University of Florida - Berlin 2016 Study-Abroad Photojournalism Program

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Professor John Freeman led this study-abroad course to Berlin from May 13 to May 26, 2016. It was the 12th 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 2004. UF alum and adjunct professor Daron Dean served as teaching assistant for the 2016 course. 

During the two-week course, 18 students were introduced to the city through bicycle and walking tours, followed by meetings with foreign correspondents. This year we met with international illustrator Christoph Niemann, photojournalist John MacDougall and freelance writer/book author Mary Lane. All were inspirational. During the two weeks in Berlin, students shot a picture story that suited their interests, as well as stand-alone photos (see Gallery link). A unique aspect of the course is that slideshows are completed in Berlin. The group celebrated its success with 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 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 grown children.

Links of interest: | John Freeman homepage | Fat Tire Bike Tours | Original Berlin Walks Tour | Transit-Loft Hotel | Official Berlin City Tourism Site

      John Freeman
  Daron Dean