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Face-to-face German Classes for International Students

Intensive beginning German classes for 95 students from 19 countries

№ 190/2020 from Oct 13, 2020

Freie Universität Berlin welcomed almost 100 students from 19 countries to attend German language classes. To prepare for their semester abroad at Freie Universität Berlin, the students are taking intensive German language courses. They are being offered for the second time this year. Most of the students are from France and Great Britain. The program is running through October 23. Thanks to an elaborate hygiene concept, the students are able to attend the preliminary German courses on site in Dahlem. They are taught in nine small groups at different levels of language competence. This is a good way for them to improve their German language skills while being given an optimal start in preparing for the upcoming winter semester.

Each spring and fall Freie Universität Berlin offers pre-semester German courses for students participating in mobility and exchange programs. During the coronavirus lockdown, the program was held digitally. Now the conditions on site have been adapted so that the pre-semester language classes can be held face-to-face as usual. Dr. Herbert Grieshop, the director of the Division of International Affairs, stressed, “We are very pleased that we are currently able to offer preparatory language courses on campus again with the help of a well thought-out hygiene concept. More than 150 students and prospective students in the preliminary German course program as well as prospective students with a refugee background who are in Freie Universität’s welcome program for refugees can benefit from professional course support in small groups.”

Cooperation by the International Office, the Language Center, and the ERG Universitätsservice GmbH made it possible to organize the face-to-face classes in the preliminary German classes. The ERG Universitätsservice GmbH provides a wide range of services for Freie Universität Berlin. Gesa Heym, the head of Student Mobility at Freie Universität Berlin emphasized that making the face-to-face classes possible now is an indication that many departments are working together to welcome international exchange students to Freie Universität Berlin in spite of the coronavirus pandemic. Martina Yetkiner, program manager of the pre-semester German classes at the Language Center, pointed out, “The students really appreciate being taught face-to-face again after the ‘special’ summer semester.”

An important feature of the preliminary German course, in addition to the language classes, is the supporting program, which is also being organized under special hygienic conditions. It includes activities such as a scavenger hunt in Kreuzberg as well as field trips to Potsdam, the open-air Berlin Wall memorial on Bernauer Street, the Soviet memorial in Treptower Park, and the German Resistance Memorial. These activities are intended to give the students an impression of German history and culture as well as an opportunity to meet new friends.

About the Language Center

The Language Center is the center of foreign language education at Freie Universität. It is responsible for the language practice in numerous bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, including general career preparation. Through a variety of courses on German as a foreign language, a large tandem program, and the organization of Erasmus student mobility, the Language Center makes an important contribution to the internationalization of Freie Universität. The Language Center cooperates with universities in Europe and with leading cultural institutions and is a center of European language policy. https://www.sprachenzentrum.fu-berlin.de

About the ERG Universitätsservice GmbH

The ERG Universitätsservice GmbH is a subsidiary of the support association of Freie Universität Berlin, the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft e.V. The ERG is a service partner of Freie Universität Berlin, offering service, support, and language courses, especially in the international area. Its offers include short-term and semester programs at Freie Universität for international students (FUBiS, FU-BEST), classes in German as a foreign language (preliminary German language program, Welcome@FUBerlin program) as well as services including an accommodation service for international visitors and students, commercial administration services, advising and support services, and the university shop of Freie Universität Berlin. https://www.erggmbh.de

Further Information


  • Conception and Implementation: Martina Yetkiner, Freie Universität Berlin, Language Center, German as a Foreign Language, Tel. +49 30 838 – 54925, Email: martina.yetkiner@fu-berlin.de
  • Administration: Sophia Schmieder, Program Director, ERG Universitätsservice GmbH, Tel.: +49 30 838 – 73537, Email: sophia.schmieder@fu-berlin.de