International Summer and Winter University FUBiS at Freie Universität Berlin Starts New Year Online

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Most of the students participating in the program come from South Korea, the USA, and Singapore

On Wednesday, Freie Universität Berlin welcomed students from eight countries to the start off the 2021 International Summer and Winter University (FUBiS). In the first three-week FUBiS term of the new year, the students can enroll in online academic courses in German as a foreign language and German philosophy. Most of the students this term come from South Korea, the United States, and Singapore. The FUBiS term will run through January 26.

Besides German language and culture courses for different German language levels, FUBiS is also offering the subject course "German Philosophy: From Kant to Habermas."  

For all FUBiS online academic courses, Freie Universität Berlin awards credits according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). All the courses are designed with a special focus on the city of Berlin, with its immense cultural and historical significance. As it remains impossible for most students to visit Berlin in person this winter, the online courses aim to give them at least an initial impression of the German capital. Sophia Schmieder, program director for FUBiS, says that the concept has been well received by students, who consistently submit very positive evaluations. Over 150 FUBiS Online students in 2021 gave the program a recommendation rate of 97 percent, while 96 percent of those students said that they were also able to accomplish the main academic goals they had set for themselves.

Schmieder sums up the past experiences, "Working online has become especially important for maintaining international connections during the pandemic. We’re glad that we have been able to help strengthen these networks through our work." She adds that after last year’s success with the public, digital lecture series "What’s Next?" on topics of the future, the program will continue to expand to focus more on sustainability and the future. According to Schmieder, the goal is to create a global community of empowered individuals who will actively shape a better future; thus, future issues and the inclusion of the United Nations’ global "Sustainable Development Goals" (SDGs) play an increasingly important role.

For the summer terms, FUBiS is offering courses both online and in person.

The FUBiS Summer University was held for the first time in 1998, and in 2007 a winter term was added. FUBiS offers summer and winter programs lasting three to six weeks that are made up of German language lessons and a wide range of academic courses primarily conducted in English. In 2018, the academic quality of FUBiS was awarded certification through the US American Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) again. It is the only summer and winter university in Germany that has successfully completed the QUIP evaluation. In past years, FUBiS has regularly welcomed around 600 students from 40 countries to Freie Universität Berlin.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the program also offers academic online courses, awarding internationally recognized ECTS credits. In 2021 together with its sister program, Freie Universität Berlin European Studies Program (FU-BEST), FUBiS organized the free public lecture series "What’s Next?" as well as the public interactive online event series ÜBerlin Talks," where a panel of internationally acclaimed experts discusses societal issues. The online courses offered by FU-BEST and FUBiS were recognized in 2020 by the initiative "Germany ’Land of Ideas’: Beyond Crisis."

You can find up-to-date information on FUBiS’ online and in-person programs and the course syllabuses at www.fubis.org


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