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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Frankfurt, Germany; Marburg, Germany; Salzburg, Austria; Vienna, Austria
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: BCA Study Abroad 
  • Restrictions: None
Fact Sheet:
Language of instruction: German Language prerequisite: None
Housing options: Dorm Minimum GPA: 2.6
Class eligibility: Junior, Senior, Sophomore Number of credits: 12-16
Internships: No Volunteer: Yes
Program Description:

About Marburg
Located in the wooded Lahn River valley in the state of Hesse, Marburg is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Germany; its many architectural gems include Germany's oldest Gothic church, the Elisabethkirche. An ambitious project to restore the city's half-timbered houses adds to Marburg's immense charm. On a hill high above, the city is dominated by the Landgrafenschloss, an imposing 13th-century stone castle. Formerly the home of Hesse's rulers, today it's a museum and a student residence. With a population of 80,000, Marburg offers the friendliness and convenience of a small city, but as a university town, Marburg also offers plenty of culture and activities. 

Founded in 1527, Philipps-Universität is the world's oldest Protestant university still in existence. The original portion of the campus, the Alte Universität, is built on the site of a 13th-century Dominican cloister. During its nearly 500-year history, the university has educated and employed a large number of distinguished scholars and thinkers, including nine Nobel prize winners.

Today, nearly 20,000 students study in the university's modern facilities. Philipps is a large university with a wide range of academic disciplines, including business, law, psychology, media, mathematics, chemistry, biology, geology, geography, education, medicine, pharmacology, and physical education. Philipps-Universität has hosted BCA participants since 1962, when 25 American students boarded a ship bound for Germany.

As a BCA Marburg student, you will spend the first eight weeks of the program in Vienna, Austria, focusing on German language and culture at the prestigious Internationales Kulturinstitut Wienlanguage school. There, you will study alongside students from around the world who are also learning German. During your time in Vienna, you will have ample opportunities to explore your host city and improve your language proficiency through daily practice. While in Vienna, all students take the BCA Signature Course: HIS 205 Vienna: Crossroads of Europe (History and Culture). 

To learn more about course offerings, visit our Course Database and review a list of Recommended Courses chosen by the BCA Resident Director.

Student Life
Set in a river valley in central Germany, Marburg offers some of the best-preserved medieval architecture in the country. A classic university town where students make up nearly one-third of the population, Marburg is full of cafés, restaurants and entertainment. BCA students have many opportunities to socialize with German students and to get involved in the community. Philipps University has a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including sports, art, music, and cinema (movie-going is a favorite pastime for many students, and Marburg has both the "commercial" and the "alternative/artistic" cinemas). Philipps also has a relatively small number of American students--usually less than 70 in a given semester-- making it much easier for students to immerse themselves in the culture.

In Vienna, you will spend much of your time right in the heart of the city while attending IKI Wien for the intensive language training program. Located in the first district in Vienna, which is the historical center of Vienna, IKI Wien is at the doorstep of all the cultural wonders of the city including museums, opera houses, art galleries, restaurants and government offices. In addition to completing excellent German language instruction, you will meet people from all over the world while attending IKI Wien.

BCA Marburg students live and study side-by-side with local students, both in Vienna and in Marburg. Housing options include university and privately operated student dormitories— for the regular semester you can even apply to live in Marburg’s castle. In Marburg, BCA arranges housing in various student residence halls in the Oberstadt (the historical old town of Marburg) that are run by the university. These residence halls are located near the castle and overlook the Lahn River Valley. The central location makes this a popular spot. Most BCA students live in the Oberstadt, but the housing options not in the Oberstadt also have their benefits. All accommodations include a private room with communal lounge, kitchen and bathroom. All housing options except the Schloss have single rooms only. All student residence halls in Marburg are co-ed.

Students typically prepare their own meals, especially in the evening. You can purchase a healthy, inexpensive lunch at the Mensa and other locations throughout the town of Marburg. The BCA resident director will provide you with a meal stipend for the semester.

Educational Excursions
BCA students travel together on educational excursions throughout the semester which include:

Berlin, Germany: Spend two days in this historic, trend-setting capital city
Bratislava, Slovakia: Take a day trip to neighbouring Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava, to help you better understand its relations with Vienna, both past and present.
Stadtallendorf, Germany: Here students visit the DIZ, a local museum on the site of a Nazi forced labor camp, now dedicated to preserving the memory of and educating people about the horrors of the Holocaust.