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European Studies, Free Univ. Berlin (BEST)

Study Abroad Program Overview

Study in Berlin, one of the most dynamic cities in Germany! Choose from a range of humanities and social sciences courses that focus on Europe, Germany, and Berlin. Many FU-BEST courses feature field trips and assignments that make use of the city's incredible historical and cultural resources.
If you want to get a sense of the reunified Germany and the challenges of the post-Cold War era in a fast-changing Europe, there is really no better place to come to than Berlin. Located in the heart of Europe, this metropolis with some 3.4 million inhabitants will offer you unrivalled educational, intellectual, cultural, and recreational opportunities. Berlin's rich museum landscape, monuments and memorials, concert halls and opera houses, stage and movie theaters, pubs and clubs, and range of recreational offerings will all be at your disposal.
FU-BEST is offered by Free University and located in a charming section of Berlin within easy reach of the city’s downtown areas and vibrant nightlife.

Students attend classes with international students.

Language of Instruction

English; German

Language Study

You can take a non-intensive or intensive German language course during the semester. The courses combine classroom language instruction with field trips. Various language levels are available.


Go to the Participants section to see current or past calendars.
Fall :  
late August to mid-December

Spring :  
​late January to mid/late May







​Consider extending your UCEAP participation from the fall to the spring program.


You can choose to live either in a homestay in a private home with a German family or in a fully furnished single-occupancy studio apartment. Your housing is organized by FU-BEST. More information on housing

Extracurricular Activities

Each semester, all students not only participate in a week-long excursion to nearby European cities, but also visit four sites in and around Berlin on selected Fridays as integral and mandatory components of the overall academic program: the Reichstag building and/or the Chancellor's Office, the site of the former Nazi concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, the former prison complex in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen of East Germany’s state security police, and the royal palace Sanssouci as well as the 1945 allied conference site in nearby Potsdam.
In order to enhance participants' German language ability and their interaction with German society, the program recommends frequent Stammtisch gatherings and participation in the events organized by the Freie Universität's International Club.
All participants are invited to select up to three events from a concert, opera, and soccer program, with the tickets made available through the program, in addition to numerous suggestions made by the program staff regarding other cultural opportunities in the city. Program participants also receive a pass for use in all museums associated with the Foundation for State Museums in Berlin (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin).

On-site Support

​UCEAP students are supported by UC’s network of UCEAP offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. FU-BEST staff will assist you with the logistical aspects of living in Berlin, residence permits, local information, safety, and other issues. Additional support is provided by the UC Study Center in Berlin.
You may also take advantage of the “FU-Buddy” program to improve your language skills and get to know German students personally. 
See the UCEAP Program Guide for program-specific details about host institutions, program structure, and courses; academic culture and conduct; internships, research, & independent study; units, exams, and grades; orientation; housing; and information about the intensive language program (if applicable).

Course Opportunities

This program offers courses in the humanities and social sciences, taught in English, that focus on Europe, Germany, and Berlin. Subject areas include European studies, film and media studies, history, international studies, political science, sociology, and more. German language study is required. 

German language courses are worth 6 quarter/4 semester UC units. Courses taught in English are worth 4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units.

You will enroll in:

  • One lower-division, non-intensive beginning German language course
  • Three upper-division courses taught in English


  • Two sequential intensive German language courses. Beginning and intermediate are lower-division; advanced is upper-division
  • Two upper-division courses taught in English

Course topics such as the following may be offered:

  • Pop Culture: European-American Trends
  • Human Condition and the Totalitarian Experience
  • Art and Dictatorship
  • Architecture in Berlin from the 19th century to today
  • Integration, Conflict, and Security in Europe
  • European Business Cultures
  • Europe in the Global Economy
  • Berlin: History, Memory, and Literature
  • European Legal Traditions
  • European Traditions in Sociology
  • Media Politics
  • The Promise of German Philosophy: Kant to Hegel
  • Statistics for the Social Sciences

Use the following resources to learn about courses on UCEAP:


​You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad. 19.5-21 quarter/13-14 semester UC units per semester are required; four courses.

Internships, Research, and Independent Study

Internships, research, and independent study for academic credit are not possible on this program. 

FU-BEST, European Studies, Free Univ. Berlin

Host Institution
Freie Universität Berlin, a German leader in international education, is the host institution for this program. You will have full access to its facilities and will have the opportunity to get to know and interact with its students.

Visit the FU-BEST website
Participation in UCEAP is a great value! The cost of studying abroad on UCEAP programs is typically less than that of non-UC study abroad programs. The dollar figures listed in the chart below represent an estimate of: 1) the UCEAP fees for the current year, and 2) the additional amount needed to cover your living expenses in this location. Estimates for personal travel, entertainment and Non-Resident (out of state) Fees are not included.
Keep in mind that on UCEAP you take your financial aid with you. The amount of your financial aid package will take into account the total estimated costs of this experience. One advantage of selecting UCEAP for study abroad is that we facilitate the process by working with your UC Financial Aid Office (FAO), informing them of your UCEAP participation and providing them with your UCEAP budget. Just like your UC Campus billing office, we receive your financial aid and scholarships from your FAO, apply it to cover the UCEAP program fees, and disburse any remaining aid on a set schedule.

Estimated EAP Costs *

OptionWeeksUnits (Qtr)Units (Sem)UCEAP Fees 1Additional Costs 2
Fall1619.5 - 2113 - 14$14,875$3,825
Spring1619.5 - 2113 - 14$14,575$3,425
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.

1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.

2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.

All fees are subject to change without notice.

These expenses are estimated for 2017-18. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. For a more detailed breakdown of 2017-18 payment information, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Estimates do not include non-resident supplemental tuition. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.
Here’s what is included in the estimate:
  • UC fees
  • Tuition at host institution
  • Automatic transfer of credits and grades to your UC transcript
  • On-site orientation
  • Predeparture expenses (student visa, health clearance, etc.)
  • Room and board
  • Week-long program excursion
  • Trips and activities in and around Berlin including concert, opera, and soccer events
  • Books and other incidental expenses
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Local transportation
While on UCEAP, you are covered by UC’s accident and medical insurance, including non-medical benefits, and 24/7 travel assistance anywhere in the world.​



UCEAP scholarships are available. Please visit our scholarships overview page for general information and details  regarding eligibility requirements and application deadlines.

Study abroad scholarships for Germany

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship to Germany

The publicly funded German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers a wide range of funding opportunities to support undergraduates and graduates studying at German universities. Each year, DAAD provides financial support to more than 55,000 people. The program aims to promote international academic relations and cooperation. Find out more.

Delta Phi Alpha Scholarship to study in German-speaking countries

A prize of $1500 is available to help defray costs of study abroad in a German-speaking country. Applicants, who must be members of Delta Phi Alpha, should present a plan for study abroad with the application. Find out more.


Class Level:

Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Language Prerequisites:

- The University-level language requirement is: minimum 0 quarters / 0 semesters and maximum 5 quarters / 3 semesters.


2.85 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.

All applicants must also have:

  • Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
  • Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
  • A willingness to abide by program regulations.
  • Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements and be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

Application Information and Deadlines

Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.

Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.

For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.

These are minimum requirements. After selection by your UC Campus EAP Office, final admission is determined by FU-BEST.

Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: