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Programs : Brochure

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Fact Sheet:
Education Abroad Adviser:
Erica Nikolaisen
Minimum GPA:
2.75
Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
Grad/Undergrad:
Undergraduate
Language of Instruction:
English, German
Language Requirement:
0 semesters
Internship Available:
No
Fields of Study:
Ecology, Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, German, Global Studies, International Business, Philosophy, Political Science, Sustainability
Program Description:

Overview

Eligibility

  • 18 years of age or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
  • 2.75 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
  • Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program 

Program Description 

This English-taught program allows you to explore topics in disciples like Environmental Studies, Forest Ecology, and Sustainability while living in Freiburg, located near the beautiful Black Forest and Rhine River Valley.

All courses except German language courses are organized as three-week modules so you can focus on each topic you study, and faculty can take you and your classmates on extended course-related trips in and around Freiburg. Most courses are taught at IES Abroad by faculty affiliated with the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Students may be able to take some modules in the Department of Environment & Natural Resources at the University, depending on availability. Optional University modules and research assistantship opportunities are offered after the regular term, through February for the fall term, and through late July for the spring term.

In addition to Environmental Studies topics, you can study German language at the beginning, intermediate, or advanced level at the SprachLehrInstitut (Language Teaching
Center) of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.

Dates

Academic Year: late August - early July
Fall: late August - mid December
Spring: early March - early July

These dates are for students who only take IES Abroad courses. Students who complete a post-program module or research assistantship will have a later end date. Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available. 

Location

The environmental movement took root in Freiburg long ago—and now it’s a way of life. Known for taking the lead in the development of eco-friendly technologies and architecture, Freiburg also attracts researchers and environmental organizations from around the world. Come study Freiburg’s many unique contributions to this important movement. Freiburg and the surrounding regions will be your classroom. Imagine traveling to the Rhine River to take samples and observe local ecology, or to the forests of the Swiss Alps to further your discussions on forest management and tourism. Wherever possible, your courses take you outside the classroom to give you hands-on experience and to take advantage of all that your study abroad location has to offer.

Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation

In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.

Academics

Available Fields of Study

Ecology, Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, German, Global Studies, International Business, Philosophy, Political Science, Sustainability

Course Listings

To find courses on the IES: Freiburg, Environmental Studies & Sustainability program, follow the instructions on the host program page.

To see what Penn State students have previously taken on this program, see the Historical Course List, which is meant to be a guide as to what courses might be available and how they might transfer to Penn State. Courses listed here may not be offered during the semester you attend the program and the credit amount or course title may have changed. 

Note: You are not limited to choosing classes on the program Historical Course List. You should consult the full list of courses on the host program page before choosing a program.

Course Selection

To find appropriate courses that will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
  • Research courses available on your program
  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements 
  • Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options
  • To register for courses on this program you will work with your host program
Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:
  • German language course (required, 3 credits; optional extension for 1 additional credit)
  • Four consecutive Environmental Studies courses (required, 3 credits each)
  • Optional post-program module or research assistantship (3 credits)

Academic Policies

  • You must enroll in a minimum number of 15 credits and a maximum number of 19 credits 
  • You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
  • World Campus courses should not be taken in addition to or as a substitute for courses offered abroad
  • You may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad
  • If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation 

Course Equivalency Process

In order for courses from abroad to appear on your Penn State transcript, each course must be given a course equivalency. Please visit the Academics section of the Global Programs website for information on the course equivalency process.  

Courses can be submitted for course equivalency before, during, or after the education abroad program, however, you should begin this process as soon as possible as it can take on average 2-4 months or more for courses to receive a Penn State course number. In some cases, it can be difficult to obtain syllabi from abroad before the start of the term, but when possible, courses can be submitted for review before departure. Talk to your Education Abroad Adviser about requesting syllabi.

Grade and Credit Conversion Scale

Grades and credit conversions from your host institution cannot be changed. They will be converted to Penn State credits and grades based on the following scales:
 
Grade Conversion Scale
Host Institution Grade Penn State Grade
 A A
 A- A-
 B+ B+
 B B
 B- B-
 C+ C+
 C C
 D D
 F F
 
Credit Conversion Scale
Host Institution Credit Penn State Credit
 3 Credits  3 Credits
  
 

Housing and Meals

Housing

Housing is guaranteed and included in the program. Students can choose between a shared university apartment or a single studio apartment.

Shared University Apartment 
You live in a single or double room in a coed suite with a shared kitchen and bath. Suites are shared with German and international students, and have Internet access.

Single Studio Apartment 
You will have your own studio apartment with a single bath and pantry kitchen. Internet is also provided. The complex houses other German and international students. Spots are limited and may include additional fees.

Independent housing is not permitted on this program. There will be no exceptions. 

Meals

Meals are not included in the program and will be organized by the student.Students usually prepare meals at home or dine in Freiburg’s affordable student cafeterias. 
 

Costs and Funding

Program Costs

Fall Costs  
Spring Costs* 

The cost of a program is based on Penn State tuition rates and partner institution fees. Due to the variety of locations and partner institutions, costs will vary depending on the program. Education Abroad works closely with our partners to ensure the most accurate cost estimates, however, fees can change quickly and without prior notice. Consult the cost sheets for your chosen program often and if you have any questions please contact your Education Abroad Adviser

*Students choosing to study for an Academic Year on an IES program will receive a tuition reduction on their spring semester bill. 

Scholarships 

The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.

 

Student Aid

Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid

Withdrawal & Refund Policy 

Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies

After Commitment

Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred. 

Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. Additional fees from the partner institution will be assessed according to their withdrawal and refund policies at the date of the withdrawal notice.

After the Start of the Program 

If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.

For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.
 

Life Abroad

General Information 

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.

Accessibility 

Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Global Program Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.

Gender and LGBTQA

There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.

Race, Ethnicity, and Faith

When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.

IES Abroad Country-Specific Diversity and Access Resources: Germany

Just as each study abroad experience is unique, each location offers a different adventure. IES Abroad offers students comprehensive resources specific to their host city and country. Please visit the IES Abroad Germany - Diversity Resources website for valuable information on the following:Day-to-Day Life in Germany
  • Dietary Concerns
  • Diverse Racial, Ethnic, & National Identity
  • Gender Identity, Gender Expression, & Sexual Orientation
  • Religion & Spirituality
  • Disability Resources & Mental Health Support

Non-U.S. Citizens

It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.
 

Next Steps

Steps to Study Abroad

The planning stages outlined on the Global Programs website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website. 

How to Apply

Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!

Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Global Penn State website. 

Deadlines

You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Global Programs website.

Contact Education Abroad 

If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email EducationAbroad@psu.edu.

Peer Advisers

Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website. 

Education Abroad Advisers 

Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Global Penn State website

Social Media

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For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!
 


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Academic Year 2018-2019 03/01/2018
03/14/2018 TBA TBA
Fall 2018 03/01/2018
03/14/2018 08/31/2018 12/15/2018
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.
Spring 2019 09/15/2018
**
Rolling Admission 03/01/2019 07/27/2019
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing for students taking IES Abroad courses only. Students who complete a post-program module or research assistantship will have a later end date.
Fall 2019 03/01/2019 03/13/2019 TBA TBA
Academic Year 2019-2020 03/01/2019 03/13/2019 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed