University of Florida - Berlin 2012 Study-Abroad Photojournalism Program

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Professor John Freeman led this study-abroad course to Berlin from May 18 to May 31, 2012. It was the eighth 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, 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 of 2004.

During the two-week course, 12 to 15 students are introduced to the city through bicycle and walking tours, followed by meetings with foreign correspondents. This year we met with international illustrator Christoph Niemann and photojournalist Timothy Fadek. Both are super-talented and inspirational. During the two weeks in Berlin, 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 in Berlin. Special thanks to Joe Weiss, developer of "Soundslides, who provided complimentary software. The group celebrated its success with a farewell dinner atop Berlin's landmark TV Tower.

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. He was a faculty fellowship at National Geographic in summer 1996. Freeman is married and has two children in their 20s.

Links of interest 2005 site | 2006 site | 2007 site | 2008  site | 2009 site | John Freeman homepage
Fat Tire Bike Tours | Original Berlin Walks Tour | Transit-Loft Hotel | Official Berlin City Tourism Site

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  John Freeman
 
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  An earlier visit to the Wall as a
  9-year-old.