Study Abroad FAQs

The 2019 #FemGeniusesinBerlin at the Urban Nation Museum

Why did Professor Lewis choose to teach in Berlin?
How much experience does Professor Lewis have teaching abroad?
What is the course description?
What are the course objectives?
Where can I find the syllabus?
Do I need to buy any books? How much reading is there?
What are the assignments in the course?
Would you recommend reading blogs or listening to podcasts students submitted in the past before producing our own?
How long is the course?
What is the course like in terms of class sessions and activities?
Is there class on weekends?
How much is the program fee and what does it cover?
Can students apply for financial aid for tuition and/or the program fee?
Does the course fulfill any General Education requirements?
How do I apply for the course?
When is the application due?
What are the most important aspects of the application?
Do I need any recommendations?
Are there interviews?
What do students say about the course?
What do people in Berlin say about the course?
Do I need a passport or visa to go to Germany?
Do I need any vaccinations to travel to Germany if I’m a U.S. citizen?
Are there any major health and/or safety concerns in Germany beyond what can usually be expected anywhere else, including the U.S.?
Is there a U.S. Embassy in Berlin?
What should I pack?
Is there a curfew during the course?
What is the legal drinking age in Germany?
What is there to do in Berlin other than the course?
Can I travel outside Berlin or Germany during the course?
When should I book my flights?
How will we get from the airport and back?
Where do students live during the course? Could I choose to live somewhere else?
Where do Professor Lewis and the second responsible adult live?
Is there public transportation in Berlin? If so, is it sufficient?
Do I need a German phone? If so, will one be provided?
Do I need to bring any of my own money?

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Why did Professor Lewis choose to teach in Berlin?

Professor Lewis chose to teach in Berlin due the long-standing tradition of transnational collaboration between Black radical intellectuals in the U.S. (namely Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Angela Y. Davis, and Audre Lorde) and Berlin.

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How much experience does Professor Lewis have teaching abroad?

Professor Lewis has taught the course each summer since 2014 (excepting 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19). She also taught the course during the fall 2017 Lüneburg Program offered by the Colorado College German Department.

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What is the course description?

In her (translated) poem “boundless and outrageous,” May Ayim writes, “i will be african / even if you want me to be german / and i will be german / even if my blackness does not suit you.” This passage communicates the complex ways the identities and subjectivities of marginalized people and communities in Germany are constructed. In this course, we examine how the identities of Black Germans, Jewish Germans, Turkish Germans, migrants, refugees, victims of Neo-Nazi terrorism, victims of police brutality, queer communities, and other oppressed people are constructed, particularly how these constructions are dependent on racism, heterosexism, colonialism, imperialism, and other forms of oppression. Additionally, we examine how these communities resist, reject, revise, and reproduce these narratives as they construct their own subjectivities.

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What are the course objectives?

By the end of this course, students will learn the importance of the following objectives, as well as the skills required to perform them at an intermediate level:

  • examining and responding to theoretical perspectives and methodologies concerned with marginalized Germans;
  • examining the socialization of and normative assumptions about the identities of marginalized Germans based on various social, cultural, and political markers, as well as the implications;
  • examining the ways in which marginalized Germans understand and resist, reject, revise, or reproduce norms as they construct their own subjectivities;
  • and employing and synthesizing theoretical perspectives and methodologies concerned with marginalized Germans in all coursework.

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Where can I find the syllabus?

Professor Lewis does not distribute the syllabus the spring pre-trip session usually is held during Block 6 or 7.

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Do I need to buy any books? How much reading is there?

Most texts are available and organized weekly on Canvas. You do not need to print them, if you will be bringing an electronic device allowing you to access them whenever necessary. No more than 1-2 books are typically assigned, if any. Additionally, students read an average of 100 pages of reading material each week.

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What are the assignments in the course?

The major assignment is one (no more than two) podcast(s) led and produced by one student and featuring two other classmates. In the past, students have also written blogs.

