OBW International Lake Constance Summer School

Please read the updated information for 2016 on this page carefully. There are important changes that invalidate information you may have read on last year's IBH page.

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. Please see the detailed information below on how the scholarship is paid.

There is no German-language prerequisite for successful participation in the IBH. Classes are offered at various levels, including at the beginners’ level. Students are assigned to classes following a placement test. Students from participating 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 2016 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 with the IBH before receiving confirmation of the successful outcome of your OBW-specific application.

Acceptance and Scholarship Details

OBW will, as soon as the results are finalized, advise your home university of the outcome of your application. If your application is successful, your name will be on a list that we send to the Univesity of Konstanz, and we will be in touch with you with further paperwork and instructions, including advising that you should at that point register directly online with the IBH at the University of Konstanz. This step must be completed by May 16, 2016.

For OBW participants in the IBH, special conditions apply with regard to the required payment of fees to the University of Konstanz.

  • Unlike other participants, you are required to pay directly to Konstanz only the accommodation fee of 360€, assuming you wish to reserve a residence room, and the deadline for that payment to have been received in Konstanz is May 30, 2016.

Regarding the IBH Participation Fee and the OBW Scholarship, the following arrangements apply:

  • In order to minimize the up-front expenses for OBW participants, the University of Konstanz has for 2016 kindly agreed to an arrangement whereby OBW will pay the IBH Participation Fee of 380€ on your behalf.
  • OBW will then deduct an equivalent amount, according to the exchange rate we are charged, from the amount of scholarship.
  • OBW will pay to you the balance after this deduction (i.e., $1,000, minus the dollar equivalent of 380€). Please be aware that strict provincial rules allow us to initiate this payment through York University's financial department (where our accounts are kept) only after you have arrived and registered in Konstanz. It is important that you understand that you will therefore most likely have access to these funds only after your return to Ontario.

Information and Application Forms