Scenic view of German countryside speckled with trees, small houses, and hills below a partly cloudy blue sky

Exchange in Germany

  1. Program Details

    Study at Freie Universität Berlin, one of the most prestigious universities in Europe, and experience the progressive cultural capital of Germany's largest city.

    Location Berlin, Germany
    Term Academic Year, Spring Semester
    Housing Apartment, Homestay
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 3.0
    Student Type UofM Students
    Student Year Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
    Language Preference given to students with a German language background
  2. About Exchange in Germany

    Freie Universität Berlin is one of the leading and most prestigious research universities in Germany and continental Europe. It distinguishes itself through its modern and international character. Most of the university's facilities are located in the Dahlem district of southwest Berlin. 

    Freie Universität website. University of Minnesota students are considered "Direct Exchange" students. 

    Housing & Meals

    You can either organize your own private accommodation (such as shared student apartments) or use the university’s housing service, ERG. The housing service offers a variety of accommodation options, including dorms (Schlactensee), shared flats and fully furnished single apartments. All housing options are available from the beginning of September or October onwards and cost about 250 – 350 € per month.

    Read more about Accommodation on the Freie Universität website. 


    Freie Universität is located in the capital city of Berlin and provides easy access to all the city has to offer. Previous exchange students have traveled throughout Germany and Europe during their year abroad.

    Learning Outcomes

    Students having participated in a bilateral exchange program will:

    • Develop a stronger sense of confidence by engaging in a highly independent study abroad program and foster second language acquisition whenever possible

    • Learn to appreciate diverse world views, accept complexity, and embrace ambiguity; added benefit of reciprocity to foster mutual respect and understanding

    • Experience a new culturally specific academic system and incorporate different academic perspectives

    • Develop awareness of and challenge assumptions about their host culture, their own culture, and how their culture is viewed by others

    • Identify and communicate how your experience abroad has impacted you personally, academically, and professionally

    Faculty & Staff

    Instruction is in German by German faculty at the Freie Universität Berlin.

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  3. Program Structure

    Program Type Host University Study
    Program Level Upper and lower division coursework available.

    Students are required to maintain a minimum of 13 credits (20 ECTS credits) per semester.


    Grade & Credit Conversion Scale

    You receive resident credit for the courses you take. Your grades factor into your University of Minnesota GPA and each course appears on your transcript with an A/F grade. Consult the Learning Abroad Center's Academic Policies page for more information.

    Freie Universität offers a broad variety of undergraduate programs. The Course Catalog has full course listings. Available courses for a specific term are listed approximately three months prior to the start of the term. although you can look at the course catalog at any time to get an idea of what is typically offered. While the majority of courses taught at FU are in Greman, students can take courses in English at the JFK Institute for North American Studies.

    Freie Universität is on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Credits at Freie Universität are transferred from ECTS to U.S. credits at a scale of 1 ECTS = .66 U.S. semester credits, 2 ECTS = 1.3 US semester credits, and so on. 

    Special note to German majors / minors:  Students wishing to apply coursework taken in Berlin to a German major or minor must take coursework in German.  Courses taught in English are not eligible for German major / minor credit. 

    German Language Courses

    A six-week intensive preparatory German language course is offered before the beginning of the academic year and Spring semester.  This course carries academic credit and incurs an additional fee. 

    German language courses offered during the semester are included in the program fee. If you want to take a semester German language course, you will take a placement test during orientation if you have not taken the preparatory course. 

    Global Identity

    Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future is an optional 1-credit online course that helps you process your international experience and apply what you've learned upon your return.  Global Identity gives you the opportunity to work individually with a trained cultural mentor, helping you articulate your newly acquired skills and differentiating you from your peers.

    This course is offered at no additional cost on programs six weeks or longer. The Learning Abroad Center will email out registration instructions, or you may contact a program team member.

    Syllabus for Global Identity (PDF)

  4. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

    Program start and end dates may vary slightly as each academic department holds exams on a different timetable.  Exact arrival dates will be given to students upon admission. 

    Spaces on Exchange programs are limited, students are encouraged to have a backup program in mind if applying for an exchange program.

    Term Program Dates Application Deadline
    Academic Year 2020/21 Late September - Late July (exact dates TBD) Apr 1, 2020
    Spring 2020 Late March - Late July (exact dates TBD) Oct 1, 2019

    *Program dates are subject to change. Contact the LAC for verification of dates before purchasing your airfare.
    **If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    Orientation Dates & Locations

    Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

    See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

    Term Abroad Date/Time Location
    Spring 2020 TBD TBD
  5. Fees for Exchange in Germany

    Academic Year 2019/20

    Spring 2020

    Exchange costs may vary from year to year and are subject to change.   

    Students participating on exchanges are charged a program fee which is inclusive of University of Minnesota-Twin Cities tuition and fees, University of Minnesota Advising, Placement, Academic and Administrative Costs (APAAC) and international health insurance. The APAAC covers application processing, advising services, orientation, course registration, grade transfer and posting for resident credit as well as program billing and assistance with financial aid when applicable.

    Billing & Payments

    Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

    Bridging Loan

    Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

    Cancellation Policy

    Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
  6. Prepare

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.
    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term See Program Dates for term options
    Program Name Exchange in Germany
    Track Name Freie Universität Berlin
    Country Germany


    University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee.


    Upon submitting the online application, you will be assigned an application checklist that includes:

    • Application Essay
    • 1 Academic Recommendation
    • 1-page résumé 

    Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you. 

    Application Review Process

    Exchange programs can be competitive.  We are not always able to place all applicants.  After the application deadline, a Learning Abroad Center selection committee will review applications and make endorsements. 

    Nominated students will be required to complete Freie University's application. Freie Universität Berlin will make the final acceptance decision. More information about this process will be sent to the nominated students.

    If nominated, you will also be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program.

    If at any point you decide not to continue with the application process, log into to the Education Abroad application system and submit a cancellation request.

  7. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

    Ryan McCarthy or call at 612.626.9373.