WCCCSA Program-Berlin, Germany Spring 2024

This is a WCCCSA program. For how to start the application, please refer to “How to Apply” page.


  • Application & Deposit Deadline: Monday, January 8, 2024
    • Early Bird Deadline: Friday, October 27, 2023 (SAVE $100!)
    • Group Flight Application & Deposit Deadline: TBD
  • Balance of Program Fees Due: Friday, February 2, 2024
  • Tuition: check your campus’s calendar
  • Program Dates: April 1-June 7, 2024 (includes online readings, discussions, and reflection assignments in the US before departure and after return)
    • In-country dates in Berlin: April 8 – May 31, 2024

Contact your WCCCSA Campus Coordinator for more information about spending the spring in Berlin.


    • WCCCSA Flyer – Berlin 2024
    • WCCCSA Budget Request – Berlin 2024
    • AIFS Program Details – Berlin 2024
    • WCCCSA Preliminary and Scholarship Application


Study in one of the most vibrant and exciting European capitals! Berlin’s East and West sides of the city have retained their own identity since reunification and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Berlin has become a focus for modern architecture and remains a major center of art and international business.

The city, with its many famous parks and lakes, becomes especially full of life in the spring and summer when the locals are out on foot, bicycles, and skates, and populating the many beer gardens.


Housing in a shared apartment with up to seven other WCCCSA students in a centrally-located residence in Berlin. Each apartment will have shared bedrooms with single beds, two bathrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen. Bed linens, towels, and wireless internet are all provided.


All students will receive a travel pass good for unlimited use on the buses, trams, S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains in zones A & B in downtown Berlin.


Classes will be held in the centrally-located study center of the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS). Students will have access to a computer lab with free internet access and printing facilities.


Students will take three classes for a total of 15 credits including a German Life & Culture class taught by qualified local German adjunct lecturer. This course is mandatory for all students, and focuses on historical, political, economic, and cultural aspects of Berlin and Germany. Some beginner German language instruction is also included.

German Life & Culture (5 credits) is required for all students.

WCCCSA Faculty – Ben Kohn, Whatcom Community College

Ben Kohn’s scholarly training and personal enthusiasms have resulted in his applying an interdisciplinary approach to all of his courses. So you can expect a discussion of painting in his music class and a discussion of architecture in his film class! Ben pursued his graduate studies at the University of Washington in the field of Comparative Literature, with an emphasis in German, American, Russian, and Danish Literature, as well as literary and critical theory. He also studied the classical violin for over 20 years, receiving training at The Vancouver Academy of Music, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and Det Fynske Musikkonservatorium, Odense, Denmark. He is currently a professor in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Department of World Languages at Whatcom Community College, where he has taught courses in humanities, interdisciplinary studies, literature, music, film studies, and the German language. His most recent research interests include human evolution and the origins of symbolic representation, German Expressionist everything, the art of propaganda, cultural notions of dissonance in music, global Street Art, and perfecting his version of Bienenstich cake. Ben has previously taught for WCCCSA in Florence, Italy, and Berlin, Germany. He is looking forward to building on his previous experience through new additions to an already dynamic program studying Berlin’s rich musical and cinematic traditions, as well as the city’s cutting edge contemporary scenes. As a student, Ben attended study abroad programs in Germany, Austria, France, and the former Soviet Union, so he recognizes that such cultural experiences offer the possibility of great intellectual and personal transformation. Ben’s explorations with his students will provide many opportunities for such transformations.

