Berlin, Germany

Alert: COVID – 19 Information from FUBiS / CDC / WHO / German Government


The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study for the summer in Berlin, Germany. On-site, the program is coordinated by Freie Universität Berlin International Summer University (FUBiS).

The period of study is the Mid-July through Mid-August. Students may choose from a variety of courses at FUBiS.

This program is open to all majors, but is particularly ideal for students who are pursuing degrees, minors and/or certificates in the following fields of study:

  • Art, History, Music, Political Science, Theater (in English)
  • German language (beginning to advanced levels)

Informational meetings via Zoom: TBA

2022 application deadline: Tuesday, Feb. 15

Tentative 2022 program dates: July 17 – August 14 (4 weeks)

Host Institution

Since its founding in 1948, the Freie Universität Berlin is home to approximately 32,000 students and has become one of Germany’s most progressive and international universities. In the tradition of its international spirit and as a symbol of its progressiveness, the International Summer and Winter University (FUBiS) has been part of the University’s regular program since 1998. Freie Universität Berlin is located in the southwest of Berlin, in the beautiful residential area of Dahlem with its many parks, the Grunewald forest and beautiful lakes in its immediate vicinity. Summer courses will meet in one of the buildings on the campus.


The UHM Summer in Berlin program provides students an opportunity to fulfill UHM major, minor, elective, focus, foundations, diversification and foreign language requirements for graduation. The program runs from early June through mid-July. Students can enroll in German language, studying grammar, conversation, and phonetics and/or take classes taught in English. All students must enroll in a minimum of six credits.

The UHM Study Abroad Center appoints a designated UHM Resident Director when appropriate. The Resident Director teaches a class in his or her field of expertise, oversees students’ academic progress and mentors all participants. All students must participate in experiential learning activities led by the Resident Director in addition to taking classes at the host institution.


Courses at FUBiS are divided into different track types. A and B courses are 3 credits each. Within these two tracks, students can combine German-language and content courses in English. C courses are German language courses, meet five days per week and cannot be combined with other tracks. All courses have field trips that are part of the curriculum.

Click here for the current list of courses.

FUBiS Course Track UHM Equivalent Course
German Language (semi-intensive)

A 3 cr. in German; course number is dependent on level

  • GER 101 Elementary German HSL
  • GER 102 Elementary German HSL
  • GER 260 Intensive Intermediate German Abroad HSL
  • GER 360 Intensive Third-Level German Abroad
  • GER 460 Intensive Fourth-Level German Abroad
Twentieth Century Berlin: People, Places, Words (taught in English) A HIST 300-level
Law, Society and Politics in Comparative Perspective (taught in English) A SOC 374: Law, Politics and Society DS.


POLS 374: Law, Politics and Society DS

Architecture in Berlin. A Walk through History (taught in English) A ART 369C: Study Abroad-Studio Art DA


ARCH 491: Special Topics in Architecture History

Berlin and the Digital Music Era (taught in English) B MUS 479: Topics in Ethnomusicology, 3 cr. (J. Moulin, 1/19) DH
Urban Imaginaries: Between Place and Space in Berlin (taught in English) B POLS 366: Advanced Topics in Theory, Media, and Method DS


GEO 421 Urban Geography DS


ARCH 490: Special Topics in Architecture

Global Challenges – Sustainable Futures (taught in English) B POLS 333: Advanced Topics in Global Politics DS


SUST 324: Global Environmental Politics DS


POLS 324: Global Environmental Politics DS

German Language (intensive)

C 6 cr. in German; course number is dependent on level

  • GER 101 Elementary German HSL
  • GER 102 Elementary German HSL
  • GER 260 Intensive Intermediate German Abroad HSL
  • GER 360 Intensive Third-Level German Abroad
  • GER 460 Intensive Fourth-Level German Abroad
  • Students must be enrolled for 6 credits total.
  • An A track course can only be combined with a B track subject course.
  • C track courses cannot be combined with other courses.
  • A track subject courses meet Monday and Thursday.
  • A track language courses meet Monday, Wednesday (field trip) and Thursday.
  • B track courses meet Tuesday and Friday.
  • C track courses meet Monday-Friday.


Summer 2022: TBA

Courses taken at FUBiS will appear on UHM transcripts as UHM credits.

