2017 Honors in Berlin

2017 Honors in Berlin

Negotiating Identities and Mediating Community in Berlin, Germany

Berlin 2017 mini poster

Sponsoring Unit: Honors Program, Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Program Dates: June 19 – July 19, 2017 (Summer A term)

This program will award the following 15 credits of Honors core requirements:

Course Credits Credit Type
Honors 384 5 Honors Interdisciplinary (VLPA & I&S) “DIV” “W”
Honors 233/ GEN ST 350 5 Honors Social Science (I&S)
Honors 384 3 Honors Interdisciplinary (I&S & VLPA) “W” (joined with spring seminar to equal 5 credits of Honors 384)
Honors 384/ GEN ST 350 2 Honors Interdisciplinary (I&S & VLPA) “W”

In order for an Honors student to receive credit fulfilling the Honors Interdisciplinary category of the Honors core curriculum, Honors students must register for both the 3 and 2 credit seminars as HONORS 384.  GEN ST 350 will not count toward the Honors core.  If GEN ST 350 is taken instead, both the 3 and 2 credit seminars will count as UW electives only.

Information Sessions

December 6, Tuesday, 4:30, MGH 206
January 9, Monday, 12:30, MGH 206

About the Program

“Negotiating Identities and Mediating Community in Berlin, Germany” investigates the narratives of identity in urban centers, specifically urban centers in Berlin, Germany.  Berlin’s public and political administrative structure has been challenged with the arrival of refugees in the summer of 2015 via the Balkan route. Since then a great deal of support by civil society actors in grassroots groups have been crucial in a process of integrating those seeking asylum in Germany.  Non-Profit organizations stepped in where government administrative systems reached their limits in organizing basic needs for incoming refugees.

This program will work with local nonprofits and will place students in internships in the Kreuzberg and Neukölln regions of Berlin. Different site partners in Berlin include CSSP- Berlin Center for Integrative Mediation, Kotti e.V.  (neighborhood association) in the Kreuzberg district and Bezirksamt Neukölln (the district administration of Neukölln).

Students will learn about the complexities of community-nonprofit partnerships, increase their knowledge of community assets and needs in the Neukölln and Kreuzberg area, and other areas in Berlin, and better understand their role(s) as engaged community members, activists, and advocates in an international context. Students will also consider issues of civic leadership, equity and humanity as they reflect on their experiences in and with communities in Berlin. Being cognizant of outsider/insider identity theory and its lived manifestation is a key component of the program.

Program Credit/ Course Descriptions:

HONORS 384 (VLPA/I&S/”W”)/GEN ST 350 – 2 credits
“Negotiating Identities and Mediating Community in Berlin, Germany”

Prep Seminar, Spring Quarter 2017, Day and time, TBA

This 2-credit prep seminar will prepare students to participate in service internships abroad and will work with the Carlson Center expertise to facilitate learning outside of the classroom and engage ethically and reflectively with community partners. The seminar will also provide an introduction to German history, culture, education, identity, and politics via a comparative interdisciplinary curriculum structure. The instructors will introduce students to topics relevant to the larger themes of the program (identity politics; immigration policy; border studies; comparative international service based methods, theory, and action) and identify key social issues in Berlin and more broadly, Germany’s  position in the European Union towards migration and asylum laws and globally; identity formation issues as related to demographic changes, re: immigration policy and patterns.

HONORS 384 (VLPA/I&S) “W” “DIV” – Honors Interdisciplinary – 5 Credits
“New Ways of ‘citizenship’ identity in Germany: Neukölln Community Reimagined”

Students will learn about the history and political climate of refugee movements in the EU and within Germany through readings, community talks, lectures, site visits, and independent reflective projects. Students will also gain an understanding of refugee laws, the Dublin procedures and the complexities and contradictions of creating sustainable humane refugee and immigration policy.   In addition, students will engage in a comparative look at refugee and immigration through an understanding of U.S. policy and successes and tensions related to immigrant and refugees communities within the U.S.

Being cognizant of outsider/insider identity theory and its lived manifestation is a key component of the program. Students will read literature authored by immigrants and refugees as well as foundational readings related to critical race identity and the history of national identity formation.

HONORS 233 (I&S) “W”/ GEN ST 350 – Honors Social Science – 5 credits
“Community based International Internships in Berlin”

Working in local communities in Berlin, specifically Neukölln and Kreuzberg, students will intern for four weeks with supervision and guidance provided by both UW instructors, as well as site partners. Stressing relationship building between the local community and the incoming migrant and refugee communities, local nonprofits will provide on-site supervision and structure for student interns. Students are expected to complete readings and written assignments/projects while engaged in their internships. Students will check in with supervisors on a weekly basis.

