Program overview

Program Dates: Friday, July 17 to Saturday, August 29, 2015 (6 weeks)

This will be the fourteenth year that the University of Toronto has offered a summer program in Berlin. Over 500 students have enthusiastically participated in the program since it began.


Each course is worth one full-year credit and is contingent on adequate enrolment. Students are not permitted to register for more than one course.

Classes take place Monday to Thursday. The JAH391Y0 class meets from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and the CIN360Y0 class meets from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (to allow for film screenings). Mandatory field trips are an integral part of each course, and may occur outside of class time on afternoons or Fridays. There may also be one or two lectures held in Toronto before the start of the program; in this event, participants will be provided with further details in their admission information.

Please note that, because there is no local university hosting this program, students will not have access to school library, computer, or sports facilities. However, there are many internet cafés and public libraries in Berlin, as well as free wifi points.

CIN360Y0 Cinematic City: Berlin

From the beginning in the late 19th Century, film interacted closely with the cultural currents of emerging urban modernity. This course explores selected moments in the phenomenon of the city and cinema concentrating heavily on the city of Berlin. Berlin was one of the first cities in which cinema and its social and urban implications were closely debated and these discussions yielded the most rigorous and influential theories of cinema and city in the work of Kracauer, Benjamin and others in the 1920s and 1930s. Later, the traumas – saturation bombing and ruination, the city’s political division into competing regimes and reunification that befell Berlin made the city a crucial site for unique considerations of the urban experience in the post-war era with all these experiences implied for cinema. The writings of Simmel, Kracauer and Benjamin will be emphasized. Focus will be put on D. W. Griffith’s Musketeers of Pig Alley, Rene Clair’s Paris qui dort, Walter Ruttmann’s Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera, Fritz Lang’s films, including M and Jo May’s Asphalt, Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire and F.H. Donnermark’s The Lives of Others. The course will include weekly field trips.

Prerequisites: CIN105Y1, CIN201Y1 or relevant academic preparation.
This is a Humanities course; BR=2.

Field Trips: This course will incorporate numerous visits to museums and galleries in Berlin, a trip to Babelsberg film studios in nearby Potsdam and a 3-day trip to Prague, Czech Republic. The cost of these trips is as follows:
CAD$570 paid to UofT for return transportation, some entry fees and two nights hostel accommodation.
CAD$30 paid onsite for public transit in Berlin and Prague.

Instructor:  Bart Testa is a senior lecturer at Innis College and the Cinema Studies Institute. His courses cover a wide range, including the introductory course, two courses on popular genres [Science Fiction in Film, and Cinema Sensation I (Action) and II (Sex)] as well as an advanced course on Genre and Narration. He also teaches a year-long examination of avant-garde film and a full course on Chinese cinemas, graduate courses on film theory and seminars on narrative endings and apocalyptic films. He has conducted his course on Chinese Cinemas in Hong Kong with the Summer Abroad Program biannually since 2002. Testa has served on the advisory council of TIFF/Cinematheque and has organized several conferences and film festivals with the Asian Institute (Munk School, UofT) in an ongoing association.

Please click here for a copy of the course outline.

JAH391Y0 Special Topics in Anthropology and History: Germany and Its Others

Germany as a country was founded in 1871 on the notion of a “German People” sharing a common language, culture, even “race,” and entitled to governing a certain territory. Historically, this idea supported efforts to establish a liberal, democratic Germany, but also led to the Holocaust and to friction with Germany’s neighbors. Today, “who is a German?” remains a controversial question. There are millions of German citizens and residents with roots in Turkey, Eastern Europe and farther away. Can the old idea of an ethnic nationality be squared with twenty-first century notions of citizenship? We seek an answer as we explore Berlin and its evolving German and multicultural character.

Prerequisites: none
This is a Humanities/Social Science course (BR=1+3), and can be counted towards the Anthropology or History programs at the University of Toronto.

Field Trips: This course will include visits to numerous sites and neighbourhoods in Berlin, a one-day trip to Leipzig and a three-day trip to Prague, Czech Republic. The cost of these trips is as follows:
CAD$435 paid to UofT for return transportation, some entry fees and two nights hostel accommodation.
CAD$30 paid onsite for  public transit in Berlin and Prague.

Instructor: Ivan Kalmar is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Hon. Newton W. Rowell Professor at Victoria College, both at the University of Toronto. His main work has addressed parallels in the image of Muslims and Jews in western Christian cultural history, focusing largely on the German-speaking and German-influenced areas of Europe. He co-edited Orientalism and the Jews (University Press of New England, 2005). Recently, he has published Early Orientalism: Imagined Islam and the Notion of Sublime Power (London: Routledge, 2012).

Please click here for a copy of the course outline.

Information session

A detailed information session for the summer program in Berlin will be held on the UofT St. George campus in January. This session provides an excellent opportunity to hear from previous participants, see photos, and ask any questions that you may have.

Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from 4:30 to 6:30pm

Location: Woodsworth College Residence, Waters Lounge, 321 Bloor St. West (SE corner of St. George and Bloor)


See information session listings for all UofT programs and campuses.

Program details

Friday, July 17 to Saturday, August 29, 2015 (6 weeks)

This will be the fourteenth year that the University of Toronto has offered a summer program in Berlin. Over 500 students have enthusiastically participated in the program since it began.

Your classroom will be located in Gendarmenmarkt Square, the historic hub of Berlin, amidst famous landmarks such as the French Cathedral, the German Cathedral, and the State concert hall.

A generous range of scholarships are available to U of T students applying to this program, including several Joint Initiative in German and European Studies Scholarships valued at up to $5,000 and six Summer Abroad Bursaries of $2,500 each.  Further information is available in the Financial Aid section of the website.

Immerse Yourself in a Dynamic World City

  • Berlin is a central hub of Europe, lying on the north-south axis between Copenhagen and Vienna. Cities such as Dresden, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Brussels, Prague and Warsaw are all within easy reach of Berlin.
  • Berlin is known for its numerous festivals, shows, fairs, and exhibits, as well as its rich food, music and arts scenes. The city boasts three opera houses, eight symphony orchestras and numerous cinemas (including open-air sites).
  • Almost one-quarter of Berlin’s urban surface consists of lake and forest, as well as extensive parklands, bike trails and the Spree and Havel waterways.

Program activities

Activities have been arranged to give students in the program a general overview of the city, and an opportunity to get to know one another. A city tour will take place during the first weekend, exploring the neighbourhood of the Adalbertstrasse residence and the surrounding area.  There will also be a welcome dinner and a farewell banquet for all participants.

Accommodation and meals

Students are housed in apartments on Adalbertstrasse. The building offers comfortable and reasonably priced apartment style units. Each unit houses three students in two bedrooms (one single and one double), who share a small kitchen and bathroom. There is no internet access in the apartments, but there are many inexpensive internet points in the neighbourhood. Students should budget CAD$75 – $100 for internet for academic purposes. Participants take public transit to classes (approximately 10 minutes by bus).

There is no meal plan. Students should budget approximately CAD$765 for a combination of self-prepared and purchased meals.

Double room accommodation: CAD$975
Single room accommodation: CAD$1300

Students are required to submit a damage deposit of CAD$100. This will be returned on completion of the program provided the rooms are left clean and undamaged, and keys have been returned.

*Important:  At the time of publication the availability and cost of Adalbertstrasse apartments was not finalized.  Updated information will be posted on the website as it becomes available.  The location and prices of accommodation therefore are subject to change.

Group flight

We have negotiated a group flight to Berlin (via London) for students in the program. The round-trip economy class airfare with British Airways is CAD$1422, which includes taxes/fees of approximately $670. Note that flight taxes/fees (including fuel surcharges) are subject to change. Alternatively, students may make their own travel arrangements.

Departure date from Toronto: Thursday, July 16 (arrive July 17)
Return date from Berlin: Saturday, August 29

Transportation between the Berlin airport and the residence will be provided.

Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO)

All students admitted to the Summer Abroad program are required to successfully complete an online PDO, which will provide information and advice on international health and safety issues. Students are also strongly encouraged to attend the in-person Germany PDO on May 6 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Entry requirements

All students are responsible for making sure that their necessary travel documents are in order. Information on entry requirements is available from the German Consulate.

As of the time of publication (December 2014), Canadian citizens only need a passport valid for six months beyond their return date to enter Germany as a visitor. Citizens of other countries may have additional requirements.

NOTE: International students who need to apply for a short-stay visa should apply for it in Toronto.  Students can request a letter of support to assist with their visa application by emailing AFTER all of their program fees have been paid to the Summer Abroad office.


A breakdown of the program costs is outlined below. Please click here for further information about the course fee and incidental fees.

Germany costs

Payment Deadlines

The deadlines for fees payable to the University of Toronto are as follows:

• Application fee:  due February 16, 2015
• Deposit of $500:  due two weeks after admission notification
• All remaining fees:  due April 22, 2015

Financial Assistance

The following assistance is available for eligible students in this program. For additional awards and further details please see the Financial Aid section of the Summer Abroad website.

The following assistance is available for eligible students in this program.
• Summer Abroad Bursary (six awards at $2500 each)
• Joint Initiative in German and European Studies Scholarships (several awards, variable amounts up to $5000)