The program has launched its two terms this summer with students from 30 different countries
No 139/2021 from Jul 16, 2021
The international Summer and Winter University at Freie Universität Berlin kicked off the second of two online summer terms last Thursday. 170 participants from 30 different countries will gain ECTS credits while attending German language classes and academic courses lasting four to six weeks during these two terms. Most of the students are from Canada, South Korea, and Brazil. A free public digital lecture series featuring ten sessions, some of which will be interactive, will also take place. The online course program goes until August 12, 2021, while the public lecture series will run until November 3, 2021.
Besides "German Language and Culture" courses for all German language levels, FUBiS will offer eleven academic courses in English and one in German. Students can choose from topics as diverse as sociology, art history, history, political science, economics, philosophy, communication studies, literature, and German.
For all the 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 will be impossible for most students to visit Berlin in person this summer, it is hoped that the online courses will give them an initial impression of the German capital.
Now that the first term has drawn to a close, the second one will start. Sophia Schmieder, FUBiS Program Director, summarizes the latest findings from the first cohort’s feedback: "We learned through the student survey that the international students set themselves ambitious academic goals, even though they were undertaking distance learning." These ranged from developing better German language skills, to gaining new academic perspectives, right through to preparing for a study program in Germany or Europe. "We were delighted to see every single respondent report that they had achieved all of their primary academic goals. Not only that, but one hundred percent of participants stated that they would recommend the FUBiS online courses to others," says Schmieder. Generally speaking, the students who filled out the questionnaire said that they particularly enjoyed the highly dynamic experience of studying using different tools, interacting in small international groups, and the personal support they received.
Schmieder adds that one interesting finding from the questionnaire - alongside the excellent reviews of the online courses on offer - was that almost all students would have liked to have taken their courses on site in Berlin. This has given her all the more reason to look forward to when in-person courses resume, as the program is dedicated to offering first-rate innovative, accessible, and sustainable education to people from all backgrounds on site in Berlin, furthering their personal and academic growth. "Our goal is to create a global community of empowered individuals who actively shape a better future. That’s why the FUBiS program is dedicated to global sustainability goals in order to provide an incredibly diverse student body with the skills they will need to contribute to the world of the future." In order to accomplish these objectives, the courses are accompanied by free events on highly relevant topics, such as the public lecture series "What’s next?" and the digital panel discussion series ÜBerlin Talks."
For the 2022 winter term, FUBiS hopes to offer 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 through 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. Together with its sister program, Freie Universität Berlin European Studies Program (FU-BEST), FUBiS organizes 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.