The OBW Student Exchange program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students at all of the participating universities in Ontario. It offers qualified and eligible students the opportunity to spend one or two semesters living and studying at one of the nine research universities in Baden-Württemberg. We strongly recommend that students consider spending the full period of two semesters (in total 11 months), and about 75% of Ontario participants do just that. We recognize however that there are good reasons, be they academic or personal, why this may not be possible for everyone, and students of course have the option of applying to go to Germany for just one semester.
Students in the program should have the objective of integrating as fully as possible — academically and socially — into German student life. This is of course a challenge, and the role of the OBW office and of the offices at the universities in Germany with which we work is to provide the preparation and support students will need to help them transition into life as a student in Germany. This includes:
- an intensive pre-departure orientation in May, held in Toronto;
- an immersion German-language course and local orientation at the host university prior to the beginning of the semester proper;
- a guaranteed OBW Travel Bursary to assist eligible participants with the additional costs of travel to and from Germany and of German health insurance ($2,500 for two-semester participation, $1,600 for one-semester participation);
- expert advising on academic and non-academic matters throughout the period before departure and while on exchange; and
- regular liaison between the between the OBW office and the home university’s and host university’s international offices.
OBW’s role in the long-stay Exchange program is to help with your preparation and to assist you in your efforts to make your time overseas successful, productive, and enjoyable. It is definitely not to attempt to run your life while you are on exchange. While participation in the program requires a degree of self-reliance on the part of students, it is very important to us that students know that we and our partners in Germany are there and willing to support our exchange students when advice or help is needed.
Participating students, if undergraduates, must have completed two years of a recognized degree at their home university. They should possess a knowledge of German appropriate to their academic objectives. Ideally this means the equivalent of two years of university-level instruction, but we have had good experience with students who had somewhat less German when they began their exchange. If in doubt, please ask us, and we will advise you on the possibilities.
Eligibility for the OBW Travel Bursary is restricted to citizens and permanent residents of Canada.
- pay tuition fees their home university and are exempted from paying tuition fees at their host university (it is, however, normal for host universities to charge certain incidental administrative fees);
- are responsible for their expenses abroad, including travel, room and board, health and accident insurance, student fees payable to the local Studentenwerk, and other living expenses;
- are required, in order to be eligible for the OBW Travel Bursary, to buy into a German "Krankenkasse" (health and accident insurance plan) — participants will receive more information on this;
- are responsible for all aspects — academic, legal, medical, etc. — of their participation in the program; and
- are responsible for arranging any transfer of academic credits to their home university.
Students must apply to their home university to be nominated, following that institution’s selection process and criteria, to the OBW program. Each Ontario university sets its own deadline for the receipt of applications, so please check with the exchange/international office of your home university for details.
Please download and use the following OBW application materials in addition to any forms required by your home university: