About Berlin

Located in northeastern Germany near the Polish border, Berlin is the capital of Germany and the country's most populous city, with nearly 3.5 million people. As Germany itself was divided between East and West, Berlin was divided by the infamous "Wall" from 1961 until 1989. While the legacy of its unique history is ever-present, as seen in its architecture, monuments, and its people, Berlin has experienced a remarkable revival in the two decades since reunification. It is a vibrant, multicultural center, home to world-class museums (including those located on Museum Island in the Mitte District), major universities, and a multitude of parks, gardens, and recreational areas that make Berlin one of the most "livable" big cities in the world. From the grandeur of its traditional structures to the striking aesthetic of its modern design, Berlin is the ideal city in which to pursue architectural studies.

The Program

Hobart and William Smith Colleges maintain an affiliation with Lexia International to offer an architectural studies program in Berlin. Students will have the opportunity to blend classroom and studio experience with field studies in and around Berlin and excursions to other German cities. Courses are given by faculty with wide-ranging academic and professional experiences and local architects are often invited as guest lecturers.


Students enrolled in this program will take 4 courses:

  • Design Studio: Architectural Design
  • Architecture Seminar: The Architecture and Urbanism of Berlin
  • Workshop: Urban Landscape: Public and Open Space in Berlin
  • German Language

Academic Focus

This program is intended for students focusing on Architectural Studies with an interest in learning more about Germany.


This is a highly selective program and only those applying for and receiving a Julius G. Blocker '53 Fellowship will be considered for admission. The program is open to juniors and seniors majoring in Architectural Studies in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students must have completed at least one semester of college-level German prior to the program and must take a German language course in Berlin. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.


Students will reside in a homestay arranged by Lexia International and will typically prepare their own meals at home or take meals in affordable student cafeterias or in local restaurants.


As an integral part of their architecture coursework, students explore places of historical and architectural importance in Germany, led by Lexia instructors or local experts. In addition to tours in and around Berlin, sites visited may include Dessau, Dresden, Leipzig, Potsdam, Usedom, and Wolfsburg. Students may also visit nearby Lexia program sites in Poland, the Czech Republic, or Hungary as part of their studies.

Going Abroad With the CGE

Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees and a $550 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester, health insurance, all program-related excursions, and homestay accommodations (accommodation costs are covered by the Blocker Fellowship). Blocker Fellows receive a stipend intended to offset the cost of meals, airfare, books and course materials, and residence permit. Additional expenses not covered include laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of student expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1,500 for these additional expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation. For information, visit the Julius G. Blocker '53 Endowed Fund website. Those selected as "Blocker Fellows" receive support to cover a variety of expenses related to their study abroad program. The deadline for applications for the Blocker Fellowship is the same as the deadline for CGE program applications.


Application Deadline

  • This program is offered every semester.
  • Applications are available at the Center for Global Education.
  • Applications are due at the CGE office at a selected date in October (for Fall programs) and March (for Spring programs). For specific dates contact the CGE.

NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.


CGE Brochure


Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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