FU-BEST
89% Rating
(27 Reviews)

FU-BEST

FU-BEST (Freie Universität Berlin European Studies Program) is a semester program of Freie Universität Berlin for incoming students based on the American calendar. FU-BEST is offered in Fall (late August through mid-December) and Spring (February through mid-May) and features a combination of university-standard German language instruction on all levels and a large menu of subject courses (primarily in the humanities and social sciences) taught mostly in English. All courses make practical use of Berlin as a resource and have a strong focus on Berlin, Germany, and Europe in their respective subjects. Student services, cultural offerings, a week-long excursion to German and European destinations, and accommodation in homestays or studio apartments add to an intensive, enriching academic and intercultural learning experience for over 300 students each academic year.

Most Recent Program Reviews

Default avatar
Thomas
Male
22 years old
NJ, USA
Rutgers University

Fall 2017

9/10

Choosing to participate in FU-BEST was the best decision I made as an undergraduate. It is what I will remember most from my time in college. Each weekend that my friends and I traveled around Europe, by the end, we were ready and anxious to get back to Berlin. I wish everyone could have the privilege to study in such a unique, cool city. It was the most amazing experience and better than I could have ever imagined it being.

How can this program be improved?

More housing options closer to campus

Default avatar
Robert

Great Program

9/10

Overall great program. Comes with great excursions including a full week trip to a nearby Country. Would be better if it were on main campus to meet more germans but that is a minor issue. Intensive German was a annoying too. I relearned most of the grammer and at an easier standard. Besides that, a lot of fun and great people. Berlin is an up and coming city. There is always something to do and something to see.

How can this program be improved?

Fix German. Move to Main Campus

Default avatar
Caitlin
Female
21 years old
Philadelphia, PA
University of Richmond

Amazing City Accentuated by Great Program

9/10

Berlin is by far the most fascinating city I have ever visited. Filled with an immeasurable supply of history, architecture old and new, and an incredible network of public transportation, Germany's capital city was a blast to explore. Though overwhelming at first, it was fun to gradually expand my knowledge of a new city map. The museums are fantastic, the bars and clubs are endless, and they come in every variety, and the people are wonderful. That stereotype of Germans being cold and unfriendly is generally false, and I felt very welcomed. I couldn't even speak a word of German but found no trouble communicating with almost anyone with whom I interacted. The exploration of this incredible city was assisted by the FU-BEST program and the program staff. With newsletters and cultural excursions and week-long international trips, FU-BEST helped me to make the most of my semester abroad. One of my favorite things that the program provided was complementary tickets to my choice of an opera and ballet, furthering my cultural immersion.

Perhaps even greater than all of this was the individuals who made my experience special. I chose to participate in a homestay, and I was so happy with my decision. My host family was welcoming, generous, and helpful, and everybody truly made me feel at home in this new city. I'm sure it would have been easy to feel lost when trying to orient myself in an extremely new situation, but my host family ensured that I never felt that way. The classmates that I met in FU-BEST, too, were some of the greatest people I've ever met. Coming from a relatively small school, the opportunity to get to know a wide variety of fascinating new (American) students was so exciting, and the friendships were so easy to form - we were all thrilled to be studying similar subjects in a new city, as well as looking for friends to explore Europe with. In fact, I liked one of them so much that I decided to date him and still am! You will learn so much from these new friends and you will experience so much life with them, and for me, that was one of the best parts about being in Berlin.

I would not change anything about my experience with FU-BEST. I am grateful that this program brought me to Berlin and for the opportunity of a lifetime. I will certainly be back.

How can this program be improved?

As others have mentioned, the location of the apartments was less than ideal. While I did not live there, I know that it took many of my friends about an hour to commute to campus. The facility itself was relatively nice.

The academics were also a bit overly rigorous. Having three 10-page papers due within 2 weeks of final exams was overwhelming. I would have preferred the assignments to have been spaced better; however, the courses were interesting.

Default avatar
Beatrice
Female
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Loyola University Maryland

Fall 2017 - The Ultimate Berlin Experience

10/10

The Fu-Best program at Freie Universität in Berlin offers so many great and fun opportunities to get to know Berlin, Germany, and the surrounding countries. The Fu-Best courses were more interesting than my home university's courses! I was very fortunate to travel to Prague through the FU week-long excursion. They organized plenty of tours and activities for us while we explored this historic city! Also, what was really great about FU was that they took care of all of our visas and documents so we never had to worry about being deported. Our public transportation pass was also included so we could ride any U-bahn, S-Bahn, bus or tram wherever and whenever we wanted in Berlin (depending on the hours of the night of course).
Living in a home-stay was absolutely amazing because my host mom and her 3 adult kids really accepted me as part of the family. We spoke in German while they taught me about their culture and traditions! They took me on two Spree river tours! Once for a wedding party and the second for a birthday party! They also knew about the best clubs and hangout spots in Berlin.
I was also able to travel to other countries easily and often because of the EU laws. I traveled to the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and the Czech republic.
FU is an incredible program and my only regret is that I didn't stay for an entire year!

Default avatar
Stefani
Female
22 years old
New York
Adelphi University

Challenging academics but overall a great time

7/10

I have been to Germany a couple times before this program, but having the opportunity to stay in Berlin for a few months made it a unique experience. Berlin is a city unlike any other. The courses at FU-BEST are challenging but well worth the difficulty as the faculty care about the students learning while abroad. I also made lasting friendships with other students in the program and improved my German language skills by taking the intensive course.

Program Listings

Germany
FU-BEST
While Berlin is THE city to explore in Europe, FU-BEST is the academic program to help you make the most out of this experien...
Germany
FU-BEST
Looking for work experience that matches your career goals? FU-BEST Internship offers an 8-week internship placement that all...
Germany
FU-BEST
FU-BEST GermanPLUS+ is THE academic program for all students with advanced German language abilities who are eager or require...