Introduction to Film (FILM 101) – 5 credits

Next to Hollywood, Germany has been home to one of the most influential and important film industries in the world. Indeed, during the 1920s and early 1930s, it was the undisputed center of cinematic creativity and quality. At the center of this center was Berlin, or more specifically, a studio on the outskirts of Berlin in Babelsberg. Babelsberg was a government-supported studio complex (which we will visit!) that was designed to advance German filmmaking before and during WWII and East German filmmaking after the war. While German filmmakers developed numerous technical innovations here, their most essential achievement was the development of cinema as an art, transcending its role as a provider of novelty and entertainment. As we will be examining film as art, we can easily use German films and film clips almost exclusively to illustrate in detail the technical elements of film (form, narrative structure, mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, sound), as well as investigate how films can make us see, then feel and think differently. Additionally, films often reveal aspects of national or regional culture and can also reflect back to us certain situations around certain moments in time (Zeitgeist!). They most definitely present how filmmakers see their own culture and how they want us to see their own culture. Thus, they can provide us with great insight into the historical and contemporary culture of Germany and in particular the city of Berlin. The films that we will see in their entirety, and the films which you will be required to analyze in detail, will all be by German directors. They will cover several genres and will even include an East German Western infused by communist ideology. Guess who rides off into the sunset!

Music Appreciation (MUSC& 105) – 5 credits

This course will explore the extremely varied and rich history of Western art of composed music, popularly and somewhat inaccurately (our first discussion!) referred to as the “Western Classical Tradition.” Because we are lucky enough to be situated in Berlin, we will focus most intensely on the musical contributions of the composers and performers of this region. Actually, this would probably be the case if you were to take an introductory musicology course anywhere in the world, especially if you were discussing the music of the 19th, 20th,  or 21st centuries. What is even more exciting is that we will be in the most musically innovative, dynamic, and vibrant city on the face of the planet at the very moment it is exploding with all kinds of new sounds! As genre boundaries are constantly being blurred in this contemporary music, we will necessarily undertake some Jazz and World Music studies, as well as some informal investigations of House, Techno, and Trance sounds. I will arrange for the class to attend numerous concerts of music throughout the quarter. All of these concerts will be preceded by scholarly preparation and will require the writing of musical reviews after the performance. Therefore, while the course will be much more about music as a socio-cultural phenomenon throughout history than a course on music theory, you will be required to become familiar with some critical vocabulary and basic elements of this music for the purposes of analysis. But do not despair – Berlin offers the possibility of becoming profoundly educated in matters of music while at the same time having a lot of fun!


Program of free and subsidized cultural activities could include the following:

  • Orientation session, half-day guided sightseeing tour of Berlin by private bus, and welcome dinner
  • Guided tour of the Reichstag
  • Weekly program of free and subsidized cultural activities such as a boat cruise, opera tickets, sporting events, museum visits, and a street art workshop and walking tour
  • Day trip to Potsdam including a guided tour of Cecilienhof Palace and admission to Sansoucci Palace
  • Half-day excursion to the Memorial and Museum Sachsengausen
  • Optional three-day trip to the Baltic Sea, including round-trip train travel and hostel accommodations in Ruegen or Stralsund. This excursion also includes daily breakfast and dinner, sightseeing walking tours and museum admissions. The fee for this excursion is $464.

COSTS: $6,845


  • Housing
  • Travel pass
  • Orientation
  • 24-hour emergency contact service and on-site AIFS program staff
  • Student medical insurance
  • Activities and excursions
  • Access to the AIFS Student Center


  • Round-trip airfare and in-country transfers for students
  • $250 refundable damage deposit
  • Meals other than welcome dinner
  • Personal expenses
  • Passport or visa fees if applicable
  • College tuition for 15 credits
  • Textbooks
  • Additional field trips and excursions to those listed
  • Anything not specified


WCCCSA Berlin participants are all eligible for one of three $1,000 WCCCSA scholarships.


  • Date: TBD
  • Time: 10am-3pm
  • Location: Cascadia College, Bothell Washington

What to bring:

  • TBD

You should also invite parents, guardians, or whomever you feel should attend with you. Coffee will be provided in the morning and lunch will be included. The faculty will be available to discuss their courses and expectations.

Promo Video: Study Abroad with WCCCSA!

Berlin boat tour
Berlin boat tour
Berlin Reichstag Building
Berlin Reichstag Building
Berlin museum island
Berlin museum island

Last Updated September 27, 2023