Fall 2021: Berlin, Germany

Join the Viterbi Berlin WRIT 340 Fall Lead Program!

Viterbi students participating in this program can make progress towards their engineering degree by taking WRIT 340 with the first two weeks of the course abroad in Berlin, Germany and the remainder of the course taken during the Fall 2021 semester. Through the abroad experience and the course students will examine the Grand Challenges and gain a global perspective on engineering.  

Program abroad dates: August 3, 2021- August 17, 2021

Fall 2021: Berlin, Germany

Spend two weeks of your fall semester taking WRIT 340 while living in Germany’s capital, Berlin.

Make progress toward your engineering degree while also exploring Germany and its rich culture

Activities include: City Walking Tour, Company Site Visit, BMW Motorcycle Factory Tour and so much more

Evaluate and compare a variety of engineering concepts to those in the US

Take WRIT 340 taught by a Viterbi faculty 


  • Applications Open: February 16, 2021
  • Information Session: February 24 (4-5pm PST)   
  • Application Due: March 7, 2021 (11:59pm PST)
  • Decisions Sent: March 19, 2021
  • Enrollment Deposit Due: April 16, 2021
  • Mandatory Online Orientation: Summer 2021
  • Program Fee Due: Expected July 1 
  • Mandatory Arrival and Orientation in Berlin: August 3, 2021
  • Mandatory Check Out of Berlin Housing: August 17, 2021


Application Opening on February 16th, 2021

Apply Here

Eligible Applicants

  • Current freshman, sophomore, junior and senior level students are eligible to apply
  • Viterbi students in good academic standing
  • All Viterbi majors are welcome to apply
  • Active passport that does not expire before 2/17/2022 (6 months after program re-entry)

2021 Program Information

WRIT 340

This special version of WRIT 340, Advanced Communication for Engineers, will examine the Grand Challenges of Engineering from a global perspective and explore the multi-faceted relationships between Cities, Citizens, and Engineering.  

This course has two parts: a two week “Fall lead” will be taught in Berlin and the remainder of the semester will be taught at USC.  Although the Grand Challenges of Engineering were developed by the (American) National Academy of Engineering, engineers worldwide agree with their urgency.  To that end, Global Grand Challenges Summits have been held not only in the United States, but also in China and the United Kingdom.  Spending the initial introductory portion of the semester abroad underscores the international cooperation needed to successfully meet these Challenges.

The USC WRIT 340 course will be taught abroad and on campus by Dr. Harly Ramsey. The WRIT 340 course will be taken as a letter grade and will be taken for credit towards your degree.

*Please note: The majority of the class will be taught on campus at USC in Fall 2021 and will be scheduled Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30p-4:50p.

Course Syllabus

Group Excursions & Activities

The program aims to explore Berlin through engineering-related group activities and cultural experiences all included in the program cost. All activities are subject to change.  

  • City Walking Tour – explore Berlin’s city center and establish a foundation for future excursions 
  • Company Site Visit – visit a local company that tackles one of the 14 engineering challenges 
  • BMW Motorcycle Factory Tour 
  • Futurium Tour – explore the ‘House of Futures’ and examine different perspectives on tackling major world problems. Exhibit includes interactive examples of artificial intelligence, ecological architecture, and advanced robots 
  • University Visit – visit one of Berlin’s prized universities and explore their science and engineering campus 
  • Berliner Unterwelten WWII Bunker Tour – dive deep into German engineering from WWII 
  • Berlin Airport Tour/Workshop – examine one of Berlin’s three airports 
  • Deutsche Bahn (German Trains) – opportunity to examine the German approach to train transportation by touring the Berlin Main Train Station, the digitalization start-up hub, OR the company that produces modern trains 
  • Berlin Wall Memorial Tour – visit the site of the Berlin Wall and examine the impressive, yet dark engineering marvel 


Students will take courses at CIEE Berlin for the two-week program. Student’s accommodations will be in the CIEE Berlin residence halls or similar accommodations nearby.

Housing & Travel Arrangements

You will be responsible for booking your own flight to and from Berlin. You will need to be in the host city at the specific check-in day in order to check-in to the arranged housing.

Housing for the Berlin program will be in a Berlin residence hall. Accommodations include refrigerators and communal kitchens with pay-per-use onsite washing and drying machines. 

Expected Costs

This program will be run in the fall semester as a Fall Lead. Similar to a Maymester program the unit cost of the WRIT 340 course will be part of the student’s fall semester. Additional students’ costs include: 

  • $2,300 program cost (includes housing, and included activities) 
  • Student round trip airline ticket
  • A welcome dinner and farewell dinner will be provided. Students will be responsible for meals on most days.  

A $200 deposit will be required for accepted students. This deposit will go towards the total program cost.