In IES I studied under some of the best professors I've ever had, lived with several amazing international students outside of my program, and really enjoyed Freiburg. Academically, the professors were all unique and were given the flexibility needed to teach our classes based on what best suited us. The courses were done in modules (instead of 5 classes all taken at the same time throughout the semester, we had five 3-week blocks where each class began only when the other completely ended) which I believe allowed for better focus and encouraged us to dive deeper into subjects. The courses also weren't limited to the classroom, and included dozens of excursions both throughout the city and outside of it- the Swiss Alps hiking trip was particularly amazing. I do believe one or two classes needed better organization and communication between professors, especially those where we had multiple professors (which in theory was great as they each had a different expertise), and that the administration could have been more response and proactive in solving these issues. However this was the only issue I found with administration. They were otherwise extremely helpful, great with communcation, and always open to answering questions. Freiburg is great for studen- big enough to always find something new to do, but small enough that it's easy to navigate and get to classes. It has plenty of hiking trails reachable with public transit or even just walking from housing; the smaller "suburbs" outside each have their own feel and cool things to do, and are also easy to reach. The train station in the center of the city can connect you to tons of other German and International cities, and a small airport nearby can get you on a quick flight. The IES Environmental Program schedule doesn't leave a lot of room for long trips, but there are definitely some 4-day weekends you can use to go somewhere further. It also "forced" us to really look into Freiburg during our free time which I was very thankful for by the end of the trip. You'll have many chances to meet german, or international, students- whether through your housing or the required german courses.