• Germany
    • Freiburg
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
Business Cultural Studies Ecology Economics European Studies History International Business International Relations Liberal Arts Political Science Sociology +1

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Host Family


Price Details
Contact IES Abroad or see website for details: www.IESabroad.org/freiburg
What's Included
Accommodation Classes Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Visa
Nov 11, 2021
Sep 14, 2023
17 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Study abroad in Freiburg, the sunniest and warmest city in Germany. It’s easy to take advantage of the sunshine and hike up to the Schlossberg tower for the view or explore the many Black Forest trails that are easily accessible. Immerse yourself in the vibrant student culture of this friendly and welcoming city, where students are one-sixth of the population.

Freiburg and the surrounding regions will be your classroom. Can you imagine traveling to the Rhine River Valley to take samples and observe local ecology, or visiting the European Parliament and discussing current social and political issues with EU officials, or discussing German theater and then seeing a local production that evening? Welcome to study abroad! Wherever possible, your courses take you outside the classroom to give you hands-on experience and to take advantage of all that your study abroad location has to offer.

Video and Photos

Popular Programs

students gathered around a professor looking at soil in the forest

This English-taught program allows you to explore topics in Environmental Studies, Forest Ecology, and Sustainability while living in Freiburg, a well-known center for environmental innovation. Courses are organized as a series of three-week modules that focus on the sustainable management of natural resources, with a special emphasis on the adaptive management of forests, ecological processes in ecosystems, and human effects on the environment.

group of students lead by an IES Abroad professor trekking through the hills of the Swiss Alps

Taught in English, the IES Abroad European Union Program gives you the chance to study Politics, Economics, Business, and International Relations like you never have before. The program features an integrative seminar that incorporates approximately 21 days of field study to travel to numerous countries inside and outside of the EU. As you visit each new country, you develop your understanding of the European Union, its history, and its institutions

cute, quiet cobblestone street in Freiburg lined with white, yellow, and tan buildings

Ideal for students interested in rapidly improving their German language skills, the IES Abroad Freiburg Program offers you IES Abroad and university courses taught in German by distinguished local faculty. You can also participate in an internship, which includes time spent working at your placement and an academic seminar that helps you contextualize what you're learning.

group of four students standing in front of the ocean with little building behind them

Based in Freiburg, Germany, the European Union Summer Program takes you on extended field study trips to Turkey and the Western Balkan states for an intensive study of the European Union and its relationships with its neighbors to the east. This program challenges you with a unique Integrative Seminar and with a variety of elective course options.


IES Abroad Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

Financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why IES Abroad offers more than $6 million in scholarships and aid. IES Abroad offers a number of diversity scholarships and grants to provide opportunities for traditionally underrepresented communities in study abroad.

$500 - $5,000

Program Reviews

4.90 Rating
based on 114 reviews
  • 5 rating 90.35%
  • 4 rating 9.65%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.3
  • Support 4.7
  • Fun 4.5
  • Housing 4.7
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 114 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful Study Abroad Experience

I had an incredible experience with the IES Freiburg program! The academics were strong, with passionate professors and a well-rounded curriculum that deepened my understanding of Freiburg and taught in German. I was able to also take a course at the local university. Cultural immersion was a highlight, from city tours to staying in German student housing. The support system was excellent, and I formed lifelong friendships. The program's flexibility allowed me to explore Europe. Overall, it was a life-changing adventure that enriched my education and worldview. Highly recommended!

  • Small program
  • Beautiful city
  • German-language focus
  • Far from airport
  • Medical care limitations
  • Typically one semester
5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A fantastic and worthwhile experience

The European Union semester that IES Abroad offers is very much worth the time, money, and energy spent to get there. The IES staff was extremely helpful in making us feel welcome, heard, and understood as students and as people in a wholly new area. The courses offered were enlightening and brought such an amazing perspective on the European Union and European politics/history in general. It has enabled us to think critically of what's in front of us, which is wholly important when you are speaking with a staff member within the European Union's institutions. Most of all, the trips that IES Abroad offered were simply amazing. It has offered us a healthy mixture of studying and actually immersing yourself in the new environment you're in. I have no regrets choosing IES Abroad for my study abroad experience.

