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Perfect your German while experiencing life & culture in one of Europe's greenest cities.
The Academic Year in Freiburg (AYF) program is offered by a consortium of institutions, including Michigan State University, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, and UW-Madison. The program provides the opportunity to improve your German language skills while taking AYF-designed and university courses at Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat. You can take virtually all university courses offered in the humanities, social sciences, and most other disciplines.
In Freiburg, the vast entertainment options include museum exhibitions, theater productions and concerts in a variety of venues, such as discos, DJs on the lake, slam poetry pubs and more. Freiburgers celebrate their culture year-round, from traditional Volksfests and Fasnacht to festivals on the Marktplatz thrown by local farms and wineries to taste their seasonal specialties. Internships are available in the Spring semester. Founded in 1457, the university is located in the heart of Freiburg and currently has an enrollment of about 21,000 students.
You will quickly see that Freiburg is an extremely environmentally-conscious city. This is evident in all aspects of the urban landscape; bike paths, kitchen garden plots and other greenery are incorporated into city planning. Green technology is built into the infrastructure, as in the case of the Germany’s first solar-powered soccer stadium. Freiburgers old and young opt for biking as their primary mode of transportation and grocery shops charge you if you don’t bring your own bag!
The AYF Program Office is located in a building near the university. A faculty member from one of the participating U.S. universities serves as the Resident Director. The Resident Director and the local Associate Director help students with academic concerns and other aspects of daily life in Germany. For the 2013-14 year, Professor Senta Goertler of MSU will serve as Resident Director: http://sentagoertler.wordpress.com/.
For several years, the program has been able to offer scholarships of varying amounts to qualified participants as a result of grants from the Max Kade Foundation and Freiburg Madison Sister City. Additionally, students with exceptional academic records may also be nominated for Baden-Wurttemberg Scholarships available through the University of Freiburg (funded by the state of Baden-Wurttemberg).
Freiburg im Breisgau is located in the Upper Rhine valley at the edge of the Black Forest in southern Germany. With over 220,000 inhabitants, Freiburg provides a variety of cultural activities including many concerts.
You enjoy hikes in the Black Forest, cosy cafes, a new town hall was only created from 1896 to 1901. Cross Bächle on your way to the Weihnachtsmarkt (if you fall in, you are sure to marry someone from Freiburg). Students gather at the Seepark, a man-made lake, to grill out, slack-line and rent paddle boats. Fasnet, the pre-Lent festival is one of the livliest in Germany with parades and bonfires.
Only forty miles from the Swiss and fourteen miles from the French borders, it offers convenient access to Basel and Strasbourg.
Getting to Your Program
You will make your own travel arrangements but are given guidelines for arrival dates and times. Many students prefer to fly in to Frankfurt and take the train to Freiburg. You will be greeted at the Freiburg train station on arrival day by AYF staff.
U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to Germany. The AYF program staff assist students in obtaining a residence permit after arrival in Germany. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program.
Non-U.S. citizens should check with the German embassy to determine any special regulations pertaining entry into Germany at any time.
IAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online.
The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
The on-site pre-session orientation course is intensive language acquisition and cultural information to help students' transition in their host country. Students will receive 3 credits for this course.
You will submit housing forms to IAP. AYF will secure housing for participants based upon your housing forms. You will have the opportunity to speak German and develop new friendships living in a single room in the university dormitories along with German, American, and other international students. The dormitories - a short street car, bus, or bike ride from campus - include shared kitchen facilities on each floor, allowing you to prepare your own meals. You may also choose to dine in any of the university cafeterias, which provide meals at reasonable prices.
Excursions and Activities
Outside of Freiburg, the Black Forest is one of Germany's most famous and picturesque regions. The combination of valleys, pastures, forests, and mountains have made the area a prime vacation spot for centuries. Students can take advantage of numerous bicycling, hiking, and ski trails in the area. The AYF Program Office and the university organize group events and field trips throughout the year. Past participants have made friends through extracurricular activities such as music groups and athletic teams.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
You will also be enrolled in German student health insurance and German liability insurance in Germany, which are also included in program fees. You will be assisted in signing up for German insurances by AYF.
The Resident Director and the local Associate Director help students with academic concerns and other aspects of daily life in Germany. For the 2013-14 year, Professor Senta Goertler of MSU will serve as Resident Director: http://sentagoertler.wordpress.com/.
Use the links below to find out more information on academics, daily life and student impressions for this program.AYF 13/14 Handbook
(Year - 2013-14)AYF 13-14 program (includes housing information)
(Year - 2013-14)
How to Apply
First complete the IAP Online Application. The following supplemental application materials will become available to you through the application portal:
IAP Foreign Language Report
Unofficial Transcript (Student Record)
Unofficial Transcript - OPTIONAL - Additional File
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP will review your application and make the final admissions decision. You will be notified of the admissions decision via email.
|Year - 2014-2015
The program begins with a one-month orientation period consisting of an intensive German language course and sessions designed to acclimate students to life in Germany. After the orientation period, you can take courses specifically designed for program participants as well as regular courses at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat, Pädagogische Hochschule (University of Education), or Sprachlehrinsitut (Language Teaching Institute). AYF program classes include courses on German language, literature, and linguistics, as well as courses dealing with German and European history and society. The AYF program classes are taught by the Resident Director and local faculty.
AYF students are full-time, non-degree seeking students at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. In their course selection, AYF students are not limited to a particular department or set of departments. With very few exceptions, all fields of study and all courses for which students are adequately prepared are open to AYF participants (closed-enrollment fields such as the Med School and Psychology are off limits, for example).
You have the opportunity to participate in an internship program during the spring semester. Internships can be arranged for students with an interest in business, technology, and the arts. You will be placed in a 12-week part-time internships (10-12 hours per week) with a host company or organization to begin in early to mid-April and end in late June. You will be placed in internships corresponding to your educational backgrounds and career interests. The academic component of this internship, which will count as a 3-credit graded course, will be overseen by the Resident Director. There is an additional fee and application process for the internship. Additional information and application materials will be provided upon arrival in Freiburg.
The program runs from early September to mid-August and includes a two-month break from mid-February to mid-April between terms when students are free to travel.
Program Web Page(s)
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
Sort by Foreign Course Titles
Sort by UW-Madison Course Titles
Group by host institution and Sort by Foreign Course Titles
Group by host institution and Sort by UW-Madison Course Titles