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
- Woodwards/Goldcorp Campus: Wednesday November 7 at 11:30 am (GC 2250). Register here: http://at.sfu.ca/easSul
- Alexander Centre: Thursday November 15 at 1:00 PM (Visual Arts Studio). Register here: http://at.sfu.ca/jNOYKN
- Woodwards/Goldcorp Campus: Tuesday November 20 at 1:30 PM (GC 4390). Register here: http://at.sfu.ca/VzuswD
Student pre-registration is highly recommended.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
January 29, 2019
Level of Study (at SFU)
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 email@example.com 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
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 www.studentcare.ca 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.
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.
Field school dinner at Three Sisters restaurant in Kreuzberg.
Students from the field school with students from the Karlsruhe University of Art and Design.
Backyard BBQ with field school students and students from the Karlsruhe University of Art and Design.
Visit to filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger.
Field school classroom at Air Berlin Alexanderplatz.
Altes Museum and plaza.
Jana Ghimire presenting in front of the Altes Museum.
Jana Ghimire presenting in front of the Altes Museum.
Presentation by field school host Aleksander Komarov of Air Berlin Alexanderplatz.
Field school visiting Philippe Parreno exhibition at Martin Gropius Bau.
Filmmaker Louis Henderson speaking with the field school before his screening at Arsenal Cinema.
Field school student Dominique Wakeland interviewing filmmaker Louis Henderson.
A founding member of the Prinzessinnengärten addressing the field school.
Prinzessinnengärten, urban eco-garden in central Berlin.
Currywurst at Südlok.
Field school students with professor Susanna Kriemann of Air Berlin Alexanderplatz in front of the Volksbühne before Jerome Bel performance.
Field school students at the Roter Salon, speaking with philosopher/organizer Armen Avanessian.
Field school students in the audience at HAU 2 Theatre for a performance by Thath’i Cover Okestra Vol. 5.
Performance by Thath’i Cover Okestra Vol. 5 at Hau 2 Theatre.
Ulrike Ottinger addresses the field school in front of her archive.
Looking through Ulrike Ottinger's research scrapbooks for one of her films.
Field school students at filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger's studio.
Field school students on self-directed tour of Karl Marx Allee, East Berlin.
Student presentation before visit to Ari Benjamin Meyer studio.
Studio visit with Ari Benjamin Meyers.
Visit to UdK (University of Art, Berlin), class of Ming Wong.
Socializing with UdK (University of the Arts, Berlin) students after Ming Wong's class.
Visit to Berliner Ensemble Theatre.
Field school students at Berliner Ensemble Theatre, before viewing Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle.
Dan Young artist talk and tour of IBA (Internationale Bauausstellung / International Architectural Exhibition).
Dominique Wakeland performing at Pansy Presents at Monster Ronson's.
Final dinner at Markthalle Neun.
Final dinner at Markthalle Neun.