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Online Courses Spring 2022


FU-BEST offers online courses for the Spring Semester 2022. You can choose from four subject courses taught in English and five German language courses from the Beginner to the Advanced level. All courses will take place from 9 - 11 a.m. CET (Central European Time).

Our courses are open to students of all subject areas and offer an interdisciplinary approach to overarching issues and themes relevant to European Studies in Berlin and Germany today. Small class sizes make this a memorable and unique learning experience. All courses are complemented by your individually compiled “Portfolio Intercultural Awareness” (PIA) that enriches your personal academic journey with reflective insights.

Attend one or more of our courses and earn credits that can transfer to your degree back home. Almost all of our German language and subject courses can be combined with each other - browse our course catalog below and select the courses that fit you and your academic plans for Spring 2022 best!

Lean more about Berlin, Germany, and Europe and meet us online!

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Program Dates: Februar 14 - May 20, 2022
ECTS Credits: 6 per course
Fees: € 50 program fee per application plus € 1250 tuition fee per course
Registration Deadline: December 19, 2021

Spring 2022 Online Course Schedule (Feb. 14 – May 20, 2022)

Please click the schedule above for a detailed PDF version




Please note:
The 6 ECTS awarded for each subject or German language course include the successful completion of your PIA (Portfolio Intercultural Awareness). The time you invest in your PIA counts towards your overall workload, but more importantly it will also make more sense of your FU-BEST learning experience. See below for details.

Online Subject Courses

Instructor: Dr. Matthias Vollmer
Live Session: Wednesday, 9 - 11 a.m. CET (Berlin time)
Duration: Feb. 16 - May 18, 2022
Language of Instruction: English
Contact Hours: 30
ECTS Credits: 6

This course will survey the visual arts in Germany from the rise of modernism around 1900 to the present after postmodernism. The aim is to closely study the individual works and interpret them critically by analyzing their formal structure, style and technique, iconography etc. We will investigate the concerns of the artists who created them, and place the works within their wider historical, philosophical, political, social and cultural contexts as well as within the international development of the visual arts in Western Europe and – in the second half of the 20th century – the US.

To understand 20th-century art and its role in society, it is paramount to take into account theoretical thinking and the philosophical climate shaped by Sigmund Freud, Charles Sanders Peirce and others. Hence, the course will also acquaint students with major philosophical ideas of this period and their implications for visual artworks. This will include reflections by art historians on the methods deemed appropriate for studying the objects and ideas which constitute their discipline.

Instructor: Dr. Jan-Henrik Meyer
Live Session: Thursdays, 9 - 11 a.m. CET (Berlin time) 
Duration: Feb. 17 - May 19, 2022
Language of Instruction: English
Contact Hours: 30
ECTS Credits: 6

European Politics and the history and politics of European Integration more specifically are characterized by crises, as many contemporary and current observers have highlighted over and over again. In the past two decades, Europe has been shaken by a series of crises – from the failed constitution and the financial crisis to the Migration, Brexit and COVID crises, the rise of populism and the disintegration of democracy in some of the newer member states. Why is European integration apparently so crisis-ridden? And: to what extent has European integration actually been propelled by crises?

This course will introduce students to the history and politics of the European Union (EU), its peculiar institutions and a number of its key policies. The course will address and explain the – often crisis-ridden – processes of widening and deepening of this unique political entity, drawing on some relevant theorizing. Students will learn how institutions changed and how policies are made, as well as the role of the different supranational and intergovernmental institutions. Next to the formal institutions, interest representation, lobbying, and the media have shaped processes of policy making and polity building, and crisis responses. Special emphasis will be placed on Europe’s current crises – the Euro crisis, the migration crisis, Brexit – and the lingering challenges of the environmental and climate change.

The sessions consist of lectures, literature-based discussions, a close reading of sources, in smaller and larger groups. Students will be expected to actively participate, collaborate in groups and prepare oral presentations. A special highlight of the course is a hands-on semester-long group project of developing a lobbying strategy directed at the European institutions. The course also includes a presentation and an opportunity to discuss with a guest speaker from the Commission’s Team Europe.

Instructor: Dr. Marcus Funck
Live Session: Monday, 9 - 11 a.m. CET (Berlin time) 
Duration: Feb. 14 - May 16, 2022
Language of Instruction: English
Contact Hours: 30
ECTS Credits: 6

This course addresses the question of what fascism is, how it developed and changed over time, and how it unfolds in different regional contexts. We will compare various Fascist movements and regimes that existed in different times and spaces. The course will start with a discussion of a wide range of theories and definitions of Fascism, both contemporary and scholarly. From there, we are going to analyse distinct key aspects of historical Fascism (ideology, organisation, practices), particularly in France, Italy, and Germany, from the 1900s to the 1940s. The second half of the course deepens the comparative aspect when we look at very different movements and regimes across the globe that have been labelled as either “Authoritarian”, “Populist”, or “Fascist”. Relating and comparing such different political systems to each other as well as to the historical Fascist regimes helps us to get a better understanding of what exactly might be Fascist about them.

