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IES Freiburg European Union

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer


Freiburg, Germany




• Clear interest and commitment

• Demonstrated preparedness/maturity

• Minimum 2.75 GPA (flexible, depending on circumstances)

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the time the program begins

• No German language required

• Approval by UI and IES

• Attendance at orientations

• 18 years of age

Application Due:

• September 24 for Spring

• February 24 for Fall and Academic Year

• March 4 for Summer

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.


Live and learn about European politics, economics, business, and international relations on the IES Freiburg European Union program. Located in Freiburg, Germany, this program offers English-taught courses in a variety of areas related to the study of the European Union.

Our mission is simple: to provide you with the highest quality academic and cultural experience abroad possible. We offer unparalleled courses that explore European Politics, Economics, Business, International Relations, and other topics through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our diverse professors and course-related trips enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

You can learn more about the Fall or Spring program on the IES Freiburg European Union program website.

You can learn more about the Summer program on the IES Freiburg European Union Summer program website .

Academic Program

Fall or Spring

You take between 16-20 credits per semester (five courses). All courses are worth 3 credits except the Integrative Seminar and the optional semester German language course. You may earn up to 20 credits if you are placed in a spring semester post-program internship. All courses are taught in English, excluding German language courses and IR/PO355. Academic programming is scheduled five days a week.

You can find more information, including full course descriptions for upcoming courses, on the Academics section of the IES Abroad program website.


The IES Freiburg European Union semester program offers the option of enrolling in a part time, custom internship in Freiburg or Brussels.

You can learn more about the semester internship options on the IES program website.

Internships are not available during the summer session.


You take two courses: the 4-credit Integrative Seminar and a 3-credit elective course for a total of 7 credits. Disciplines taught in the past have included:

  • Cultural Studies
  • Economics
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Political Science
  • You can find more information, including full course descriptions for upcoming courses, on the Academics section of the IES Abroad program website.

    Transcripts and Grades

    Your courses will be graded using the US letter grade system. IES Abroad will send your grade report to the University of Iowa several weeks after the end of your program. Your grades will then be applied to your cumulative GPA as transfer credit, the same way credit transferred from any US college or university would be.

    Students can expect their grades to appear on their UI grade report around two or three months after they return from studying abroad.

    Applying credit toward a UI degree

    Unless UI Study Abroad has an approval on file for the courses you take abroad to be applied toward a specific major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, you will receive general elective credit for your course.

    If you plan to apply the credit you receive for your program course to a major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, contact your UI study abroad advisor for details on the process. 

    Cultural Activities

    You can learn more about the excursions available through the Fall and Spring program on the IES Freiburg European Union program website.

    You can learn more about the excursions available through Summer program on the IES Freiburg European Union Summer program website.

    Program Dates

    Program dates vary from year to year, but typically follow the University of Iowa’s academic calendar.

    You can find the specific dates for the upcoming Fall and Spring programs on the IES Freiburg European Union program website.

    You can find the specific dates for the upcoming Summer programs on the IES Freiburg Summer program website.

    For more information

    Steps to Studying Abroad

    1. Before initiating an application with IES Abroad, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa.
    2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
    3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

    Study Abroad
    1111 University Capitol Centre
    Iowa City, IA 52242

    Phone: 319-335-0353

    IES Freiburg Center

    The IES Abroad Freiburg Center staff provides academic and student support services to UI students.

    The IES Abroad Freiburg Center is situated in the heart of Freiburg within walking distance of the University of Freiburg, the Freiburg Theater, and the main shopping district. The center is very close to the Black Forest.

    Students will take IES Abroad courses in the Center’s multi-media classrooms. Students can meet with staff and faculty in their offices. In addition, students will have access to a student lounge (with wifi), garden, library, and printing facilities.


    Freiburg is located in the Upper Rhine Valley at the foot of the Black Forest. It has about 230,000 inhabitants, and is known for its standard of living and environmentally-conscious civic policies. It is also the sunniest city in Germany and has a temperate climate.


    Germany is the most populous member of the EU, has the world’s 4th largest economy, and boasts a high standard of living. It is famous for its contributions to the arts and sciences throughout history.

    US Department of State Country Information

    The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

    Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

    Living Arrangements

    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.

    You can find details about the living accommodations for Fall and Spring sessions on the Housing section of the IES Freiburg European Union website.

    You can find details about the living accommodations for the summer program on the Housing section of the IES Freiburg European Union Summer website.


    If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

    US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.

    Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

    Non-US Citizens

    Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.

    Travel Arrangements (Flights)

    Students will work with their program provider to make travel arrangements to their program site. The cost of travel is not included in the course fee. U.I. Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.

    Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from your program provider.

    Local Transportation

    Freiburg has an excellent public transportation network, including streetcars and busses. It is also, in keeping with its environmentally-conscious mentality, a bike-friendly city.


    This program is open to University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:

    • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
    • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
    • Minimum 2.75 GPA- Students must have a minimum 2.75 GPA to participate in this program. Applications from students who have a GPA below 2.75 will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
    • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked, and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
    • German Language Requirements- No German language experience is required.
    • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing- Applicants must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing by the time the program begins to participate in this program.
    • Approval by IES and UI Study Abroad- Applications will be reviewed by UI Study Abroad and by IES Abroad. Students will be accepted based on their review of their application materials.
    • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programming presented by UI Study Abroad and IES Abroad.

