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Academic Program

Program features

  • An academic calendar consisting of two regular American-style Fall (September-December) and Spring (February-May) semesters (for specific semester schedules, click here), followed by the possibility of enrollment in the FU's Sommersemester (April-July) for students with German language skills at the upper-intermediate or advanced level. Sommersemester enrollment is an option only after completion of at least one regular FU-BEST semester (fall or spring) and passing a language qualification test. Participants can thus enroll in one, two or three semesters. FU-BEST participants from institutions with direct-exchange agreements with Freie Universität Berlin who are interested in the Sommersemester option should consult with FU-BEST staff regarding any special regulations that may be applicable to their enrollment.

  • Mandatory enrollment in German language, offered at all levels, during the Fall and Spring semesters (6-8 credit hours for intensive instruction at all levels and 3-4 credit hours for non-intensive instruction at the beginner level). The FU-BEST program does not require knowledge of German prior to enrollment.

  • A menu of non-language courses (3 credit hours) taught mostly in English by expert faculty, covering such topics and disciplines as cultural studies, art history, comparative literature, the European Union, German history, German and European politics, sociology/psychology, film studies, legal studies, architecture, environmental studies, transatlantic relations, business, music history, and philosophy.

  • A special package of advanced German language courses and German-taught subject courses for advanced German Studies students or students of other subjects with advanced German language abilities (GermanPLUS+)

  • Local field-trips as integral component of many of the courses, in addition to individualized assignments when feasible.

  • A week-long excursion to Poland, Munich, Vienna, Dresden, Prague, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Budapest, Paris, London or other destinations (varying from semester to semester).

  • Opportunities for contact with German students and German society in general are made available during the semester.

  • FU-BEST gratefully acknowledges the generous start-up financial support extended by Germany’s Bundeswirtschaftsministerium through the ERP-Transatlantik Programm during the years 2005-2007.