Founded in 1457, the university's main campus is located in the heart of Freiburg. Around 20,000 students attend the university, more than 3,000 of which are foreign exchange students.
The university plays a central role to the cultural, social and economic life of the city. It is an important center for scientific research, especially in the areas of physics and biology. It is also renowned for the humanities, and can boast having leading faculty in the areas of philosophy, foreign languages and history, as well as having former Nobel Prize winner, Friedrich August von Hayek, as part of its faculty of economics.
With a population of 200,000, nearly a sixth of which are students, Freiburg is a charming big-little city with a modern and medieval flare. Its famous Münster (a towering medieval cathedral) is the centerpiece of the city and is surrounded by colorful buildings of many architectural styles. Considered the capital of the Black Forest, Freiburg is nestled in the beautiful, hilly wine-country of Baden-Würtenburg. Boasting the sunniest and mildest climate in Germany, natives and visitors enjoy the many outdoor activities the city has to offer, from biking along the river to hiking on one of the many trails surrounding the city.
Freiburg is home to many cultural opportunities as well. Attend one of the many theatrical and musical performances hosted by the City Theater; visit museums; or enjoy festivals like the annual Freiburg Wine Festival. Additionally, Freiburg is in a prime location for traveling. It's only a half and hour by train from both the French and Swiss borders, and one can easily travel to farther locations from the Hauptbahnhof (main train station). Freiburg offers several close-by opportunities for excursion as well, such as the popular lake, the Schluchsee.
- Visit Freiburg's course catalog.
- Choose the appropriate semester. "Wintersemester" is the equivalent of the U.S. fall term; "Sommersemester" is the equivalent of the U.S. spring term.
- To search for coursework in English, select "Englisch" in the Lehrsprache field.
- To conduct an advanced search with additional parameters, go to "Erweiterte Suche."
- Your search results will include syllabi, which you will need for your transfer credit approvals.
- Year: mid October - late July
- Spring semester: mid April - late July
- Due to the fall semester calendar, fall semester only study is not possible. Students may study for the year or for the spring semester.
- Review semester dates on Freiburg's website.
All exchange students are guaranteed a room in the student dormitory, if requested as part of the application that accepted students submit to Freiburg. Review more information about housing on Freiburg's website.
UVA Student Experience
“My study abroad experience [in Freiburg] allowed me to experience the university system in Germany and take courses completely in German. This experienced enabled me to gain unparalleled exposure to the language level of academic German. Although I have taken many classes at UVA through the German department instructed in German, there is no comparison to the full immersion of living and learning in a German speaking country. Whether sitting in a lecture, talking to classmates, or simply ordering at a bakery, I was able to constantly practice and use German. The opportunity to live abroad for an extended amount of time, as an undergraduate, has inspired me to highly consider pursuing a Master’s degree in Germany after completing my undergraduate education.”
-Emma Leidy, German and Art History major
This program is open to students from any major, but below is a list of the top five majors at UVA who choose to study on exchange at Freiburg.
- Environmental Sciences
- Foreign Affairs
Would you like to contact a UVA student who has studied on this program? See our list of study abroad returnees who want to help you!
Costs and expected expenses
There are a variety of associated costs and expenses when studying abroad. The information provided below is a guide to help you plan and budget. Additional resources are available in the Exchange Student Information Sheet linked above, and Freiburg's Welcome Guide for International Students.
Tuition and Fees:
You will pay your regular tuition rate and fees to UVA for the term you are on a UVA Exchange Program. Tuition and fees will be billed to your SIS account and can be paid as normal.
Housing and Meals:
You are responsible to pay for accommodation and any required or preferred meal plan. You will pay the host institution or make your own arrangements for accommodations. Check the host institution web site for accommodation and meal plan choices, cost, and application procedures.
Travel and Travel Documents:
You are responsible for booking and paying for your own international airfare, as well as researching and obtaining any required visa(s) or residency permits. You should also budget for in-country transportation costs.
Insurance: UVA students are required to purchase CISI emergency medical and accident insurance. More information can be found on
our insurance page.
You should be prepared to purchase required books and supplies. Also budget for additional personal expenses, including laundry, phone costs, personal travel, meals out, etc.
Education Abroad Expense Form
If you are required to complete an Education Abroad Expense Form, you can use the links above to identify costs and expected expenses to complete the form. If you are studying abroad for a semester, to calculate costs, divide annual costs in half.
If you are not able to find cost information you need in order to prepare for your study abroad program, please contact your Education Abroad Advisor.
You can find detailed information regarding financial aid and study abroad on the following websites:
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.
Passport and Visa
All participants will need a valid passport in order to participate in the program. Students must ensure that their passport is valid at least six months past the program return date. US passport processing can take up to 11 weeks, once your application is received at a passport agency or center. If you are a US citizen interested in participating in education abroad, apply for your passport now. See the State Department for details and to apply. US passport holders will need a residence permit to participate in this program. All students should consult the German Missions website for information about visa and other entry requirements. International students should meet with their International Student Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process.
Health and Safety Information
All students considering Education Abroad should consult the Students Abroad section of the U.S. Department of State’s web-based travel resources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health web resources to research health, safety, and security conditions; visa requirements; immunization requirements; and recommendations on staying healthy and safe in their target destination(s). Students should also carefully review the UVA Education Abroad Health & Safety Abroad web page. Parents and guardians are strongly advised to review all of these resources, as well. UVA students and visiting students enrolled in UVA Education Abroad programs are subject to the University of Virginia’s Policy on Student International Travel.