Director's Statement

Berlin is a global city, a centre for arts and politics, and a bridge between Eastern and Western Europe. The city has seen amazing changes in the space of just a century, witnessing Imperial Germany, the Weimar Republic, Hitler’s Nazi regime, and being the front­line between East and West till November 1989 when Berliners joyfully marked the end of the Cold War as they climbed over the Berlin Wall. Though today the city is the capital of a country that features the largest economy and population within the European Union, life in Berlin has a surprisingly relaxed tempo and offers more space and fewer limitations to its inhabitants than most other capitals in the world. The city has always been a centre for the arts, often alternative culture and nightlife, yet you will also be amazed how quickly you can get away from urban areas and into green spaces and lakes.

NYU Berlin integrates the best aspects of the NYU experience, as a university “in and of the city,” while also promoting an immersion into German and European culture. NYU Berlin's courses are of the highest quality and rigour. We offer a mix of arts, environmental studies, European and German studies, history, mathematics, metropolitan studies, politics, sociology, drama and music. All courses are inspired by the vibrant city of Berlin and its turbulent past, and which we hope you will find inspiring. The content courses are complemented by German language classes for all levels, which make use of innovative and fun teaching methods. Courses are small and intimate, led by professors from Berlin’s renowned universities and institutions. NYU Berlin also organizes a wide selection of extracurricular activities, including educational trips for all students as well as interdisciplinary seminars.

As an historian, I see Berlin as a place where the most pressing issues of our time are constantly debated. You will be exposed to discussions about remembering and atoning for crimes committed decades ago, and how to conceive of ethical, political and civic responsibility in the 21st century, when “universal” principles are defined differently in different parts of the world. You can take part in debates on local and European integration policies and on rethinking citizenship in the heart of Europe, or in debates on the Euro rescue and on giving up nuclear energy in the EU.

At NYU Berlin our main goal is to provide you with the tools to think and act globally, understand the interconnectedness of systems, and play an active role in creating a more humane and sustainable world. Former students have described their time in Berlin as “absolutely invaluable,” “transformative,” and “the best thing that happened in my life so far.”

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Dr. Gabriella Etmektsoglou

Director, NYU Berlin

Global Professor, New York University

Gabriella Etmektsoglou

Dr. Gabriella Etmektsoglou - NYU Berlin


Academic Center

NYU Berlin Academic Center

NYU Berlin's Academic Center in the Kulturbrauerei

The NYU Berlin academic center is located right in the heart of the lively and vibrant Prenzlauer Berg district with its numerous restaurants and outdoor cafes. The Center is housed in the KulturBrauerei, a converted former brewery complex, that is home to a movie theatre, shops, cafes and even yoga and dance studios. NYU Berlin is housed in a multi-story building featuring classrooms, offices, art studio space, a student lounge with kitchenette, and a computer lab.

The program is affiliated with Humboldt University, and students have access to its facilities, including its libraries and dining halls.

St. Agnes

NYU Berlin at St. Agnes

NYU Berlin's studio space at St. Agnes

Most art classes and selected non-art classes are held at NYU Berlin at St. Agnes. The Studio Space is situated in a landmarked brutalist church complex built in the 1960s in Kreuzberg and is within a 15 minute walk to the student residence.

If you plan on taking art classes, make sure to check out all the information on NYU Berlin at St. Agnes here:

The City

With nearly 3.4 million inhabitants, Berlin is Germany's largest city. For the most part the population is politically liberal, well educated and well traveled, with good English language skills. The city’s infrastructure is remarkably well designed, with amazingly efficient public transport, environmentally friendly recycling programs and expansive sidewalks lined by bike paths. In fact, bicycles are one of the most popular modes of transportation, so when crossing the street it is wise to look not only for oncoming cars, but also for speeding bikers.

Berliners define themselves by district, and distinct differences can be felt walking from one neighborhood to the next - from bourgeois Charlottenburg to the wealthy Friedrichstrasse to student-filled Friedrischhain. Berlin is an extremely multi-cultural city with large populations of Turkish immigrants as well as Italians, Greeks and Poles. Well before the advent of Starbucks, Berlin was famous for a thriving intellectual café culture. Students are likely to find themselves reading their assignments while sipping Milchkaffee in one of the hip spots in the former eastern neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg. Some fascinating eateries are tucked away in the cultural hotspot and former factory space known as the Kulturbrauerei. After packing up their books, they might grab a quick meal of delicious German Bratwurst or catch a film in the trendy courtyard theater at Hackescher Markt. If more reading is on the agenda, there is a fantastic architecture bookstore next door. For later in the evening, Berlin's nightlife is notorious, with an unrivaled club scene that has been on the cutting edge for decades. For a bit of history on Berlin’s transgressive nightlife culture, just watch the musical Cabaret!

Contemporary art is so prevalent and vibrant in Berlin that a visitor is likely to stumble across an installation just about anywhere - like the Black Light Gallery in the U-bahn subway station at Potsdamer Platz. Slick shops and ultra-cool galleries line the streets around Oranienburger Strasse; the center of much of Berlin's thriving cultural scene. Wander over to see Tacheles, the crumbling former department store, now missing its back wall, which was taken over by
artists and has been turned into a bizarre and fascinating multi-story art space.

Modern Berlin is vibrant and hip, known for its youth culture and full of art and artists. It is also a city with a critical place in modern European history. The city bears the marks of its history from the defining cultural avant-garde of the Weimar Republic to the devastation of World War II. The cranes that tower over parts of the city remind the visitor that Berlin is still reconstructing itself, and its identity is still in flux. The derelict traces of the dividing wall run through the city as a powerful reminder of Berlin’s progress from the horrors of Checkpoint Charlie in the Cold War to today's reunified capital.

Berlin is unique within Europe because it is the only city where you can truly experience both Eastern and Western Europe. Both of these cultures (among other new immigrant cultures) thrive in the city and the differences between them are fascinating. Although the wall fell many years ago, that division between East and West is still very real in the minds of Germans. Berlin has a startling mix of the old (war memorials and Renaissance architecture), the modern (Hotel Adlon, where Michael Jackson dangled his baby off the balcony) and the futuristic (amazing buildings that put the NYC skyline to shame). The art scene is one of the best in the world. The metro is incredibly easy to use, but be sure you have a good map!