Instructor: Dr. Martin Jander
Live Session: Mondays, 9 - 11 a.m. CET (Berlin time)
Duration: Feb. 14 - May 9, 2022
Language of Instruction: English
Contact Hours: 30
ECTS Credits: 6

The end of the Cold War marked the beginning of a new era in world politics. For all societies, many changes have occurred since that time. In Germany they are radical: two German societies, a democracy (Federal Republic of Germany) and a dictatorship (German Democratic Republic), united into one nation and one state on October 3, 1990.

In this seminar we will deal, step by step, with the most important changes in German society and in its international environment. We want to answer the following questions: (1) What is the state of democracy in the unified country? (2) Can all citizens of the country exercise their rights guaranteed by the Constitution? (3) Does the Federal Republic consider its neighbors and other democracies in Europe and the rest of the world as equal partners? (4) Could the unification of the two German states become a model for other societies? (5) What challenges do German democrats face in the united Federal Republic, in Europe and in the world?

With the unification occurred, according to the philosopher Jürgen Habermas, a "catching-up revolution" (“Nachholende Revolution”). The GDR, which united with the Federal Republic, experienced a democratic modernization that had already taken place in the western part of Germany after 1945, instigated by the Allies, especially the United States of America.

Unification also brought about further reforms: The newly unified Federal Republic began to recognize itself as a country of immigration, and it began to compensate victims of National Socialism who had not yet been compensated, such as forced laborers.

In addition, the unification process pluralized society's party system as a whole. In all parts of society, five political parties – conservatives, liberals, social democrats, greens and leftists – play a stable role in the formation of the political will and politics.

However, the modernization and democratization of the unified Federal Republic also provoked protests from more than a few citizens. Such protests are often articulated in the election of right-wing extremist groups: Since about 2015, a sixth party has been added to the picture, the right-wing populist, in parts radical right-wing Alternative for Germany. Alarmingly, the number of right-wing terrorist attacks has also increased dramatically since unification. NGOs say that since October 3rd 1990, 213 people – Jews, immigrants, refugees and others – have been killed by right-wing terrorists.

The foreign policy orientation of the Federal Republic is also being critically questioned. Politicians from right-wing, left-wing and nationalist camps question the foreign policy orientation of the Federal Republic of Germany toward the United States and its membership in NATO.

Conditions in Germany itself, in Europe and in the international arena are constantly evolving. A final assessment of the consequences of the unification of the two societies after the end of the Cold War is not yet possible. However, this seminar will give students an insight into the various conflicts in German society. At the end of the seminar, they should themselves be able to answer the main question of the seminar: Can the unification of the two German states be seen as a model for other democracies in the world?

Online German Language Courses

Instructor: tba
Live Session: Tuesday 9 - 11 a.m. CET (Berlin time)
Duration: Feb. 15 - May 17, 2022
Language of Instruction: German
Contact Hours: 30
ECTS Credits: 6

This course is designed for the beginner student with no prior knowledge of German. It aims to develop your communicative competences in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The book Netzwerk A1 and additional material, which is primarily dealing with cultural and historical aspects of German(y), will help you develop your individual language skills. One of the foci of the course is placed on Berlin and its surroundings, so you will work with authentic material.

Instructor: tba
Live Session: Tuesday 9 - 11 a.m. CET (Berlin time)
Duration: Feb. 15 - May 17, 2022
Language of Instruction: German
Contact Hours: 30
ECTS Credits: 6

This course is designed for beginners with some prior knowledge of German. With the help of the books Netzwerk A1 and A2 as well as additional material, which is primarily dealing with cultural and historical aspects of German(y), you will expand your competences in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Instructor: tba
Live Session: Tuesday 9 - 11 a.m. CET (Berlin time)
Duration: Feb. 15 - May 17, 2022
Language of Instruction: German
Contact Hours: 30
ECTS Credits: 6

This course is designed to strengthen and expand your communicative competences in listening, speaking, reading and writing, and to deepen your understanding of German-speaking cultures in the context of Berlin. With the help of the book Netzwerk B1 and additional material, which is primarily dealing with cultural and historical aspects of German(y), you will develop your individual language skills. One of the foci of the course is placed on Berlin and its surroundings. Therefore, you will increasingly work with authentic material in class.

