Study Abroad in Berlin, Germany: Semester or Academic Year

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Spend a semester or academic year in Berlin, Germany with AIFS. You’ll earn up to 15 credits per semester through studying at Freie Universität, Berlin. Courses are offered in English and in German.

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the local community. If you’re interested in volunteering in Berlin, information on volunteer opportunities will be available once you arrive.

Live in a homestay or a student apartment. Homestay students live in their own room and receive breakfast and dinner daily from their host family. Apartments are single or double occupancy and include a meal allowance. All students receive a Mensa card to subsidize the cost of on-campus dining.

Cultural and social activities include:
• Walking tours
• German cooking classes
• Visits to the many historical and cultural landmarks in Berlin
• Day trips to Potsdam, Quedlinburg and Dresden
• Week-long trip to a destination in Europe (to be determined just prior to the start of the semester).

  • Week-Long European City Excursion
  • Day trips to Potsdam, Quedlinburg and Dresden
  • Earn up to 15 credits and transcript issued by Freie Universität Berlin
  • Live in a homestay or student apartment
  • Meal plan, transportation pass and museum pass included

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Questions & Answers


9.5 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • Academics 9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10
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Yes, I recommend this program

The Cultural Experience of a Lifetime

Being a student who has been out of the country three times before turning the age of one, I have always had a passion to see what’s beyond The United States and gather insight into how people differ across various cultures. Upon entering Berlin, Germany for the Fall Semester, my greatest concern was window shopping for the right affiliate program to study with so I could have a rewarding three-and-a-half-month experience. After researching the various study abroad programs to choose from both at fairs and online, I confidently landed my decision with AIFS. I weighed my benefits based on price, included itineraries, housing options, and location. The program clearly matched my budget while including various social events, trips, and activities for us to engage in right in the heart of Europe.
AIFS provided our flight package with a 2-day layover in London, England where we connected with other AIFS members and got familiar with each other before beginning the semester. We were given time to explore the city with our new friends and participate with the program on a double deck bus tour to the London Eye, Big Ben, and Buckingham palace. The architecture was incredible, but don’t forget to bring your rain jacket! London was a great opportunity to ease the crazed emotions of culture shock upon entering a new country for the first time and familiarize ourselves with the transformation.
Upon entering Berlin, I chose to live with a homestay family as I had four years’ language experience and hoped to widen my perspective on the German culture even further. Through the duration of the semester, the homestay option was very challenging as I had expected. With every day came a new lesson learned as I practiced my German speaking with my 11-year-old homestay sister. She did not speak any English but was currently learning, and I had been very rusty with my German, so we began to teach each other. It is important to understand the cultural norms when entering a new country to not offend locals around you. In Germany, we would have breakfast at 7 A.M every morning which would consist of a baguette and an apple. Lunch was typically the largest meal of the day and dinner occurred later in the evening with soup or pasta and yogurt for dessert. AIFS did an excellent job in placing students in the right homestays, but if one goes abroad, they are expected to try new dishes and be open to a difference in cuisine.
Many students’ greatest concerns are the academic aspects of managing homework while traveling the world. With AIFS, we were enrolled in three classes with two of choice and one for learning the German language. These courses were difficult, but they assigned little homework and dedicated their time towards teaching you through valuable lessons and given paper assignments. I never felt that I was behind on my homework while traveling and I found these classes to be very interesting because they pertained to Germany. Although we were enrolled at an off-site campus of the main city campus, but we were still immersed into German culture through the variety of clubs and sports they offered during the semester.
With one of the most central locations in Europe, it’s easy and cheap to travel all around the continent. I was given the opportunity with AIFS to attend a two-week academic excursion to both Belgium and The Netherlands where accommodation and most meals were provided. We also traveled with them to smaller cities in Germany and to the Baltic Sea to learn about more of Germany’s history. When I wasn’t on a weekend academic trip, I was traveling with friends or solo to various countries surrounding Germany. I will never forget the döner kebab in Berlin, the white sausage in Münich, or the Glühwein in Dresden. These recipes are one’s that cannot be forgotten when visiting these hidden treasures, and AIFS makes sure of it.
Many students do not choose to go abroad or feel they aren’t given the opportunity to do so, but through AIFS, I experienced the academic trip of a lifetime. I feel much more knowledgeable in current news and connecting with European citizens. This was a chance to become independent and explore myself without the pressured guidance of friends back home. With the endless cuisine to sample, the multitude of museums to take in, the various ways of ordering a coffee, and an appreciation for the cultural norms that surround each city, I discovered a better version of myself and I want to spread that knowledge to others. There is limited free time to travel the world and a lifetime to work and regret a valuable opportunity. AIFS provided me with positive takeaways and after studying with them for a January term in both Ecuador and Spain as well, I can guarantee that this program is worth every dollar and will succeed in your ambitions to make this trip memorable.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would change about this program is the cultural immersion with meeting other German students. Since we were placed at Freie Universitaet in Lankwitz instead of the main campus in Dahlem, we were not exposed to meeting other German students. Therefore, I only made American friends and I wish I had met more German students to better familiarize myself with the city.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience!!!!

Last fall I had a fantastic opportunity to study abroad in Berlin, Germany with AIFS. The experience that I had with AIFS is incredible. The program that I was doing in Berlin had all-inclusive with several field trips and excursions. I was able to attend multiple soccer games in Olympiastadion Berlin and even visit the Baltic Sea. I would recommend studying abroad with AIFS. AIFS makes it easy for students to access a lot of resources inside the country.