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Education Abroad Office

Freie Universitat Berlin European Studies Program

Area: Direct Enroll Program
Location: Berlin
Country: Germany
Term: Fall, Spring, Academic Year
Website: Freie Direct Program

Home to fascinating architecture and a variety of historical events and monuments, students studying abroad with Freie-Universität Berlin European Studies Program (FU-BEST) will find themselves living in a city like no other. The modern city of Berlin is bustling with cultural events and sites (many free or low cost to visit) to keep students calendar's full while learning about Berlin and Germany's history in a unique setting. Berlin is the perfect setting for students who are interested in history, art, architecture, or politics, or are looking for an eclectic, up and coming destination to spend a semester or year in. 

The USC direct-enroll program at FU-Best is designed to help American students gain first hand knowledge of life and culture in Germany while taking courses in English or German centered around German and European themes or by completing an internship with FU-Best. FU-Best's program is located in Berlin on the Lankwitz section of Freie Universität's campus. Students will have the opportunity to get to know Germany very well and the 3.4 million residents of it's capital. FU-Best is located in a charming, quiet section of the city, yet within easy reach of the city's downtown areas.

Cost: program fee paid directly to host institution + in-country costs

Requirements: 3.0 GPA, undergraduate standing

Students pay tuition and fees to FU-Best at a rate determined by the host institution. Tuition and fees are around €6,500 for the semester. Housing fees vary based on accomodation and can range from €2,650 to €4,500. The total cost of living will vary based on your lifestyle. Students should budget accordingly, and realize that although Berlin can be a less expensive city compared to other cities in Europe,  costs are estimates and may fluctuate based on the exchange rate.

Most courses at FU-Best will have a strong focus on German or European history, politics, culture, or business. Each course at FU-Best is worth 6 ECTS, or 3 USC credits (excluding the German lanugage courses, which will range from 3-8 USC credits). A student will need to make sure they take enough courses to cover full-time enrollment (i.e. 12 USC credits / 24 ECTS). Students will also be required to take a German Language course, but prior language knowledge is not required. 

To see courses USC students have taken at this university, please reference the Registrar's Course Equivalency Table

Berlin is a social, cultural, and historical hub located in north east Germany. Due to its rich history, Berlin is home to many famous museums and historical landmarks inside of the city and outside in locations such as Potsdamm and Wansee, which are both easily accesible by train. Berlin also offers an international airport nearby for students who are looking to travel, though local field trips are organized as part of many courses at FU-Best. Your program fee covers the cost for a local transportation pass, museum pass, and other cultural activities. A week-long excursion is planned during the semester for students to explore Germany. There are several opportunities for students to meet and spend time with local German students and explore the local community.

Per university policy, all USC students will be charged for  emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance of  for their time abroad. Students will be enrolled in this insurance by the education abroad office prior to their departure. Contact the Education Abroad Office for more details. Additionally, FU-BEST requires students to purchase the German insurance package, which costs €200.

Students have several housing options. They can choose to live in a homestay with a local family, which includes breakfast and dinner. Or they can opt for a fully furnished, single-occupancy studio apartment. Students who wish to have accessible housing can opt to live in Boothstrasse 17, a single studio apartment that includes a private bathroom and a second room available for a personal assistant. 

The FU-Best calendar runs similar to that of USC with the fall semester beginning in late August and ending in mid-December and the spring semester from early Feburary through mid-May. Students can study at FU-Best for the fall, spring, or academic year. 

Orientation is required for all students attending FU-Best, and is held approximently one week prior to the start of classes. Orientation dates are provided on the Master Calendar and more information is provided in the student handbook that is given to students when they are accepted into the program.

U.S. citizens do not to obtain a visa prior to their study in Germany. Instead, students will be required to apply for a permit on site which extends the customary 3-month limit on stays by visitors; this permit is issued by the Office for Foreign Residents (Ausländerbehörde) in Berlin; the relevant forms will be completed on-site with the help of FU-Best. 


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