Academic life at Freie Universität has been marked by internationalism from the start.This has grown, since the university's foundation, to include extensive exchange programs for staff and students and cooperative work with partner universities world-wide.
Worthy of special mention are the partnership established in 1968 with the then Shdanov-University of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and (in 1981) the first cooperative agreement to be signed by a West German university with the university in Peking. Relationships with institutions of higher education in East Asia have been built up and expanded continually, up to the present day. For example, there is intensive collaboration with Korean and Japanese universities. At present, Freie Universität maintains partnerships with 105 universities worldwide.
In addition, there are more than 300 agreements with other European universities under the Socrates and Erasmus programs, as well as numerous international cooperation agreements made by individual departments and institutes at Freie Universität. Most of those with posts at Freie Universität also conduct research or teach abroad for periods of time, and many more are active in international organizations.