Study Abroad Program Overview
Located in the heart of Europe, Germany's capital offers you unrivaled educational, intellectual, cultural, and recreational opportunities. To learn about Germany and the challenges of the post-Cold War era in a fast-changing Europe, there is really no better place to study abroad. 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.
At Free University you can enroll in regular university courses alongside German and international students in a wide variety of subject areas. Free University is located in Dahlem, a charming, quiet section of Berlin within easy reach of the city center by public transportation.
Scholarships are available for this program! See the Cost page for details.
Students attend classes with international and/or host country students.
Language of Instruction
With the exception of the spring (advanced only) option, the program will begin with an intensive language program (ILP) to help you develop your German writing, grammar, and conversation skills and prepare you for taking German university courses. Language study is encouraged but not required during the term.
Go to the Participants
section to see current or past calendars.
Pre-ILP + Fall
mid-July to late March
late August to late March
Pre-ILP + Year
mid-July to late July of the following year
late August to late July
Pre-ILP + Spring
late January to late July
early March to late July
Spring (Advanced Only)
late March to late July
The fall option extends through the UC winter quarter (or UC spring semester for Berkeley or Merced).
You can either find your own housing in a private apartment or you can apply for a dorm room through the university. Depending on your choice, you may live with German, international, or UC students. More information on housing
There is a wide range of extracurricular activities available to you in Berlin. There are opportunities to participate in sports, clubs, volunteer work, tandem language partnerships, music groups, and much more. You can find an extensive list of extracurricular activities here
UCEAP students are supported by UC's network of UCEAP offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. Local UCEAP staff at the UC Study Center in Berlin will help you integrate into the culture and provide assistance with academics, housing, safety, and other issues.
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).
This program offers regular university courses in many UC academic majors. In particular, Free University has excellent opportunities for students in American studies, art history, communication, comparative literature, economics, business administration, English, German, history, Latin American studies, linguistics, philosophy, political science, international relations, and psychology. The semester begins with an intensive language program that will advance your German language skills and prepare you for the academic culture of German universities.
Each semester Free University offers a selection of courses focusing on German culture and history that are designed specifically for international students. Students in the past have enjoyed these courses and have appreciated taking a course with a distinctively German perspective. You can read more about these courses and other special opportunities for exchange students on the Free University website.
Students should be prepared to take most of their courses in German, however there will also be a selection of courses taught in English.
Use the following resources to learn about courses on UCEAP:
You will take a full-time course of study while abroad.
Summer Pre-ILP: 10 quarter/8 semester units UC units required; one course
Winter Pre-ILP: 7 quarter/4.7 semester UC units required; one course
ILP: 8 quarter/5.3 semester UC units required; two courses
Term: 18–24 quarter/12–16 semester units per semester required; four-five courses
Research and Independent Study
Independent study may be possible on this program. If you are interested in conducting an independent study, you will need to contact professors in the field you desire to work in after you arrive in Berlin. Research is typically not available on this program.
Free University, Berlin
Free University is one of only nine German universities awarded the status of “elite” institutions of higher education. At present, there are 52,000 students enrolled at Free University (including some 5,500 international students), making it Berlin’s largest university and one of the largest in Germany. The institution was founded in 1948 under the motto “Truth, Justice, Freedom.” It is located on attractive grounds amid grand villas that once housed the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and the Allied Command Headquarters after World War II.
Test Drive Your Future
Internships abroad are a great way to enhance your resume for today’s competitive job market. Stand out from your peers, gain hands-on experience, and develop your global professional network.
- Work with Non-profit Community Development Organizations
- Environmental NGO internship
- Marketing and Public Relations Internships
- Technology-based Internships
- Business Administration experience in local companies
- Work with researchers at Berlin Museums, from large national museums to small specialized museums
- U.S. Embassy in Berlin
- More Opportunities
Please note- Current internship offerings may vary, you may do your own research to find additional internship opportunities.
Setting Up Your Internship
- Prior to departure practice your German and work on your CV/resume so that you are prepared for the interview process.
