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Life in Berlin


You must arrive in Berlin by 2:00 p.m. (Berlin time) on the arrival date indicated in the program calendar. An onsite orientation meeting and a welcome reception with homestay hosts, faculty, and staff will be held at the Berlin Program Center. During orientation, you will meet local faculty and staff and get a thorough introduction to the program.

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.

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Accommodations and Meals

Housing is provided for the duration of the program from the arrival date through the last day of residence, as indicated in the program calendar. Students are placed in homestays located throughout the city. During orientation, you will complete a homestay preference form so that you can be appropriately matched.

All program participants will receive disbursements to cover food costs. Students prepare their own meals and eat in local restaurants and student cafeterias.

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Meeting People - Language Tandem Program

The program's language tandem program brings together German students wanting to improve their English with Stanford students developing their German. This initially pragmatic relationship often leads to fast friendship. The Sprachpartner exchange can be an excellent way for students to get to know young locals and to feel more comfortable with the German language. As German university life in Berlin is not centered on a campus and most students do not live in dormitories, language partners can serve as an alternate guide to the city's social scene.

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City Life

The New York Times recently proclaimed Berlin to be the cultural capital of the world. Wild as that claim may seem to fans of other great cities, this is in fact quite some place. 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 modern high-rises and restored Medieval/Renaissance/Baroque architecture. It is fascinating to observe how local residents prosper in the face of adversity and change.

Unified since 1990, Berlin is a city of great diversity and energy. 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.

Berlin’s vibrant community life is enriched by a widespread devotion to the arts. A world capital of classical music and opera, Berlin hosts one of the best philharmonic orchestras in the world, in addition to a lively performance-art and club scene. The city’s student population is encouraged to experience the Berlin art scene; a student discount is available for almost every cultural activity, including exhibits at the city’s many outstanding museums.

While Berlin is an urban city, an abundance of nearby green spaces, including the Central Park-like Tiergarten, provide the opportunity for outdoor activities like jogging, hiking, and team sports. University sports facilities are also available to students within the context of Freie Universität (FU) sports classes.

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