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The GSP semester

Academic focus

During their first term in Freiburg, students will attend classes that focus on the political economy of inequalities in a historical and global perspective. The focus is on past and present connections between regions and the global impact of these connections through the use of theories of development and underdevelopment, world-systems analysis, post- and decolonial perspectives, and social transformations.

Regional foci may vary depending on the exact seminars being offered (see below).

Course offer

In the first term students attend three compulsory courses, which are offered by different chairs, and one elective course (out of usually three seminars on offer).

The compulsory courses are:

- lecture Global and Regional Transformations (chair of Sociology, currently Prof. Boatca)

- lecture Introduction to International Relations (chair of International Relations, currently Prof. Destradi)

- seminar Methods of Cultural Anthropology and Geography (chair of Social and Cultural Anthropology, currently Prof. Schlehe, and Chair of Economic Geography and Sustainable Development, currently Prof. Mattissek)

The elective seminars differ every year. To give you a taste, here are some of the previous course titles: Scripts of Anti-Racism, Contested and Situated Knowledges, Dynamics of Inequalities in a Global Perspective, Modernity & Eurocentrism, European Concepts of Inequality and Power, European Social Thought: Continuities and Contestations, Global Social Thought: Decolonizing the Canon, The Haves and the Have-Mores: The Global Rich in the Worldwide Inequality Structure, and Social Differentiation and Capitalism.

These courses are framed by additional activities designed to support students at the beginning of their studies and to prepare them for the coming terms, such as an information meeting on health & safety while travelling abroad.

Within the fourth term, students will attend two mandatory classes: the internship forum and the colloquium. In the internship forum, students present the internships they conducted prior to the fourth term and reflect on them. In the colloquium, students present their Master thesis projects and receive feedback on their proposals from their fellow students and their supervisors.

Course format

While some classes are visited exclusively by GSP-students (e.g. the methods course), other classes are also open to other students of the university of Freiburg.

Lectures typically have a more formal character with the lecturer presenting the content to the audience. Seminars, on the other hand, encourage student participation and discussion, and usually have a highly interactive character. While lectures usually comprise larger group sizes (40-50), seminars are usually attended by around 10 to 15 students each.

Examinations

For the lectures, examinations will mostly take the form of written exams at the end of the term. In the seminars, examination formats may vary but usually include essays being written during the term and presentations given individually or in a group. In both seminars and lectures, weekly readings will usually be expected from students.

Academic culture

The relationship between students and lecturers is an open and friendly one. Lecturers can usually be reached in their weekly office hours or via email, and students are always welcome to approach their lecturers with questions. At the University of Freiburg, most classes are offered in German. However, there are many study programmes at bachelor and master level conducted in English (an overview can be found here). Language classes for students interested in learning German (or other languages) are also available (find more information here). While studying in Freiburg the GSP office will also frequently forward invitations to English-speaking events or lecture series hosted at the university.

Living and Studying

While studying in Freiburg, students either live in one of the student dorms scattered throughout the town or live in private accommodation. The main university facilities, such as the main library and the canteen, are directly next to the buildings where most teaching will take place. Check out the Campus Tour to get an insight into the location.

For estimated costs of living, see this document.