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We hope that you know all about East European Studies after having browsed through our website. Still, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that might be helpful. Please check this list to see if your question has already been answered below. If your question has not been answered, then please do write us an email specifying your concern!
- 1. Study program
Do I need to have studied one of the six disciplines (Politics, Sociology, Law, Economics, Humanities [History/Cultural Studies])?
We prefer you have, but you are welcome to apply with any other major and to specify your interest in pursuing East European Studies Online. The committee on admission will decide on your application.
- Can I receive credit for any kind of earlier studies in the same field?
No, there will be no credit recognition of coursework you might have already taken. All the content of our M.A. program is obligatory.
- Is the program accredited?
Yes, the program was accredited by the German Council on Accreditation in November 2005.
- Is EES Online a full-fledged Master program?
Yes. East European Studies is a blended-learning program. Although it is offered mainly via distance learning, this is a serious program with high standards. You will have to work hard for your degree. Therefore, the degree is as recognized as any other degree offered by Freie Universität Berlin. In fact, the program was even received several awards.
- How many ECTS credits does the program come with?
The Master's program East European Studies Online is a two-year program providing 120 credits according to ECTS standards.
- When will be the next chance for participating in the program?
The program starts every year in October. Check our website for calls for applications. Applications are welcome via our electronic application system by April 30 each year. Late applications might be possible.
- Is language learning a part of the program?
Unfortunately, we cannot offer courses in any East European language. To be admitted you should have sufficient knowledge in at least one East European language. A proof must be handed in within six months after the start of the program.
- Are faculty recommendations issued?
Of course. EES Online students or alumni requiring a faculty recommendation for continuing education will receive such a statement.
- Does a passed intermediate examination suffice as a substitute for a university degree?
No, a bachelor or an equivalent first university degree is required.
- Do I have to have all my transcripts translated?
No, only a certified translation of your university diploma is needed and only if it is written in any other language than German, English, French, Spanish or Italian. Chinese and Mongolian certificates, however, have to be attested by the German Embassy in Beijing.
- What is the FU Berlin's TOEFL code?
FU Berlin does not have a TOEFL code.
At the test center you will be asked where you would like the TOEFL score to be sent to. Provide the following address: Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for East European Studies, EES Online, Garystr. 55, D-14195 Berlin.
If you have already passed the test: You do not need to hand in your original TOEFL record. A certified copy is acceptable.
- Which East European languages meet the East European language requirement?
Basic knowledge of Albanian, Belarussian, Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Croatian, Hungarian, Georgian, Greek, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Romanian, Russian, Polish, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, or Ukrainian is accepted. Knowledge of other languages might be approved on request by the committee on admission. Such proof can be handed in within six months after the start of the program.
- What kind of certificate is accepted concerning linguistic proficiency in an East European language?
We need some kind of authoritative proof, e.g. an attestation by a university or school.
- Where can language certificates be achieved?
The University of Applied Sciences Berlin (FHTW) offers Russian language courses and internationally accredited tests of Russian as a foreign language. For further information, please visit their website.
3. Online modules
- How do I get my study material?
You will learn via an online learning management system (Blackboard). Within this system all you need is assembled: the individual units with their material including tasks, the compulsory reading, the discussion boards to exchange opinions with your fellow students and so on.
- Can I get a certificate for individual modules?
We expect all participants to complete the whole program.
- How about an exchange option with another university?
EES Online offers a virtual exchange option with the Aleksanteri Institute (AI) in Helsinki. One EES Online module may be substituted with up to two online modules offered by Aleksanteri Institute (depending on module length and credits).
4. In-house classes
- Do I have to participate in the in-house classes?
Yes, participation is obligatory.
- Where will the in-house classes take place?
As a rule, in-house classes take place in Berlin at the Institute for East European Studies in the beginning of October and March.
- Will I be helped in visa matters?
Usually, our students do not face any problems when applying for a visa. We are ready to help should any problem arise.
- Can I apply for "Bildungsurlaub"?
In Germany, in-house classes are recognized as "Bildungsurlaub". The conditions depend on the federal country you are working in. Please ask us if you wish to profit from such a regulation.
- Do I need to be an expert on computers?
We do not want you to become frustrated with e-learning technology. There will always be help if you incur any problem with the learning platform.
- Do you offer any scholarships?
Unfortunately, for the time being we cannot offer any financial assistance. You must pay tuition as well as the costs arising from attending the in-house classes on your own.
- Can you advise on other scholarship opportunities?
Scholarships can be researched, e.g., either on the DAAD website or at the following scholarship data base (unfortunately only in German, but also for foreign students). Click here for a commented compilation of selected scholarship donors. You can also contact the relevant Freie Universität Berlin office. German students or students living in Germany can check for student loans here.
- What if I have troubles paying the tuition fee?
We expect you to pay yearly fees. If this is absolutely impossible for you, we can work out an individual finance plan. Quarterly installments are feasible.
- Are program costs tax deductable?
In Germany, tuition fees as well as all other costs incurred concerning studying can be claimed in your tax declaration.
- Can I finance my studies through training funds or student loans?
Under certain circumstances, training funds offer favorable financing opportunities for your executive Master studies. In Germany, there are the Deutsche Bildung GmbH and the Bildungsfonds who support students up to 1,000 € per month. Several banks offer student loans. Please ask your bank for the conditions that apply.
- Will my employer cover the tuition fees?
Your employer most probably appreciates your initiative to qualify further and is interested in you directly implementing the newly acquired knowledge within the organization. Some employers support their employees financially and cover the costs of their studies. Please ask your supervisor or HR manager for your options.
7. Alumni network
- What happens after I graduate? Will I still be part of the program’s network?
After graduation, you are invited to join our alumni network. It is made up of alumni from all the different programs at the Center for Global Politics. You have access to an alumni forum where you find job and conference announcements, blogs about international relations issues and more. You receive the quarterly newsletter from EES Online and are invited to graduation ceremonies, guest lectures and social gatherings. You might even take part in the annual international alumni workshop. (The last workshops took place in Vietnam and Lithuania.) The alumni network allows you to stay in touch with other alumni from all over the world, with students and with the program team.