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Would you recommend reading blogs or listening to podcasts students submitted in the past before producing our own?

Absolutely. Just note that you shouldn’t merely mimic what you read or hear. However, Professor Lewis is open to talking about the strengths and weaknesses of past assignments (without revealing grades). Click here for indices of past projects.

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How long is the course?

Monday through Friday for three weeks.

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What is the course like in terms of class sessions and activities?

Course sessions vary from year-to-year.

However, the class meets as a group to discuss the course, upcoming activities, and reading materials each Monday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students take a walking tour concerning a particular aspect of the course in the morning and then visit a museum or archive that addresses the same topic in the afternoon. On Wednesdays and Fridays, students meet with artists, activists, scholars, and/or non-profit professionals that work on topics related to the course. Students are also treated to a welcome dinner at the world-famous TV Tower and farewell pizza lunch cruise.

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Is there class on weekends?

No.

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How much is the program fee and what does it cover?

The $3,080 program fee includes lodging, $1,050 ($50 per day) for meals and incidentals, local public transportation, mandatory activities, and an emergency fund. Additionally, this fee, like the fee for all off-campus courses, includes instructor and mandatory second adult expenses. Expenses not included are tuition, passport fees, airfare, and airport transportation. If you are a financial aid recipient, you may request those funds on the application.

Prior to departure, you will receive your meal and incidentals stipend through direct deposit or a check that will be mailed to your campus mailbox. All other expenses will be paid by Professor Lewis using the program fee budget.

SUMMER 2022 NOTE: Due to a generous donation from Maria and Greg Jobin-Leeds, as well as rent transferred from courses cancelled due to COVID-19), the program fee is only $2,250.

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Can students apply for financial aid for tuition and/or the program fee?

Yes. Application deadlines vary from year to year depending on the academic calendar. Click here for more information.

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Does the course fulfill any General Education requirements?

Currently, the course fulfills the following former Critical Perspectives requirements: Global Cultures and Social Inequality. It also fulfills the current General Education requirement: Equity & Power (Global Contexts) and is tagged as a Community-Based Learning (CBL) course.

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How do I apply for the course?

You must complete an online application via SUMMIT. Beforehand, you must view the course webinar and review the FAQs by clicking here.

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When is the application due?

Application deadlines vary from year to year, but they are typically due early in Block 4.

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What are the most important aspects of the application?

The two brief 100 to 150-word essays are arguably the most important. The first asks you to explain your reasons for wanting to take the course. The second asks you to explain any academic experiences you think have prepared you for the course.

The recommendations are also important. Two Colorado College professors must be willing to submit an online recommendation for you. However, if you have taken at least one course with Professor Lewis (including the Bridge Scholars Program, the Pre-College Program, and half-block), you only need to secure one recommendation. If you have taken two courses with Professor Lewis, you do not need to secure any recommendations.

On the application (available via SUMMIT), you only need to list the names of the professors willing to submit a recommendation. Professor Lewis will send them a link to the online recommendation form, which only takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

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Do I need any recommendations?

Two Colorado College professors must be willing to submit an online recommendation for you. However, if you have taken at least one course with Professor Lewis (including the Bridge Scholars Program, the Pre-College Program, and half-block), you only need to secure one recommendation. If you have taken two courses with Professor Lewis, you do not need to secure any recommendations.

On the application (available via SUMMIT), you only need to list the names of the professors willing to submit a recommendation. Professor Lewis will send them a link to the online recommendation form, which only takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

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Are there interviews?

Yes.

Each applicant must attend a 15-minute interview with Professor Lewis during which she will ask four questions, allowing you up to 3 minutes to answer each. Subsequently, you’ll have a few minutes to level any questions/concerns you have. Applicants are not privy to the questions until the interview. After completing the application, click here to schedule your interview.

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What do students say about the course?

