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.

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

Freiburg and the surrounding regions will be your classroom. Imagine traveling to the Rhine River to take samples and observe local ecology, or 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.

All courses except German language courses on the Environmental Studies Program are organized as three-week modules so you can focus on each topic you study, and so faculty can take you and your classmates on extended course- related excursions in and around Freiburg. Most courses are taught at IES Abroad by faculty affiliated with Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Students may be able to take some modules in the Department of Forestry and Ecology Management 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.

We want you to feel at home in Freiburg, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.

Quick Facts

  • Center: IES Abroad Freiburg
  • City: Freiburg
  • Country: Germany
  • Program Credits: 15-19 credits
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Language Prerequisites: None

Program Dates

After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.

Fall 2018

  • August 31 - December 15 (IES Abroad Courses)
  • August 31 - January/February (Post-program Module or Research Assistantship)

Spring 2019

  • Late February - Early July (IES Abroad Courses)
  • Late February - Late July (Post-program Module or Research Assistantship)

Upcoming Application Deadlines:

  • Spring 2019 - November 15, 2018


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore environmental studies and sustainability and other topics through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors enhance your academic experience and give you new perspectives each day in class. A limited number of course options are available at the prestigious Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg, as well.

You take 16-19 credits per semester. Environmental Studies courses are worth 3 credit hours and are taught in English. Language courses are 4 credits each and are taught in German. Courses taught Monday through Friday.

Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:

  • German language course (required, 4 credits)
  • Four consecutive Environmental Studies courses (required, 3 credits each)
  • Optional post-program module or research assistantship (3 credits)

*Note: Starting in Fall 2017, students will have the option of taking the German language course for either three or four credits.

Academic Structure

The program begins with orientation and a required three-week intensive German course at the University for 3 credits. You continue your German study for three hours per week during the regular university semester to earn an additional 1 credit of German.

The first Environmental Studies module is a required IES Abroad-taught course. This is followed by a choice of modules, which you take one at a time for three weeks each. Most modules are taught at IES Abroad. A limited number of modules may be offered in the Master’s degree program in the Department of Forestry and Ecology Management at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (Uni Freiburg). Modules at the University are taught at a first-year graduate level but are appropriate for undergraduate IES Abroad students. Tutorial support is available. Students from the same department at Albert- Ludwigs- Universität may enroll in IES Abroad-taught Environmental Studies courses.

Program Extension Options

Optional Modules

After your program ends, you can spend three weeks furthering your academic experience in Freiburg by participating in an additional 3-credit course at the University. A separate fee applies.

Research Assistantships

You can apply for a research assistantship to work with a University faculty member on a research topic in the field of Environmental Studies. Assistantships are four to six weeks long and take place after the end of the term. All placements are supervised and offered as academic options earning IES Abroad credit. Students participating in the research assistantship cannot participate in the additional optional module. An additional cost applies. Research topic areas may be limited.

Securing an assistantship is a competitive process and placements are not guaranteed. Placements depend on availability, on a student's background and skills, and on the quality of a student’s CV/résumé. Language requirements may apply. Final placements are determined by an on-site interview.


IES Abroad Courses

Biological Sciences

  • BL/ES 306 - Ecosystem Management (Fall, Spring)
  • BL/ES 307 - Climate and the Vegetation in the Black Forest and the Swiss Alps (Fall)


PO/ES/EC 303 - Sustainable Energy: Concepts, Policy, Strategies and Solutions (Fall, Spring)

Environmental Studies

  • BL/ES 306 - Ecosystem Management (Fall, Spring)
  • BL/ES 307 - Climate and the Vegetation in the Black Forest and the Swiss Alps (Fall)
  • ES 300 - Ecology and Management of Forest Landscapes in Southwest Germany and the Swiss Alps (Fall)
  • ES 305 - Technology of Renewable Energies (Fall)
  • ES 310 - Change of Ecosystems as a Result of Long-Term Human Activities in Southwest Germany and the Swiss Alps (Spring)
  • ES 314 - Environmental Movements and NGOs (Spring)
  • ES/GE 320 - Heritage Interpretation (Fall)
  • GE/ES 340 - Geographic Information Systems (Fall)
  • IB/ES 311 - Multi-Sector Strategies for Sustainability (Fall, Spring)
  • PH/ES 302 - Ethics and Sustainability (Spring)
  • PO/ES/EC 303 - Sustainable Energy: Concepts, Policy, Strategies and Solutions (Fall, Spring)
  • US/ES 304 - Freiburg Green City - Social, Ecological, and Economical Aspects of Sustainability (Fall, Spring)
  • US/ES 313 - Sustainable Urban Design (Spring)


  • ES/GE 320 - Heritage Interpretation (Fall)
  • GE/ES 340 - Geographic Information Systems (Fall)

International Business

IB/ES 311 - Multi-Sector Strategies for Sustainability (Fall, Spring)


PH/ES 302 - Ethics and Sustainability (Spring)

Political Science

PO/ES/EC 303 - Sustainable Energy: Concepts, Policy, Strategies and Solutions (Fall, Spring)

Urban Studies

  • US/ES 304 - Freiburg Green City - Social, Ecological, and Economical Aspects of Sustainability (Fall, Spring)
  • US/ES 313 - Sustainable Urban Design (Spring)

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Courses

German Language Courses

The university does not provide syllabi for their German language program. They teach Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced language courses according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR).

Partner Institution(s)

One of the oldest and most respected universities, the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg consistently ranks as one of the top institutions of higher education in the country.

Course-Related Excursions

Course-related excursions are integral to IES Abroad Freiburg and University courses and are included in the program fee. During these trips you will gather data and participate in academic research. Destinations may include:

  • Black Forest: Study the flora and fauna of this famous forest, located just outside Freiburg
  • Rhine River Valley: Explore the ecology of this fertile river valley
  • Swiss Alps: Hike through the Swiss Alps and study the unique ecosystems of these mountains


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Freiburg, it will feel like home.

Apartment-style university housing – You live in a single or double room in a co-ed suite with a shared kitchen and bath. Suites are shared with German and international students, and have Internet access.

Single apartments in university housing – A limited number of single apartments are available at an extra cost. Apartments include a single bath and pantry kitchen. Internet access is provided.

Students usually prepare meals in their housing or dine in Freiburg’s affordable student cafeterias. Meals are not included in the program fee.

Student Life


The program begins with a mandatory orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad staff, your fellow students, the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, and the city of Freiburg. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered. During orientation, you will also begin three weeks of intensive German language instruction.

Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Freiburg through our cultural events, such as:

  • Tour of the Soccer Stadium. with its impressive photovoltaic roof
  • Tour of the Green District of Vauban
  • Visit to the Ökostation - a center for heightening environmental awareness
  • "Rent-an-American" visits to local schools to share your culture

University Events and Cultural Activities

A number of events and activities are available to you at the Albert-Ludwigs- Universität Freiburg, such as sports teams, social clubs, and partially-subsidized trips to destinations in Germany, France, and Switzerland.

Language Partners

IES Abroad staff in Freiburg can assist you in finding a German language “tandem” partner, with whom you can practice German. Having a language partner in Freiburg also gives you unique insight into local student life.

Eligibility Requirements

  • 18 years of age
  • In good standing at your home school
  • 2.75 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale (GPAs under 2.75 will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing when program begins - some local university courses may not be available to sophomores
  • No German language is required

Passport & Visa Requirements

A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program, with at least two blank pages is required.

U.S. citizens in possession of a valid passport do not need to obtain a visa predeparture to enter Germany. Upon admission, you will receive more information about obtaining the required student visa/residence permit on-site and any related fees. Non-U.S. citizens may be required to obtain a student visa prior to arrival.


Fall 2018

  • Tuition: $15,560
  • Housing: $3,710
  • Insurance: $230
  • Total: $19,950

Academic Year

  • Tuition: $27,990
  • Housing: $7,420
  • Insurance: $550
  • Total: $35,960

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Program taught in:
  • English (US)
IES Abroad

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Last updated November 13, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
1 - 2 semesters
19,500 USD
Program cost Fall 2018
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