Further academic Programmes  >  The European Semester  >  Living in Berlin



Berlin is a unique city mixed with rich history, multi cultures, and a robust young atmosphere. A day in Berlin is filled with street art, music, and good cuisine that attracts around 25 million tourists annually. Don’t worry- although Berlin has a lively atmosphere, the cost of living in Berlin is much cheaper than many cities in the USA and Europe, making it a very livable city for students.

Berlin History

It is no doubt that Berlin holds a heavy history. Berlin was the capital of the German Reich from 1781-1945- during both WWI&II. After the defeat of the Nazi Regime, Berlin became the divided city symbolizing the consequences of the Cold War. Since 1989, the borders from the East to the West have been open. During your time in Berlin, you will have endless chances to immerse yourself in the full historical experience by visiting one of Berlin’s 175 museums and monuments.

Living in Berlin


Germany experiences all four seasons from sizzling summers to frosty winters. During the summers, there are several festivals and pools that you can visit. During the wintertime, you will find Christmas markets and other festivities.  Be prepared to bundle up in warm clothes!


Berlin is relatively safe with little violent crimes. Like with any other city, pickpocketing occurs in touristy areas, keeping a watchful eye will ensure that your things do not get stolen.


CIFE will provide you with a modest daily allowance to purchase basics such as groceries and toiletries. Although Berlin is not as big of a card culture as in the USA, you will be able to use your card at most major stores. In bakeries, restaurants and Berlin’s famous “Spätis” (little convenience stores that are open 24/7) it is more common to pay cash. You can also easily get Euros out with your card at one of the many ATM’s around Berlin.


CIFE provides fully furnished, equipped, and centrally located apartments. Typically two students share a spacious apartment with two rooms: a bedroom and a living room. The living room has a sofa bed to ensure more privacy between you and your roommate. All apartments have WI-FI, a fully equipped kitchen, a modern bathroom, as well as access to a laundry machine. In addition linen, sheets, towels, a hairdryer, and an iron are included. All apartments are located in very safe neighborhoods close to the CIFE office in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district.


Most people in Berlin speak English, so it should not be an issue. If you are interested, Berlin has many affordable language classes to make your experience more valuable. CIFE can help direct you to an appropriate language class if interested.


Berlin has a unique shopping atmosphere. You can find chain clothing stores at one of the several malls here such as ALEXA at Alexanderplatz, the Mall of Berlin at Potsdamer Platz or the design-mall Bikini Berlin. For an authentic Berliner fashion experience, check out local designers at Hackescher Markt and all over Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg. If you are more into vintage stores, Berlin is known for it’s second hand fashion culture and thrift stores. There are also several flea markets you can visit year-round such as Mauerpark on a Sunday.

Eating in Berlin

The cuisine in Berlin reflects the heavy international influence. In Berlin, you can find vegan restaurants, Italian food, Chinese food everywhere. If you name it, Berlin most likely has it. In particular, Berlin is famous for its Döner Kebabs, this Turkish delight has a Berliner twist that leaves you wanting more.