Instructor: tba
Live Session: Tuesday 9 - 11 a.m. CET (Berlin time)
Duration: Feb. 15 - May 17, 2022
Language of Instruction: German
Contact Hours: 30
ECTS Credits: 6

This course aims to systematically improve your writing and reading competences. It focuses on your acquisition of complex linguistic structures and your consistent self-correction. It will help you further develop effective reading and listening strategies by using texts and listening examples that extend beyond everyday communication. In-class discussions will be based on the weekly reading of literary and non-literary texts that will motivate you to exchange information, ideas, and opinions. In addition, these texts will provide important cultural and historical background information. Grammar revision is just one of the foci of this course; yet, you will expand and deepen your knowledge of German grammar through specific exercises.

Instructor: tba
Live Session: Tuesday 9 - 11 a.m. CET (Berlin time)
Duration: Feb. 15 - May 17, 2022
Language of Instruction: German
Contact Hours: 30
ECTS Credits: 6

This course aims to deepen your competence in speaking and writing and to expand your vocabulary on a higher language level, with a focus on improving your communicative skills for increasingly academic discussions. The course material will help you acquire relevant and contemporary knowledge about the culture, politics, and history of German-speaking countries and Berlin in particular. Furthermore, you will develop effective reading and listening strategies with regard to various literary genres and media. You will be able to coherently talk about a broad range of subjects and to argue for your point of view.

Portfolio Intercultural Awareness

Duration: 
Phase 1 (“Expectations”): Jan. 24 – Feb. 13, 2022
Phase 2 (“Experiences”): Feb. 14 – May. 20, 2022
Phase 3 (“Evaluation”): May. 21 – Jun. 10, 2022
ECTS Credits: integrated into the 6 ECTS per FU-BEST course

As part of their study experience at FU-BEST, every student will compile their own "Portfolio Intercultural Awareness" (PIA). PIA is a self-guided reflection module designed to enhance the study experience; it is integrated into each FU-BEST course (and its overall ECTS credits). Students will reflect upon their perceptions of the international study experience at FU-BEST, their encounters with people from different cultural backgrounds, and their own concepts of themselves in relation to others. They will be introduced to theoretical concepts of cultural framing, stereotyping, and global citizenship, and apply them to their own experiences as an "I" and as an "other" in various environments. In exercises designed to heighten their intercultural awareness, they will be able to put their individual experience into context and apply their analytical skills towards a better understanding of and approach to human interaction and communication.

Each student’s PIA is a conversation that they have with themselves, anticipating, reporting, and reminiscing about their FU-BEST experience, but also their study and growth experience at a temporarily different academic home in general. It will help them learn about themselves and the way they can enter into meaningful and eye-opening interaction with other human beings.

If you are interested in attending more online programs, we recommend the FUBiS Term I online program 2022. FUBiS is a sister program of FU-BEST and offers short-term courses for both intense German language and subject courses.

Admission Prerequisites

Applicants to the FU-BEST online program should:

  • be at least 18 years old,
  • have at least completed three semesters of higher education at the start of the course,
  • and provide documentation (a transcript copy) that their grade average equals at least the second-highest grade awarded by their home institution (e.g., a 2.0 if the highest grade is 1.0; or a 3.0 if the highest grade is 4.0; or a B if the highest grade is A; etc.).

For Subject Courses: In order to complete a rigorous academic course in English, students need to possess English language abilities in speaking and writing on the Upper Intermediate Level (at least B2, preferably above). Non-native speakers may be requested 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.

For German Language Courses: Participation in a specific German language course requires adequate language skills for the level in question. An online test that all students above the Absolute Beginner level need to complete after admission to the program will determine the participant’s German language abilities prior to program start. Should the test result be below the necessary threshold for the level in question, FU-BEST will suggest a switch to a lower language level (if available) or offer a withdrawal from the language course and a refund of the Tuition Fee for this course (if paid at that point, minus applicable banking fees). The Program Fee is non-refundable after it has been paid. Should the test result allow the participant to move to a higher-level German course (if available), FU-BEST may suggest to the participant a switch to the higher level.

Please read the complete Academic Regulations for Online Courses and Code of Online Conduct for further information.

Pay particular attention to the technical requirements in the syllabi. 


How to Apply

1. Browse our FU-BEST Online Course Catalog and our Weekly Schedule above and select the courses you are interested in. Almost all of our courses can be combined with one another. 

2. Apply online via our FU-BEST Application Form. Please read all instructions closely. Note the application and payment deadlines in the General Terms and Conditions of Business. You will also be asked to upload your most recent transcript or send it via email to fubest@fu-berlin.de.

3. Once you have completed the online application and provided your most recent transcript, we will pre-register you and you will receive an email with your Freie Universität Berlin admission letter and payment instructions. 

4. Please note that all fees must be paid in one installment by bank transfer. Registration becomes valid only after verification of payment. All payments must be made in Euros (€). The transfer charges must be paid by the applicant. 

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact us at fubest@fu-berlin.de.