Loyola University Maryland

International Programs

Freie Universitat Berlin Affiliation in Berlin, Germany

image divider
Contact: Kenneth Kwarciany 
School: Freie Universitat Berlin (FU-BEST, the Berlin European Studies Program of Freie Universität Berlin)  
Course Equivalencies



This is Loyola’s newest affiliation and the Office of International Programs will be sending students starting spring of 2015. The program will only be offered in the Spring Semester. Students will be studying at the FU-BEST - the Berlin European Studies Program hosted by Freie Universitat of Berlin, a premier research university in Germany. Students will have the opportunity to study and live in one of Europe’s most historical cities. Over 3 million people live in the thriving city of Berlin. This European Studies Program will allow students to take advantage of the excellent German educational system, cultural activities and recreational interests in Europe. Here is the link to the FU-BEST program: http://www.fu-berlin.de/en/sites/fubest/

Because it is an affiliation, students and parents should refer to the FU-BEST website for more detailed information on academics, housing, costs/fees, payment schedules and other items associated with studying abroad on this particular program.

Criteria for Applying

  • The FU-BEST Program requires students to have a 3.00 cumulative GPA for consideration for admission. Having a 3.00 cumulative, GPA does not guarantee admission into the program.
  • This program will only be offered in the Spring.
  • Disciplinary records will be taken into account when determining eligibility.
  • Students must submit an application and be accepted by FU-BEST.
  • All students will be placed on a leave of absence from Loyola for the semester they are abroad.
  • The Office of International Programs will ask you to apply to the FU-BEST Program in advance of the FU-BEST deadline in order to have the strongest consideration for admission and course registration.
  • The FU-BEST application deadline is October 15 for the spring term and April 1 for fall. A completed application must be in the FU-BEST admission's office by the above dates.  However, the Office of International Programs wants you to apply by August 1 for spring and February 15 for fall.
  • FU-BEST is very strict in regards to deadlines and policies.
  • Each student must submit an online application (admission and housing), an official transcript, two small passport-size photos, health insurance documentation, and a color copy of the inside of your valid, signed passport.
  • Students must pay an application fee to FU-BEST.
  • Students interested in applying to the FU-BEST Program must submit a study abroad application fall of their sophomore year by 5:00 P.M. on the Wednesday after the Thanksgiving break to the Office of International Programs at Loyola to receive approval to apply directly to the FU-BEST Program. Students must be screened by Loyola first before applying directly to the FU-BEST program.
  • Once your Loyola application has been reviewed, you will receive a clearance letter from the Office of International Programs giving you permission to apply directly to FU-BEST.
  • FU-BEST will review all of the admission materials before rendering a decision.
  • Students who have not declared a major will not be cleared to use this affiliation and students must be able to find enough courses that fulfill requirements in their degree program.

Criteria for Remaining in the program

Studying abroad is a privilege that students have to earn by receiving and maintaining the required cumulative GPA to be accepted into the FU-BEST Program. Students must also demonstrate through their disciplinary record (on and off campus) to the Office of International Programs they are able to represent Loyola University Maryland and the United States by displaying such characteristics as honesty, integrity and personal responsibility for self and others by making wise choices and avoiding risky and/or harmful behavior that could jeopardize their privilege to study abroad.

Therefore, once you are accepted into the FU-BEST program, it is also YOUR responsibility to keep your spot in the program. This includes your academic and disciplinary records at Loyola, which the Office of International Programs will review a second time.

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 (no rounding up) by the end of the semester prior to going abroad. Not maintaining the cumulative GPA of 3.00 could result in FU-BEST removing you from the program. Students will be financially responsible for any bills incurred by the FU-BEST Program on the student’s behalf.

In addition to maintaining the academic requirement to study abroad, a student must also maintain the disciplinary requirement and not get into ANY disciplinary trouble after being accepted into the program. When a student gets into disciplinary trouble AFTER receiving his/her acceptance, this strongly indicates to the Office of International Programs the student is not taking the opportunity he/she has been given to study abroad seriously, and it could also be an indicator of potential behavioral problems while abroad. If a student receives any disciplinary sanctions after being accepted into the FU-BEST program, he/she can be removed from the program and the student will be financially responsible for any payments made on his/her behalf. The student will be billed for these items.


