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Bielefeld and Alberta: Learning on two continents

Author: Bielefeld University

In May and June, Bielefeld University welcomed 11 students from different Canadian universities of the province of Alberta in the course of the Alberta-OWL cooperation in Bielefeld: The students experienced teaching and learning at the University and contributed to research. The interns and teachers in training from the University of Alberta and Concordia University of Edmonton completed an internship at Bielefeld University and Bielefeld schools for at least two months.

In addition to the fields of Educational Science, Gender Studies, Law and Biology, there is a close cooperation with the Bielefeld School of Education, which facilitates teacher training in Bielefeld and through which four of the interns were able to get to know the German school system as future teachers. They were supervised by teachers of the Gymnasium Heepen and the Gymnasium Bethel.

Gruppenbild vor der Sparrenburg
International exchange at the Sparrenburg: Bielefeld students who will be going to Canada this winter visit Bielefeld’s landmark with interns from Edmonton.

The exchange also includes the opportunity for Bielefeld students to gain study experience in Canada: In the upcoming winter term, seven students from Bielefeld University will attend different higher education institutions in Edmonton for four months. As part of the cooperation, tuition fees will be waived. Many of the participants are additionally supported by the existing Erasmus Plus program.  

In total, around 30 students on both the Canadian and German side are participating in exchange formats within the Alberta-OWL cooperation this year. 

The Alberta-OWL cooperation, concluded in 2018, enables cooperation between a total of eight universities and higher education institutions in OWL and Edmonton in the areas of research, teaching and study. Apart from the exchange of students and interns, also joint academic workshops, publications and, joint teaching takes place.

The metropolitan city of Edmonton is located in the heart of Alberta in Western Canada and is a key location for innovative education. Other than the University of Alberta, the region’s largest and most renowned university, the Concordia University of Edmonton, the MacEwan University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology are also participating.

In return, in East Westphalia-Lippe (OWL), Bielefeld University, Paderborn University, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts and OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts are offering various internships and study places via the joint Campus OWL project. The focus of the cooperation is an interdisciplinary close collaboration that complements, combines and expands the strengths of both regions.

Further information on the Alberta-OWL Cooperation:
Alberta OWL-Kooperation – Universität Bielefeld (