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Summer 2023: Coronavirus Information

Harvard Summer Program in Berlin, Germany, and Vienna, Austria

  • Date

    June 4, 2023 to July 15, 2023

  • Apply By

    January 26, 2023

  • Cost


  • Housing



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.

Program Director:

John Hamilton and Lisa Parkes

GERM S-43 Study Abroad in Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany: Advanced German Language and Arts

Lisa Parkes, PhD, Senior Lecturer on Germanic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

This course is designed to develop students’ spoken and written language skills at the advanced level. By exploring the cities of Vienna and Berlin and their rich cultural history, students learn the language of urban life, art and architecture, literature, theater, and music. In doing so, students broaden and refine their grammar, vocabulary, and idiom, as well as analyze the stylistic features of various written and spoken genres. In particular, students develop their ability to describe their urban environment with precision, and to respond critically to the cultural events, performances, and artwork. Last, but not least, guided explorations of Vienna and Berlin ensure immersion in the spoken language, and are reinforced by in-class discussions, oral reports, storytelling, debates, and interviews.

Prerequisite: Four semesters of college-level German or the equivalent.

GERM S-100 Study Abroad in Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany: Central European Cultural History

John T. Hamilton, PhD, William R. Kenan Professor of German and Comparative Literature, Harvard University
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

For centuries, Vienna and Berlin have been at the heart of European civilization and arts, thriving on a dynamic and frequently impassioned tension between the social conservatism of imperialism and the many cultural revolutions and violent upheavals that ultimately witnessed the decline of the aristocracy. This course offers a comprehensive examination of the cities’ key roles in major literary, musical, and artistic movements across the centuries, viewed in relation to broader considerations of Central European history up to the present day, when Vienna and Berlin persist as vital centers for the arts as an energetic and energizing source for fresh advances in human expression. The broad variety of museums, galleries, concert halls, and theaters, together with a vibrant tradition of cabaret, popular theater, and the famed cafes, is a testament to the cities’ commitment to fostering culture in all its kaleidoscopic wealth. Lectures are directly enriched by performances, field trips, excursions, and other special events.

Where You'll Live and Study

The program takes place in Vienna and Berlin, the two primary cultural capitals of Central Europe, with a stop-over in Prague.


You stay in centrally located hotels, just a brief walk to major sites, museums, and shopping promenades.

Your hotel in Vienna includes breakfast, an outdoor dining area, and a fitness room. In Berlin, your hotel also includes kitchen facilities, enabling you to cook your own meals if desired.


To apply, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have completed at least one year of college or be a first-year student
  • Be in good academic standing

Students enrolled at any accredited university are welcome to apply. See the How to Apply page for more information.

The Summer 2023 application is now closed. All admissions decisions will be released on March 3.

Each program has unique requirements included in the online application. Beginning your application early is the best way to ensure that you have sufficient time to review and complete the application requirements by the deadline.

You may apply to no more than two programs; if applying to two programs, you will be asked to rank your two applications in order of preference (first and second choice). Any applications submitted in excess of the maximum of two will be automatically withdrawn. You will be notified of your admissions status in each program by early March.

A complete online application includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • A statement of interest
  • Your most recent transcript
  • Program-specific requirements (if applicable; may include letters of recommendation, etc.)

Interviews may be requested at the discretion of the program.

Harvard College students applying for funding from the Office of Career Services (OCS)Please note that the OCS funding application is separate. OCS funding awards are tied to a specific program, and cannot be transferred to another program.

If you have questions about the application, please contact the Harvard Summer School Study Abroad Office by email at

Cost & Expenses

Additional Information