IES Abroad Freiburg - Language & Area Studies

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About

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.

Freiburg will be your classroom. Imagine studying German vocabulary and then going out to a local market to practice the words you’ve just learned, or discussing German theater and then seeing a local production that evening. Welcome to study abroad! Wherever possible our courses take advantage of the city’s historical, artistic, and cultural sites, and several courses include hands-on, practical components.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 21 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 8.9
  • Housing 8.9
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 15 of 21
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Claire
10/10

A semester in Freiburg

I studied spring 2017 in Freiburg, as part of the Language and Area Studies program, and I fell in love with the city and the program. I studied there from February to July in the city and had the opportunity to study and do an internship during the time I was there.

The living situation was great for immersion. I lived with 3 native Germans, and then one international student who also knew German, and so the language of the apartment was German. They also understood that I wanted to learn German, so they were helpful by speaking German with me, which improved my German skills a lot.

This program allows for the opportunity to take classes directly at the university. I had the opportunity to do this along with a few other individuals in my city. You typically have to stay in the city for an extra month, so it works better for the spring semester, but it was a great experience to improve your German through having a class with native Germans. The program also allows for an internship opportunity for credit. I did translation work for the university's alumni office, and it improved my German substantially.

When I said that I fell in love with Freiburg, that is 110% true. I loved the old buildings, along with the nature that was surrounding the city. Being in the middle of the Black Forest with ample amount of places for hiking, along with being an hour from France and Switzerland made it the perfect location for me.

Well, I had a fantastic time in my study abroad semester and plan on going back.

Yes, I recommend
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Emily
10/10

Abroad in Freiburg

I simply cannot say enough wonderful things about this program and this city. I felt right at home in Freiburg while taking intriguing and challenging courses and still getting ample opportunities to travel. I was forced to use German about 80% of the time, which really improved my language skills. I lived with an amazing host family on the outskirts of the city and I felt that was a great living atmosphere. I highly recommend the IES Abroad Freiburg Language and Area Studies program to anyone interested in furthering their German language skills in an adorable little city!

How can this program be improved?
Coordinating the academic schedule among classes a little better would be helpful-- I felt incredibly swamped with school work during the last two weeks.
Yes, I recommend
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Cindy
10/10

Best Semester yet

My semester abroad was more than I could have ever hoped for. I spent my semester improving my german, making new friends, immersing in the culture, and learning how to navigate a new country. I was supported by the IES staff and faculty the entire time I was in Freiburg. If someone got sick a doctors appointment was made available that day for the student. I personally had a medical issue and I was able to recipes antibiotics and the medical attention I needed the day I asked for help. IES planned trips for us: one was to Venice and Padua, and another one to Berlin. I attended both trips, although both optional, and they were very fun and exciting. The trips were a good balance of planned activities and free time for us to do what we wanted to.
We didn't have class on Fridays which allowed for travel and exploration of Freiburg and surrounding areas. The classes were exciting and informative, they were taught at a level of German that was easy to understand. The individual classes had various excursions pertaining to the class.
The social aspect was very fun, we had 32 people in the language and area studies program and I got to know each of these people on a personal level. We spent most of our time together cooking, exploring and immersing in the culture. Our living situations were all slightly different, no room was identical. But everyone had a shared kitchen and bathrooms for the apartment. We also had a few people do home stays.
Overall my experience was incredible and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is confident in their German skills and want to see a smaller town aspect of Germany.

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved by integrating the various programs in Freiburg better. I would have liked to get to know the people in the other programs better. Also a good bye dinner or event would have been nice.
Yes, I recommend
Armani
9/10

Fun in Freiburg

Studying abroad was definitely not an easy choice to make but it was one that I am so happy that I made. It has been so far one of the best college semesters so far that i have had. Freiburg can feel kinda like a small town (I'm originally from Chicago) but that doesn't mean that there isn't something to do. Whether directly in the city of Freiburg, in the Black Forest or in other neighboring cities, you'll never really get bored. The trips offered by IES are also a great way to see more of Europe. There are a lot of international students at the University so you'll never really feel alone and people are always interested about learning about different cultures and things. The academics offered by the program are really interesting and really helps you acclimate to Germany.

