The Freie Universität Berlin European Studies Program (FU-BEST) was specifically created by one of Germany’s top universities to offer North American and international students cultural and business courses focusing on Germany and its role in Europe. What is unique about this program is that it is primarily offered in English, and on the North American calendar (as opposed to many other German universities which operate on a different academic calendar). All students are required to take a German language course, and depending on their level they will follow a regular (3-4 credit for beginners) or intensive (6-8 for non-beginners) credit option. They then select 2-4 culture options to round out their academic schedule. Advanced-level German speakers may wish to consider the GermanPLUS+ track. The GermanPLUS+ track consists of two German language and three subject courses, all taught in German. In addition to being one of Germany’s and Europe’s top universities, the FU-BEST program meets the FORUM on Education Abroad’s standards of excellence. FU-BEST is a fantastic option for students looking study abroad in Berlin and receive high-quality instruction in their native language. Students who are interested in studying at FU-BEST for an academic year are very welcome to do so. University protocol dictates that students should first apply only for the semester of their arrival. Arrangements to extend their stay for an additional month will be made on-site. Students are advised to speak with their home university about whether they should be registered as an academic year student in advance, or wait until their arrival on-site in Germany (and the subsequent extension of their stay) to modify their standing at the home university.
HIGHLIGHTS A city once divided, Berlin lies at the heart of Germany – literally and figuratively. While it is the second most populous city in Europe (metropolitan area notwithstanding), it maintains a more tranquil feel than other large cities, as 1/3 of the city is composed of forests, gardens, and parks. Berlin is not only the political capital of Germany, but arguably one of Europe’s capitals of art, culture, and politics. Designated a UNESCO “City of Design”, it possesses amazing architecture, cuisine, museums, and music and is a favored destination for young travelers and students. Berlin is also home to some of the top universities in Germany and all of Europe, including API’s partners at Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Spanish Language and Culture Program Students will complete 1 of 3 tracks per term in this program (tracks are differentiated based on the student’s language level and academic goals). Students may also choose to add additional hours or combine two quarter terms for additional credit. TRACK 1 – INTENSIVE LANGUAGE This track is open to students at all levels who are interested in improving their Spanish language skills. Students will take 120 contact hours of Spanish language, and may add on additional hours (up to 180 contact hours total) for an additional fee. TRACK 2 – SPANISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE This track is open to intermediate and advanced-level students (levels B1- B2) who are interested in improving their Spanish language skills while taking additional hours of culture and content courses. Students will take 120 hours of Spanish language, as well as an additional 65 hours of cultural electives (for 185 contact hours per term). TRACK 3 – HISPANIC STUDIES This track is open to advanced and superior-level students (level B2 and higher) who are interested in taking more in-depth Spanish cultural courses. Students may choose to take either 3 or 4 culture courses (to earn 135-180 contact hours per term).
Students are not required to take a Spanish language course at this level. Spanish Language, Business, and Humanities Program This program offers classes taught in English in both business and humanities, as well as Spanish language courses at all levels. Students who have completed more advanced Spanish courses can choose from a wide variety of classes focusing on Spanish culture and civilization that are taught in Spanish. A placement exam determines the language level of each student. The fall semester begins with an intensive two-week Spanish language course for 3 semester credits. The spring early start semester begins with an intensive four-week Spanish language course for 6 credits. Students are then required to take at least one Spanish language class during the semester. Depending on the term, students then choose four or five additional classes at 3 credits each for a total of 12-21 semester credits. Spain’s capital since 1561, Madrid is the contemporary capital of Spanish culture, finance, and industry. A large, international and cosmopolitan city, Madrid is a city of possibilities. It boasts incredible monuments and museums, including the Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. Visitors cannot miss the Iglesia de San Isidro, once the cathedral of Madrid, or the Palacio Real. Madrid is also known for its fountains and elaborate parks, including the glorious Parque del Retiro. The energy of Madrid is in its street life and warm people. Taking a gap year in Madrid means experiencing more than a classroom – it means experiencing the history of Spain and its people. Aspire by API gives students the chance to live and learn in this fast-paced capital city.
API international internships provide students with the unique opportunity to explore and cultivate their future career path through a high-quality, 8-week credit-bearing placement in several exciting fields and destinations. API internship programs encompass a number of career development and cultural resources to help participants maximize their personal and professional development.
Internships open to high school graduates, 18 years old and above. Gap year students are eligible for 8-Week Fixed Date Internships in select locations.