  • Field trips - IES Abroad's European Union Semester offers around 22 days worth of trips as a group
  • Wellness Walks - The staff in Freiburg really do make sure to include you and make the program feel like a community
  • The classes - The professors were very informative and personable
  • At first, the work was somewhat difficult in terms of magnitude. This was quickly resolved when we shared our concerns with the Academic Dean, however
  • Field Trip activities - Sometimes you are put into something you don't originally want to do, yet everything planned serves a purpose!
6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-Changing Experience in Freiburg

There's a cliché that study abroad changes your life, and I'm here to say that that is 100% true. The academic opportunities, travel experiences, and connections provided by the IES Abroad Freiburg program all made for a truly life-changing experience for me, and I cannot recommend this program enough.

Academically, this program expanded my interests in a variety of subjects, such as migration and human rights, and inspired me to pursue these interests beyond the end of my time in Freiburg. The course-load was also very manageable, allowing for me to actually engage with the topics and readings rather than worrying about weekly small assignments.

I took part in the EU program offered by IES Abroad Freiburg, which included various course-related trips across Germany and Europe. These travel experiences gave me the opportunity to apply what I learned in the classroom IRL and allowed for me to bond with my professors and IES staff members outside of the classroom. Furthermore, these trips included free time to explore the cities, expanding my worldview.

Finally, the connections I made as a result of this program are connections I will honestly cherish for the rest of my life. The friends I made are some of the best people I have met, and the professors and IES Freiburg staff members were and continue to be great mentors.

Not only did I grow academically because of this program, but all of the traveling and connections I made have taught me an abundance of life lessons that I'll always hold dear to my heart. Study abroad with IES Abroad Freiburg, and I guarantee you won't regret it!

44 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Abroad in Freiburg!

I was in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany for three awesome weeks before I was sent home due to COVID-19. When I arrived I was greeted by a local German student who lived in my building. I had some time in my room to rest and unpack before meeting the group of IES students and student guides for dinner at a local restaurant. We got to know each other and made plans to find grocery stores, cook dinner, and explore the city together. I was nervous about making friends, but once I was there it was pretty obvious that everyone wanted to hang out with everyone, since we were all in the same boat. This sense of group support and connection continued throughout my time there, and we kept the group chat going even when the program went remote. I also became friends with one of my flatmates!

Our classes didn't start until we had already gone home, so unfortunately we never met our professors in person. Online classes were difficult because all online classes are, but the professors were really wonderful about trying to make the experience less stressful. The IES Abroad staff gave us mixed signals about COVID-19, which is understandable given the unprecedented nature of the crisis, but it was incredibly frustrating and stressful for the students. Our on-site staff told us IES would never send us home, but that was not based on any real policy, so when the Chicago office sent us home we had no warning at all. However, staff changes were made after the fact and they let us know by email.

All in all, I had a great experience and I still miss my time in person with IES. If COVID-19 hadn't happened, it would have been perfect! I absolutely recommend going abroad with IES!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The scariest moment was when we all found out we had to go home. It felt like there was a mad rush out of the country, and we all thought we were taking the virus home to our families. It was devastating to leave my friends and the city I had just fallen in love with. I spent the last few days with my friends, taking in as much of the city as we possibly could. The biggest source of support through the experience was the group chat with everyone in the program.
101 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Simple, Traditional, Amazing

I loved my study abroad experience and I loved the area. Freiburg is a medium-big traditional German college town in the Black Forest. This means that there were a lot of typical German traditions with a mixture of a feeling of open-mindedness. Freiburg is amazing also in the sense that it is a city with a lot of environmentally conscious policies and goals, which means that people have the right of way above cars and cyclists in the downtown area.
I learned a lot about myself when I was away from my support group and family that feels way different from college. I felt like an adult which is incredibly exciting. I also learned to be more open-minded because I got to see the many ways that Germany tries to help its future through the development of different renewable energies like Biogas and how there is a cab service that is free for women after a certain time.
The academics offered where tough courses that challenges students in their ability to understand and retain information in german. The academics offered where tough courses that challenges students in their ability to understand and retain information in german. That being said the spacing of everything was weird because of where they decided to place breaks. That made it so that Midterms happened 2 weeks before the final and most teachers did not give prompts for the final until the week before the final essay was due which was terrible. Everyone in the administration was very nice and very good at giving us helpful tips on how to feel less homesick and trying to get students out of their dorms and explore the general area.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Freiburg is a great city to have as a base to return to when traveling in Europe because it's always very calming and small. Often if your plans are to go to large cities that have a lot to offer and do having a medium-sized city to return helps with unwinding from weekends of traveling. Also, Freiburg's public transport is good for getting used to European public transport systems. Freiburg covers a large area and offers many modes of transport and train lines to get around which is helpful for when going to bigger cities that are difficult to navigate. For traveling Freiburg is a good location because of an amazing company called FlixBus. FlixBus is an incredibly cheap way to travel through Europe via Bus. Most trips cost around 30 euros less than the train like Deutsche Bahn. The buses come with wifi and a place to charge your phone. It's a really nice bus and because of Freiburg's placement in Europe, it's a 1-hour drive to France and Switzerland and 4 hours to München.
95 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Study Abroad Here!

I had an amazing time while studying abroad in Freiburg, Germany for IES European Union Summer Study Abroad Program! I had the opportunity to travel to so many countries that I wouldn't have ventured to otherwise like Russia, Bosnia, and Serbia. I had lifelong connections with the other students that traveled abroad with me and I absolutely love the faculty and staff at this location. They were very supportive and inclusive to students of color and the unique struggles that they may experience abroad. The courses were definitely immersive and eyeopening, to say the least. The coursework is manageable and still gives you time to explore and enjoy your time abroad! This program will help you get out of comfort zone as it did for and genuinely contribute to tour growth. If you're thinking of studying abroad, I strongly encourage choosing this program!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish this program was advertised at more HBCUs. I was the only black student on my program and clearly the only student from an HBCU (Spelman College). I think if this program were advertised to more HBCUs I wouldn't have been in that situation.
100 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

22 Cities & 12 Countries!

As I boarded the plane for Munich, I was anxious to discover what awaited me. I had quite a few concerns and reservations, but upon arrival I realized all of my concerns were anticipated by the program administration. I lived in an apartment complex with five German students, who became some of my closest friends in Freiburg. The program gave us many opportunities to befriend fellow IES students and German students, alike. We spent the semester eating $1 gelato, traveling between EU countries, and exploring all Freiburg has to offer. I overcame my fear of public speaking and formed really strong connections with many of my professors over the course of the semester. I had a wonderful experience, one filled with both personal and academic accomplishments. I highly recommend studying in Freiburg!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Budget wisely! You'll blow through your money quickly unless you take the time to sort out your finances at the start of the program.
95 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Learning through travel and new experiences!

I was searching for a study abroad experience that would allow me to study what I am interested in, travel to multiple places, and have experiences that I could not plan/afford as a college student. The IES European Union program offered me all of these opportunities. We traveled to seven countries during 22 days of the program, where we attended talks specialized to our academic interests. The program also organized city tours for us, and we stayed in hotels close to the middle of the cities.

In Freiburg, I lived in a seven person suite, and the rest of my suitemates were German. This offered me opportunities to immerse myself in German culture, and also allowed me more exposure to the language.

The additional IES EU field trips allowed me to visit countries and environments I would not have had access to otherwise. The two most popular field trips they offered my semester were a tour of castles in Germany, and a beautiful hike in Switzerland. They always arranged a tour and transportation, and so it was a stress-free and highly enjoyable experience each time.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and matched all the aspects I was looking for in a study abroad program!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
They tell you the countries and cities you will visit ahead of time, so do your research before and figure out all the places you want to see there! Makes it a lot more fun and a lot less stressful than doing it close to the travel dates.
97 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

In order to apply, you must be at least 18 years old and have a 2.75 GPA or higher.