The Waterloo Centre for German Studies offers travel awards annually to students attending Canadian-organized study abroad programs. In a normal year, thanks to the generous donations of the Stork Family and Marga Weigel, we’re able to offer about 40 students scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000.
But 2020 was no normal year, in two respects. We were surprised by the record number of applications; 81 students from 20 different Canadian universities participating in ten different programs approached us for funding. But we were also disappointed because – you guessed it – all of these programs had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was nothing to be done about it, but we were nevertheless very sad to see such a large number of university students denied the opportunity of experiencing Germany first-hand.
However, the story doesn't end there...
The WCGS team wanted to find a way to recognize the hard work of the study abroad program directors and highlight how these programs benefit students. We've created this space on our website to underscore the value and importance of Canadian-organized study abroad programs to Germany. We hope that this page will become a hub of information for students interested in studying in Germany, a useful resource for program organizers, and an inspiration to colleagues at universities throughout Canada.
Below you will find links to interviews with seven different program directors. Their answers to our questions demonstrate the diverse ways in which German exchanges can be organized as well as a broad range of German Studies foci. For instance, students in Post-Socialist Southern East Germany, a travel course organized by geography professor Johanna Wandel from the University of Waterloo, combines German economic and social history, the physical geography of Thuringia, and climate change. Some of these programs, like the Canadian Summer School in Germany, have been around for several years, and others were just starting in 2020. Each represents a unique way for students to connect with and learn about the German-speaking world.
If you have a program that you'd like to see showcased here, please get in touch with us.