Film, Art, & Politics: Urban Berlin

Film, Art, & Politics: Urban Berlin — About

About Film, Art, & Politics: Urban Berlin

Teeming with museums, galleries, gourmet eateries, and hip music venues, Berlin has become a pillar for film, fashion, design, politics, music, and art. Famous for historical landmarks such as the Reichstag and Berlin Wall, but also for its high-tech industry sector, it serves as a continental hub for a combination of a fascinating historical legacy and a trendyurban setting.

Berlin's historical background  is a living testament to turbulent political change in a city reborn multiple times that has now become an international mecca for media, culture, and politics, with an influx of creative industries.As the capitial of Germany, an economic powerhouse, this vibrant city is a top destination in Europe, making it popular for international film production and media corporations. 

Course Description

Since the 1895 premiere of the Skladanowsky Brother's first motion picture at the Wintergarten—the premiere vaudeville theatre in Berlin—German film has been intertwined with the fate of Berlin, the city that became the imperial capital of unified Germany. Berlin has long beenGermany's largest city and a social, political, and cultural epicenter.

Explore Berlin and how its traumatic history and subsequent rebirth have been documented in film. Spend spring break in Berlin and learn what happened when  the film industry fell under state control, first under the Nazis and then in Communist East Germany. Discuss how German film has been intertwined with history and politics and see the sites depicted in famous films. 

Housing & Meals

You will live in shared rooms in a hotel with fellow program participants. Breakfast and welcome and farewell meals are included in the program fee. Additional meals can be eaten at your housing or at local pubs or restaurants.


While in Germany, the surroundings will become your classroom, and you will explore and experience the seminar coursework through site visits. Excursions will take place in and around Berlin and will include: Film Museum Berlin, Olympic Stadium, Jewish Museum, remnants of the Berlin Wall and graffiti art at the East Side Gallery. Travel to Potsdam by train to visit the Sans-Souci Palace and the Filmpark Babelsberg where hundreds of films have been produced, including V for Vendetta, The Bourne Ultimatum and Inglourious Basterds.  

Group Flight

All program participants will be taking the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight, you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center regarding your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed. 

Learning Outcomes

Faculty & Staff

On-site support is provided by IES Abroad. IES Abroad staff will provide orientation, information regarding cultural activities, and 24-hour emergency support.

Program Leader

Film, Art, & Politics: Urban Berlin is taught by Professor Rick McCormick in the Department of German, Scandinavian & Dutch. 

About the Learning Abroad Center

Learning Abroad Center programs are: