Happy Pride Month – Why Berlin

Berlin, Germany is the birthplace of many “firsts” for the LGBTQ community: Der Eigene, the first gay magazine, and Die Freundin, the first lesbian magazine, were both published in Berlin; the Schöneberg neighborhood became the world’s first known gay district in 1920s, the first public gay rights demonstration took place in Berlin in 1922; and the Schwules Museum, established in 1985, holds the title as the world’s first museum dedicated to LGBTQ history and culture. This Pride Month, therefore, we’re spotlighting the API Berlin European Studies Program (FU-BEST) at the Freie Universität Berlin!

Live in an LGBTQ-friendly city!

Today, a unique assemblage of bookstores, cafes, cinemas, and museums aimed at those who identify as LGBTQ can be found throughout Berlin. Visit the Spinnboden Lesbenarchiv und Bibliothek, the largest lesbian archive in Europe, or take a stroll in Nollendorfplatz, a famous square in the Schöneberg district in which the annual Gay and Lesbian City Festival is held. In addition, Berlin is home to numerous organizations that offer counseling, health services, and legal assistance to those in the LGBTQ community, ensuring that Berlin is an enjoyable and safe place for people of all genders and sexual orientations!

Enjoy a wide variety of course options!

The FU-BEST program offers courses in a variety of areas of study, including architectural history, art history, conflict studies, cultural studies, economics, environmental science, film studies, gender and women’s studies, history, Holocaust studies, international business, international relations, Jewish studies, media studies, music, philosophy, political science, religious studies, sociology, and statistics. Advanced German speakers may elect to pursue the GermanPLUS track, in which all course material is taught in German. No experience with German? That’s okay as well! Although students are required to take a German language course suited to their level of experience, FU-BEST also offers classes in English and French.

Explore Germany with API!

In addition to local field trips required by many courses, the FU-BEST program includes excursions to several historical sites both in and outside of Berlin, including “the Reichstag building (including a session of the German parliament) and/or the Chancellor’s Office (Bundeskanzleramt), the site of the former Nazi concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, the former prison complex in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen of East Germany’s state security police (Stasi), and the royal palace Sanssouci, as well as the 1945 allied conference site in nearby Potsdam.” Our on-site staff leads this excursions and gives students a local’s perspective into the history of Germany. Furthermore, API students are given the opportunity to take a week-long excursion to a city either in Germany or elsewhere in Europe! 

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