International Summer and Winter University FUBiS at Freie Universität Berlin Starts New Year Online with 75 Participants
On Tuesday, Freie Universität Berlin welcomed students from 19 countries to the start of the 2021 International Summer and Winter University (FUBiS). In the first three-week FUBiS term of the new year, the students can enroll in seven online academic courses in German as a foreign language and other subjects with a strong focus on Berlin, Germany, and Europe. Most of the students this term come from South Korea, Italy, and the United Kingdom. The students – including students from Una Europa partner universities in Helsinki, Leuven and Kraków, who are taking part for the first time under the “Una Europa Mobility in Emergency” initiative – were welcomed on Tuesday with a digital personal greeting from Professor Verena Blechinger-Talcott, Vice President for International Affairs at Freie Universität Berlin. The FUBiS term will run through January 27.
Besides German language and culture courses for three different German language levels, FUBiS is also offering four courses in English: “European Studies,” “German Philosophy: From Kant to Habermas,” “Seduction and Terror: Hitler’s Germany,” and “Twentieth-Century Berlin: People, Places, Words.”
For all FUBiS online academic courses, Freie Universität Berlin awards credits according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). All the courses are designed with a special focus on the city of Berlin, with its immense cultural and historical significance. As it will be impossible for most students to visit Berlin in person this winter, it is hoped that the online courses will give them at least an initial impression of the German capital. Sophia Schmieder, program director for FUBiS, explains, “Our online courses are very special, using Berlin’s rich cultural, social, and historical heritage as a way into understanding the city and getting to know Germany. This means that while students may not be able to come to Berlin in person, they can still benefit from a study abroad experience with FUBiS.”
In 2020, the intensive study program offered courses online for the first time, including academic courses eligible for ECTS credits and a free public lecture series. FUBiS also won recognition in 2020 as part of the initiative “Germany: Land of Ideas – Beyond Crisis.”
Sophia Schmieder sums up the past year: “In 2020, we were able to consolidate our expertise in digital teaching to a really outstanding level. There’s a huge demand for good online teaching, and of course, working online has become especially important for maintaining international connections during the pandemic. We’re glad that we have been able to help strengthen these networks through our work.” Schmieder adds that the program is continually expanding its online program, making the most of a variety of technologies to create an attractive and varied teaching and learning environment. For the summer terms, FUBiS is offering courses both online and in person.
The FUBiS Summer University was held for the first time in 1998, and in 2007 a winter term was added. In 2018 the academic quality of FUBiS was reevaluated and again recognized by the Forum on Education Abroad through its Quality Improvement Program (QUIP). It is the only summer and winter university in Germany that successfully completed the QUIP evaluation. In past years, FUBiS has regularly welcomed around 600 students from 40 countries to Freie Universität Berlin.
You can find up-to-date information on FUBiS’ online and in-person programs and the course syllabuses at: www.fubis.org.
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