- Email the Faculty Director prior to departure so that they are aware of your internship interests.
- Meet with the Faculty Director during the ILP to discuss internship options. If you wait until the semester has started, it is often too late to find a suitable placement.
Some internships are competitive so you should have clear goals and objectives of what you expect out of your experience and be prepared to share these goals during your interview.
Most internships are secured once you are in Berlin so that you can attend an interview with the sponsoring organization.
Internships are primarily for yearlong students because companies are more willing to take on interns if they can commit to an internship period of more than 6 months.
There may be a few opportunities to do a semester-length internship but most companies are looking for a longer commitment.
If you are on the spring semester program you can consider staying after the semester ends to continue your internship into the summer.
Internships for academic credit can take place of one regular university course during the semester.
You are allowed to do a paid internship if you find a placement. Paid internships cannot receive credit and cannot replace a regular university course. The Study Center Staff is not responsible for finding paid internships for students.
"At my magazine Internship, I took on the challenge of finding and personally interviewing an artist who I felt embodied Berlin especially well. Although the magazine is entirely worked on and printed in English, email correspondence is done almost exclusively in German, so I emailed a Berlin-based instrumentalist and composer and made the interview request. It was nerve-wracking at first, as I wasn’t the most confident in my German, but it turned out to be a personal accomplishment when the communication went smoothly and the issue containing the interview was finally published. As an unexpected bonus, after overcoming this challenge, my German language skills were trusted enough for the sales department to ask me to do translations for ads, thereby furthering my confidence. Writing for a magazine, reaching and potentially affecting the lives of the readers, even if it’s just a unique sightseeing recommendation, has essentially made this internship experience a validating dream come true."
Serene Tseng, UC Santa Cruz, Internship at a Berlin Magazine
"My internship enabled me to extend my German abilities beyond the classroom and enabled me to acquire a broader vocabulary. By talking daily with the other employees I also was able to speak German much more frequently than I otherwise would have had the opportunity to, and exchanging ideas with the other German employees also gave me new insights about Germany I had not previously considered (such as cultural insights). Being an intern in Berlin also gave me a broader overview of the city and enabled me to explore areas I otherwise would not have. For my future I believe that this internship was valuable, as it introduced me to working in Berlin, which I very much enjoyed, and also in a potential career field. Because of my internship, I was even able to see Obama and Merkel speak at the Brandenburg gate! The internship certainly was a valuable experience which expanded my horizons in terms of opportunities for working and living abroad in the future, especially in Germany."
Lily Kley, UC Berkeley, Internship at the Berlin Office for a U.S. Department of State funded program
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 *
|Pre-ILP + Fall||37||36||24||$12,725||$11,875|
|Spring (advanced only)||19||18||12||$7,650||$5,900|
|Pre-ILP + Spring||28||33||22||$11,850||$7,350|
|Pre-ILP + Year||55||54||36||$19,675||$15,725|
* 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 2016-17. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. For a more detailed breakdown of 2016-17 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:
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.
- UC fees
- Tuition at Free University
- Automatic transfer of credits and grades to your UC transcript
- Mandatory Host Country Health Insurance
- On-site orientation
- Predeparture expenses (student visa, health clearance, etc.)
- Intensive language program
- Room and board
- Program excursions and activities
- Books and other incidental expenses
- Round-trip airfare
- Local transportation
All year participants and students in the fall or spring programs with the Pre-ILP may receive a $2,000 scholarship in the 2018-19 academic year. No additional scholarship application is required.
Multiple scholarships can be combined to cover UCEAP costs. Visit our scholarships overview page to apply for additional UCEAP scholarships.
Junior, Senior, Graduate
- The University-level language requirement is: minimum 1 year (3 quarters / 2 semesters) with a minimum language GPA of 2.85.
* The 1 year minimum requirement qualifies you for the Pre-ILP + Fall or Pre-ILP + Year option. For other options the minimum requirements are: Fall, Year, and Spring: 2 years; Pre-ILP + Spring: 4 quarters/3 semesters; Spring Advanced: 7 quarters/5 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 Free University.
Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: