OBW International Lake Constance Summer School

Applications for the 2017 IBH Program are no longer being accepted. Updated information and forms for applicants to the 2018 program will be posted on this page in early 2018.

Important: The information on this page pertaining to the 2017 Summer School was posted on February 7, 2017. Among other details, important changes have been made to the fees and scholarship information that was posted in 2016. Please note that information that you may have read with regard to the 2016 Summer School does not apply in 2017. You should therefore be guided only by the information provided below.

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 Advanced Education and Skills Development. 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.

Eligibility

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, McMaster, 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 2017 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.

Important:

  • 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 Registration

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 19, 2017.

Fees

As outlined on the 2017 IBH webpage, the cost for the German intensive course and supplementary activities is 380€. In addition, you can book a single room in a student residence for 360€ (meals not included).

You are responsible for the full payment of fees to the University of Konstanz by May 30, 2017. Please be aware of the terms stated on the University of Konstanz website that will apply if you later decide to cancel. Please note too that, under provincial rules, OBW is not allowed to make advance payment of the scholarship.

Scholarships

OBW will initiate payment of scholarships when it has received the necessary paperwork from participants (successful applicants will receive the necessary forms in due course) and when it has received confirmation from University of Konstanz that they have arrived, registered, and begun their studies (no action is necessary on the part of students to satisfy this last requirement).

Important:

  •  One of the eligibility requirements for the OBW scholarship, about which successful applicants will be informed, is the purchase of a German health and third-party liability insurance policy that meets OBW’s specific criteria. This requirement is non-negotiable, and no exceptions are made. This means that, if you elect not to purchase such an insurance policy in Germany, you will not be eligible to receive any part of the scholarship. 
  • Since OBW is allowed to initiate payment of the scholarships only after you have started the course, and since the process takes some time, you cannot count on seeing the payment until after the end of the Summer School. Please be assured that we initiate the payments as soon as we possibly can.

Information and Application Forms