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Arts and Society in Berlin

With its conflicted past, its central role in European and global economics and politics, and its rich history and fabled openness to artists and intellectuals of all kinds, Berlin is the scene of a vital exploration of the roles the arts can play in today’s changing world. 

Arts and Society in Berlin is a one-semester or yearlong program which draws on Bard College Berlin’s long commitment to artistic creation and civic engagement to offer a mix of practicing arts courses, exposure to art history and theory, and engagement with the Berlin art world. 


Watch three alumni/ae of the Arts and Society in Berlin program describe their experience of the program and their work on art projects.


The Arts and Society in Berlin program is based in artistic practice, including studio arts, performance, media, and the interplay among them. History and theory courses take an interdisciplinary approach to old and new perspectives and experiments, exploring such issues as artistic identity; the nature of performance; ethics, aesthetics, and consumption; visual culture in the digital age; and political identity and urban landscapes.

Please see the full course list for the complete range of courses accessible through enrollment in the Arts and Society in Berlin program.

Optional Internship

Drawing on ties to artistic circles in Berlin and on the excitement generated by the city’s changing culture and population, Arts and Society in Berlin also offers an optional internship with a practicing artist, an arts organization, or an institution active in the social and educational fields.

Examples include Agency V (fashion and lifestyle PR and marketing agency), Emerge (photojournalism magazine), Frisch & Co. (Berlin-based e-book company), Galerie Supportico Lopez (curatorial space), MOD Institute (an urban action and research institute), Judith Raum (visual artist), and Tanya Leighton Gallery (commercial art gallery).

How to Apply

The Institute for International Liberal Education at Bard College is responsible for the administration of the Arts and Society in Berlin Study Abroad Program and assists North American students through the application, selection, and predeparture processes. Please direct your questions and expressions of interest to studyabroad@bard.edu.

Students from European and other universities outside North America who are interested in the program should contact admissions@berlin.bard.edu to learn more about the application process.

Hear from Our Students

Isabella Lee
Isabella Lee
Exchange student from Simon’s Rock

Berlin is a city where if you have a vision, things just come together. There are so many people who are willing to start something from nothing, and there is so much energy, that all you have to do is harness it and immediately start making connections, and those connections will produce more connections. There is so much possibility in that sense.
Sylvie Estes
Sylvie Estes
Exchange student

My internship was very eye-opening, because I didn't know much about the refugee crisis that happens here in Berlin. Through my work I learned about communication, about organization, to be proactive and get involved into communities, and to look deeper into where you're living and think that there is more than what meets the eye. That is a life lesson that will never be complete, that will continue to evolve, and that hopefully I can share with other people.