Approx. Time Difference
Add 9 hours
This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
International Summer School classes make use of the vast historic, cultural, and political institutions and resources Berlin offers. Field trips to museums, memorials, as well as political and cultural institutions are integral parts of the curriculum. You will attend classes with UC and other international students.
See the FUBiS
website for more information on the program.
Course Information and Requirements
You will choose one of the following options:
- One intensive German language course (Track C)
- Two courses in English on a variety of subjects including history, political science, global studies, business administration, art history, and more (chosen from Tracks A and B)
- One semi-intensive German language course (Track A) and one subject course (chosen from Tracks A and B)
All UCEAP students take 10 UC quarter units (6.6 semester units). All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
Registering for Courses
You will register for your courses in your online application through FUBiS.
For more information about grades, see the Academic Information
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Grades for the International Summer School program are typically available in early September.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Extension for students participating in the International Summer School, Free University Program is not possible once already abroad. If you are interested in participating in a fall program immediately after the summer program, contact your Campus EAP Office to register for the fall program by that program’s application deadline.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Your program will begin with an orientation at FUBiS in Berlin. The orientation is designed to inform you on practical aspects of your program and living in Germany.
Notify UCEAP of your travel plans by completing the Travel Itinerary Form in your Predeparture Checklist by the posted due date.
If you fly directly into Berlin, you will land at either Tegel or Schönefeld airport, both of which have good public transportation connections. Further arrival details will be provided to you directly by FUBiS.
Travel to Your Host Country
U.S. citizens may stay in Germany for up to 90 days without a residence permit. U.S. citizens do not have to register with the city of Berlin if they stay for less than 90 days.
Travel lightly. A good rule is that if your clothing will not fit into your luggage, you have probably packed too much.
In summer the weather is quite variable in Germany. It is advisable to bring clothes for hot summer weather as well as closed shoes, pants and sweaters for chilly days.
- Clothing for both hot and cold weather
- Sturdy walking shoes
- Dressy outfit for formal events
- Voltage converter and plug adapter (voltage in Germany is 220 cycles)
- Prescription glasses or contact lenses with solution if applicable (neither the UCEAP health insurance nor the German national health insurance covers contact lenses and cleaning fluids, which are expensive in Germany)
- One towel
- Prescription medication (for more information on taking prescription medication abroad, see the Health chapter of this guide)
- Reference textbooks and notes related to your major field of study
- German grammar book
- German-English dictionary (or buy one in Germany for €10-20)
- Lightweight gifts for new friends and host family (suggestions include T-shirts with city, state, or campus logos; UC pens or pencils; baseball caps; California postcards, posters, or scenic calendars)
- Laptop computer and lock
- Bike lock and helmet
The weather in Germany is considerably more variable than in California. The summers are warm (humid to hot) and winters can be bitingly cold. The annual rainfall is about 20 inches. The first snowfall usually comes early in December, with alternating snow and rain lasting through March. The sky is often cloudy.
Clothes and sturdy walking shoes are available in Berlin, though they can be relatively expensive. Fashion tends to be fairly casual in Germany, and there are plenty of secondhand clothing shops.
The UCEAP Student Budget does not include funds for the purchase of clothing abroad.
Your required readings will be assigned to you once you are in Germany. There is no need to purchase any textbooks prior to your departure. Some UCEAP students find it helpful to bring a reference German grammar book with which they feel comfortable.
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
International Summer School Berlin participants will have full access to the on-campus computing facilities—the ZEDAT—of Freie Universität Berlin for educational purposes, including computer labs with PCs and Macs, printers and scanners as well as wireless internet access. A username and password for the computer labs and access to the wireless network will be given to you at the orientation meeting.
Since the computer labs are always heavily frequented, FUBiS recommends that you bring your own laptop so that you can use the wireless internet available in all the main campus buildings.
Please note that there is generally no internet access in the student dorms and apartments.
Internet cafés are widely available throughout Berlin and offer cheap Internet access (as low as €1 per hour or a minimum of €0.50 for 15 to 30 minutes), as well as international phone calls, faxes, etc.
Be sure to pay all your phone bills before leaving Germany. If you leave without paying your final phone bill, your UC registration and records will be blocked until the bill is paid in full.
Berlin Summer students can receive mail during the program at the FUBiS program office.
Students who withdraw after the withdrawal deadline may be liable for unrecoverable housing and other costs incurred by UCEAP.
