Free University of Berlin
The program at the Free University of Berlin was established in 1995 so U.S. students could study German law in the capital city of Berlin along with German law school students and be fully immersed in the culture. Students study Civil Law and Jurisprudence at the Free University of Berlin and may also take courses at nearby Humboldt University. More than 4,000 students, 25 professors and over 100 adjunct professors and faculty assistants make the Law Department one of the biggest in Germnay. Language fluency is helpful, however, there are a number of courses which are taught in English. These courses are updated every semester and can be found at:
An information movie on the Free University can be viewed at:
A complete study guide can be found at:
- Application Process
- Course of Study
- Assessment and Grading
- Application Process
- Cancellation Policy
- Further Information
- Berlin Contact Person
- Law School Contacts
- Student Contacts
The program is designed for students matriculating at the University of Connecticut School of Law. First and second year day division students are eligible to apply to study abroad in their second or third year. Evening division students and four-year day students are eligible to apply in their second or third year to study abroad in their third or fourth year. In addition students must be accepted by the Faculty of Law in Berlin.
The application process for all programs takes place once a year in February and decisions are made in March for the following academic year. Application forms are available at the Study Abroad Fair and online. Selection criteria include grades, faculty recommendations, essay and interview.
The Free University offers a full range of courses for German students. UConn students work with a German Law professor to select a suitable group of courses tailored to the students' academic preferences and demonstrated fluency level. Previous students have taken German Public/Constitutional Law, Legal Methodology and Argumentation, Foundations of Civil Law, History of the German Law and Constitution, Commercial Law, Legal Methods in German Law, The Relationship of German Law to International and EC Law, Contracts, Torts, Conflicts of Law, and a seminar in Comparative Law.
The Free University has recently added a wide range of courses that are taught in English. For instance, this semester European Contract Law, Introduction to European and German Company Law, International Criminal Law, External Relations of the European Union, European Consumer Law, International Arbitration, and E-Commerce Law are being taught in English [see http://www.jura.fu-berlin.de/international/studierendenaustausch/incomings/kurse/eng/index.html]. Additionally, students are able to take courses offered at the Humboldt University of Berlin [http://www.rewi.hu-berlin.de].
It is preferable to spend the entire academic year studying in Berlin for 24 credits. However, it is possible to attend the Free University for only one semester for 12 credits. A minimum of four courses per semester is required. Students may go to Berlin during the Spring semester since it does not conflict with our Law School academic calendar.
The academic year is divided into winter and summer semesters, each of which consists of a lecture period, and a non-lecture, or recess period, which is devoted primarily to independent scholarly activities. The winter semester typically begins in early October through the end of March with the lecture period being mid-October to mid-February. Summer semester begins in early April through the end of September with the lecture period being mid-April through mid-July.
Exams are a combination of written and oral. Credit will be given for courses from Berlin graded 7 and higher. No credit is given for a failed course. Individual courses and grades are not listed on UConn transcripts, rather a notation is made that the student studied in Berlin for the semester and the total credits awarded is listed. The grade points equivalents are:
Connecticut students pay tuition at their home institution. Thus, Connecticut students taking courses in Berlin will receive a regular fee bill from the Business Office here, charging them for 12 credits and all other fees except parking. A Law School Study Abroad fee of $475 is charged to help defray the administrative expense of the program. The Free University charges UConn students a fee of €200+ per semester. This fee includes free transportation on the subway and all public buses. Our students have found low-cost housing near the faculty of law. Thus the cost of living in Germany has proven to be quite close to that here. Of course, there are always extra costs associated with living in another country, particularly the cost of travel.
Students on financial aid should consult the Student Finance Office. Study in Berlin should not affect financial aid status. For financial aid purposes, 12 credits in our semester-abroad programs is considered to be full-time study.
There is the possibility of receiving a scholarship through the Berlin Education Foundation Scholarship. This scholarship provides a J.D. student with a monthly stipend, travel costs to and from Berlin, lodging, and tuition for a year's study. See Enver Burak Can (Hosmer 144) for application forms. The application deadline is typically December 31 for the following academic year. Scholarship award notification is received in May. All qualified applicants will be interviewed by Professors Oquendo or Leenen to determine language proficiency.
Foreign study at the Free University of Berlin will not be canceled due to lack of enrollment. Should the Faculty at Berlin decide to cancel the program, Connecticut students will then register for regular classes at the School of Law. In the event that cancellation occurs after the pre-registration period for the semester in question, every effort will be made to accommodate student preferences in registering for classes. No promise can be made that all desired classes will be available.
Check the internet for additional materials about study in Berlin at http://www.fu-berlin.de/.
Enver Burak Can can answer many questions or direct you to helpful resources. Students concerned about handicapped access at the Free University and in Germany in general are encouraged to consult with Dr. Jane Thierfield Brown, Dean's Office, 570-5130.
Professor Angel Oquendo is the Faculty Advisor for the Berlin program. Professors Janis, Oquendo, Strasser, Utz and Wilf have taught at the Free University.
Tel: 01149 30 838 52526
Fax:01149 30 838 52529
Dr. Andread Fijal
Tel: 011 4930 8385 2527
Fax: 011 4930 8385 52529
Enver Burak Can, Deputy Director
International Legal Programs