Popular Subject Areas
German Language & European Studies
Freie Universität Berlin
Founded in West Berlin during the early Cold War period, Freie Universität Berlin (FUB) was established when anti-communist students protested against having to attend Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, a university located in East Berlin and taught by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany. After many student protests, FUB was established as a university for the "Free World" in West Berlin. Just about 40 minutes outside of Berlin's city center, ISA students will study on the university's Lankwitz campus. You can enjoy picking courses from a wide range of offerings instructed in English or German, and will take classes alongside ISA and other visiting international students.
Fall 1 2023
Aug 27, 2023 - Dec 15, 2023
Mar 01, 2023
Forms and Payment Deadline
Mar 15, 2023
219 - 222 Contact Hours
3.00 Minimum GPA*
- This session is in progress and is no longer accepting applications.
Study Abroad Program Description
The German Language & European Studies program at Freie Universität Berlin (FUB) offers a great variety of courses in German and European Studies. Popular subject areas include German Language, European Studies, History, Political Science, Sociology, and Art History. Courses are taught in English and German by local and visiting faculty at FUB with other international students.
You are not required to have a background in German language in order to participate in this program. You will be required to complete a language placement exam prior to departure if taking a German language course and have a background in German language.
Enjoy Flexibility with ISA Flex
We’ve partnered with Arizona State University (ASU) to help you overcome common study abroad challenges by adding an ASU Online course to your ISA program. With more than 2,100 courses to choose from, ISA Flex minimizes academic challenges, like major requirements and limited course options, so you can make the most of your experience abroad. Once you’ve applied, access the Flex form in your ISA Student Portal for more information on how to add this to your program and enroll in the course you need.
Students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.00.
For semester and academic-year programs, you must have completed a minimum of two semesters at a four-year university at time of application. Cumulative GPA will be calculated from credit from four-year institutions only.
Comprehensive Advising and Support
Comprehensive Health, Safety, and Security Support
Tuition at the Host University
Meals and Laundry Service
Bridging Cultures Orientation
Full-Time Resident Staff
ISA Discovery Model
Official Transcript from the Host University
Professional Development Toolbox
219 - 222
21 - 24
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
14 - 15
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
21 - 22
- You are required to take 1 German language course and 2-3 subject courses per semester.
- You can choose from two 2 different course tracks:
- 1. Experiential Beginning German Language course + 3 content courses (total of 4 courses)
- 2. Intensive German Language course (combined 2-level) + 2 subject courses (total of 3 courses)
- You may only take the Experiential German Language course if you have had no previous experience taking a German language course, are an absolute beginner, and are not a German major or minor. If you have any experience with the German language you will enroll in an Intensive German Language course.
- If you wish to take one additional content course you will need to provide specific documentation from your home university stating that they require you to take the extra course.(ie: an advisor's email, a quote from home university's website, etc.)
- Requests for sample syllabi can be made to the Germany Program Manager.
- Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
- Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or prerequisites.
- You are required to take 21-24 ECTS credits per semester.
- All subject courses are worth 6 ECTS/45 contact hours. Experiential German courses are worth 6 ECTS/84 contact hours. The combination of the two Intensive German Language courses is worth a total of 9 ECTS credits/132 contact hours.
- ISA makes U.S. credit recommendations based off of the course contact hours, however, transfer credits earned will be decided entirely by your home university. It is important to be in touch with your university about course approvals and transfer credit pre-departure.
- According to ISA policy, you must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by your home university.
- Enrollment in German language courses is determined by the results of a language placement exam administered online pre-program by Freie Universität Berlin. Please note that your performance on the placement exam may not reflect the number of semesters of language instruction you’ve already completed at your home university.
- If you are trying to place into any level of language beyond true beginning, it is recommended that you prepare for the language placement exam by reviewing previous coursework.
Course Level Recommendations
- ISA offers course level recommendations for the courses listed below. Please note that the course level recommendations are based on the Freie Universität Berlin’s (FUB) course structure system. According to FUB’s administration, all subject courses are designed as upper division level undergraduate courses. For all language courses, ISA considers courses from Beginning to High Intermediate as lower division, and Advanced to High Advanced as upper division. These ISA recommendations are intended to facilitate the determination of course equivalencies by advisors and credential evaluators at participants' U.S. home institutions.
- The transcript from Freie Universität Berlin will reflect ECTS credits and contact hours. Please be in touch with your home university regarding credit transfer for this program.
- The contact hour at Freie Universität Berlin is 60 minutes. The ISA Cover Letter that will accompany your transcript upon completion of your program will reflect the adjusted U.S. 50-minute contact hour. Please discuss credit transfer with your home university prior to departure.
Intensive German Language courses run for 3 hours each day (Monday - Friday) to support student language acquisition. Courses at Freie Universität Berlin require a good deal of self-study and reading. The academic workload may be higher than what you are used to at your home university.
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- Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations
Support & Funding
ISA is here to support you when it comes to navigating identity questions related to traveling abroad, providing resources and information for your accessibility needs, and identifying funding for your program abroad.
Our U.S. staff is available to support you though every stage of your study abroad journey. Please reach out with any questions about ISA programs or life on-site to your country-specific Program Manager.
Our on-site staff are there for you as soon as you arrive in country and will support you throughout your time abroad.
Accessibility & Accommodations
With our wide portfolio of program types and locations, we’re confident there is a suitable, accessible program for each student.
Securing accommodations abroad can take time, so we ask that those with requests inform ISA early in the advising process. We recommend reaching out to your Program Manager or our Accessibility Team (email@example.com) to discuss your accessibility needs or accommodations abroad.
Our diversity pages for each ISA destination include information on Indigenous communities, languages, race and ethnicity, religion, LGBTQIA+, and disability access. We hope it will help when reflecting upon and contextualizing intersectionality in your host community.
ISA offers students the opportunity to blog about their experiences abroad from their own diverse perspectives. These posts can be found on the ISA Student Blog, and interested students should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
All students should have the opportunity to study abroad. To help make this a reality, ISA offers a variety of scholarships to help cover your study abroad costs. To learn more about our scholarship opportunities, check out our scholarships & grants page!
If you receive financial aid from your home university, you can likely use those funds for study abroad, as well. Speak with your home university’s financial aid office to learn about your options. Check out steps for using financial aid.
Questions about scholarships and funding? Email us at email@example.com
Living in ISA housing will give you the opportunity to experience aspects of the German lifestyle that are inaccessible to the average visitor in Berlin. Uncovering the uniqueness of your Bezirke (district) and the surrounding areas will help you to feel right at home. No matter which type of housing you choose, you will commute to class as most Berliners do, via U-Bahn and S-Bahn. With an open and adaptable mind, the experience of living in another culture can be highly rewarding.
We strive to match your housing preferences with our available accommodations; however, housing preference requests cannot be guaranteed.
Apartments are a great housing option if you are seeking independence during your time abroad. The apartments are located in the heart of Berlin and about 50 minutes by public transportation from the university. This accommodation includes a private en-suite bathroom, bed, wardrobe, desk, and flat screen satellite tv. There is access to an equipped, shared kitchen. Bed linens and towels are provided. High speed Wi-Fi access is available and there is 24/7 security. There is a library and study room areas, game lounges with pool tables, outdoor cinema, a gym, restaurant and chill out area. Students will also have access to bicycles as well as an on-site laundry facility.
The dorm is best choice if you would like to be independent while living in a greener and quieter environment. The Student Village is located in the southwest of Berlin and is approximately 55 minutes from campus by public transportation. The dorm offers private rooms with a shared bathroom, kitchen, and communal area. All rooms are furnished with a bed, desk, chair, bookshelf, and closet. There are shared bathrooms and fully equipped kitchens on each floor. The duvet, cushions, and bedding are provided. There is a communal room with a TV as well as credit card-operated laundry facilities on site. Free Wi-Fi is provided.
Host families are the best option if you are seeking full linguistic and cultural immersion during your time abroad. Each host family has been carefully selected by the host university in Berlin in order to best accommodate your needs and to ensure a comfortable living situation. Homestays will provide daily breakfast and dinner. A typical homestay includes a private bedroom with linen, a desk, and a place for clothing and personal items. Homestays cannot be guaranteed over winter break for academic-year students.
You may elect to secure housing independently. If you select this option, you will receive a discount equal to the housing portion of the program price.
You may elect to secure housing independently. If you select this option, you will receive a discount equal to the housing portion of the program price.
For students: Housing is not included during the academic break between semesters. Please consult with your Program Manager regarding the option to stay in-between semesters and any additional, associated costs.
THERE’S MORE TO DISCOVER WITH ISA
ISA excursions allow you to explore the diverse, distinct, and gorgeous cities of Germany that you may not be able to visit on your own. The destinations shown below are a sample of some of the possibilities, which are finalized in the time leading up to the start of your program.
Dresden is the capital city of the federal state of Saxony, located near the Czech border on the River Elbe. This beautiful town is a cultural center known worldwide for its historic landmarks in the Baroque and Rococo Old Town. Dresden suffered immense damages during the Allied bombing in February 1945. However, thanks to the survivors' determination to move on and return the town its former glory, Dresden can enjoy its famous attribute of being the 'Florence of the Elbe' once again.
The town of Beelitz is about an hour southwest of Berlin and is home to Beelitz-Heilstätten. In the early 1900s it served as a lung clinic and sanatorium with just 600 beds but quickly expanded to a 60-building facility. Like many hospitals in Europe, its halls have seen soldiers through the two World Wars and was appropriated by Soviet Army in 1945 to become the largest Soviet military hospital outside the Soviet Union. Since the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1994 the facility stood empty and has been popular with photographers and urban explorers. In 2015, the land has been developed to be more inviting to the public. When visiting students will be able to participate in a guided history tour and walk the treetop path that allows for visitors to look over the grounds and vast forest surrounding Beelitz-Heilstätten.
Due to its location in Eastern Germany, Leipzig has been a trade city since the time of the Holy Roman Empire. The city was once a major European center of learning and culture, and its varied Renaissance and Baroque architecture creates a beautiful style combination.Today, the city is considered to be one of the "most livable" in Germany. Enjoy learning the old and fascinating history while enjoying the local cafes, multitude of art, and deep music scene.
Prague is the capital and the largest city of the Czech Republic, situated on the banks of the beautiful the Vltava River. The city, referred to as the "city of a hundred spires", remained nearly untouched during WWII, leaving it to act as a living museum which possesses architectural preservation like no other place in the world. Since 1992, Prague has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lively city is full of famous theaters, fascinating opera houses, clean parks as well as other places offering numerous cultural experiences.
Cultural Activities in Berlin
The ISA on-site team encourages you to explore the city and culture of Berlin! The team facilitates this by offering a robust calendar of events that showcases what makes Berlin special. These activities vary each term and are designed to further introduce you to your host city. Previous offerings have included walking tours of the city center, a street art tour, movie night in an artsy cinema, guided tour of the Stasi prison, and visits to the Dome of Reichstag and Berliner Dome, for example.
Week-Long FU-BEST Excursion
This week-long excursion gives you the opportunity to explore other areas of Europe outside of Berlin. Take your pick from one of the options offered- there are typically three different trips to choose from! Destinations vary each semester, but always include German cities, such as Munich or Hamburg, and European sites, like Copenhagen or Prague.