Tucked at the foot of the Black Forest, Freiburg is the quintessential southern German town, with its winding streets and historic architecture. It is also home to Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, consistently rated one of the top universities in Germany. We invite you to study abroad in Freiburg and to immerse yourself in student life and German language in this vibrant university town.
Ideal for students interested in rapidly improving their German language skills, the IES Abroad Freiburg Program offers you IES Abroad and university courses taught in German by distinguished local faculty.
Freiburg will be your classroom. Imagine studying German vocabulary and then going out to a local market to practice the words you’ve just learned, or discussing German theater and then seeing a local production that evening. Welcome to study abroad! Wherever possible our courses take advantage of the city’s historical, artistic, and cultural sites, and several courses include hands-on, practical components.
You can also enroll in courses at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg or other local academic institutions where you will experience the German education system first-hand. Maybe you’ll even make some German friends while you’re at it.
We want you to feel at home in Freiburg, so we will do everything we can to help you integrate into life in Freiburg, from internships to cultural events. You even have the option to meet up with a local German student to work on your language skills or to visit a German high school to discuss American and German culture with local students.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
If enrolled only in IES Abroad courses.
If enrolled in university courses or internship
If only enrolled in IES Abroad courses
If enrolled in university courses or an internship
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore German Language, History, Culture and other topics, through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.
You enroll in 15 to 19 credit hours per semester. Academic programming is scheduled five days a week. All courses are taught in German.
You create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.
To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.
Information on partner universities and their course offerings is listed below. An extra fee applies for students participating in more than one course at the Art and Music schools.
The Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg takes great pride in its tradition. Founded in the 15th century, the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg is one of Germany’s highest-ranking universities.
The University is divided into 11 faculties, which together offer courses of study in 60 different fields.
Visit the University's website for current and past course offerings. Course offerings vary from semester to semester and exact course availability is determined shortly before the start of each semester.
You have access to courses in:
Sprachlehrinstitut of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (SLI)
If you do not feel confident in your German skills at the end of the intensive language instruction, you may take specialized language courses for foreigners at the University's Sprachlehrinstitut (SLI). You are encouraged to take regular university courses with a supporting tutorial. Foreign language courses other than German may require a small course fee.
Location & Commute Time
The Albert-Ludwigs-Universität has one of the most beautiful campuses in Germany, located in the quaint, medieval city of Freiburg on the edge of the Black Forest. The University is divided into three main campuses:
The University Center of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität is located in the old city center. The Institutes Quarter is just a short walk to the north of the old city center. The Applied Sciences campus, which lies on a former airfield, is about 1.5 miles from the IES Abroad Center and easily accessible by bicycle or public transit. While most university buildings are an easy walk from the IES Abroad Freiburg Center, the commute times to the University from student housing vary from about 10 to 30 minutes.
University Clubs & Events
IES Abroad Freiburg students are encouraged to participate in events and trips planned by the International Club at the University. Excursions are very affordable. Past excursions have included trips to Lake Constance, Geneva, and Bern, and a hike up the Kaiserstuhl with a wine tasting.
Founded in 1962, the Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg is a well-known institute that specializes in training teachers. The Hochschule is also a respected research institution, with a unique focus on international training. In addition to courses in Pedagogy, such as Childhood Development, Mathematics and Computer Science Education, and Media Education, the Hochschule offers courses in Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Philosophy, Physics, Social Sciences, and Theology.
The Hochschule is organized into three faculties or departments. Visit the Hochschule's website for to view current and past course offerings (click on Vorlesungsverzeichnis).
The Hochschule is particularly known for its offerings in Education. You receive approximately 2 to 4 credits upon successful completion of each course.
Course offerings vary from semester to semester. Exact course availability is determined shortly before the start of each semester.
Location & Commute Time
The Hochschule is located in the southwestern area of the city, on the edge of the scenic Naturpark Südschwarzwald, the second largest nature preserve in Germany. Located about three miles from the IES Abroad Center, the Hochschule is easily accessible by bicycle and public transportation. Commute times to the Hochschule from student housing range from 10 to 30 minutes.
The Hochschule offers numerous events and guest lectures each semester. Students taking courses at the Hochschule have access to the school’s library and other facilities.
Zeichen- und Malschule Georg Schellwww.kunstschule-freiburg.de
At the Zeichen- und Malschule Georg Schell, you can explore your artistic interests as you work individually with artist Georg Schell in diverse styles and materials. You are responsible for the cost of all materials. Credits vary depending on studio/contact hours. Sample media available include:
Jazz & Rock Schule Freiburgwww.jrs.org/de/allgemeine-musikschule-freiburg
The Jazz & Rock Schule Freiburg offers opportunities to perform with ensembles at various ability levels. Interested students audition after arrival in Freiburg.
Location & Commute Time
Both of these institutions are located less than two miles from the IES Abroad Center, near to or in the city center, and are easily accessible by bicycle and by Freiburg’s public transportation system. Commute times range from 10 to 30 minutes from IES Abroad-located housing.
The Jazz und Rock Schule host, sponsor, or advertise numerous concerts, festivals, and lectures each year.
While adding study abroad to your resume is impressive enough, adding an international internship experience is even more powerful and can help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive job market. The internship we organize for you can also provide invaluable cultural experience, and help you develop professional and personal skills. All internships take place post-program except placements at schools and at some social organizations.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Freiburg, it will feel like home.
Residence Halls - You live in a single room in a co-ed suite with a shared kitchen and bath. Suites are shared with German and international students and have Internet access. Students usually prepare meals at home or dine in Freiburg’s affordable student cafeterias. Meals are not included in the program fee.
Part of making you feel at home in Freiburg is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the day trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
The program begins with a three-day orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Freiburg staff, your fellow students, and the city of Freiburg. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during orientation.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
Beginning during orientation, you prepare for the semester with two weeks of intensive German language instruction, followed by an optional five- to seven-day field trip.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Freiburg through our cultural events and activities, such as:
University Events and Cultural Activities
A number of events and activities are available to you at the Albert-Ludwigs- Universität Freiburg, such as sports teams, social clubs, and partially-subsidized trips to destinations in Germany, France, and Switzerland.
IES Abroad staff in Freiburg can assist you in finding a German language “tandem” partner, with whom you can practice
German. Having a language partner in Freiburg also gives you unique insight into local student life.
Although your adventure begins in Freiburg, our field trips take you to other great cities in Germany and beyond to provide contrast and context for what you are learning in Freiburg. Day trips are included in the program fee, and multi-day trips are partially subsidized by IES Abroad. Past destinations are listed below.
Padua, Venice, and Verona
4 days | Fall & Spring
Follow Goethe’s footsteps on an Italian journey to Padua and Venice. The journey begins in Freiburg’s sister city, Padua, where historical and modern aspects create a charming and exciting destination. Explore the arcaded streets, various piazze, and medieval architecture; marvel Giotto’s work in the Scrovegni Chapel; visit the University of Padua where Galileo Galilei lectured and Nicolaus Copernicus studied; and stay in a previous pilgrim accommodation where Goethe himself was a guest! The journey continues to Venice, the “City of Canals” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety. Ride the canals via gondolas or vaporetti or stroll through the small alleyways of the island and explore the city’s rich architectural, art and literature history. Tour the Basilica San Marco, Doge’s Palace and the famous Rialto Bridge. The tour concludes with a visit to Verona. See the Arena, visit the home and tomb of Shakespeare’s Juliet, and wander the Piazzas delle Erbe and dei Signori.
7 days | Fall & SpringTour the city, visit the German Chancellery and Parliament, spend time in Berlin’s many museums, learn about the methods of the GDR’s state security during a tour of the former prison at Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, gain an impression of life in the GDR in the inter-active GDR museum and learn about the perpetrators behind the scenes during the National Socialist regime at the House of the Wannsee Conference.
Alsace and the Vosges Mountains
1 day | Fall & SpringTour through Bartholdi’s birth place Colmar with its winding streets and unspoiled medieval architecture, and enjoy a wine tasting at a local vineyard.
