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Applicants to the FU-BEST program should be at least 18 years old, have reached the equivalent of second-semester sophomore status in college or university, have a very good command of English in order to complete a rigorous academic program in that language, be committed to participation in our intensive German language component, and have a GPA of at least 3.0. Students whose GPA is below 3.0 are welcome to apply, but cannot be guaranteed admission to the program until their overall qualifications are more closely reviewed. The FU-BEST program is intended for students at the second-semester sophomore level or beyond at 4-year universities and colleges who are in the process of completing their B.A./B.S. degree. Students whose native language is not English should note that the program is aimed primarily at students with fluency or at least a high level of proficiency in English. Non-native-speakers should plan to submit English test scores along with their application. For TOEFL, the score should be minimally 100. In the case of IELTS, the overall score must be at least 6.5 and the scores on individual parts must be no lower than 6.0.

No. Although the majority of participants comes from the U.S., students from other countries are also welcome to participate. Our academic calendar is, however, primarily tailored to North American standards.

By and large, yes. The overwhelming number of participants are undergraduate students. However, interested graduate students who wish to participate and who, if necessary, have obtained prior approval of FU-BEST credits from their graduate director/advisor, are more than welcome to apply.

Yes. You will receive FU-BEST credits even if you are not or no longer enrolled anywhere. Do keep in mind, however, in case you are well beyond the standard undergraduate age range of 18-22, that the FU-BEST program is designed for students in that particular age-cohort. The FU-BEST program is not set up as an adult/continuing education program.

This depends on your country of citizenship. North American and most European students do not need a visa for Germany, students from most other countries do. Please check with the German embassy or consulate in the country where you are currently studying and read through our Visa Information for International Students (pdf).

You can drop or add one or more courses during the first week of classes, depending on available spots in any given course.

Yes. You will receive intensive German language training at whatever level you find yourself, from elementary/beginner to advanced, if you are (or intend to be) a German major/minor at home and/or if you have any demonstrated prior knowledge of German beyond the absolute beginner level. Absolute beginners can opt for the double-course intensive track Beginner German 1&2 or for our single-course Experiential Beginning German section.

 Generally, all courses are graded and appear in this way on your transcript. Transferring as pass/no pass depends on your home institution. After all, you will be earning credits for transfer back home, so it is important to conform to all applicable regulations from your own school.

In principle, yes, but only after you set things up with faculty and other relevant officials at your home institution. So check on your home campus for applicable rules and regulations in this regard. Also, please note that FU-BEST is not likely to admit applicants who want to pursue more than one Independent Study course during a semester.

Cancellation of participation in the FU-BEST program is possible in principle and must be submitted in writing, subject to the following conditions: The first installment (consisting of the 100 Euro Application and Technology Fee and the 500 Euro Program Fee down - payment) cannot be refunded at any point after it has been paid; it is subtracted from any refunds as described below, along with any bank fees applicable to the reimbursement of monies paid. For more information see section 3 “Cancellation/Refunds/Changes” in our General Terms and Condition.

Yes. You will have classes and local program-related activities during the weekdays (Monday through Friday), but most weekends will be free. You will also have a one-week mid-semester break.

Yes. If you have the requisite German language skills, arrangements can be made with your teacher(s) to adjust your reading package and to write exams and/or papers in German. It is best to wait until you have settled into the program before making any such adjustments and decisions, however.

Students with advanced German language skills (Advanced 1 or 2) may also want to check out our GermanPLUS+ package for an attractive combination of advanced German language courses and three German-taught subject courses.

Officially speaking, no. You will not be able to obtain a work-permit in Germany while enrolled in the FU-BEST program. Getting into trouble with German authorities as a result of performing illegal work is definitely something to avoid, and will also jeopardize your participation in FU-BEST. This excludes such things as babysitting, of course.

On campus, participants can access the wireless campus-wide internet free-of-charge through their laptops and other devices. We also have a number of regular computers, connected to a printer/photocopier. However, we would strongly urge you to bring your own laptops.

Applications are processed on a first-received-first-enrolled basis. Earlier applicants thus maximize the likelihood that they will obtain a place in their top-choice courses. Beyond that, your ranking on the course enrolment form is used to shift you into the next available course, in case one of your preferences is no longer available.

Freie Universität Berlin offers a broad assortment of intramural sports and recreational activities for which you would be eligible to register, but you need to keep in mind that the U.S.-style semester schedule used by FU-BEST does not really coincide with the standard German semester calendar as used by Freie Universität Berlin. The university does not have the kind of exercise/recreational sports facilities common to most institutions in the U.S. However, the Lankwitz Campus also offers a fitness studio option. There are also a number of public swimming pools in the city, both indoor and open-air. Furthermore, joggers will enjoy Berlin’s many parks and the forests located on its outskirts.

FU-BEST participants are admitted on a semester-by-semester basis. Participation in two semesters (i.e., a full academic year) is possible. If you are interested in this option, you will hand in your course selection for the second term toward the end of your first semester.