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  • Locations: Berlin, Germany
  • Program Terms: Academic Year
  • Restrictions: WMU applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Academic Year
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:

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Program Overview

Freie Universitat Berlin was established in 1948 and today is a large, urban university of 42,500 students. The central campus is located in Dahlem, a wooded area surrounded by many old villas in southwest Berlin. A bustling metropolis, Berlin offers countless urban pleasures, as well as many natural areas, parks, and forests. FU Berlin boasts its own botanical gardens and museum. Due to recent and pre-WW II historical events, Berlin is a city rich in history, offering an abundance of historical sites. Known as the "divided city" for 45 years and surrounded by the former East Germany, students will gain a true understanding of what this division meant for Germans and the city itself.  Berlin is a comprehensive university with over 90 major areas of study. Please consult the University's online course catalog listed in the "Additional Resources" section.
Freie University of berlin is a member of German University Alliance.

Students may be required to attend a six-week, pre-program intensive language course at an additional cost of approximately 600 Euros. WMU students interested in this exchange program may be able to contact students from the host institution currently studying at WMU.

DATES:
PRE SESSIONAL PREPARATORY COURSE : September-beginning of October
ORIENTATION: First week of October


WMU Fall semester dates (German Winter Term):  October – March
Lecture Period: October – February

WMU Spring semester dates (German Sommer Term): April – September
Lecture Period:  April – end of  July

EXAM PERIOD: During the last two weeks of the lecture period; may vary from department to department
Academic calendar

Students applying for this program may be eligible for the President's Grant for Study Abroad.

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Location & Related Considerations

Berlin is located in eastern Germany and is host to an international airport and a train system well connected to Europe.  Following the German reunification, Berlin was reinstated as the capital city, and the seat of German government was moved to Berlin from Bonn. Berlin's vibrant culture experienced a "rebirth" after reunification and, as such, is at once modern and historic, offering countless opportunities to experience theater, music, festivals, museums, parks, restaurants, coffeehouses, and  many other venues. The city is also ethnically diverse, featuring Turkish stores, a large choice of ethnic restaurants, international festivals, and more. Students may find the historical and cultural offerings in and around Berlin so plentiful they won't desire to travel elsewhere.

Accommodation for Disabilities/Special Needs:
Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact Disability Services for Students at (269) 387-2116 ahead of their term abroad. A disability determination must be made by this office before any accommodations are provided by the study abroad course's instructor. For more information, visit WMU Disability Services for Students.

Safety and Security:
Students are expected to research their country of destination to learn more about issues related to safety, security, and physical and mental health. For general information about Germany, consult The CIA's World Factbook and the U.S. State Department. If the state department has designated any travel destination as level 3 or higher, or if the travel destination(s) contain regions designated level 3 or higher, participants must sign a WMU travel waiver and complete an individual safety plan prior to travel. For specific information related to safety and security, consult OSAC (United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security). For advice concerning health issues and related concerns, consult Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Finally, once students receive a message that they have been enrolled, they can also use resources provided by WMU's international Health and Emergency Insurance provider, GeoBlue.

The following general comments are derived from OSAC: Crime rates throughout Germany have been comparable to those in most first-world countries, including the U.S., and comparative analysis of crime data for the U.S. and Germany reveals only marginal differences. Crimes, especially those targeting tourists, are as common as in any large European city. The Bundeskriminalamt’s (BKA) 2015 Police Crime Statistics indicated only minor changes in the number of most of the recorded offenses over 2014, with an increase of 4.1% overall. There was a 157% increase in “Aliens Act-related” crime. There were also marked increases in categories related to credit card fraud. While the 2016 crime statistics are not expected to be published until approximately May 2017, preliminary information indicates a 9.9% increase in residential burglaries.

Please consult the full report for additional information and precautionary advice and exercise all means of necessary caution.

Infrastructure measures, construction safety standards, licensing, and regulatory procedures vary by country. Try to avoid travel in unsafe vehicles on unsafe roads, and exercise caution when using stairways, ramps, and handrails. Take extra precaution when hiking in areas with poor trail geography and infrastructure, especially if guardrails and other safety features are missing or dilapidated. Bring and use bug spray to help protect against insect-borne illnesses, especially from mosquitos and ticks. Protests occur frequently on university campuses and in public spaces; avoid these protests and refrain from engaging with (including photographing) the demonstrations. In addition to consulting the above-mentioned governmental agencies, review the WMU website, especially the section entitled “Health and Safety Abroad."
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Academics

Academic Eligibility
Good Academic Standing; Advanced German Language skills.

Academic Program
Study and Examination regulation
Detailed module descriptions specifying contents, structure, contact hours and credits (Leistungspunkte, LP) can be found in the study and examination regulations (Studien- und Prüfungsordnung) at http://www.fu-berlin.de/studium/studienorganisation/pruefung/  .The courses offered during the current semester are listed in the course catalogue (Vorlesungsverzeichnis, VV) which is available three months prior to the beginning of the semester at www.fu-berlin.de/vv. It is structured by departments, degrees and modules. Students have to enroll for their selected subjects on the online portal Campus Management before the semester starts. Access and further information will be provided during orientation period.

A list of the FU's undergraduate programs is available.
 Bachelor degrees are structured around modules, which usually consist of two different courses (for example a lecture and a seminar on a general topic like Einfuhrung in di Politikwissenshaft). Modules are offered on a regular basis, whereas the content of each lecture or seminar might change from semester to semester.
The exact module structure and credits for each subject can be found in the study and examination regulations on the respective homepage of each department.


Academic Credit
WMU credit will be awarded for courses successfully completed on this program with prior approval of the student's academic advisor, academic advisors in departments outside of the student's major department (if the student plans to take classes outside of his/her major), and the Haenicke Institute for Global Education. This approval is obtained by completing the Course Pre-approval Form available from the HIGE. Students are urged to work closely with academic advisors and HIGE staff to plan a course of study allowing for steady progress toward their degree.

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Cost & Financial Aid

Cost
One full ride scholarship is available for a student chosen to attend Freie University of Berlin. This scholarship covers two semesters of study.

Nominated undergraduate students should receive the following from FUB: a grant of  650 euros for 10 months, health insurance allowance of 400 euros per semester, FUB student fees allowance of $250 euros/semester, waiver of registration fees. The scholarship will be paid in equal instalments (780 euros/880 euros)

The amount of the scholarship is determined by officials at the Free University in Berlin, not officials at WMU. All scholarships are contingent on funding. One WMU student may be awarded a waiver of the WMU program fee at the suggestion of the WMU German Exchange Committee, dependent on funding.

Pre-sessional language course fee (approx. 600-700 euros), costs for housing during pre-sessional course, health insurance, meals and miscellaneous for the duration of the course are not covered by scholarship and should be paid by students from personal funds. Please see financial aid budget.

Students applying for this program may be eligible for the President's Grant for Study Abroad.

Students applying for this program may also be eligible for DAAD Scholarships.

Financial Aid
Students eligible for federal or state financial aid may use their awards for studying abroad.  After a student has been accepted to the program, he/she must complete required paperwork with WMU Financial Aid to apply financial aid to the program costs.  It is the student's responsibility to complete the paperwork prior to departure and to maintain compliance with financial aid regulations while studying abroad (i.e., remain enrolled full-time).  Non-WMU students must apply for financial aid through their home university.

Note: program fees are subject to adjustment due to changes in actual exchange rates or other factors. In addition, programs may be modified or canceled in the event of insufficient enrollment. Program dates are subject to slight adjustment by the home/host university.

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Housing

Students who are placed at FU Berlin live in a Studentenwohnheim (university residence hall). The rooms in the Studentenwohnheimen are single occupancy, furnished, and have private baths. There is a shared kitchen and lounge on each floor. These accommodations resemble private studio apartments more than conventional dormitories. Students may also choose to use their allowance  toward private accommodations in Berlin, though such accommodations are scarce. The off-campus housing office of the Studentenwerk (student services) offers assistance in finding private accommodations.

Information on housing can be found here.

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Itinerary and Visa


Students who are citizens of EU or EEA countries, the USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Switzerland do NOT need a visa in order to enter Germany. Upon arrival in Berlin, citizens of these countries (except EU) must apply for a Residence Permit upon arrival to Germany (within 3 months upon arrival). They will receive instructions from the hosting university during on site orientation.
More information about Residence Permit can be found here.
 

Additional Resources

WMU faculty experts:
Dr. Olivia Gabor, 414 Sprau, 387-3036 olivia.gabor-peirce@wmich.edu
Dr. Peter Blickle, 414 Sprau, 387-3006  peter.blickle@wmich.edu
Dr. Gunther Hega, 3406 Friedmann, 387-5885, gunther.hega@wmich.edu

WMU Study Abroad Specialist:
Anastassia Kaml
Study Abroad Specialist
Phone: (269) 387-5890
E-Mail: anastassia.v.kaml@wmich.edu
Campus Location: 2425 Ellsworth Hall

Host Institution Information (external links)
Course Information
Freie Universitat Berlin
Information for Exchange Students
DAAD - Studying in Germany
DAAD scholarships
DAAD Alumni
Pre-Arrival info

Country Information (external links)
Germany - Lonely Planet
Berlin - Lonely Planet
City of Berlin Information
U.S. State Department Information
Country Specific Information - Germany
Culturegram - Germany
StudentsAbroad

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This program is currently not accepting applications.