About the Program
Students participating in this program spend two weeks documenting the vitality of Berlin. The course will focus on profiling newsworthy Berliners who have called the city home since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Special consideration will be paid to the former Soviet sector. Students’ work will be showcased with a website featuring photographs and audio stories, as well as a hardback photobook.
Journalism Associate Professor John Freeman has led this study-abroad course to Berlin for 15 summers. The program helps students conduct field research and document the spirit and vitality of the city where he attended high school as an “Air Force brat.” At the peak of the Cold War, 1968 to 1971, Freeman lived in West Berlin, surrounded by the Wall, a barrier he thought would never fall. The idea of returning to a free and unified Berlin with students came to him while on sabbatical from UF in the fall 2004. A UF alum and Berlin participant in 2008, Andrew Stanfill, served as teaching assistant for the 2019 course.
Freeman is a tenured associate professor in the Department of Journalism at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, and is a two-time winner of the College Teacher of the Year award. He has also been named Educator of the Year by the National Press Photographer Association. He is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and has a master’s in communication from Wichita State University, where he taught for 10 years before joining UF in 1991. Publications he has worked for include The New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, Getty Images, The Los Angeles Times, The Wichita Eagle and The Bergen Co. (N.J.) Record. He was on faculty fellowship at National Geographic magazine in 1996. Freeman is married and has two adult children.