Students participating in the International Summer School in Berlin have four options for housing:
- Single room in a shared apartment at the student dorms
- Single-occupancy apartment
- Homestay with host family
- Seminaris Campus Hotel
Prices and more information are in your online UCEAP Predeparture Checklist. See the FUBiS website
for additional details. After you have sent your application to FUBiS, they will send you a bill for the housing, excursions, and any additional insurance you choose to purchase. You must pay FUBiS directly for these fees since they are not included in your UCEAP fees.
Additionally, you have the option of finding your own housing, but all arrangements must be made independently. Neither FUBiS nor the UCEAP Study Center will assist in the search for private housing.
In Berlin, most dormitories and apartments have their own kitchen facilities. There are plenty of university cafeterias (mensas
), which are ideal for lunch. Mensas
offer meals at reasonable prices, generally between €2 and €3.
If you choose the homestay option, daily breakfast and one additional meal are included. You will usually have access to kitchen facilities at your homestay for additional cooking. If you are staying in a homestay, you are a guest of your host family. As such, you should clearly communicate with them on eating schedules and whether you plan on missing any meals.
To use Berlin’s public transportation system, you will need to purchase a “flexible monthly pass” (a transportation pass valid
for one month from the day you purchase it onward) for Berlin public transportation zones AB. This ticket costs €74 and is
valid for all means of public transportation: U-Bahn, S-Bahn, bus, tram, and Regionalexpress/Regionalbahn (regional trains) inside the Berlin tariff zones.
You can buy a monthly pass at one of the ticket machines or at a BVG counter in major U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations, airports
or train stations. To buy a monthly pass from a machine, select the following options: other tickets > flexible monthly ticket > Berlin AB > VBB Eco Card (none of the other options!) > Saturday’s date.
Note that Schönefeld Airport is in public transportation zone C. All students arriving at Schönefeld Airport will need to purchase a one-time extension ticket for Zone C (1.50 €) in addition to their monthly transportation pass in order to reach their accommodations.
Students with Disabilities
In general, each university has a counselor dedicated to working with students with disabilities. If you are have a disability, contact the Study Center immediately so they can provide you with the name of the “Behindertenbeauftragten” for further counseling and detailed information.
Strong advocacy for students with disabilities exists at all Berlin universities. Studentenwerk Berlin
offers counseling for students with disabilities at all three Berlin universities.
FU–Counseling for students with disabilities
Frau Illing, Room 100
Thielallee 38-14195 Berlin (Dahelm)
Phone: (030) 939 39 9020
Office Hours: Fridays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and by appointment
Studentenwerk (FU, HU, and TU) Klaus-Peter Drechsel
Phone: (030) 29 30 2 283
Each university also has a Commissioner for Students with disabilities:
For students with a vision disability at Free University:
Elisabeth Wunderl Thielallee 38, room no. 209/211
Phone: (030) 838-52122 and (030) 838-53229 (Tutor)
During the International Summer School Berlin program, pursuing a job or internship is not feasible, in view of the full calendar and tight structure of the program.
As short-term students who will not obtain German residence permits, it is also not legal for Berlin Summer students to work in Germany unless allowed due to citizenship (i.e. if a student is an EU citizen).
All UCEAP participants are covered by the mandatory UCEAP Insurance Plan, which includes non-medical benefits. Read it, understand the terms of coverage, and share it with your parents.
FUBiS Insurance (Optional)
FUBiS offers an optional insurance package for the duration of FUBiS (in addition to your UCEAP Insurance). This policy includes health insurance, accident insurance, and personal liability insurance (€45).
It is also possible to purchase a combination of accident and personal liability insurance separately (€15). The UCEAP Insurance Plan and FUBiS tuition and program fee do not include any property damage liability coverage, so FUBiS strongly recommends you obtain personal liability insurance coverage.
The FUBiS insurance packages can be purchased during the registration process. Please see the FUBiS website
for more details.
The Studentenwerk in Berlin offers counseling services. Such services are also available at each university. The following are some contacts:
Studentenwerk Berlin-Psychological Counseling (available in English and open to students from all universities)
Phone: (030) 939 39 8401
Franz-Mehring-Platz 2 (Hofgebäude)
10243 Berlin Friedrichshain
Phone: (030) 939 39 8438; Fax: (030) 31 12 49 9
Free University Psychological Counseling (available in English)
Phone: (030) 83 85 52 42
Traffic & Transportation Safety
UCEAP Contingency Planning
The University of California, in accordance with applicable
Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.