Yes, I recommend
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Brandon
9/10

Great Program Overall for General Studies

This program really helped me, not only to improve my German, but to gain a much better understanding of German Culture. By the program's end, I felt very at home in Freiburg and had formed strong friendships with both locals and other IES students. The one thing I would say is that I found the logistical academic process to be a bit tough to navigate. I have rather a narrow academic focus, and finding classes that fit it was challenging. That being said, the IES staff members were friendly and knowledgeable and helped me to the best of their abilities

How can this program be improved?
I would request more communication between the University and the program regarding the classes that students are eligible to take, as well as the expected workload.
Yes, I recommend
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David
9/10

A truly immersive experience

I participated in the full academic year at IES in Freiburg and was pleased with nearly all aspects of the program. The course selection is broad, only limited by the number of students in the program. However, if a course is not offered by IES it is very easy to take it at the University. The IES professors are very engaging, knowledgable, and cognizant of the students' other cultural backgrounds.The administration was also very competent and helpful in all regards. The full year students have the opportunity to stay in the Alban Stolz Haus, a student dorm in Littenweiler. There are many student-organized activities every week and the dorm seeks to foster great interaction wishing the ASH community. The city of Freiburg is truly a gem of Germany. Situated near France and Switzerland, one has plenty of opportunities to travel. The organized trips by IES to Italy and to Berlin/Hamburg were also very enjoyable. Living in Freiburg for an entire year, one has the chance to truly integrate oneself into the culture and student life. It is a vey vibrant city, always with something to do. I made German friends during the year that I will keep my whole life. The chances to improve fluency are ample, regardless of what level one is starting at. It really was the best year of my life.

Yes, I recommend
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C
9/10

Fabulous Freiburg

I am so glad that I chose to go to Freiburg for my semester abroad. As a German Studies major, it was important for me to be able to immerse myself in the language, and Freiburg was a great place to do that. It has a smaller town feel, but is by no means a tiny town. The city itself is beautiful, especially in the Old Town. There are so many things outside of academics to do and experience around Freiburg. The program is great, and the staff at the IES Abroad Center were both well-qualified and more than willing to help if a problem arose. I really enjoyed all of the classes that I got to take while I was there, especially since the topics were taught from the European perspective instead of the American one. The courses challenged me, and since they were all in German, my language ability improved immensely. My roommates were all German students, so I was able to speak German with them as well. It was interesting to see how their lives were different from mine, and I learned a lot from them. I also made some good friends while I was there, and was definitely sad to say goodbye to them. I can't wait until I can get back for another visit.

Yes, I recommend
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Ethan
10/10

Great 4 Months

My experience in Freiburg was one of the best 4 month periods of my life. I found the logistics of the Freiburg Study Abroad to be superb, and this little city in southern Germany offers everything. You’re surrounded by the Black Forest and Freiburg is an authentic German town with a lot of energy from the masses of college students. Dorm life was fantastic for me - that’s how I met the most germans and my roommates were very welcoming. All in all a fantastic experience.

How can this program be improved?
Make the planned trips feel less like school field trips
Yes, I recommend
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Alex
10/10

A Semester in Freiburg

Freiburg im Breisgau was an absolutely amazing city for my study abroad experience. The city is extremely vibrant and filled with an immense amount of history and life. It was always easy to find things to do and to move about the city. I personally rented a bike during my first week and used it every day I was there. Almost everyone bikes in Freiburg and there are bike paths present everywhere in the city. I found this to be a great way to get around and explore as it was often much faster than taking the tram and the weather was perfect for biking almost every day. Additionally Freiburg presented me with tons of opportunities to practice my German language skills and as a result I improved A LOT. The locals were extremely nice about the language learning process and were always willing to help you if you had any questions. The rooming situation was also a big help for learning the language because you are placed in a dorm living with native Germans. The classes were also all taught in German and dealt with very interesting and applicable topics. The teachers were also very willing to help at any time and were very good about promoting an environment in the classroom where everyone wanted to speak and participate. I spent lots of time in Freiburg with friends in the beautiful local beer gardens, biking through the city, and hiking through the black forest. This experience is one I wont forget and I recommend it to anyone looking to learn about the German culture and greatly improve their language skills.

How can this program be improved?
The orientation process was very long and often included information that I thought was either useless or belonged in an information packet for students to read at their discretion. Additionally I think more help should be provided in helping students manage money, as I know many students struggled at first.
Yes, I recommend
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Adriana
9/10

A semester in Freiburg Green City

I loved my semester here. Learned lots of German from my internship at an organic farm. Though my neighborhood was farther from town than most people's I lived near the black forest and loved it. Would definitely recommend this program to others.

How can this program be improved?
Give professors the ability to change their syllabuses, because our professors were working with syllabuses they didn't even necessary like anymore just because they were afraid our courses wouldn't transfer.
Yes, I recommend
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Haley
10/10

Black Forest Bliss

Most people dread an 8AM class slot, but with a bike commute with views of the Black Forest and cobble stoned streets, I couldn't have been happier! Freiburg is awe inspiring as city and country meet! It's great to enjoy a day in the inner city where the beautiful Münster lies and Döner (a must try!) shops abound, but I am always grateful to return home to Vauban, an earthy, green part of the city. There are few places in the world offering such great cosmopolitan and student vibes directly alongside beautiful hikes and scenery.