Current as of Jan. 13, 2021.


There is no denying Berlin’s importance in the world today: it is again the capital of Germany–a new, reunited Germany. It is already, as it was before the first war, a cultural hub for opera, operetta, live theater, and over a dozen world-famous cabarets, as well as one of the world’s greatest film centers. With a population of 3.5 million, Berlin is Germany’s largest city. By day there is much to see–the Charlottenburg Palace, the castles of Bellevue and Tegel, the Jagdschloss Grunewald, countless art galleries, museums and the famous Zoological Gardens.

At night Berlin is a city of lights, theaters, restaurants and concert halls. What used to be “East Berlin” is an intriguing and exhilarating architectural showcase, a vast outdoor museum parading the masterpieces of Prussia’s finest monument builders: Schinkel, Knobelsdorff and Semper. Resilient, exciting and contradictory with a cultural heritage and a political past, Berlin now is fast becoming a leading center of Western Europe and continues to serve as the gateway to Eastern Europe.


Students will live with a German host family throughout their stay in Berlin. The homestay includes a single room and two meals per day (breakfast and dinner). The public transportation system in Berlin is efficient and inexpensive, allowing students to easily commute between school and home. A homestay is particularly attractive for German language students, since they will be able to practice their German in conversations with their host family and fully immerse themselves in German culture on a day-to-day basis.


Included in the total cost of the program are several excursions, Reichstag (German parliament building), a boat trip on the Spree, Berlin’s river, and weekend trips to other German cities. Optional local excursions can be arranged on-site.

FUBiS classes make use of the vast historical, cultural, and political institutions and resources Berlin offers. Study and field trips to museums, memorials as well as political and cultural institutions are integral parts of the curriculum. In some classes, students have the unique opportunity to attend specially organized and exclusive round-table discussions with decision-makers, diplomats, and experts in their field of study.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the local environment rich in culture and the arts. Berlin is a marvelous city which expresses a level of cosmopolitanism that rivals her sister cities London and Paris. Students can participate in Berlin’s famous theater life, films, concerts, museums, cabarets, and discos.

Students on the program participate in several excursions: Reichstag (German parliament building), a River Boat Tour through Downtown Berlin, and a visit to the ARD Broadcasting Studio. A full list is available on FUBiS’ website.

Optional weekend trips to Dresden, Potsdam and Lepzig are available at an additional cost on-site.


Berlin, Germany

Program Cost (2020)

  • one course each from Tracks A & B: $6,229
  • Track C only: $5,499

Above costs include FUBiS tuition, FUBiS-arranged accommodation in homestay, excursions, ground transportation, health insurance, meals, laundry and UHM Study Abroad and other fees.

Roundtrip airfare between Honolulu and Berlin is not included; students have the option of taking the flight arranged by Third Eye Travel or making their own travel arrangements.


FOR UHM STUDENTS ONLY: In order to receive financial aid, please ensure that either: a) you are receiving financial aid during the preceding semester, or b) that you complete the Financial Aid application during the current semester.

NON-UHM STUDENTS (those attending other colleges and universities during the regular school year) must apply for financial aid at their home institutions.


See the Money Matters & Resources page for a list of possible scholarships.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Schengen visa-free

Admission Requirements

The program is designed primarily for undergraduate students. The minimum requirement is a cumulative GPA of 3.0; however, students with a lower GPA may be considered. Non-native English-speaking students must have taken the TOEFL exam within the last two years and earned a composite score of 600+ or have taken the UHM ELI placement exam.

Admission to the program is selective. All applicants for the program will be judged on their academic performance, reasons for wishing to attend the program, flexibility, and sensitivity to other cultures, and ability to adjust to a new cultural setting.

Immediately upon acceptance to the program, students are required to pay a $500.00 non-refundable initial payment to ensure a place in the program. The initial payment will be applied toward the cost of the program.

Please note that students accepted to the program are required to attend three mandatory pre-departure class sessions totaling 12 hours. Failure to attend will result in students being withdrawn from the program.


A completed Study Abroad Center application and two academic references must be received by the Study Abroad Center to receive consideration.

Students from outside the UH System must also submit official transcripts from every college attended.

The Study Abroad Center is closed on weekends, and Federal and State holidays.