Large groups of students and tourists walking outside of the University in Berlin on a sunny day.
Freie Universität Berlin
Dates to Remember

Applications Due:
  Friday, February 14, 2014
  February 19-26, 2014
  March 3, 2014
Accepted Students Meeting:
  March 17, 2014

The opportunity to study at the Freie Universität is both an extremely rewarding and challenging experience. You will learn to perfect your German, gain exposure to a civil law system and have the chance to live in the extraordinary city of Berlin.

Angelynn Meya
Berlin, Spring 2003

My experience in Berlin was extremely positive, benefiting all aspects of my life, personally and professionally. I enthusiastically recommend a year of study in Berlin to any and all students who are fluent in German.

Brent M. Houston

Founded in 1948 by students, scholars and scientists who wanted the opportunity to be free to pursue their training, teaching and research activities outside of the scope of political influence, it is now one of the top ranked universities in Germany.  The three guiding principles of truth, justice and liberty underscore the values contributing to the legal education.

Students choosing to study at Freie Universität will have a large variety of legal courses to choose from and will work with a German Law professor to select a suitable group of courses tailored to the students’ academic preferences and demonstrated fluency level.  More than 4,000 students, 25 professors and over 100 adjunct professors and faculty assistants make the Law Department one of the biggest in Germany.

Although there are a number of courses which are taught in English, there is no guarantee that such courses are offered annually.  For this reason,  language fluency is helpful.

Duration of Program

Students choosing to study at Freie Universität Berlin can opt to attend the university for the full academic year or for one semester in the fall or spring.

Cultural Enrichment

Freie Universität is located in Germany’s capital city of Berlin and there is nothing this historic city does not offer.  Home to 39 universities, 20 courts, 56 theaters, 157 museums,  1,931 sports clubs, a lake, a river and a canal system, all meandering through  12 different neighborhoods.  This is a city offering unlimited cultural exploration.  While living in Berlin, students can explore Museum Island, Charlottenburg Palace, parks, planetariums, lectures, readings and become a part of the vibrant international scene.  

Founded in the 13th century and located in the center of Europe, Berlin has an eventful history which cannot easily be summarized.  Caught in the middle of the old East-West Conflict, Berlin is a symbol of the European integration process where different political, cultural and historical experiences have merged to create a truly unique and personable city. 

Berlin is a city that continually reinvents itself offering a laid back way of life amidst historical and traditional activities. Choosing to study in Berlin offers students access to an international university with a global network located in a leafy residential district that has long been a highly respected and well known center of research based activities.

The Law Department at Freie Universität Berlin allows direct exchange students to freely choose their classes. There are no mandatory courses to attend and no minimum ECTS credits that need to be obtained. Each exchange student can decide which and how many subjects he/she wants to complete.  Exchange students will have the opportunity to study from a number of different subject areas and under many different professors.  

The Law Department at Freie Universität Berlin offers a list of classes taught in English.  Additionally, students are able to take courses offered at the Humboldt University of Berlin.

Sample Course Offerings

Introduction to German and European Company Law

In every EU member state companies are essential market players. The course offers an insight into the basic legal rules governing the various forms of companies. Subjects include a general introduction to the common principles of Company law and to the European legislation in that field as well as an overview on recent developments in German Company law.

Contract Law in Europe

This course deals with recent developments in Contract Law within the EU. Subjects include legislation and leading cases on essential questions such as conclusion of contract, contractual liability and anti-discrimination in EU member states. The discussion on a future European Contract Law that has recently been put into focus by the publication of a Common Frame of Reference (CFR) shall be dealt with as well.

European Consumer Law

Consumer policy is a core component of the European Union’s strategy objective of improving the quality of life for all EU citizens. This class starts out with a look at the history of consumer protection in the EU and the basis provided for consumer protection initiatives by the Treaty establishing the European Union. We then consider different Consumer Protection directives, i.e. those on unfair contract terms, doorstep selling, distance selling (including electronic commerce), sale of consumer goods and guarantees, injunctions. We will address both the efficacy of these directives as well as the pros and cons of a minimum versus a maximum harmonisation approach. Measures to protect consumers by way of conflict of laws and forum selection rules are examined, as well as other instruments of consumer protection, such as the Consumer Complaint Form, Legal Aid and the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters.

International Arbitration
The course will be divided into two parts. In the first part a systematic overview over International Arbitration will be offered, with a special focus on commercial cases. The main issues covered are the functioning of important arbitral institutions such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the different stages of the arbitral proceedings, including the drafting of the arbitration agreement, the question of the applicable law, the procedural rules and the enforcement of the award.

The second part of the block lecture will be a Practice Exercise in which all participants will be invited to work on a case study. The subject of this case study will be located in the field of international commercial arbitration law. Students will be divided in two groups in order to prepare a simulation of arbitral proceedings on the case in front of the Tribunal. After the hearings and the final decision of the Tribunal there will be a final session which is dedicated to commentaries on the case as well as feedback on students’ performance.

Ms. Grit Rother
International Office, International Exchange Programs
Boltzmannstr. 3, Raum 1117
14195 Berlin, Germany
Tel: 011-49-30838-52526

Mrs. Carmen Gleisenstein
International Students Mobility - Welcome Services
Bruemmerstr. 52 (subway station: Thielplatz)
14195 Berlin, Germany
Tel: 011-49 -30838-70000

International Student Handbook:

Free University of Berlin Course offerings for International Law Students:

International Student Services: