In the wake of a successful kick-off event at the end of March, iPRAKTIKUM, the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures’ internationalization and experiential learning initiative, has been awarded a $15,000 ATLAS grant (co-applicants Stefan Soldovieri and Helena Juenger). The grant will fund the development of a framework for providing rich, global experiences for German students as well as students in other targeted fields. A number of very promising discussions are underway with partners inside and outside the university. Next steps include finalizing the project vision, an environmental scan, focus group meetings with stakeholders, and an assessment of available internal and external resources. Based on the results of this development phase, a second ATLAS grant proposal will be submitted to fund the roll-out of the beta-version of the project in 2018-19.
Students want to connect what they learn in the classroom to real-world, global contexts, and employers are increasingly demanding graduates with global competency. iPRAKTIKUM is being developed to meet these needs. With its strengths in green technologies, urban planning, design, manufacturing, and high-tech industries, Germany is the number one non-English speaking destination for students seeking international training opportunities. Innovative German companies also have a strong presence in the GTA, representing an untapped potential for local student placements that could lead to future international training and career opportunities. iPRAKTIKUM will help facilitate these experiences for University of Toronto students across disciplines by providing qualified linguistic and intercultural preparation, field-specific and structured placements, and follow-up reflective activities and assessment.