On Friday, March 31st, the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures held a ‚Bier&Bratwurst’ Networking Event to inaugurate iPRAKTIKUM, an experiential learning and internationalization project. Over 40 students and faculty from fields ranging from Engineering and Environmental Sciences to Architecture and Music attended. We were also joined by potential business partners, as well as representatives from the German and Austrian Consulates, Goethe-Institut, DAAD, and Canadian-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. iPRAKTIKUM is being developed in collaboration with a number of offices from the U of T administration, including the Office of the Vice-President International, Provost’s Office, Vice-Dean’s Office, Teaching and Learning, Vice-Dean, Undergraduate Education, Center for International Experience, and the Center for Community Partnerships. Information about future events and opportunities to provide input will be forthcoming.
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.