How can this program be improved?
I did not enjoy my Program classes with other Americans. I found it much more rewarding to take classes at the University alongside Germans and other international students!
Yes, I recommend
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Mimi
10/10

Semester in Freiburg

I had a great experience studying abroad with IES Freiburg. Freiburg itself is a small town in the Black Forest that is vibrant and has lots of culture and things to do and experience, like museums, concerts, and outdoor exploration. At the same time, the town is not overwhelming and did not feel too much like a big city. It's also very centrally located and perfect for travelling around western Europe, especially Germany, France and Switzerland. The classes themselves are very interesting and the professors very knowledgeable. The staff of the program are also extremely helpful and go out of their way to help and accommodate students. It was also really fun to interact with fellow students from all over the country and with Germans I met through living arrangements and while living in the city, and experience my perspective and worldview shifting. I would highly recommend this program!

How can this program be improved?
It would be fun for all students to live in the same dorm, although perhaps not in the same apartments or suites, to keep the same opportunities to interact with locals but also closeness to other Americans.
Yes, I recommend
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Collin
9/10

Step out of your comfort zone

Coming to Freiburg gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, but with a small enough group and city that it was a smooth transition. My experience has introduced me to friends, both within and outside of the program, who will be lifelong friends. The people of Freiburg are exceptionally kind and helpful, especially when you make the effort to practice your German. The program itself has given me the support to feel comfortable living here in Freiburg and the staff here have helped me with things related directly to school work as well as any other questions I have had.

How can this program be improved?
I think that they can encourage more community involvement, specifically for things not directly connected to IES, especially within the first few weeks.
Yes, I recommend
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Michael
10/10

A Colorful Time By The Black Forest

When I first came to Freiburg, I had no idea what to expect. My German hadn't seen much use outside the classroom, this was my first time living abroad, and I knew that I would not know anybody involved in the program. The affair could have gone in a few directions. It ended up being one of the best experiences of my life.

The IES Abroad staff created a community of individuals, a whole comprised of students from vastly different academic backgrounds. By providing us with numerous resources (ranging from the helpful "Cool Places to Go" to the essential "What To Do & Where To Go If Anything Bad Should Befall You"), our lovely administrative staff gave us a solid foundation which in turn made us feel more comfortable branching out in our own directions. While feeling always welcomed to attend IES events where I would get to know my fellow students better, I never believed myself put upon by the program, never saw my attendance at said events as being obligatory. In short, as I was getting settled in, IES was there if I ever needed them yet gave me room to pursue my personal plans (i.e. international travel).

Freiburg itself is among the most beautiful cities I've ever visited and I plan to return! The people were quite friendly and always willing/able to switch into English if need be. Though there are some labyrinthine parts of the city, the ubiquity of maps allowed for safe navigation while the exemplary public transportation system facilitated my dorm-to-class commute. (One could buy either a bike or a Strassenbahn Semester Ticket for a reasonable amount; having a personal preference for reading/looking out windows while traveling, I chose the Strassenbahn Semester Ticket). The Black Forest is, besides being readily accessible (especially with the Semester Ticket, which at designated time intervals allows one to take regional trains for free), nothing less than utterly absorbing in its beauty. In fact, from the Münster to the numerous art museums, this city was brimming with top-notch aesthetic experiences.

All in all, the IES Language/Area Studies Program in Freiburg was so much more than the typical study abroad experience. It was another home - and still is, for me. I look forward to returning to this wonderful city, reminisce about old memories, and make many new ones!

Yes, I recommend
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Michael
10/10

Freiburg is Amazing

I had an absolutely amazing time in Freiburg. IES does a great job organizing the program. The staff was very friendly and helpful. My German improved drastically. All the classes in this program are taught in German, and I greatly enjoyed the cultural immersion aspect of the program as well. I learned so much about Germany and the region of Baden-Württemburg, as well as the history of Freiburg. The living situation was great, as I lived in Händelstrasse, a student apartment building in a pretty affluent area. My three roommates were all German, and we spoke mostly German around the apartment, which helped improve my language skills as well. Furthermore, Freiburg is a very safe place to live and study. I never felt uncomfortable or like I was in danger, even walking back to my dorm late at night.
Overall, the semester I spent in Freiburg was one of the best experiences of my life, and I would definitely recommend the program.

Yes, I recommend

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