OBW International Lake Constance Summer School

The Ontario/Baden-Württemberg Student Exchange Program offers scholarships to students from Ontario universities who are selected by the OBW Program to participate in the Internationale Bodensee Hochschule (International Lake Constance Summer School).

The IBH is a four-week summer program in which students from around the world study German and learn about the cultures of the German-speaking countries that surround Lake Constance: Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. It offers a unique, excellent, and highly enjoyable learning experience in the classroom, as in its excursions to places of interest in the region and its extracurricular program. Lake Constance lies at the centre of one of the most interesting, beautiful, and culturally rich areas of Europe.

Successful applicants will receive a scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to help cover expenses during the course. These scholarships are from funds provided by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities.

There is no German-language prerequisite for successful participation in the IBH. Classes are offered at various levels, including beginners’ level. Students are assigned to classes following a placement test. Students from Ontario universities may apply who intend either:

  • to participate in the IBH as a stand-alone experience and then return to their studies in Ontario; or
  • to participate in the IBH in preparation for a longer stay in Baden-Württemberg as a student in the “traditional” OBW student exchange. (Please note, however, that students who are finishing or have previously completed a longer period of exchange study (incl. the Summer Research Program) in Baden-Württemberg are ineligible to apply.)

Students who wish to have the IBH credit transferred to their academic record in Ontario should seek advice from their home university’s International Student Exchange Office and/or their academic counselors. Credit transfer is at the sole discretion of each student’s home university.

The IBH is a cooperative venture of 30 postsecondary institutions in the four countries surrounding Lake Constance. It takes place at the University of Konstanz, in Germany, from where the OBW program is coordinated on the Baden-Württemberg side, and where many Ontario students since 1990 have spent a wonderful exchange year. Full information on all aspects of the Internationale Bodensee Hochschule can be found on the IBH section of the University of Konstanz website.


To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • be pursuing a degree at a member university in the OBW consortium (Carleton, Guelph, Laurentian, Nipissing, Ottawa, Queen’s, Ryerson, Trent, Waterloo, Western, Windsor, York); 
  • be registered at that university in the academic year preceding participation in the IBH; and
  • be continuing in the same academic program in the academic year following participation.

Students who have participated in the IBH in an earlier year are ineligible to apply in the current year.

How to Apply

To apply, you must:

  • download, complete, print out, and sign the OBW-specific 2015 IBH application form;
  • write an explanation of your reasons for wishing to participate in this program (max. 1 page, double-spaced);
  • provide a current academic transcript; and
  • submit your complete application to your home university’s International Student Exchange Office; please note that you have to meet the application deadline set by your university's International Office.


  • You must apply through the Internaional Student Exchange Office of your home university. Please do NOT submit your own application directly to either the IBH or the OBW office.
  • If you are accepted by OBW to participate in the IBH program, we will send you information on the IBH registration process in place at the University of Konstanz. Please do NOT attempt to register directly before receiving confirmation of the outcome of your OBW-specific application.

Information and Application Forms