IES Abroad Freiburg student on a hike looks out over the city

Freiburg

Germany

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Study abroad in Freiburg, the sunniest and warmest city in Germany. It’s easy to take advantage of the sunshine and hike up to the Schlossberg tower for the view or explore the many Black Forest trails that are easily accessible. Immerse yourself in the vibrant student culture of this friendly and welcoming city, where students are one sixth of the population.

 It is impossible not to fall in love with Freiburg and its curving cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and beautiful cathedral. With its progressive mindset and small-town provincial charm, the city shows a remarkable commitment to the environment and sustainability and is small enough to feel like home. Ready to perfect your German language skills or study sustainability in Germany’s environmental capital? Freiburg is the place for you.

Study abroad in Freiburg and discover all there is to love about this enchanting university town through one the IES Abroad Freiburg programs!

Programs

European Union

Freiburg
,
European Union
Length: 
Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020
Language prerequisites: 
None
Estimated Cost: 
$20,050
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European Union Summer

Freiburg
,
European Union
Length: 
Summer 2019
Language prerequisites: 
None
Estimated Cost: 
$7,900
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Freiburg - Environmental Studies & Sustainability

Freiburg
,
Germany
Length: 
Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020
Language prerequisites: 
None
Estimated Cost: 
$19,600
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Freiburg - Language & Area Studies

Freiburg
,
Germany
Length: 
Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020
Language prerequisites: 
4 semesters of college-level German
Estimated Cost: 
$18,990
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Freiburg's Top Five

Appreciate the Architecture

Freiburg’s architecture takes in German, Austrian, French, and Swiss influences, which all compete for attention in the city’s colorful buildings.

(Don't) Step in the Bächle

The narrow channels of water that run through the streets of old Freiburg are one of this city’s most characteristic and charming features.

Hike, Cycle, & Climb the Black Forest

Germany’s massive, mountainous, and densely-forested area is right in Freiburg’s back yard.

Pack a Picnic

Grab a Black Forest ham sandwich and a bottle of fresh apple juice from the Saturday market, find the perfect spot, and enjoy. Studying in the sunniest spot in Germany has its advantages!

Take in the Views from the Schauinsland

A rigorous hike or an easy cable car will take you to the top of this hill, offering glorious views of the city, the nearby Vosges Mountains, and the Black Forest.

The Latest from Freiburg

Freiburg

Farewell, Freiburg 

by Horace

It’s been more than a week since I’ve left Freiburg, but the city and the time I spent there is still often on my mind. The four months that I spent there might have felt long when I was still in the middle of my program, but looking back, it feels as if the past four months of my life have gone by in the blink of an eye. 

The fact that studying abroad changes you is a cliche to the point that there’s literally a meme about it, but it remains a cliche for good reason: it's true. There really is nothing quite like studying abroad; the point of life during which you study abroad, the people you study abroad with, the place(s) you study abroad in all make it an experience unlike any other. I am fortunate that all of the above three things for me were exemplary, and that my time abroad was all the more better as a result. 

My previous blog post was about tips for studying abroad in Freiburg. Here are five tips for studying abroad in general:

  • Cook your own food as much as possible. It’s the healthiest and cheapest option.
  • Start saving up money. Start saving up money now.
  • Don’t travel outside of your city every weekend. Walk around your city and get to know it well.
  • Stay in touch with your friends and family. They might not be explicit about it, but they miss you.
  • If you’re on the fence about whether or not to study abroad, lean towards doing it.

It wasn’t that long ago that I thought of attending this program as the culmination of many things in my life, be it the three years that I’ve learned German or the four years that I’ve been deeply interested in politics and international affairs. It’s only now that I realise that I was wrong, that this program wasn’t a culmination but a stepping stone in both my German and political education. Learning German, both inside and outside of the classroom, in Freiburg, has allowed my German to improve whilst simultaneously teaching me the areas I need to work on. And with major upcoming elections in both Europe and the U.S., I have no doubt that my interest in politics will carry on. 

