COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Study Abroad

Please see the SFU Study Abroad website on COVID-19 and Study Abroad for more information.

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.

Important notes

  • Field School Director: Sabine Bitter (
  • Application Deadline: February 15, 2022. Applications are now open!
  • An academic reference is not required if you are in a visual arts program.
    • Recommended if you are in another academic program.
  • Graduate students are welcome.
  • Visiting students from institutions other than SFU are welcome.
  • See application instructions here.

Apply here

Apply to the Berlin Field School via the SFU Study Abroad application system.


Level of Study (at SFU)

Undergraduate, Graduate

Program Eligibility

If you do not meet one of the below eligibility requirements but are interested in participating, please contact the Field School Director to see if the requirement can be waived.

Undergraduate Eligibility Requirements

  • 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
  • SFU Students: be in Good Academic Standing at the time of application

Graduate Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be 19 years of age or older prior to departure
  • SFU Students: be in Good Academic Standing at the time of application

Selection Criteria

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

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 the application deadline.

How to apply as a non-SFU student

Qualified graduate students from Canadian institutions other than SFU are eligible to apply. Visiting students must arrange for transfer credit with their home institution, as well as for a transcript after completion.

You will need to complete an application to this program in addition to a Visiting Student Field School Application, which is embedded within the program application. Both applications must be complete and submitted by the application deadline for your Field School. See more information here.


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


Undergraduate Students: 11 or 13 Credits

  • Required:
    • CA 308-4: Contemporary Arts Field School I (Theory/History) 
    • CA 309-4: Contemporary Arts Field School II (Studio)
  • Choose one of:
    • CA 305-3: Explorations in Contemporary Arts I
    • CA 405-5: Explorations in Contemporary Arts II
      • CA 405 involves a more extensive project, thus grants more credits.

Graduate Students: 5 or 10 Credits

  • CA 885-5: Studio in Fine and Performing Arts II, Equivalent to Contemporary Arts Field School I & II
  • (optional) CA 889-5: Directed Studies

For course descriptions, please see the SFU Course Calendar.


Late-February – mid-March: Mandatory Canvas Program

April 30th: Date by which we will confirm how program is proceeding. Do not book flights or confirm other arrangements until after this date.

TBD: Pre-Departure Orientation

May 16 - 27: Preparatory sessions** 

June 1 - July 13: Study in Berlin, Germany

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

**To discuss attending these sessions virtually, please contact the Field School Director.

Cost and Funding

All costs are listen in CAD. You will pay: tuition; activity and other SFU fees; and a Field School Program Fee.

1. Tuition Fees*

  • a. Undergraduate (domestic): $2,197.80 (11 units) or $2,597.40 (13 units)
    • OR
  • b. Undergraduate (international): differential rates, between $9,985.03 (11 units) and $13,921.57 (13 units)
    • OR
  • c. SFU Graduate students in the SCA MA program who are paying the full-time fee: $1,985.88**
    • SFU graduate students if not related to their home program or non-degree students: $1,498.70 (5 units)or $2,997.4 (10 units). Please discuss tuition arrangements with your supervisor and/or department prior to applying.
    • Non-degree students: will also pay a $90 or $125 Graduate Application Fee to SFU if they are accepted into the Field School. This fee does not go towards tuition or program fees.
    • Western Dean's Agreement students: tuition paid at usual rate to home university.

This calculation does not include other student fees. International students taking the undergraduate course pay differential tuition.

** Different fees will apply to students in other scenarios (e.g. MA students paying the continuing fee).

2. Student Activity Fee (off-campus)

  • Undergraduate: $79.85
    • OR
  • Graduate: $37.58

3. Program Fees*

  • $3,718 - $4,336
  • What's included
    • Shared accommodation
    • Field trips & entrance fees
    • In-country transportation
    • Some group meals
    • Pre-Departure Orientation, In-Field/Re-Entry Support
  • What's not included**
    • International return flight to/from Berlin: variable cost. Please do not book your flight prior to April 30th.
    • Most food: ~$500 if cooking own meals
    • Any testing or documentation required for travel (e.g. COVID tests, translations, or notarizations of proof of vaccination, etc.)
    • Communication costs (i.e. cellphone)
    • Entertainment and additional personal travel
    • Vaccinations: may be required. Please consult a travel health doctor.
    • Visa: may be required based on citizenship. Please research.
    • Mandatory health insurance***

* Final program costs are based on the total number of students and are subject to change. The highest number listed is the maximum it would cost.

** This list is not comprehensive. You may have additional or varying needs.

***Current SFU Students will need to indicate whether or not they will be covered by the SFSS Undergraduate Health/Dental Plan or the GSS Benefit Plan for the duration of the field school. Please visit for further coverage details.

If you are a visiting student or an SFU student that has already opted out of the SFSS Undergraduate Health/ Dental or the GSS Benefit Plan within the current academic year (September 1st - August 31st), you will need to print, sign, scan and upload a copy of the Field Schools: Proof of Alternative Travel Medical Coverage Form (embedded in application).

Students must pay Tuition and Student Activity fees (numbers 1 & 2) directly to SFU Student Services by the due date as outlined in the SFU Calendar, in mid-May. Field School Program Fees (number 3) must be paid by Monday, June 27th 2022.

Financial Aid

  • Full time Canadian students (enrolled in a term of 9+ units) participating in SFU field schools are eligible to apply for student loans.
  • Full time degree-seeking SFU students may also apply for bursaries, scholarships, awards, and International Exchange/Field School Bursaries, including the Suite of Study Abroad awards (valued: $1,000-$2,000) embedded in the program application.

For more information on funding your trip, please visit the SFU Study Abroad's Financial Aid page.

Conditions and Considerations

Contingency Plan

Due to continued uncertainty from the global pandemic, the Berlin Field School may be cancelled. We advise you to not book airfare or make any non-refundable arrangements for your field school until after April 30th, by which we will notify you if the program is proceeding. We strongly recommend enrolling in backup courses should this occur. You would not be charged program fees if cancelled.

Medical Conditions

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 Accessible Learning (CAL). CAL staff will ask that you provide documentation from a duly-qualified medical specialist, which contains a diagnosis and a treatment plan. Where appropriate, CAL 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 CAL 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.

Other notes

All programs require a minimum number of students and are subject to cancellation if minimums are not met. You will not be charged any program fees if your program is cancelled.

Summer 2018


Berlin Field School


Sabine Bitter (

Find out more about the SCA's Visual Art area HERE.