The FU-BEST (Berlin European Studies) Program seeks to educate responsible, global citizens by promoting intercultural sensitivity in a multi-faceted environment. The program aims to provide an intensive and diverse study abroad experience to its participants. Combining mandatory German language instruction and a varied menu of content courses taught in English and German, FU-BEST is intended to be an accessible opportunity to a wide range of potential participants. For students wishing to take Advanced German Language the GermanPlus program has recently been added to the program (see Academic Section below). Using its concept of the "extended classroom", the program's goal is to link high-quality academic instruction with a broader international experience, encompassing elements of culture, society, history, and politics, in Berlin, in Germany, and in (Central) Europe generally. Small classes and the availability of day-to-day guidance and support are designed to enable students to make the most of a unique educational opportunity.
Berlin is a dynamic multicultural Central European metropolis with 3.4 million inhabitants with a vibrant night-life, producing a 'city that never sleeps'. There is ample recreational opportunity in parks, forests, and at the area's many lakes. You will be able to take advantage of a first-class public transportation network, plus convenient access to various destinations in Germany and throughout Central Europe. Take advantage of the spectacular diversity of cultural offerings, featuring countless museums and world-renowned orchestras, opera houses, and theatres.
Attend a Study Abroad 101 and 102 Session
Have the required GPA and prerequisite courses for the program. This program requires a 3.0 GPA.
Students must have completed three semesters of college before studying abroad. Goucher cannot guarantee that any sophomore will be accepted by the host institution.
Declare a major in order to study abroad for a semester
Students cannot be on academic or disciplinary probation at the time of application
Students must complete the online Goucher study abroad application by the published deadline. See the Events and Deadlines Calendar for the most up-to-date information.
Students must next apply to FU-Best by their published deadline. Initial approval is granted by Goucher OIS and final acceptance is granted by the host program and institution.
January 30, 2017 - for participants who select apartments.
January 31, 2017 - for participants who select a homestay.
Official ending date - May 19, 2017
Do not purchase airline tickets until you receive confirmation of acceptance from the program and verification of arrival and departure details.
Mandatory enrollment in German language, offered at all levels, during the Fall and Spring semesters (6-8 credit hours for intensive instruction at all levels and 3-4 credit hours for non-intensive instruction at the beginner level). The FU-BEST program does not require knowledge of German prior to enrollment.
A menu of non-language courses (3 credit hours) taught mostly in English by expert faculty, covering such topics and disciplines as cultural studies, art history, comparative literature, the European Union, German history, German and European politics, sociology/psychology, film studies, legal studies, architecture, environmental studies, transatlantic relations, business, music history, and philosophy.
A special package of advanced German language courses and German-taught subject courses for advanced German Studies students or students of other subjects with advanced German language abilities (GermanPLUS+)
Courses are between 3 and 4 US credits. German language courses are designed as U.S. style 3 - 4 semester credits and the content/subject courses are designed as 3 U.S. style credits.
FU Grade Points on 100-Scale U.S. Grade
1,0 98-100 A
1,3 95-97 A
1,7 90-94 A-
2,0 85-89 B+
2,3 80-84 B
2,7 75-79 B-
3,0 70-74 C+
3,3 65-69 C
3,7 60-64 C-
4,0 50-59 D
> 4,0 < 50 F
Goucher will transfer grades and credits as reported on the Freie Universitat Berlin transcript. Grades will be recorded on the Goucher transcript and will factor into the GPA.
Grades count toward a Goucher GPA
Study abroad courses may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Students must take a minimum of 12 credits and maximum of 18 credits
All students must participate in a 1 credit Study Abroad Immersion Course while studying abroad. Details will be provided at predeparture orientation.
Students on Goucher programs will receive Goucher grades and credits for all approved courses taken while abroad
Language courses are offered in German. Subject/content courses are taught in English. Students who place into advanced German level courses can participate in the GermanPLUS program as described in the Academic Section of this brochure where they will take two language courses and three subject courses in German.
Since Goucher students are fully enrolled at Goucher and receive Goucher credit while abroad, they pay regular Goucher tuition for any Goucher semester abroad program. This payment is regardless of the cost advertised and is charged by the program itself. Students pay the non-academic costs (i.e. room and board) in part or in full to Goucher or directly to the study abroad organization or overseas institution depending on the program. Estimated additional costs that a student may incur in attending these programs are listed on the Budget Expense Worksheet for each program. You can utilize institutional and federal aid for a Goucher semester program. Students will be billed Goucher tuition, room, and board.
Any awarded financial aid may be used as payment for semester programs sponsored by Goucher College; however; you are allowed to transport your Goucher institutional aid for only one semester, unless you participate in the Goucher Oxford University yearlong program. In addition, all students are eligible to apply for Goucher OIS scholarships and can apply during the program application process. For information on OIS and outside scholarships please visit the OIS scholarship/financial aid section.
To apply for an OIS scholarship please submit your application by the study abroad application deadline for this program through the following application:
A $500 deposit is due upon application. Study abroad program costs are billed through your Goucher student account and are due at the same time as regular semester fees. Please refer to the Budget Expense Worksheet for details for this program.
The $500 deposit paid upon application is applied to the student’s account and becomes non-refundable when accepted by Goucher College and the host program. If you are not accepted into a program, your deposit will be refunded.
If for any reason, a student withdraws from a Goucher semester after the deposit deadline, he or she will not be entitled to a refund of any fees paid to Goucher, including program deposit, tuition fees, travel fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. If, due to any unforeseen circumstances or other circumstances beyond the control of the college, a semester Goucher program is cancelled, either prior to departure or during the course of the program, the student will not be guaranteed a refund of any fees paid to Goucher, including program deposit, tuition fees, travel fees, program fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. In most cases, the college forwards program fees to vendors in foreign countries, making it very difficult to recover such fees due to a program cancellation. In such cases, the college will make a good-faith effort to recover such fees and to return any portion of fees that it may recover that may be attributable to a student’s participation in the program. However, the college makes no guarantees regarding the recovery of fees and is not liable for any fees that it is unable to recover.
Students are charged Goucher room and board, therefore must select the homestay option with FU-Best.
If you elect a homestay your meals are included. Apartments have facilities to prepare your own meals. Food is at your own expense for the apartment option.
Frei Universitat Berlin
A successful semester abroad is dependent upon adequate preparation. Students will participate in online orientation material prior to the mandatory group orientation prior to leaving Goucher for the semester prior to studying abroad. Dates will be provided upon study abroad acceptance.
Passport, Embassy, Consulate, and Visa Resources
Students are required to have passports for all Goucher programs. Failure to have a passport will prohibit participation in the program. Passports take time to process and need to be valid for six months after your return to the U.S. Check your expiration date and renew if necessary. Please see the U S State Department section on passports
Residence permit for Germany U.S. citizens do not need a visa to study in Germany, they apply for a residence permit after arrival. Citizens of other countries should consult this link.
U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Germany
You will be required to submit health forms signed by a health care provider prior to studying abroad. Forms will be supplied when you are accepted. Please read the Health and Safety section of the Goucher OIS website for information regarding Health and Safety, Disability Support, Diversity Abroad, Safety and Security, and Insurance:
Study Abroad Insurance
All students participating on Semester, Year or ICA Goucher programs will be automatically enrolled in a health insurance plan tailored to meet the needs of study abroad students. Students participating in Goucher semester programs will be billed $300. The insurance carrier is ACE American Insurance Company. Prior to the start of the program abroad, OIS staff will register students for the insurance program. Students will receive information about how to use the health insurance policy from the Office of International Studies prior to departure for study abroad.
Students with Disabilities
Goucher encourages all students who meet our eligibility requirements to consider studying abroad. OIS will work with you regarding any special needs you may have. However, we cannot guarantee that any or all of our program sites can accommodate all of your needs or interests. More information can be found on the OIS Disabilities Support section of the website.
Research the fact sheet for your location of interest on the U.S. State Department website for information on LGBTI rights, women travelers, safety and security, religious, and accessibility/mobility laws and information.
On the CIA World Factbook website, look for your host country’s page and research the “People and Society” section, where you can find the breakdown by ethnic group, religion, and race.
Refer to Goucher OIS section on Student Identity for additional resources for student identity.