Cultural program and Extended Classroom
The FU-BEST program features an elaborate set of learning support and cultural experience activities. Participation is mandatory for some events, others are optional.
The Extended Classroom concept is meant to tie the academic work carried out in the regular classroom to the tremendous variety of historical, political, cultural, and societal sources and opportunities available in Berlin. Many subject courses feature field-trips and assignments that take advantage of these resources.
As part of the Extended Classroom all students are required to complete one independent project encompassing a three-page report on a specific site in Berlin (such as museums, memorial sites, etc.), as assigned by each subject course's teacher. The German language classes also feature regular field-trips in the city to allow students to apply their German skills in a practial context.
Week-long excursion and Friday Field Trips
Each semester, all students participate in a week-long off-site excursion organized by the program. Destinations vary each semester, but always include German cities, such as Munich or Hamburg, and European sites, like Copenhagen or Prague. See the semester schedules for upcoming destinations.
Additionally, participants are invited to visit three important historic sites in and around Berlin on selected Fridays: the Chancellor's Office (Bundeskanzleramt), the memorial site of the former Nazi concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, and the former prison complex of East Germany’s state security police (Stasi). Participation in at least one such Friday Field Trip is an integral part of the overall academic program and a prerequisite to receiving full participation credit in students' subject courses.
Language Tandem, Volunteering, and Stammtisch
In order to enhance participants' German language ability and their interaction with German society, the program offers the option of a one-on-one language tandem partner program, frequent Stammtisch gatherings, and participation in events organized by Freie Universität Berlin's International Club. Students interested in volunteering during their stay abroad are provided with various options and matched with suitable organizations.
Cultural events and museum pass
To take advantage of Berlin's thriving cultural scene, all participants are invited to select two events from a concert, opera, and soccer program, with the tickets made available through the program. Program participants also receive a pass for use in all museums associated with the Foundation for State Museums in Berlin (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin).
In addition, the program provides students with a monthly FU-BEST newsletter which lists numerous suggestions and recommendations regarding current events in Berlin and German culture in general.