I live in a castle! It rests atop a hill that overlooks all of Marburg; from my bedroom window, I have the most amazing view. However, the best part is what happens around the building. From cooking, to games of billiards, to impromptu celebrations and parties, there’s always something to do around the castle and someone to do it with. ... There’s no escaping the exposure to the German language here.
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Roman Angone: Marburg, Germany, 2016-17
Why BCA Marburg?
- Spend the semester studying abroad in two countries! You will start in Vienna, Austria for an eight-week course focusing on developing your German language skills. Then transition to Marburg, Germany to enroll in courses with local students at Philipps-Universität, a renowned research and teaching university founded nearly five centuries ago.
- Apply to live in Marburg’s Schloss Castle, which rests atop a hill that overlooks the city, with a community of local students. Practice your German language as you share meals, games of billiards and celebrations.
- Tailor your experience to your interests and needs by taking advantage of opportunities such as an education internship, joining the Lahn Model UN program or taking courses at the Center for Conflict Studies.
In Vienna, you’ll attend Internationales Kulturinstitut Wien (IKI) for eight weeks with students from all over the world focused on improving their German language skills. In Marburg, you’ll enroll at Philipps-Universität, an internationally renowned institution with a variety of course offerings across many departments, including life sciences, Middle East studies, psychology and geography. If you have an advanced level of German, you can take Philipps and BCA courses taught entirely in German. If your German is not as advanced, you can take BCA courses designed for our students and choose from select courses taught in English at Philipps.
In addition to meeting students through your courses and housing, you can get to know local students by joining a club sports team or one of the many student organizations. Many students have also pursued their passion for music by becoming involved in the rich music scenes of Vienna and Marburg. Past students have even been able to play with local orchestras! You can also volunteer at local social service agencies such as a refugee center, a senior assistance agency or a hospital to connect with local organizations.
Cultural Activities & Excursions
Your BCA Marburg Resident Director will meet you in Vienna to orient you to the city and connect you to the many cultural events and activities available. In Marburg, your RD will be there to show you all the local landmarks and cultural hotspots. Together you will also visit other locations in the area. The BCA excursion may vary by semester, but in the past included a weekend excursion to the cities of Salzburg, Austria and Frankfurt, Germany to take in the Alpine scenery, spend an evening at the Opera and experience the difference between the thick but melodic Austrian German dialect and the quick but nevertheless relatively easy to understand variant of German spoken in Hesse.
About Vienna & Marburg:
The BCA Marburg program offers two amazing locations in one program.
Students start their program in the heart of Vienna 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.
After their time in Vienna students move to the classic university town of Marburg where students make up nearly one-third of the population. 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 has added 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 is 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.
Program Quick Facts
Fall Semester: April 15
Spring Semester: November 1
No previous German is required
Language of Instruction:
German and English
Vienna: Internationales Kulturinstitut Wien
University dormitories or Schloss Castle
Fall Semester: Early August – Mid-December
Other Program Opportunities:
Spring Semester: Early February – Late July
Volunteering placements available
Education internship available
You will begin your study abroad experience in the culturally-rich city of Vienna as you learn German at the prestigious Internationales Kulturinstitut Wien language school. You will spend eight weeks focusing on German language and culture before the semester begins in Marburg. Eight weeks is the standard time for the program, but 12 weeks is recommended. (There is an additional fee(s) for the 12-week program). You will study at Philipps University in Marburg. Founded in 1527, Philipps University is the world's first Protestant university still in existence. The oldest 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.Philipps University has hosted BCA participants since 1962, when 25 American students boarded a ship bound for Germany.Today, nearly 23,000 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.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 has added 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 is 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. The BCA on-site resident director helps students negotiate the German university system and provides opportunities to explore important historical places both in and outside of Marburg. You will visit places both on and off the beaten path, from major/capital cities like Berlin to tiny townships such as Stadtallendorf; during the fall semester, you will take an educational excursion to Verdun, France, to visit the World War I battlefields there that will bring the senseless suffering brought about by war a little closer to home.