1 day | Fall & SpringHike or snowshoe through the Black Forest and visit traditional villages.
1 day | Fall & SpringHike through the beautiful mountains of Switzerland.
Located in the heart of Freiburg, the IES Abroad Center is within easy walking distance of Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, the Freiburg Theater, and the main shopping district.
Alexander BreisacherCenter Director
Alexander Breisacher has been the Director of the IES Abroad Freiburg Center since 2013. He holds a Master’s in Sociology and Business Administration from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and a European Master’s in International Humanitarian Assistance (NOHA ) from the Ruhr-Universität in Bochum, Germany, and the Universidad de Deusto in Bilbao, Spain. He also studied at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and completed a Spanish program in Quito, Ecuador. Before joining IES Abroad, Alexander worked with the Christoffel Blindenmission in India and Tanzania. Alexander joined IES Abroad in 2003 as the Academic and Administrative Officer of the Freiburg Center, and was promoted in October 2007 to the position of Assistant Director of the Center. Interested in the social and ecological consequences of economic activity, Alexander was instrumental in the development of the Environmental Studies & Sustainability Program in Freiburg.
Merle PeitsmeyerAcademic Dean
Joanna KingStudent Affairs Director
Katie KrakerStudent Affairs & Administrative Officer
Environmental Studies Faculty
Ulrich EckeltMedia and Communications
M.A., Consultant for SOKRATES (European education program), Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Erwin FinkHistoryPh.D., in Nationalism and Regionalism in the German Kaiserreich from the University of Toronto; Translator and Research Associate for the "German History in Documents and Images" project, organized by the GHI, Washington D.C.
M.A, German Language Instructor,
Teacher Trainer, Author of "Vokabeln und Quizfragen zu Landeskunde Deutschland"
Academic Year Freiburg - German coordinator,
Canadian Year Freiburg
Nikolaus GrötschGerman and Philosophy
M.A., Professor of Language and Philosophy for summer and DAAD courses, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg; Resident Director in Freiburg for Upsala University, Sweden
Dr. Hans-Peter HagmannArt History
Magister Artium, Lecturer, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
M.A in German, Scandinavian and Italian Language and Literature; Further training for teaching German as a Foreign Language
Annemarie KöhnePolitical ScienceM.A., Head librarian at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems
Franz LeitholdFilm Studies
Ph.D., Media and Computer Center Director at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg library
Astrid NothenGerman and French Literature and Teaching German as a Foreign Language
Head of the international language courses department at the University of Freiburg Language Teaching Centre
Lena PartzschEnvironmental Studies
Ph.D. in Political Sciences
Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Governance,Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Sabin RothemannGerman Literature
PhD. Robert Walser and Franz Kafka
M.A. in German, Philosophy and French
Authoress, lecturer and publisher
numerous journal contributions on literature, politics and society
Uta RothmundGerman languageLecturer in adult education for German as a Foreign Language and English at the Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg
Eric SchülerInternational Relations
Magister Artium, Lecturer, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Mirja StraubMedieval History
MA in Fine Arts, University Braunschweig
Research fellow at Augustinemuseum, Freiburg
Certified political economist and instructor at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Bettina VerrierGerman Language
MA in French and Spanish Language and Literature and Geography
Further training for teaching German as a Foreign Language (Goethe Institute Mannheim/Heidelberg)
Lecturer in adult education for German as a Foreign Language at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg and Goethe Institute Freiburg
Ph.D., Freelance instructor
Michael AnstettEnvironmental Studies
Diploma of Biology; Lecturer in the Department of Geobotany, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg; Excursion leader; Ranger at the Centre of Nature Protection, Feldberg
Jürgen BauhusEnvironmental Studies
Ph.D. in Forestry from the University of Göttingen; Chair of Silviculture, Director of Institute of Silviculture, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg; Director of the Graduate School of Environment, Society, and Global Change, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Martin KohlerEnvironmental StudiesPh.D. in Forestry from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg; Professor in Institute of Silviculture, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Sandra MakinsonEnvironmental Studies
M.A., Masters in Applied Environmental Studies