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 environmental studies and sustainability and other topics through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors enhance your academic experience and give you new perspectives each day in class. A limited number of course options are available at the prestigious Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg, as well.
You take 15-19 credits per semester. Environmental Studies courses are worth 3 credits each and are taught in English. Language courses are 3 or 4 credits each and are taught in German. Courses are held Monday through Friday.
Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:
- German language course (required, 3 credits; optional extension for 1 additional credit)
- Four consecutive Environmental Studies courses (required, 3 credits each)
- Optional post-program module or research assistantship (3 credits)
*Note: Starting in Fall 2017, students will have the option of taking the German language course for either three or four credits.
||German Language intensive course (required, 3 credits)
|Module 1 (3 weeks)
||Environmental Studies module
*Optional starting Fall 2017
Module 2 (3 weeks)
|Environmental Studies module
|Module 3 (3 weeks)
||Environmental Studies module
|Module 4 (3 weeks)
||Environmental Studies module
Optional Environmental Studies Module
One optional course offered at the University (3 credits, additional charge)
|Optional Research Assistantship
Research Assistantship with a faculty at the University (2 or 3 credits, additional charge)
German Language Course
The program begins with orientation and a required three-week intensive German course at the University for 3 credits. You continue your German study for three hours per week during the regular university semester to earn an additional 1 credit of German.
Four consecutive Environmental Studies courses
The Environmental Studies courses are “modules,” where you take one course at a time for three weeks. Courses are taught in English, and most courses are taught by IES Abroad. A limited number of modules may be offered in the Master’s degree program in the Department of Forestry and Ecology Management at the Albert-Ludwigs- Universität Freiburg. Modules at the University are taught at a first-year graduate level but are appropriate for undergraduate IES Abroad students. Tutorial support is available. Students from the same department at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität may enroll in IES Abroad-taught Environmental Studies courses.
Program Extension Options
Optional Post Program Module
After your program ends, you can spend three weeks furthering your academic experience in Freiburg by participating in an additional 3-credit module in the Department of Forestry and Ecology Management at the University of Freiburg. A separate cost applies and placements are limited. Information about specific post-program modules is available after you arrive in Freiburg.
You can apply for a research assistantship to work with a University faculty member on a research topic in the field of Environmental Studies. Assistantships are three to six weeks long and take place after the end of the term. All placements are supervised and offered as academic options earning IES Abroad credit. Students participating in the research assistantship cannot participate in the additional optional module. An additional cost applies. Research topic areas and placements may be limited.
Securing an assistantship is a competitive process and placements are not guaranteed. Placements depend on availability, on a student's background and skills, and on the quality of a student’s CV/résumé. Language requirements may apply. Final placements are determined by an on-site interview.
Examples of assistantships in various departments at the University of Freiburg include:
- Department of Forest Biometry: Focusing on a Forest Resources Inventory, this placement introduces students to forest inventory methods, including the measurement of trees and forest stands. Students may survey with optical and laser instruments; measure Black Forest stands, tree diameters, tree heights, and tree volume; and conduct an analysis of the inventory data.
- Department of Vegetation Science: Students may participate in the current work of various projects such as an overview of the current work in vegetation science, including aims, methods and expected results; development of questionnaires, consultation with Ph.D. students on data analysis and English language, and writing of short reports and literature summaries on selected topics in vegetation science; and participation in excursions in and around Freiburg.
- Institute of Forest Growth: Students may choose a topic of research related to environmental effects on tree growth, including dendroecology, production ecology, and forest management. Students’ tasks may include field work such as the collection of material and field data, and laboratory work such as the measurement of tree-ring parameters, cross-dating, and statistical data analysis.
- Institute of Silviculture: Students may participate in year-ring analysis and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) with the overall aim to find out if thinning can help to increase drought tolerance of crop trees in stands of Norway spruce (Picea abies). Or students may participate in year-ring analysis of stem discs of spruce trees from a stem density trial in Southern Germany, including cross-dating and identifying drought events of existing year-ring scans using special software for dendroecological analysis. Additionally, students may collect NIRS of wood samples, including both preparation and analysis of wood samples from spruce stem discs.
- Institute of Forest Zoology: Students may study the use of nitrogen in insect nutrition in a study that measures the digestive efficiency of herbivorous lepidopteran larvae.