Dickinson in Bremen/Germany
For more than 25 years Dickinson has had a successful Study Abroad program in the city of Bremen in Northern Germany.
The Dickinson-in-Bremen program is a
language-based, full-immersion program. Participants are fully
enrolled at the host university and can become active members of the local and
student community. Dickinson students have numerous opportunities to get
involved inside and outside of the classroom, play on sports teams, sing in
choirs, or join bands. Bremen students are generally friendly towards foreigners
and the program’s community of friends will help newcomers with adjustment. Daily
life in the city of Bremen, combined with academic excursions to other regions,
gives students plenty of chances to experience German culture.
Bremen is a multifaceted Hanseatic
city with half a million inhabitants, and is beautifully located on the river Weser
in Northern Germany. Signs of its 1,200-year-old history are visible in the
cathedral, the Schnoor, a residential
quarter dating back to medieval times, and the historic market square, where the Town Hall and Roland statue have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A bronze statue of the Bremen Town Musicians honors the famous
fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers.
Culturally, Bremen offers a
variety of events throughout the year. From Germany’s oldest civic fair, the Bremer Freimarkt, to the traditional Christmas Market, Bremen never runs out
of events. Museums like the Bremer
Kunsthalle, as well as theaters, restaurants (especially at the Weser
promenade Schlachte), bars, and the
alternative quarter Viertel allow for
a wide range of activities. With Werder
Bremen, the city hosts one of the most likeable and most successful German
The University of Bremen
Dickinson's host institution
in Germany, the University of Bremen, is a mid-sized university with 17,000
students, offering 100 different degree programs organized in 30 academic
disciplines. These cover a wide spectrum of
subjects in the humanities and social sciences as well as in the natural and
engineering sciences. Among many other fields, the university is
especially recognized for its Social Sciences, Political Studies, European
Studies, Geosciences, Ocean and Climate Research, Materials Science, Health
Science, and Logistics programs.
The University of Bremen was
founded in 1971 and soon earned the label “Bremen Model” for its innovative
principles, some of which have now become standard features of modern universities.
These include: interdisciplinarity, research-based learning in projects, and
social commitment. With more than
400 international cooperations and currently about 260 university partnerships worldwide,
the Uni Bremen continues to expand its global orientation and advance its
ongoing internationalization process.
For many years now, the
University of Bremen has been in the top league of German research universities
and has performed extremely well in the first two rounds of the “Excellence
supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research and the federal
states. It has recently entered the exclusive club
of only seven German universities to be considered for the third and most
prestigious funding line for institutional
strategies. Furthermore, the University
was quick to introduce the new structure of Bachelor and Master Studies and has
been awarded the title “Bologna University” by the Standing Conference of the
Länder Ministers of Education.
Academics – Elective Courses
Students may choose to spend either a full
academic year (recommended) or the spring semester in Bremen. All participants begin
by taking part in a pre-semester orientation and completing a minimum four-week,
one-credit, intensive language course (spring semester participants do so in Bremen, full-year participants may choose the course location from a selection
of German cities). During the regular academic year,
students take classes in any department or field within the bounds of their
program of study. Full-year students usually earn nine credits, spring-semester
students five credits.
German 340, the mandatory Comparative Cultures course taught by the
Academic Director during the fall semester, is a “Dickinson course” and will be
calculated into the GPA. It follows the history of German-American relations
and cultural exchange over the course of more than 300 years.
Students are encouraged to pursue
an internship during their time here. The academic director assists in finding
appropriate opportunities, although placements are not guaranteed. Recently,
students have interned at the Bremen Information Center for Human Rights and
Development (BIZME), Center for Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation (Uni Bremen), Bremen City Theatre, Adult
Education Center, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS).
Moreover, through our
program’s contacts with the Bremen United States Center and the Chamber of
Commerce, internships with local big businesses may also be possible: Bremen is
a city of aerospace and space technology, hosting companies like Airbus, OHB AG, and EADS.
Bremen is also home to a number of other international corporations, such as Mercedes-Benz,
Kraft Foods, Kellogg’s, Jacobs Coffee, and Beck’s beer. Other firms have
branches here, e.g. Siemens
(including Siemens Windpower), Commerzbank,
Sustainability is another of
Bremen’s strengths. Not only is the university itself striving for sustainable
and ecologically compatible development on its campus, but what is more: it
offers ample opportunities to study sustainability-related issues cross-disciplinarily.
Some of the many institutes
of the University of Bremen include: the Research Center for
Sustainability (ARTEC), Institute for
Ecology (ECO), Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM), Center for Environmental Research and Sustainable
Technology (UFT), and the university’s Environmental Management System (UMS).Furthermore, many companies and institutions in the region work in the
field and may offer options for cooperation or internships.
Since the Bremen program is flexible,
excursions can be arranged according to the students’ fields of study. Over the
last years, we’ve had 2‒3 multi-day excursions per year with destinations such as Vienna,
Berlin, Weimar, Dresden, and Brussels. Each trip seeks to balance fun activities
with educational content, e.g. on the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Empire,
the Cold War/GDR, the Weimar Classic, fascism, art, and music. We have even
enjoyed behind-the-scenes talks with leading politicians and experts.
Additional day trips are made to Hamburg, Lübeck, or Bremerhaven.
Students will be accommodated in
dormitory-style housing (single and double apartments) near the university.
Private room rentals in Bremen are possible under special conditions and upon
the student’s own initiative.
For more information on how to apply for the Dickinson-in-Bremen program, please visit the website of Dickinson's Center for Global Study and Engagement.