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Study Abroad | Berlin
January Term 2023: Academics

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AcadEmics Overview

AIFS Abroad offers a unique global educational experience for students on this program, with the following academic options available:

Program Options

Program Name Early Start Available Credits Notes
Multi Discipline
Early Start Available: No Credits: Up to 6

Earn 3 credits studying at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin with a choice of courses in English or a German language course.

Attendance is required to receive full credit. Students exceeding the permitted number of absences may lose all or partial credit.

The program fee includes one 3 credit course chosen from those listed. For a supplemental fee of approximately $825 you can take two courses for a total of 6 credits (two subject courses or a German language course and a subject course). Bear in mind that taking two courses in 3 weeks is a heavy workload should you be considering this option. Courses taken for transfer credit should be approved by your advisor or appropriate person at your home school prior to registration.

Credits for each course are equal to U.S. credits based on one credit for a minimum of 15 classroom hours plus home study. Classes are taught Monday through Friday for a total of 45 hours. Courses have 5 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits. All courses are taught in English except for “Berlin in the Winter” language course. The German language course is available at 2 levels: Elementary and Intermediate. Please note that courses are subject to change. A minimum enrollment is required for a course to run.

No AIFS participant is permitted to take a course without receiving a grade. Pass/Fail grade options are not available.

Transcripts are issued by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. An official transcript will be sent directly to the student’s home institution on completion of the program.

Area Studies

Geography

German Language

History

Law

Political Science

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.

ECTS Credits

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin awards ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits. The number of class hours and ECTS credits will be shown on the transcript to allow each student’s home institution the ultimate decision in the awarding of U.S. credit. Recommended U.S. semester credits next to each course description are based on 15 classroom hours per semester credit and are not a conversion of ECTS credits. Students should consult with their university advisors prior to participating in the program to have course credit pre-approved and ensure that they are taking the appropriate amount of credits.

Academic Credit & Transcripts

Credit Transfer

As a part of the AIFS application for semester programs, you will complete a Course Approval Form, which will be signed off by your study abroad office staff and/or faculty at your university.

For J Term/Summer programs, no such approval form is needed; however, students are still responsible for ensuring credit can be brought back from their overseas program.
In any case, we recommend getting additional courses approved in case you need to change courses while abroad.

Overseas universities do not use the credit system employed by American institutions. AIFS students must make special arrangements to transfer credits, but since AIFS courses are given at recognized universities or the AIFS Centers (which are transcripted by Fairfield University), there usually is no difficulty in arranging transfer credit toward U.S. degrees provided the proper procedure is followed.

European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

Many of the European institutions that AIFS works with award credits under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). ECTS enables cooperating institutions to measure and compare a student’s performance and facilitates the transfer of credits from the European institution to the U.S institution.

Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

Language levels are defined according to the CEFR and will be listed on your transcript on completion of the program. CEFR organizes language proficiency into six levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2) which can be regrouped into three broad levels according to the needs of the local institution: Beginner: A1, A2/U.S. Level 100; Intermediate: B1, B2/U.S. Level 200-300; Advanced: C1, C2/U.S. Level 400

Transcripts

When you complete your program, an official transcript is sent to your home institution directly from AIFS Abroad or the host university. Another official transcript may be retained by AIFS Abroad in Stamford, but this is not the case for all programs. Please contact transcripts@aifs.com to find out how to request additional transcripts. 
 
Generally, your school should receive your transcript 60 days after completion of the program. (Cannes Semester programs, Perth, Sydney, Dublin, Limerick, and Wellington Programs exception: Transcripts issued and retained by the host universities. Transcripts for the Cannes Semester programs are issued by Chapman University.)
 
Transcripts may come without an English-language translation, so participants will need to organize translations with their home university.

Academic Records

Credit assessment methods in overseas universities may not be comparable to those in U.S. universities. Grading may involve exams, papers, individual projects, class discussion or some combination of these. Although academic institutions abroad may grade on a variety of scales, admissions counselors and registrars at U.S. institutions are familiar with international grading systems and can convert grades.

Course Selection

AIFS Program Advisors are available to assist you in the process. The following procedure is recommended:

Read course descriptions for the selected program and select courses. Obtain approval from your academic or study abroad advisor for the preliminary courses selected. Final approval of credit transfer for completed courses is at the discretion of the Registrar or appropriate official at the home institution. Students must ascertain that courses taken meet their individual academic program requirements. Recommended credits in this catalog are based on 15 classroom hours per semester credit.

I would absolutely recommend this program. The trip has been such a positive experience. Wonderful program!

AIFS has a lot to offer. The more I talked to American students from other programs, the more I realized that AIFS was clearly the best choice

This program opened my eyes to a culture and society I knew very little about. I made great friends and had a fabulous time during the process. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

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