One of the highlights of any student career is studying abroad. This is particularly true for students of languages and cultures. Once abroad, the locations themselves become your living textbook. You are immersed in the language on a daily basis and reading and hearing it in applied cultural context. Language learning happens most quickly and almost magically under these circumstances.
Weekends and academic breaks allow you to venture forth and explore your surroundings. Since studying abroad often puts you on a completely different continent, you are much closer to places you might otherwise not have had the opportunity to visit. Some study abroad programs even have field trips planned in or around the curriculum, but you can always plan your own explorations.
Being immersed in an entirely new cultural setting may initially seem a little scary, but it is also exciting and fun – an opportunity to discover new strengths and abilities within yourself, rise to new challenges, and solve new problems. Encountering situations that are wholly unfamiliar to you will make you learn to adapt and rise to them. It will make you grow in many ways.
Students who study abroad return home with new ideas and perspectives about themselves and their own culture. The experience abroad often challenges them to reconsider their own beliefs and values and to embrace new concepts and perceptions. The encounter with other cultures enables you to see your own culture through new eyes.
Did you know that less than 5% of Canadian undergraduates ever study abroad? As the world becomes ever more globalized, companies increasingly invest in the international market. Any prospective employer will appreciate your international experience and regard you as more self-motivated, independent, willing to embrace challenges, and able to cope with diverse problems and situations. Your experience living and studying in a foreign country, negotiating another culture, and acquiring another language will set you apart from the majority of other applicants.
Are you starting to get excited? So let’s have a look at some of the opportunities you have as a German student at U of T. These links provide some good starting points, but they don’t replace your own research. Search the internet, visit the Study Abroad Office and check your college website for bursaries & grants.
- University of Toronto’s: Summer Abroad Program: https://summerabroad.utoronto.ca/
Info on bursaries & awards: https://summerabroad.utoronto.ca/costs/
- Canadian Summer School in Germany: http://www.smu.ca/international/cssg/
- Canadian Year in Freiburg (booklet): https://international.nic.bc.ca/pdfs/study_abroad/CYF-Flyer-and-Application-2016-17.pdf
- Germany Summer School: https://www.ualberta.ca/augustana/programs/experiential/international/germany
- International Summer & Winter School FUBIS Berlin: http://www.fubis.org/
- Yiddish Summer Program at the National Yiddish Book Centre: http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/educational-programs/steiner-summer-yiddish-program
- Werkstudentenprogramm: https://www.mta.ca/community/academics/faculty_of_arts/modern_languages_and_literatures/study_abroad/study_abroad/
- University of Toronto’s Summer Abroad Program bursaries & awards: https://summerabroad.utoronto.ca/costs/
- Centre for International Experience (CIE): http://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/cie
- CIE funding opportunities: https://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/cie/funding-costs
- German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Toronto: https://daad.org/canada
- DAAD funding opportunities: https://www.daad.org/undergradprograms
Also check your college website for study abroad bursaries & grants!
Several Practical Tips
- Make sure to secure advance approval from the Undergraduate Coordinator for any courses you intend to take. You may not take language courses abrpad that duplicate courses already taken at U of T. If you do so, you won’t be granted transfer credit for them.
- Since many of the programs require a language test and/or a reference letter, schedule appointments early to ensure that we will be able to accommodate your reqiest.
- Be aware of deadlines.
Contact the ISXO (International Student eXchange Office) for more information.
Here are some additional links for you if you’re more of an explorer …