Even towards the end of program, there were still mornings when I’d wake up and have to remind myself that I was in Germany. I attribute this to the surreality of being in Germany after being away from it for so long. None of the past four months would have happened without the promise to come back to Germany and study abroad here that I made all those years ago. Unlike my last trip, I don’t have any promises to make. I feel content, for the most part, with the experiences that I had and the things I did in Freiburg, in Germany, and in Europe as a whole. That’s not to say I won’t ever return to those places; quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. 

There are a few different ways of saying “bye” in German. Tschuss, the most informal one, is the one that I use the most, but I think auf wiedersehen is the one most appropriate one for this situation. Auf wiedersehen more accurately translates to “see you again,” and I am sure that I will see Freiburg again someday. 

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Freiburg

Four Months and Four Things That I’m Grateful For

by Horace

I am grateful for the trips that I went on. I visited numerous countries for the first time—these countries were, in the order that I travelled to them: Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, and Bulgaria. Each and every country that I visited offered a new insight into the continent and was unique in its own way, regardless of whether I travelled to it as part of my program or on my own time. Even visits to countries that I had already been to in the past—namely Germany, Poland, France, and Greece—allowed me to gain a fresh perspective on the political, economic, social, and environmental issues that each country faced. The diversity and differences in the ten countries that I travelled to during the past four months have really broadened my understanding of Europe and European affairs—one of the main reasons I chose this study abroad program in the first place. Because of all the travelling that I did this past semester, I have officially travelled to thirty different countries over the course of my entire life. 

I am grateful for the classes that I had and the professors who taught them. Many of these classes were on topics that I knew little about at the start of the semester. I knew little about the EU’s policies back in January; now, I have substantial knowledge regarding the breath and depth of the EU’s various policies and policy areas. I knew little about the Black Sea region at the start of the program; now, I have written four short papers about various aspects of the Black Sea region. I knew little about human rights and was uncertain about taking a class on the topic at the start semester; now, I have written a sixteen-page paper on human rights violations in the Philippines and have gained significant insight into the past, present, and future of the global human rights regime. I am also grateful to my major advisor at Bowdoin who encouraged me to take this human rights class in the first place, on the basis that a class on human rights was unlikely to be offered at Bowdoin. Beyond my electives, I am also grateful for my integrative seminar and German class, which provided just the right amount of academic freedom. As biased as I may be, I highly recommend taking the classes that I did to any future participants of the IES Abroad European Union program

I am grateful for the friends that I made and the time that I spent with them. There are experiences from this program that I will never forget, and it is thanks to the people that I spent them with that I will remember them. These experiences include bonding over environmental policy and lamenting the unavailability of the environmental policy class with other environmental studies majors at the start of the program; enjoying a good meal with people in the Fizz; visiting comic book museums in Basel and Brussels and admiring the beautiful original art; enduring a seven hour bus-ride from Brussels back to Freiburg rife with off-pitch karaoke; staying up all night to go to Basel to see the Carnival of Basel; going to the world-famous Széchenyi thermal bath in Budapest; being stuffed from the platters at the farewell dinner in Sofia; socialising with students from the Environmental Studies and Language Studies programs; annoying my classmates in model EU by vetoing policy proposals; and much, much more. 

I am grateful for this program. This was the only study abroad program that I was ever seriously considering as it fulfilled most of what I was looking for in a study abroad program. Given that this will probably be the only semester in which I study away from Bowdoin, I couldn’t have asked for a better one. 

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Reinventing Yourself Through Fashion While Studying Abroad

Studying abroad provides a great opportunity to reinvent yourself. Our Ambassadors tell us how they explored their senses of fashion while abroad.

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“I’ve discovered that relationships with people from different backgrounds are some of the most valuable, not only because of the knowledge you gain from them, but also because you slowly learn that we are all just humans trying to navigate this chaotic world we live in.”

Manuela T. ( Freiburg - Environmental Studies & Sustainability)