University of Florida - Berlin 2008 Study-Abroad Photojournalism Program

  Slideshows | Students | Gallery | Professor

Associate Professor John Freeman led this study-abroad course to Berlin from May 16 to 29, 2008. It was the fourth summer in a row he helped students conduct field research to 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, from 1968 to 1971, Freeman lived in West Berlin, surrounded by The Berlin 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 of 2004.

During the two-week course, 15 students are introduced to the city through bicycle and walking tours, followed by meetings with foreign correspondents. Guests in 2008 included distinguished bureau chiefs: Andrew Purvis with TIME magazine, and Ian Johnson with The Wall Street Journal. Students are free to find and develop a picture story that suits their interests, as well as stand-alone photos (see Gallery). A unique aspect of the course is that slideshows are completed and posted live to the Web from Berlin. Special thanks to Joe Weiss, developer of "Soundslides," who provided complimentary software for the course. Like always, the group celebrated its success with a dinner high atop Berlin's landmark TV Tower on the final night.

Freeman is a tenured associate professor in the department of journalism at the University of Florida 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 the faculty at Florida 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. Freeman is married and has two children in their 20s.

Links of interest2008 trip Blog | 2005 website | 2006 website | 2007 website | John Freeman homepage
Fat Tire Bike Tour | Original Berlin Walks Tour | Transit-Loft Hotel | Official Berlin City Tourism Site

  John Freeman
  An earlier visit to the Wall as a