    Additional notes on eligibility

    Program eligibility requirements may change per IES Abroad policies. Before applying, it is important that you review the eligibility requirements listed on the IES Abroad website for your program to ensure you meet all listed requirements.


    Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa U-Bill, while other costs will be out-of-pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Refer to the cost sheets below for details on the costs associated with this program.

    The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

    Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.

    Cost Sheets


    PDFCost Sheet- IES Freiburg European Union, Fall 2023

    PDFCost Sheet- IES Freiburg European Union, Spring 2024


    PDFCost Sheet- IES- Freiburg- Summer 2024

    Calculating Fees

    The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:

    Cost sheets do not include the following optional costs:

    Additional Optional Costs Paid to IES Abroad

    • Single room housing upgrade
    • Optional IES Field Trips

    Optional fees vary by session, and will be available shortly before the upcoming session.

    Personal Travel Costs

    Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.

    The cost of personal travel depends entirely on each student’s individual travel plans and spending habits. Estimates for personal travel costs provided by past students on this program vary significantly from $800 - $6,000 or more for the summer session, and $1,500 to as much as $9,000 or more per semester.

    More Information about Optional Additional Costs

    Students should budget additional funds to cover the costs not described on the program cost sheet. Contact IES Abroad for more information about these optional additional costs.

    Costs charged to the U-Bill

    • Application fee (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Course Fee- Includes program tuition, housing, some meals, IES health insurance (charged shortly before departure)
    • Study Abroad Fees (charged shortly before departure)
    • CISI Health Insurance (charged shortly before departure)

    Out-of-pocket costs (not charged to U-Bill)

    • Round trip airfare from Cedar Rapids (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Visa & Residence Permit (if required) (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse. See the Immigration/Visa section under the Predeparture tab for more information.)
    • Textbooks (paid upon arrival abroad)
    • Food (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Cell phone- does not include usage fees (paid as needed while abroad)
    • Local transportation (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
    • Personal expenses and personal travel (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Passport (paid by student prior to departure)
    • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Single room housing upgrade (paid by student as needed to IES Abroad)
    • Optional IES Abroad field trips (paid by student as needed to IES Abroad)

    Scholarships & Financial Aid

    For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:UI Financial Aid Information

    You can find more information about options for funding your study abroad experience including scholarships on Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad.

    In addition, take a look at IES Abroad’s Scholarship website for information about scholarships offered directly through your program provider.

    How to Apply

    • Meet with the appropriate study abroad advisor to discuss your study abroad plans well ahead of the application deadline. Your application will not be approved until you've completed this step. You can set up an appointment by calling UI Study Abroad at 319-335-0353 or through the Advising Appointment section of your MyUI account.
    • Meet with your academic advisor to review your program and ensure that it is a good match for your academic and personal goals.
    • If you and your academic advisor agree that the program is a good match for you, complete the UI Study Abroad application. Please note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.
    • Create an account in the IES Portal and complete the online application for your desired program.
    • Complete all of the online sections of the application. Note: The IES online application takes 1-2 business days to activate. Submit your application 1-2 days before the IES application deadline to ensure it is received in time to be considered.
    • Send an official University of Iowa transcript to IES Abroad. You can find information about requesting an official transcript here: Requesting a Transcript
    • Upload any additional documents required for your IES application.
    • Your Study Abroad advisor will complete the Home School Authorization once you have completed the UI application and the IES application.
    • IES Abroad will contact you by email to inform you of your acceptance decision within several weeks.



    If you are accepted to your IES program, you will be asked to commit to participating in your program by submitting the University of Iowa Confirmation of Participation form, and the IES Abroad Intent to Enroll document.

    After you have formally confirmed your plans to participate, you will work with both UI Study Abroad and with IES Abroad. Follow instructions from both. Later in the semester, your UI study abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.

    Application Deadline

    The application deadline for the Fall is February 24.

    The application deadline for the Spring session is September 24.

    The application deadline for the Summer session is March 4.

    Health & Safety Planning

    All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:

    Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

    Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.


    All program participants are required to complete immigration requirements to enter and study in your host country. UI Study Abroad and your program provider/host institution abroad will provide you with immigration instructions prior to departure.

    Note that permission to enter and study in your host country is provided exclusively by the host country’s government based on that country's immigration requirements. Your host country’s immigration requirements may include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to receive permission to enter the country in some cases. Contact your UI study abroad advisor for more information.

    It is essential that you thoroughly review all of your immigration materials before you leave for your host country to ensure that they are absolutely complete and accurate. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that all of your immigration materials are in order and fully accurate before you leave for your host country. If any of your immigration materials contain inaccurate information of any kind, contact your UI study abroad advisor immediately to discuss your options.

    Do not take steps to complete your host country’s immigration requirements until you receive more information from UI Study Abroad.


    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

    There are no photos available for this program yet. Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at:

    1111 University Capitol Centre
    The University of Iowa
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

    Phone: (319) 335-0353
    Fax: (319) 335-0343