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Initiative of the German government recognized the Online Lecture Series of the FU-BEST European Studies Program

News from Nov 06, 2020

№ 208/2020 from Nov 04, 2020

The digital lecture series of the European Studies Program of Freie Universität Berlin (FU-BEST) was recognized by the German government’s initiative “Germany, Land of Ideas: Beyond Crisis” as being a worthwhile project that develops innovative and socially relevant ideas. The “Beyond Crisis” initiative was launched by the German federal government and German industry to encourage new projects to show ways out of the current crisis and to design a future worth striving for. The FU-BEST curriculum offers various academic subjects as well as German language classes that are open to students worldwide. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the classes that would normally have taken place on campus this fall were canceled. Instead, FU-BEST is offering a virtual, partly interactive lecture series with 15 presentations. The lectures are public and free. Anyone interested can follow them on the FU-BEST website and on YouTube.

For the first time, the Freie Universität Berlin European Studies Program (FU-BEST) program is making a selection of its courses available to the public via the Internet: twelve lectures are being presented in English on current issues in European Studies, complemented by three interactive live teaching units in German as a foreign language. In the lectures the course content is contextualized in relation to Berlin as a cultural and historical location. In addition, the instructors are sharing their expertise on relevant topics in Germany and Europe as well as the impact of these topics on society, culture, and politics. The subjects include history, literature, philosophy, political science, law, business and the economy, architecture, environmental studies, and German. The decision to switch from an academic program for selected participants to a public program was triggered by limited student mobility due to the coronavirus pandemic. The FU-BEST online lectures are running from September 9 through December 16, 2020.

Dr. Dirk Verheyen, Academic Director of FU-BEST, emphasizes, “With this broader program, we are accommodating the international students who, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, cannot travel to Berlin this fall for a typical FU-BEST semester in Berlin. This way, even other interested parties can also participate." Dr. Kristina Rödder, also Academic Director of the program, points out that the lecture series provides a good impression of the program as well as a cross-section of its various courses. The instructors address important overarching aspects of their European Studies courses, covering different disciplinary perspectives and different language levels. FU-BEST supplements the courses with an interactive, public online series “Berlin Talks,” which started on October 8 with a live broadcast of a panel discussion on the topic of “30 Years of German Reunification.”

FU-BEST is an academic semester program at Freie Universität Berlin that is offered in the fall and in the spring. The program includes various courses, mainly in the social sciences and the humanities, which are primarily taught in English. In addition, the international students take classes in German as a foreign language. They can receive credits in their home countries for successfully completed courses.

The program follows the North American academic calendar and has consistently grown since 2005 – roughly 340 students participate in FU-BEST each year. About 3,500 international students have enjoyed the benefits of this program since it was founded. The academic quality of FU-BEST was once again recognized this year by the Forum on Education Abroad through its Quality Improvement Program (QUIP).

Link to FU-BEST online: www.fubest.org/online

Links to More Information:


Friederike Zähringer, Coordinator Marketing & Communications, Freie Universität Berlin European Studies Program (FU-BEST), Tel.: +49 30 838-66560, Email: friederike.zaehringer@fu-berlin.de

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