Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Freie Universität Berlin’s European Studies Program Welcomes International Students Back to Campus for In-Person Teaching

Classes will be held on campus for in-person coursework with special health regulations. Courses include a range of subjects taught in English, German language instruction, and a cultural program.

№ 011/2022 from Feb 11, 2022

The European Studies Program at Freie Universität Berlin (FU-BEST) welcomed 84 students from overseas to the university campus at the start of its new term. The sixteen-week academic program offers participants 27 courses to choose from, including German language classes and various subjects from other fields, such as art history, German history, cultural studies, political science, social sciences, sustainable business, and German. The program runs through May 20 and is synchronized with the North American academic calendar.

For the 2022 spring term, Freie Universität’s intensive semester program, FU-BEST, will be offering a broad spectrum of on-site courses for international students in all disciplines. FU-BEST students can select from eighteen academic courses primarily taught in English in addition to different levels of German language instruction. Among the offerings are courses on integration, conflict, and security in Europe, contemporary German history, architecture in Berlin, green business, transatlantic relations, art and dictatorship, and contemporary cinema in Germany and Europe. Throughout the program, Berlin’s role as a cultural and historical site is featured prominently. Students can earn internationally recognized credits based on the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) for the coursework they complete.

The FU-BEST term starts before the regular German summer semester in order to coincide with the North American academic calendar. That makes it one of the first programs at Freie Universität that will resume on-site teaching this year. “The fact that we have been able to welcome so many FU-BEST students to our campus in Berlin this spring semester – predominantly from North America – just goes to show that we all want to gradually return to what we had before the pandemic hit – despite the restrictions in place,” says Dr. Herbert Grieshop, the director of the International Affairs Division at Freie Universität Berlin. “I’m delighted by the trust our partners and participants have shown us. I’m certain that our students will have a great time studying and living in Berlin and that they will reap the rewards of this program, which specifically addresses their needs.” Of course, the safety of students and staff are of the utmost importance. The program is implementing the current measures prescribed by the Berlin Senate and Freie Universität, as well as several additional safety measures of its own.

Dr. Kristina Rödder and Dr. Dirk Verheyen, the academic directors of FU-BEST, worked with their team to ensure that the program can accommodate this unique situation. They have developed further measures to better protect program participants and employees. These measures bolster the other precautions already in place, such as the “three G” rule (participants must be vaccinated, have recovered from Covid, or have negative results from a recent Covid test), wearing a protective mask, small class sizes, and track-and-trace measures. All participants are insured through their enrollment in the program. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a tandem language program, in which they are paired with a German student, as well as a cultural activities program that exposes students to different cultural aspects of Berlin and Germany as a whole.

FU-BEST, the academic semester program of Freie Universität Berlin, is offered in the fall and spring each year, both online and in person, depending on demand. The program includes various courses, mainly in the social sciences and the humanities, which are primarily taught in English. Students in the program also take German-as-a-foreign-language classes. FU-BEST students can receive credit points in their home countries for successfully completed courses.

The program follows the North American academic calendar, making it unique in Germany. The academic quality of FU-BEST was recognized again in 2020 by the Forum on Education Abroad, based in the United States, through its Quality Improvement Program (QUIP). FU-BEST’s digital lecture series also received recognition from the German government’s initiative “Germany, Land of Ideas: Beyond Crisis,” which was launched by the German federal government and German industry. FU-BEST has consistently grown since its inception in 2005. Immediately preceding the pandemic, it hosted roughly 340 participants annually. About 3,500 international students have enjoyed the benefits of this program over the years.

Further Information

Freie Universität Berlin European Studies Program, FU-BEST, Tel.: +49 30 838 56582, Email: fubest@fu-berlin.de, Website: www.fubest.org