  • Students can study for the fall or spring semester and typically take a total of 5 courses for the semester.
  • The Spring calendar runs January – April.
  • Prior knowledge of German is not required.
  • Students are placed on leave of absence from Loyola University Maryland.
  • All students must take two German language courses and take 3 additional courses called content courses at FU-BEST. Content courses are courses in the areas of history, political science, communication, philosophy and other humanities, business (limited), and social science courses.
  • Introductory through advance German is offered.
  • Most courses are taught in English.
  • There are a limited number of core courses offered and not all majors are accommodated on this program. Check with the Office of International Programs for more detailed course information.
  • Local field trips are a part of the program and are connected to some of the FU-BEST courses. Therefore, you must read the course descriptions carefully to determine which courses offered at FU-BEST have mandatory field trips.
  • Failing to participate in mandatory local field trips will result in receiving a lower grade or an F in a course.
  • Some of the local field trips are organized group trips, but some will require individual trips to cultural sites.  
  • The program provides a week-long trip to various European cities, like Poland, Vienna, and Prague, to name a few. The list of locations varies from semester to semester.  
  • Link to additional information on academics: http://www.fu-berlin.de/en/sites/fubest/prog/index.html


  • Housing sponsored by the FU-BEST Program allows students to choose either living in a homestay that includes breakfast and dinner OR living in a fully-furnished, single occupancy, studio apartment.
  • If you choose to live in the single occupancy, studio apartment, you are required to submit credit card information for security deposit.
  • Apartments do not have telephone or internet connection. Students can purchase a wireless internet connection in Berlin. This cost is not covered by the FU-BEST charges.
  • A third option is for students to arrange their own housing in Berlin. If this option is selected, neither FU-BEST nor Loyola will assist you with the third option. The student is solely responsible for the arrangement of housing abroad.  
  • Once your housing selection is made on the application, no changes will be allowed, unless there are exceptional circumstances and FU-BEST will review each case and make a determination whether to grant the request or not.
  • Read the link carefully on accommodations: http://www.fu-berlin.de/en/sites/fubest/accomm/index.html

Cost/Financial Aid

  • Students pay the FU-BEST charges for tuition, program fee, and the application fee.  
  • All payments are made directly to FU-BEST.
  • Institutionally-controlled forms of financial aid including academic/athletic scholarships, need-based grants, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Supplemental Grants, and Federal Work-Study cannot be used to assist with educational expenses incurred on tan affiliation program.
  • Federal aid and some state aid can be used on this affiliation. Contact our Financial Aid office for specific information.
  • Students must pay an application fee to FU-BEST (non-refundable) to apply and submit a study abroad deposit to Loyola to hold their place in the program after being accepted.
  • Accepted students must pay a $500 non-refundable deposit to Loyola to hold their spot in the program. The money is then transferred to FU-BEST.
  • Students are also financially responsible for their flights to and from Germany and are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.
  • FU-BEST has very strict policies regarding cancelling your application or making changes to items associated with your course and housing selections. In addition, FU-BEST requires deposits, tuition, program fee, and housing payments to be submitted on time. Late fees and penalties will be incurred if payment is not made by the stated deadlines.
  • Non-EU students will need to purchase a German residency permit and photos when abroad.
  • Students and parents should carefully read the payment schedule information and on the FU-BEST website called General Terms and Conditions of Business. http://www.fu-berlin.de/en/sites/fubest/fees/application/index.html

Travel to Site

  • Students are responsible for arranging their own flight to and from the program and for paying for their flight to and from Germany.
  • Students will not be picked up from the airport or the train station; students are expected to use public transportation (subway or taxi) to get to the program site.
  • Students must arrive no later than the official start date of the program.
  • If you need housing before the official start date, FU-BEST recommends students make prior arrangements for temporary housing before arriving in Berlin.
  • FU-BEST will send students information

Documents for Abroad

  •  A valid passport with at least 6 months left on it after the official close of the FU-BEST program.
  • All non-EU students must obtain a permit onsite in Berlin.
  • Students who are not citizens of an EU member country, US, or Canada will most likely need to obtain a student visa to enter Germany. Students will have to obtain the student visa on his/her own. FU-BEST recommends that students start working on the student visa (if you fall under the above category) as soon as you are accepted.
  • Here is the link to the Student Handbook for FU-BES - http://www.fu-berlin.de/en/sites/fubest/doku/Student-Guide.pdf?1400744932
  • All students must have a comprehensive health insurance policy that includes hospitalization and accident coverage and students will be required to submit detailed proof (list of what is covered while abroad) of a comprehensive health plan with the application to FU-BEST.
  • Students may want to consider purchasing travel insurance just in case they are no longer able to study abroad.

Course Equivalencies

This is a working list of the course equivalencies (click here) for the Loyola-FU-BEST affiliation.

The course approvals and equivalencies provided are the most current we have. Once accepted into a study abroad program, students will have an academic interview with the program coordinator and will be advised on potential course offerings.

Please be advised: All students are ultimately responsible for their course selection abroad and keeping up to date on course information and academic policies.  Course approvals and equivalencies may change, which means that you should confirm if the above list of courses are being offered abroad during the semester you plan to go. The FU-BEST program also reserves the right to alter course offerings at any time. Students must complete a form indicating the courses they want/need to take abroad and the student must also rank all 20 courses in order of preference. Therefore, students should have enough course options in the event course offerings change or if they are unable to register for their first –five top course choices.

If there are other courses you desire to take, and they are not on the course equivalency list, you must get written course approval by the department chair. The courses that you choose should fit into your degree audit and enable you to graduate on time.