Click here to read course evaluation comments and view a 3-minute testimony video featuring former #FemGeniusesinBerlin.

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What do people in Berlin say about the course?

Click here to read comments from our comrades and friends in Berlin.

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Do I need a passport or visa to go to Germany?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you need a passport, and it must be valid for six months beyond planned date of departure. In other words, if you are leaving Germany on June 30, your passport must be valid through December 30 or later. You do not need a visa if you are staying for less than 90 days. Click here for more information. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please consult with the Center for Global Education & Field Study.

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Do I need any vaccinations to travel to Germany if I’m a U.S. citizen?

Click here for vaccine information. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please consult with the Center for Global Education & Field Study.

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Are there any major health and/or safety concerns in Germany beyond what can usually be expected anywhere else, including the U.S.?

Not usually. Click here for more information. Regarding your Colorado College-provided health insurance during study abroad trips, please consult with the Center for Global Education & Field Study.

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Is there a U.S. Embassy in Berlin?

Yes. Click here for more information.

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What should I pack?

Click here for a list of packing suggestions.

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Is there a curfew during the course?

No.

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What is the legal drinking age in Germany?

18 years old. However, please note the Colorado College Code of Conduct applies to you whether you are on or off-campus and whether you’re enrolled in a course or not, from the time you are admitted until the time you graduate.

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What is there to do in Berlin other than the course?

Click here for a list of things to do in Berlin.

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Can I travel outside Berlin or Germany during the course?

Yes. However, if you travel outside Berlin, you must complete a “Non-Program Travel Waiver” form by clicking here, acknowledging you are temporarily leaving the program and releasing the college, its employees, and program staff from duty of care and any responsibilities normally assumed during the program. The form also requires you to submit your itinerary, means of transportation, lodging arrangements, and contact information, including contact information for your travel companion(s) even if they are not enrolled in the course.

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When should I book my flights?

Students must be in Berlin no later than the Sunday prior to the first day of class and may depart as early as the Saturday after the last day. Lodging is paid for up to the Sunday after the last day of class.

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How will we get from the airport and back? 

You will have access to taxis, Uber, and Lyft, which are not covered by the program fee. Public transportation is available, but you will not have your ticket (covered by the program fee) when you first arrive. You can, however, use public transportation to return to the airport after the course concludes.

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Where do students live during the course? Can I live somewhere else?

Lodging varies from year-to-year based on cost and availability. Typically, students live in a hostel or co-living apartment. More specific information will be provided to enrolled students during the pre-trip session in Block 6 or 7. You are required to live with your classmates in the lodging arranged by Professor Lewis for the duration of the course.

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Where do Professor Lewis and the second responsible adult live?

Professor Lewis and the second responsible adult’s lodging varies year-to-year based on cost and availability. However, they usually live in the borough of Kreuzberg and no further than 25-35 minutes from students.

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Is there public transportation in Berlin? If so, is it sufficient?

Yes, and your program fee covers the ticket you will need to ride all forms of public transportation (bus, train, and tram) for the duration of the course. This ticket is valid throughout the A and B districts of Berlin, the only districts you’re required to be in for the course. If you travel in the C district or beyond, you will need to secure a ticket at your expense. Public transportation in Berlin is efficient, and enrolled students will receive more information during the pre-trip session in Block 6 or 7. For more information about public transportation in Berlin, click here.

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Do I need a German phone? If so, will one be provided?

You will not be provided with a German phone or SIM card. So, it would be wise to consult with your cell phone carrier about an international phone plan. Students are expected to participate in a WhatsApp group. So, you should also inquire about international data.

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Do I need to bring any of my own money?

Probably not. Your program fee includes $1,050 for meals and incidentals ($50 per day including weekends). Prior to departure, you will receive these funds through direct deposit or a check sent to your campus mailbox. Check with Financial Aid for more information. All other expenses (such as lodging and activities) will be paid for by Professor Lewis using the program fee budget.

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