HONORS 384 (VLPA/I&S) “W”- Honors Interdisciplinary – 3 credits
“Reflecting on Public Service in the City: faculty supervised projects”

This seminar is the reflective component of the internships. Students will take a meta look at their role. Asking themselves throughout the process of interning at their community site:
–        What are the needs of the community site and the populations it serves?
–        What are the community site’s assets? What are the population’s assets?
–        What is civic leadership? Civic service? Deconstruct and understand core terms.

Students will contribute their perspectives as outsiders and reflect on their own subject position and identity as they work within the Berlin community. Comparatively and relatedly, students will be prompted to reflect on their roles within their communities in Seattle.

This seminar will conclude with presentations (individual and group) with an audience of local community members, peers, and instructors. The presentations will conclude with a community dialogue. The presentations and dialogue will be written up on student blogs/portfolios.

Program Leadership

Director Julie Villegas is Associate Director of the University Honors Program and the Lead for International Programs in Honors and affiliate assistant professor of English. Dr. Villegas has taught programs in Berlin since 2008 (directing five programs) and has extensive experience directing programs abroad (directing and teaching in a total of nine programs). Her research focus is in the area of border studies and critical mixed race identity politics.

Co-Director, Manuela Mangold is a German native and has lived in Berlin for more than 30 years. She holds a diploma in Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden and a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and History from the Humboldt University of Berlin. Starting in 2008, she began working as an advisor for the former Minister for Post and Telecommunications, Prof. Dr. Schwarz-Schilling. In 2011, she joined the board of directors at CSSP – Berlin Center for Integrative Mediation. Since 2008, she has worked on international programs with Honors and CHID at the University of Washington.

Kathryn Pursch Cornforth, Associate Director of the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center, will join the program in support of community internships. She manages the service-learning team at the Carlson Center and has worked extensively with local communities in the Seattle area in support of student-community engagement.

Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $3,850 (students do not pay tuition; program fee and concurrent enrollment fee only)

Average Airplane Ticket: $1,700

Out of pocket food costs, approximate: $30-40/day

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
Non-Refundable UW Study Abroad Fee $350 July 7, 2017
Program Fee Balance $3,850 July 7, 2017

Making the program affordable

The Honors Program is passionate about study abroad and the incredible impact it can have on a student’s life.  An education grounded in a global context provides life long skills and lifelong memories. Studying abroad deepens study at home and provides a foundation for expanded reflection and self-growth, all core tenets of the Honors Program. We want everyone to experience study abroad. Don’t assume you can’t afford to study outside of the U.S. Here are resources to help you get started on your global adventures!

Honors Program Scholarships

The Honors Program offers a number of scholarships for current Honors Programstudents. These scholarship funds may be used for UW approved study abroad programs or exchanges. Students may apply beginning in January (deadline is April 1).

Study Abroad Scholarships at UW

The UW offers several scholarships to support students interested in studying abroad whether through a faculty led program or an exchange program. A few opportunities include GO! and Fritz.

Visit the The Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity’s Global Opportunitieswebsite to learn about more scholarship opportunities.

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.

The summer 2017 Gilman International Scholarship application will open in mid-January 2017. Applications are due March 7, 2017 by 11:59pm (Central Time) and the certifying advisor deadline is March 14.

There are several outside resources for study abroad scholarships. Visit the UW’s Study Abroad Scholarship page for more information on scholarship support as well as information about GET funds and how you may apply the GET to your study abroad costs.

Using Financial Aid for Study Abroad

You may find more information about using your existing financial aid for study abroad on the Study Abroad Office’s Financial Aid webpage. In general, all financial aid awarded may be used to support study abroad. Exceptions to this include tuition waivers, work-study awards, or scholarships that are specific about using the award for tuition (although there may be flexibility with some scholarships, please check with the financial aid office). Tuition waivers and work-study are never allowed for study abroad.

Revision of Need

You may also turn in a “Revision of Need” form with the Financial Aid Office if you have a FAFSA on file.  Once you are accepted to a study abroad program, visit the Study Abroad Office to obtain a budget for your study abroad program then complete the Revision Request and turn in both the budget and the revision request to the Office of Student Financial Aid in Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Financial Aid Study Abroad Funding Website for more information about applying for Summer quarter financial aid and for information about Exploration Seminar financial aid timeline (different than A or B term financial aid disbursement timeline).

You may also contact Honors Program Director Julie Villegas (villegas@uw.edu) if you would like to discuss additional resources and strategies.


Students will be housed in an accredited hostel in Berlin, central to Humboldt University.

Application Process

This program is open to students in the Honors Program and also students across campus. The program is focused on recruiting a diverse group of students, especially those students who have an interest in community-based learning. Students with Arabic or German language skills are also encouraged to apply.

The program welcomes students of all majors, freshmen-seniors.

Acceptance into the program will be decided based on application materials, interviews, and student’s demonstrated motivation to challenge themselves intellectually across academic disciplines and cultures and to work collaboratively in small groups.

Apply through the study abroad website.
Deadline: February 15, 2017