life is English, though more than 30 languages are spoken. Professors at Bard College Berlin, trained at the leading research institutions in North America and Europe, also come from a wide range of home countries.

Campus dorm

All first year students live in the College’s dormitories, where every effort is made to pair each individual with a roommate from a different culture. The atmosphere is personal and intense, with small classes and many events that bring faculty and students together. Excursions in Berlin introduce students to the culture and history of the increasingly international city and its citizens. The Bard College Berlin community prides itself on being philosophically and culturally informed and engaged.


Students who have officially accepted an offer of admission from Bard College and made their enrollment deposit submit a brief application no later than May 15 expressing their wish to spend their first year or semester in Berlin. Notification of acceptance into the program is sent one week later. Students who begin in Annandale and would like to spend the second semester of their first year in Berlin must apply by October 15 (see: forms page, for Current Bard College First-Year Students). After moderating, many Juniors also choose to spend a semester in Berlin.

Bard College Berlin follows the American academic calendar. The academic calendar of Bard College Berlin is here. 

Students pay tuition to Bard College and are responsible for the cost of room and board, applicable fees, and round trip airfare. Proof of insurance is required. Details of scheduling and costs are available here.