Berlin Field School

The SCA's Berlin Field School offers a broad introduction to Contemporary Arts in Berlin and their critical and theoretical context. Founded in the 12th century, Berlin has been both shaped and divided by history. Today, it is once again the capital of Germany, and is recognized as a global cultural hub; a city where history is intertwined with artistic intervention and innovation, and where international visual art, theatre, music, dance, and film thrive. Over six-weeks, a comprehension of the correspondence between the arts and their social, political, and material context will be enriched through simultaneous study, discussion, and experience of art and the urban fabric of this complex city.

Berlin Field School Information Sessions

Thursday, January 17th, 1:30 - 2:30 pm
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (SFU Woodwards) GCA 4390
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Thursday, January 24th, 1:00 - 2:00 pm
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (SFU Woodwards) GCA 4390
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Student pre-registration is highly recommended.

Please email for more information.

Application Status


Application Deadline

January 29, 2019


Level of Study (at SFU)

Undergraduate, Graduate

Program Eligibility

Berlin Contemporary Arts Field School applicants must meet the following requirements at the time of application to participate:

  • Must be 19 years of age or older prior to departure
  • Have completed a minimum of 30 units of university courses
  • Have a minimum 2.5 CGPA

Selection Criteria is based on a combination of things including:

  • Academic Standing
  • Meeting the eligibility requirements
  • Demonstrated interest in Berlin
  • Consent of the Field School Director

Please note, the program will be open to graduate and undergraduate students in all areas but selection priority will be given to Contemporary Arts majors. Students from other institutions are also encouraged to apply.

How to apply as a non-SFU student

If you are currently studying at another post secondary institution (university, college, etc) and meet the above eligibility criteria for this program, you are welcome to apply. You will also be required to apply and be admitted to SFU as an SFU Visiting Field School Student, and will need to arrange for transfer credit with your home institution. Contact to be sent the SFU Visiting Field School Student application. (Do not apply to SFU through the regular visiting student application process.)


Language of Instruction


Subject Areas Available

Contemporary Arts

Exchanges: The names of the subject areas may be different at the partner. The above does not guarantee availability in a specific term or language, nor how courses taken on exchange will transfer back to SFU. This list may be subject to change. Use the above list as a guideline for exploring academic options at the partner.

Field School Program Information


Students may earn 11 or 13 credits in three SCA courses:

Contemporary Arts Field School I, CA 308 (4)

This course includes assigned readings, seminar discussions and outings in Berlin. The course's focus is on contextual discussions and site visits through which participants will reflect on art historical examples, historical events, theoretical writing, and urban space to provide a background to the Contemporary Arts in Berlin. Students will gain an introduction to a number of historical movements and artists including: Berlin Dada; Tanztheatre (Expressionist Dance Theatre); The Bauhaus School; Berthold Brecht's Theatre; the Third Reich's oppression of modern art and music; the art of East and West Germany during the post WW II division; foundations of musical modernism in Germany; New German Cinema. The writing about aesthetics and culture by German theorists including Walter Benjamin and the Frankfurt School will be discussed. Readings will be paired with a relevant site visits and cultural examples in Berlin.

Contemporary Arts Field School II, CA 309 (4)

This course will engage directly with examples of the contemporary arts presented in Berlin at the time of the Field School. The course will include preparatory readings, gallery visits, visits to artist's studios and discussions about works of contemporary art with the opportunity of interacting with local artists and academics. The legacy of Berlin reunification, the specific history of technical media in relation to art in Germany, German musical avant gardes and electronic music, experiments in dance and theatre will be viewed and discussed.

Explorations in Contemporary Arts I CA 305 (3) (5 credits as CA 405)

Students will work under the guidance of the Field School director to develop a research program focused on a particular artistic discipline, history, or thematic interest related to Contemporary Arts in Berlin. Students will propose an independent researched based project which can include artistic practice as a form of response and analysis but must also included a well researched and organized written component detailing research, including discussions with artists.

Graduate students may count Contemporary Arts Field School I & II as graduate elective CA 885-5 with Supervisor and Field School Director approval.


  • February 12, 13 or 14 (TBC) – Acceptance Session
  • March 6 – 20 – Field School 101 Online Canvas Program (mandatory)
  • March 21 – Pre-Departure Orientation
  • May 15, 17, 18, 21, 23, 25 – Sessions at SFU
  • June 1 – Study in Berlin
  • July 13 – End of Program

*These dates are provided as guidelines and are subject to change.

Cost and Funding

  • Undergraduate Tuition*: $2,070.86 (11 units), $2,447.38 (13 units)
  • Off-Campus Student Activity Fee: $58.60
  • Program Fees**: 2018 Program Fees can be found here (2019 fees TBC)

*Differential tuition fees are charged for international students.
**The actual program fee will depend on the final number of participants and is subject to change.

Program Fees include

  • Shared Accommodation
  • Some Group Meals
  • Limited In-Country Transportation (some field trip transportation provided)
  • Field Trips
  • Pre-Departure Orientation, In-Field/Re-Entry Support

Program fees do not include international airfare, books, vaccinations, most food, communication costs (telephone etc.), mandatory health insurance*, and additional personal travel. Program costs will be quoted in Canadian Dollars and will be approximate subject to changes in exchange rates, travel, and accommodation cost quotations.

Students must pay tuition directly to SFU Student Services by the due date as outlined in the SFU Calendar.

The cost of the program is estimated and subject to change.

Full time students participating in SFU field schools are eligible to apply for student loans. Full time SFU students may also apply for bursaries, scholarships, awards, and International Exchange/Field School Bursaries. Please note full time students are those taking 9 or more SFU units per term. Students on SFU scholarships must be enrolled in 12 units per term.

*Insurance: The SFSS Health Plan will provide you with medical coverage for the duration of the program. Please visit for further details of your coverage. If you have opted out of the SFSS plan or are not an SFU student, please make the necessary arrangements to ensure that you have health insurance coverage while overseas. You will be asked to provide proof of this to International Services for Students.

Other notes

The Field School Selection Committee reserves the right to conduct intake interviews in addition to reviewing the completed application as part of the application process. The Field School Selection Committee for each Field School program will select qualified participants. Decisions are expected 2-4 weeks after application deadline. All programs require a minimum of 10 students and are subject to cancellation if minimums are not met.

For people with (physical or mental) medical conditions, international travel can present severe challenges. Because SFU field schools take place in international locations where emergency services, and/or mental or physical support services may be limited, or non-existent, some field school placements will not be appropriate for everyone. Please speak with the program's Field School Director for information on specific conditions for this field school.

If you have a medical condition that poses limitations on your ability to function in certain environments, we strongly advise that you register with the SFU Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD). CSD staff will ask that you provide documentation from a duly-qualified medical specialist, which contains a diagnosis and a treatment plan. Where appropriate, CSD staff will communicate with field school staff with regard to accommodation in the field. (Please note that, while Centre staff indicate to field school staff that a prospective participant requires accommodation for a medical condition, they do not disclose the nature of the medical condition.)

Because overseas arrangements can be complicated, we recommend that you contact the CSD at least three months prior to the commencement of the field school in which you wish to participate. Please note that failure to make proper arrangements in advance of travel could result in termination from the field school with costs and academic credit forfeited.


Apply to the Summer 2019 Berlin Field School here.

Summer 2018