IES Abroad Freiburg – Language & Area Studies

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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.


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Questions & Answers


9.4 Rating
based on 25 reviews
  • Academics 7.7
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 8.6
  • Housing 8.9
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 25
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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.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Living in Freiburg

Although at the beginning of the semester there is a lot of orientation, there are many things where you are left on your own to do, i.e. groceries, transportation, etc. This allowed me to really get a feel for living on your own in Germany and not just studying abroad there. I was able to make friends (both American and German) and socialize while also taking my courses with IES. Although all my courses were in the IES Center, majority of my professors were actual university professors and were quite experienced (and interesting). Freiburg is a beautiful city with a great location and lots of things to do in the surrounding areas. The administration of the IES office in Freiburg are super helpful and friendly and always there if you need help with something.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Building My Life in Freiburg

This program is wonderful and so is Freiburg! It is located in a perfect spot, making access to France, Switzerland, and Austria quite simple. IES Abroad also plans gives you the opportunity to go on a planed trip to Berlin and Italy and Switzerland!
All the traveling was fun but I really wanted to plant my roots in Freiburg and not always be on the move. I had to remember the biggest reason I was there: to learn German, and this program REALLY helped with that. I took 5 classes all taught in German. At first I was nervous that I wouldn't understand everything and struggle. But the teachers are super helpful and I was able to learn rapidly in an environment like Germany. Outside of class there are many clubs, activities, free lectures, and so on, all over in Freiburg! IES Abroad provided many resources for such things and was always willing to help. I definitely took advantage of these resources and went to parties, lectures, dance events in the city.
My living experience was fantastic. I lived in a suite with four Germans and an Irish girl. We all spoke German to each other all the time, which made for a wonderful learning experience and great friendships.
Overall, this program is fantastic and I would do it all over again.

What would you improve about this program?
IES Abroad could enforce the "only-German" speaking rule better. I found many people in my program spoke English at every chance they got, and I found that frustrating, however, I have heard the same from other programs that my friends have participated in as well. If people don't want to learn then there is not too much one can do. However, a little more pressure from IES would be nice.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Journey that completes my 2018

IES Abroad Program is a very well-organized program that offers student great opportunity to gain a global perspective on everything. It is a very well-organized program that offers student great opportunity to gain a global perspective on everything. A lot of international engagement opportunities ware offered and the program site was very well chosen to allow students to have the best experience possible. The IES center stuff was very friendly and helpful. The classes were mostly focused on getting students to learn instead of sending out hard course materials.

My German improved a lot and I had a deeper understanding of German culture. The German and American friends I get to know and the memories I had with them will be the wealth of my life. It is an experience everyone worth to have!

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Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
Coordinating the academic schedule among classes a little better would be helpful-- I felt incredibly swamped with school work during the last two weeks.
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Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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 this program

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.