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Can you miss out on Franco-German cooperation if you want to train in Freiburg?

Franco-German day care centre, Franco-German primary school, Franco-German high school: how could one miss out on the Franco-German cooperation, if they want to train in Freiburg?

Freiburg im Breisgau is particularly spoiled when it comes to binational educational programmes. The city actually has no fewer than three binational schools, two Franco-German bachelor programmes and three master programmes, which were developed thanks to agreements between the France Centre of the Albert Ludwig University (Freiburg) and the French universities. An insight into a very ambitious cooperation.

“As a child, you will learn languages ​​quickly,” it is said again and again. But who still remembers the language lessons from their school days? Not many. However, the students who attend one of the three Franco-German schools have more chances than others to be fluent in both languages. In fact, the Franco-German day care centre in Freiburg (l’École maternelle franco-allemande de Freiburg), the Franco-German primary school in Freiburg (l’École Elémentaire Franco-Allemande de Freiburg) and the Franco-German high school Freiburg im Breisgau (le Lycée Franco-Allemand Freiburg im Breisgau) all have a common goal: to train young people to be bilingual, bicultural and able to continue their studies in one of the two systems, either French or German. To achieve this goal, the teaching and administrative staff themselves are German-French and the courses are held in both languages.

These schools also share something else; they belong to a larger, worldwide network of French schools, the so-called Agence pour l’enseignement Français à l’Etranger (AEFE, Agency for French Education Abroad). This agency encompasses more than 500 schools and high schools around the world whose educational programmes have been recognised by the French Ministry of Education. The Franco-German Gymnasium in Freiburg im Breisgau boasts another special feature: it is also part of the network of German-French Gymnasium schools. Three Gymnasium schools in France and Germany make up the network, consisting of the Gynasiums of Buc (France, Académie de Versailles), Saarbrücken (Saarland) and Freiburg (Baden-Württemberg). They are considered to be the first implementation of the Elysee Treaty of 1963 and are viewed as a model for Franco-German cooperation in the field of education. The school programme that is taught here is unique, as well as the Abitur that students take in 12th grade. Both are the results of intergovernmental negotiations that took place in 1972.

After high school comes the university and it is there, too, that the opportunity is given to complete with a binational diploma. The Franco-German University (DFH) offers two Bachelor programmes and three Masters degrees, some of which take place in France and some in Freiburg (France Centre, Albert Ludwigs University or University of Education). The DFH has a unique model: the institution was founded in 1992 to promote binational programmes. More than 200 colleges and universities belong to this network and 6,400 students take part in one of the DFH programmes every year.

The offer is great. There is a suitable German-French training course for every age and every taste, and Freiburg is particularly pioneering in this area. So no, it is actually impossible to miss out on the Franco-German cooperation if you want to study in Freiburg!

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