Approaching Berlin

ARRIVAL

  • You are expected to arrive at the Stanford Center in Berlin  by 2:00 p.m. (Berlin time) on the arrival date indicated on the Key Dates page, to receive on-site Orientation materials and go through a series of meetings with staff. Transfer to your homestay will begin in the late afternoon.

NOTE: If you choose to arrive early or stay on after the end of the program, you are responsible for arranging your own temporary housing. You will be provided with suggestions for affordable temporary accommodations during orientation on the Stanford campus.

ACCOMMODATIONS & MEALS

  • Housing is provided for the duration of the program, from the arrival date until the day of departure, as indicated in the Key Dates. Students are placed in homestays located throughout the city. While still on campus, you will complete a homestay preference form so that you can be matched appropriately.
  • All program participants will receive disbursements to cover food costs. Students prepare their own meals and eat in local restaurants and student cafeterias.

MEETING PEOPLE/LANGUAGE TANDEM PROGRAM

Stanford students have found these opportunities, among others,  for meeting Germans:

  • Researching a favourite leisure-time activity group, sports club or other organization on the web and getting in touch with the organization (even ahead of coming to Berlin).
  • Asking friends who have been in Berlin to putt hem in touch with friends they made while they were in Berlin.
  • Attending couses taught in German or English at one of Berlin’s universities.
  • Attending sports classes at nearby Freie Universität, ranging from speed skating to basketball, pantomime to African dance (Autumn and Spring quarters only).
  • Eating lunch at the Freie Universität (F.U.) student union, MENSA and making contact with students sitting at the same table.
  • Spending time with homestay hosts; asking homestay hosts to put them in touch with young people of their acquaintance.
  • Volunteering with Treffpunkt Hilfsbereitschaft, a government-financed clearing-house-type agency.
  • The program’s language tandem program  brings together Germans wanting to improve their English with Stanford students developing their German. German tandem partners may also function as guides to student life in the city.

CITY LIFE

  • Unified since 1990, Berlin is a city of great diversity and energy. Not so long ago, the New York Times proclaimed Berlin to be the cultural capital of the world. Berlin attracts young people from all over the world. It is the most multicultural of all German cities, boasting the rich ethnic mix of a modern metropolis, a fact that is reflected in local food, customs, culture, and nightlife.
  • Although a wall no longer divides east and west, Berlin remains a city of dichotomies. Germany’s capital, the nation’s largest with nearly 3.5 million inhabitants, is both contemporary-chic and strongly traditional. Prussian monuments and pieces of the Berlin Wall coexist with avantgarde architecture, high-rise office buildings and well-restored architecture from periods long past.
  • Berlin’s vibrant community life is enriched by a widespread commitment  to the arts. A world capital of music and performance arts, Berlin hosts one of the best philharmonic orchestras in the world,  three top-flight opera houses, a cutting-edge theater scene, and renowned art collections in the city’s fine museums and galleries. Student discounts are available for almost every cultural activity, making intense involvement with the arts feasible for every student budget.
  • While Berlin is very urban,with an excellent public transportation system, there is also an abundance of green spaces, including the Central Park-like Tiergarten and the city’s vast forest, the Grunewald, provide the opportunity for outdoor activities like jogging, hiking, and swimming. University sports facilities are available to students within the context of Freie Universität (FU) sports classes during Autumn and Spring quarters, and the Center has a volleyball/basketball court and a modern fitness room.