Student Services and Support

The Academic Year in Freiburg’s main office is located just minutes away from the central campus of the University of Freiburg and maintains an open door policy for all AYF students. We strive to support our students in every way and understand the personal, professional and academic challenges that students may encounter abroad.

Beyond offering a helping hand in all personal matters, we support our students in terms of academic advising, navigating university and local bureaucracy, and making Freiburg feel like home.

In general, AYF students offer as much to the local academic institutions and the region as is offered to them. With our support, many of our students maintain high academic standing, take part in research seminars, hold part-time jobs or participate in internships, and are in many other ways well-integrated into the local host culture – while making progress toward their degree.

In addition to the support we offer our students at the AYF program office, all student services offered through the Studierendenwerk Freiburg (regional student services office), International Student Services and individual departments on campus are available to AYF program participants.

On-Site Staff

From the very beginning of their Academic Year in Freiburg, AYF students know our on-site staff on a first-name basis. The AYF program center is staffed by the Academic Director and our Program Director. They are supported by experienced local teaching staff and student assistants.

Academic Director

The Academic Director is a university professor from one of our American partner universities. This position rotates annually so that every year a new topics course and area of specialty can be offered to AYF students. Our Academic Director also offers in-depth academic advising to students and can help students graduate on time.

Program Director

Our Program Director is AYF’s permanent professional staff in Freiburg. The Program Director understands the ins and outs of the university and can help students navigate all things bureaucratic, professional and personal during their year abroad. Along with the Academic Director, the Program Director helps students adjust to German culture and the German higher education system.

Additionally, all teaching staff employed by AYF hold regular office hours and are happy to work with AYF students to perform their best in a foreign academic setting.

Orientation and Advising

To help AYF students acclimate well to their new home in Freiburg, we offer an extensive orientation program and academic advising on-site in Freiburg.


Orientation begins immediately as students step off the train and continues until the first university class starts in October. During orientation, students get to know the history and lively culture of Freiburg and the Black Forest region through excursions led by AYF staff and University of Freiburg students. They continue their language learning in intensive advanced German courses at the ALPADIA Language School. In AYF-facilitated seminars, students are introduced to other necessary cultural, bureaucratic and academic points of interests to prepare them for their year abroad.


Academic advising sessions are offered individually to students during both semesters to help them align their academic interests with available courses while maintaining a manageable course load that can completely transfer back to their home university.

Beyond official appointments during orientation and advising sessions, AYF’s professional staff is always on hand to help students with personal, professional, and academic issues as they arise. In cases of emergency, AYF students are encouraged to contact the Academic Director and Program Director at any time, night or day, to seek support.