BERLIN, Germany | SPRING 2020
Berlin, with its cultural and cosmopolitan kaleidoscope, provides a vibrant background for any study abroad program. Few European cities have undergone such continual redefinition and change. Berlin’s restored identity as the nation’s capital has been the driving force in both design and cultural diversity. The political and cultural developments of the 19th and 20th centuries are visible throughout Berlin’s cityscape, reflecting both the history of architecture and various approaches to dealing with the consequences of war and destruction. Home to the designated UNESCO World Heritage site of Museum Island, of the world-famous Brandenburg Gate and the superb architecture of the impressive Reichstag building, Berlin has a magical appeal for all visitors. With approximately 3.5 million inhabitants, Berlin is the largest city in Germany and is constantly reinventing itself.
Berlin is one of the most vibrant and exciting European capitals. The East and West sides of the city have retained their own identity since reunification and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Thanks to the rebuilding process Berlin has become a focus for modern architecture and remains a major center of art and intentional business. The city, with its many famous parks and lakes, becomes especially full of life in the spring and summer when the locals are out on foot, bicycle and skates.
For more information, please see the Berlin Pre-Departure Handbook.*
*2018 version - Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for 2020 programmatic updates.
To apply, please fill out and submit this application to the Study Abroad office at Snohomish Hall 301. You will also need to turn in the following documents:
- Two letters of recommendation
- A one page essay
- Your unofficial Edmonds Community College transcript
Our office will review your documents and let you know if you have been accepted to the program and how to proceed. Please note that students that have been sanctioned by the college are disqualified from applying to, or participating in an Edmonds CC study abroad program.
Set up an appointment with us here if you have any questions!
Primary: Ben Kohn, Whatcom Community College
Ben Kohn’s scholarly training and personal enthusiasm have resulted in his applying an interdisciplinary approach to all of his courses. You can expect a discussion of painting in his music class and a discussion of architecture in his film class! Ben pursued his graduate studies at the University of Washington in the field of Comparative Literature, with an emphasis in German, American, Russian, and Danish Literature, as well as literary and critical theory. He also studied the classical violin for over 20 years, receiving training at The Vancouver Academy of Music, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and Det Fynske Musikkonservatorium, Odense, Denmark. He is currently a professor in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Department of World Languages at Whatcom Community College, where he teaches humanities, interdisciplinary studies, music, film studies, and German language courses. His most recent research interests include human evolution and the origins of symbolic representation, German Expressionist everything, the art of propaganda, bird song in science, literature and music, and perfecting his version of Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. Ben has previously taught for WCCCSA in Florence, Italy, and Berlin, Germany. He is looking forward to building on his previous experience through new additions to an already dynamic program studying Berlin’s rich musical and cinematic traditions, as well as the city’s cutting edge contemporary scenes. As a student, Ben attended study abroad programs in Germany, Austria, France, and the former Soviet Union, so he recognizes that such cultural experiences offer the possibility of great intellectual and personal transformation. Ben’s explorations with his students will provide many opportunities for such transformations.
Second Faculty (when enrollment reaches 25 participants): Gregory S. Hinckley, Seattle Central College
As a high school student, Gregory Hinckley spent a year as an exchange student in Bonn, Germany, an experience that laid the foundation for his deep appreciation of Germany, the power of cultural exchanges to change lives, and the discipline of sociology. Greg completed his studies in anthropology and sociology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and since 1996 has taught as a full-time Sociology faculty member at Seattle Central College. Greg believes that studying different cultural beliefs, norms, expectations, and social systems provides opportunities to better understand one’s self and one’s place in the world. His student-centered pedagogy encourages a strong sense of personal responsibility and inspires students to be compassionate human beings and active agents of social change. He is excited about exploring the dynamic city of Berlin with students and searching for sociological insights about German society, ourselves, and changes we hope to bring about both globally and in our own societies.
Students will take three classes for a total of 15 credits including a German Life and Culture class taught by local faculty.
German Life & Culture - 5 credits - Required for all students.
Taught by qualified local German adjunct lecturer, this course focuses on the historical, political, economic, and cultural aspects of contemporary Germany. Some beginner German language instruction is also included.
Music Appreciation – 5 credits
Which composer got into a knife fight with a bassoonist because he played too many wrong notes? Which composer spent 3 ½ years on tour starting at the age of seven? Which composer’s final work was dictated to him by angelic-voiced spirits? Which composer considered his audience a congregation and started the practice of extinguishing the lights in theaters and concert halls? Which composer wrote songs extolling the virtues of gangsters (no, not Snoop Dogg!) that have been performed in both the most gilded opera houses and the sleaziest bars? These colorful characters were J.S. Bach, W.A. Mozart, Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, and Kurt Weill – all of whom were German-speaking composers with close connections to Berlin!
This course will explore the extremely varied and rich history of Western composed music, popularly and somewhat inaccurately (our first discussion) referred to as the “Western Classical Tradition.” Because we are lucky enough to be situated in Berlin, we will focus most intensely on the musical contributions of the composers and performers of this region. Actually, this would probably be the case if you were to take an introductory musicology course anywhere in the world, especially if you were discussing the music of the 19th, 20th, or 21st centuries. What is even more exciting is that we will be in the most musically innovative, dynamic, and vibrant city on the face of the planet at the very moment it is exploding with all kinds of new sounds! As genre boundaries are constantly being blurred in this contemporary music, we will necessarily undertake some Jazz and World Music studies, as well as investigate several Electronica styles. I will arrange for the class to attend numerous concerts of music throughout the quarter. All of these concerts will be preceded by scholarly preparation and will require the writing of musical reviews after the performance. Therefore, while the course will be much more about music as a socio-cultural phenomenon throughout history than a course on music theory, you will be required to become familiar with some critical vocabulary and basic elements of this music for the purposes of analysis. But do not despair – Berlin offers the possibility of becoming profoundly educated in matters of music while at the same time having a lot of fun!
Introduction to Film – 5 credits
Next to Hollywood, Germany has been home to one of the most influential and important film industries in the world. Indeed, during the 1920s and early 1930s, it was the undisputed center of cinematic creativity and quality. At the center of this center was Berlin, or more specifically, a studio on the outskirts of Berlin in Babelsberg. Babelsberg was a government-supported studio complex (which we will visit!) that was designed to advance German filmmaking before and during WWII and East German filmmaking after the war. While German filmmakers developed numerous technical innovations here, their most essential achievement was the development of cinema as an art, transcending its role as a provider of novelty and entertainment. As we will be examining film as art, we can easily use German films and film clips almost exclusively to illustrate in detail the technical elements of film (form, narrative structure, mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, sound), as well as investigate how films can make us see, then feel and think differently.
Additionally, films often reveal aspects of national or regional culture and can also reflect back to us certain situations around certain moments in time (Zeitgeist!). They most definitely present how filmmakers see their own culture and how they want us to see their own culture. Thus, they can provide us with great insight into the historical and contemporary culture of Germany and in particular the city of Berlin. The films that we will see in their entirety, and the films which you will be required to analyze in detail, will all be by German directors. They will cover several genres and will even include an East German Western infused by communist ideology. Guess who rides off into the sunset!
If 22 or more students enroll a second faculty will join the program and the following courses will be offered as well:
Intercultural Communications – 5 credits
The history of Germany is troubled and can shape the relationship between communication and cultural practice in ways we are unable to see without some skill and analysis. Speaking to each other across cultural practice, shaped by social dynamics and histories is the focus of our class. Using an interdisciplinary lens, we will look at the social, cultural and economic issues that surround the intricate relationship between communication and cultural practice in order to see how race, class and gender interact with cultural forms of communication in the context of our changing world, particularly globalization, new technologies, and global economic crisis. We will use Berlin as a backdrop to explore the ways the histories of the Holocaust and its aftermath shape the ways we perceive the city and examine the cultural and social context of memory and reckoning of the German people.
Introduction to Women and Gender Studies – 5 credits
Does gender get presented and produced differently in Berlin, Germany than in the U.S.? Of course it does, but how do we interpret it and use it to analyze and reflect on our gender, sex, and sexuality? How we see and live our lives is fundamentally shaped and organized along gender lines. We are rarely made aware of that shaping and less so the way it arranges our daily lives. Yet, many of us begin our day by “doing gender” and move about our day repeating those gendered acts and practices; shaving your legs or your face, putting on cologne or perfume, eating nonfat foods or a protein shake, wearing skirts or pants, etc. This class will introduce you to gender, women and sexuality studies, an interdisciplinary academic field, and its respective theories, methods and frameworks. The way we analyze gender, women, and sexuality emerges from many disciplines working together that allows for a multidimensional view of human experience. We will start our work with the understanding that there is no genetic nor universal category of woman or man. Rather, that knowledge, history, policies, and norms are produced, shaped, mediated, and governed to construct gender in particular ways. We will also explore the ways gender and sexuality are tied up with and inseparable from other social locations, such as race, disability, age, ethnicity, citizenship, and class.
The program includes cultural activities and several organized field trips which may include:
- “Kaffee und Kuche” boat cruise along the River Spree
- Guided tour of the East Side Gallery
- Sporting event and brewery tour
- Guided tour of the Reichstag
- Guided day trip to Potsdam including a guided tour of Cecilienhof Palace and admission to Sansoucci Palace
- Visit to and guided tour of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
An optional 3-day, 2-night excursion to Prague is available, including round-trip train tickets, accommodation in a centrally located hostel in multi-bedded rooms with daily breakfast, guided walking tour of Prague with entrance to Prague Castle, Jewish Quarter walking tour and traditional Czech group dinner for $495. A minimum of 10 students must participate for the excursion to be offered.
Travel passes for use on the buses, trams, S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains in Zones A & B are included for the duration of the program.
An optional Transportation Package is available, consisting of round-trip airfare between Seattle and Berlin, and round-trip transfers overseas between the airport in Berlin and student housing for an additional $TBC. Mandatory additional US government and airline imposed departure taxes, fees and fuel surcharges of $TBC (subject to change) will be billed separately.
Based on an enrollment of 15 or more participants. the fee per person is $7,695.00
INCLUDED IN THE COST
-Housing in twin-bedded studios in a centrally–located apart-hotel on a bed and breakfast basis
-Travel pass for unlimited use on the buses, trams, S-Bahn, and U-Bahn trains in zones A and B (and C as necessary)
-Orientation program on-site in Berlin including an orientation meeting with AIFS staff, information packet, a guided half-day city tour, and welcome meal
-Weekly program of free and subsidized cultural activities such as a “Kaffee und Kuchen” boat cruise along the River Spree, opera tickets, a sporting event, museum visits, a street art workshop, and walking tour
-Guided tour of the Reichstag
-Full-day guided excursion to Potsdam including entrance to the Cecilienhof Palace with guided tour on the theme of “The Potsdam Conference and the Berlin Wall,” and admission to Sansoucci Palace with guided tour
-Half-day excursion to the Memorial and Museum of Sachsenhausen including entrance and private group tour
-Services of the AIFS Program Coordinator for information, personal advising/counseling, and 24-hour emergency contact service
-Access to the AIFS Student Center
-$50 non-refundable application fee
-Medical and program fee refund insurance policies
NOT INCLUDED IN THE COST
-$250 refundable damage deposit
-College tuition and fees at your home campus
-Course books or materials (unless specified)
-Passport and visa fees if applicable
-Meals not mentioned above
-Optional personal effects coverage and medical insurance upgrade
-Optional three-day, two-night excursion to Prague
-Local or independent travel while in Berlin
-Personal expenses such as laundry
-Anything not specified as included in the program
For quarter-long WCCCSA programs, WCCCSA awards two $1,000 scholarships to selected program participants. Complete this application form and attach the requested documents, then turn in to Emily Schifferling at the front desk of Snohomish Hall, Room 301.
WCCCSA Scholarship Rules:
- You must have applied to a WCCCSA study abroad program and paid the deposit in order to be eligible to apply for this scholarship.
- You must write an essay on a topic chosen by the WCCCSA Scholarship Committee. You will find more information about the essay on the WCCCSA Scholarship Application Form. The essay must be typed and submitted by 5pm on or before the application deadline for the program.
- Scholarship recipients will be announced at the Pre-Departure Orientation.
- Each scholarship recipient must agree to help WCCCSA promote the study abroad program after they have completed their program. The assignment given to them will require no more than four hours of work and will be a project mutually agreed upon by both the award recipient and the WCCCSA campus representative.
Projects may include (but are not limited to):
- tasks such as sharing of photos and personal reflections of your program
- help with orientation of the next program
- talking with classes on your campus to help promote the program
- making a video to help promote study abroad
- visiting other nearby campuses to talk about the program, etc.
Program Dates: March 27, 2022–June 5, 2022
Early Bird Application Deadline: October 30, 2021 (Receive $100 off the program fee!)
Balance of Program Fees Due: January 31, 2020
Application and Deposit Deadline: December 17, 2021 (for those wishing to purchase the group flight)
Application and Deposit Deadline: January 10, 2022 (for those wishing to make their own travel arrangements)
Tuition Due: Check academic calendar
For information on deadlines contact email@example.com
February 8, 2020
Locataed in Cascadia College, Bothell
To find out more, make an appointment with your study abroad advisor!