Frequently Answered Questions
Note: The Program is currently accepting applications
for the 2013-2014 cycle.
1. Who can apply?
To be eligible, you must be a student at one of the
participating universities — in Canada:
York University and selected partner universities; in Europe:
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan or Pedagogical University
of Kraków in Poland; or a university or pädagogische
Hochschule in Germany (particularly in Baden-Württemberg).
In addition, you must be planning a career in education, and
the subjects you plan to teach must be relevant to the goals
of the project. You must continue to study at your university
in the 2013-2014 academic year.
We have planned for a maximum of 24 spaces in
the project. Of these, up to 6 each will go to students at Polish
and German institutions, and the remainder will go to students
at Canadian institutions. These numbers are tentative.
2. Why is the
Project designed only for future educators?
By looking at the Holocaust and related phenomena,
we want to educate against racism, including antisemitism. To
educate future generations, we have to educate future teachers.
Hence the project's title: "Learning from the Past
Teaching for the Future."
3. What are
the selection criteria?
Students will be selected on the basis of their academic
record; the relevance of their prospective career in education
to the mandate of the project; their personal qualities; and
their potential for benefiting from and contributing to the
project. An interview is part of the selection process. Students
must have a very good command of English. The Project Coordinators
reserve the right to ensure balance in gender, fields of study,
and the like.
does participating in the project require of me?
You need to be able to attend the orientation activities,
participate fully and actively in the 26-day Field
Study in July/August 2013, prepare a project during the
fall/winter of 2013-2014, and participate fully and actively
in the 10-day Symposium
in Toronto in February 2014. Canadian students must also enrol
in a York
University course on the Holocaust in Cross-Cultural Comparison,
which gives them 6 credits.
5. How much will
it cost and is financial assistance
We estimate that the 26 days in Europe and 10 days
in Canada, plus the orientation activities, will cost approximately
$8500 (in Canadian dollars) per student. This cost does not
include tuition for the 6-credit York University course required
of Canadian participants.
The project can offer financial assistance to
all students who need it. We expect that the Canadian students
will contribute $1000 of their own money towards the core costs
of the travel, and that European students will contribute somewhat
less. Students will also be responsible for paying for their
own incidental costs while travelling (for example: film, snacks,
telephone calls, beverages during some meals). Students must
also arrange for adequate health insurance while on the project.
The project will pay for the other core costs.
Students' financial situations play no role in
the selection process. If you cannot afford the student contribution
to the project, you should apply anyhow and speak to the Project
Coordinators in confidence. We will try our best to make the
additional financial aid available to you.
6. How will we
travel and where will we stay in Europe?
Obviously we will be flying between Europe and Canada,
but within Europe, we will use a combination of trains and chartered
buses between cities, and public transit and walking (with a
few chartered buses) within cities. For more information, consult
itinerary and route
map for the Field Study.
We will be staying mostly in youth hostels and
student residences, although in some cities we may be in modest
hotels. Students will most often share rooms with their fellow
participants of the same gender.
7. What kinds
of activities will be on the agenda in Europe?
We will have a mixture of activities. Some involve
classroom-like instruction and discussions. We will visit important
teaching and memorial sites relating to World War II, National
Socialism, and the Holocaust. We will meet with teacher-trainers
and take part in workshops conducted by German and Polish. And
there will be time for formal and informal discussion and for
individual group members to explore on their own. In short,
ours is a serious subject, but we approach it with verve, and
if the experience of previous groups is any indication, the
Field Study will be both fun and rewarding, notwithstanding
the serious and often tragic background.
8. What if I have
special dietary or health concerns?
We will require students accepted into the project
to complete and return a questionnaire on which they indicate
needs, concerns, or problems relating to diet, allergy, or general
health issues. We will also discuss general issues at the Orientation
Seminars. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have
adequate health insurance.
While it is possible to get vegetarian food, kosher
foods (especially meat) are not generally available.
You can come to the Project Coordinators in confidence
with any concerns.
9. What about
Shabbat and other religious observance during
the Field Study?
We will include time for worship services for Christian
and Jewish members of the project, and will do our best to accommodate
the religious needs of others. There is no travel planned for
Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath), and synagogues and churches (though
not of all Christian denominations) are accessible. Part of
the Field Study includes visits to Jewish and Christian houses
of worship, and we expect all project members to participate
in such visits. In the past, Muslim students have been able
to attend some prayers.
10. What kind
of project will I have to prepare?
Participants design their own projects. These could
be a bibliographical module, a teaching module, or an interactive
website (these examples are not exhaustive); both individual
and group projects are possible. We will hold a workshop in
Gniezno, Poland, towards the end of the European Field Study
to help students settle on a project of their liking.
11. What will
we do during the Symposium in Toronto in February
In February 2014 the group will reassemble in Toronto
for a 10-day symposium.
Part of the time will be spent getting reacquainted. But we
will also participate in a Conference, visit school classes
and faith and ethnic communities (including houses of worship)
in Toronto, experience workshops and discussions, and probably
visit Niagara Falls.
12. What kinds
of advising / orientation will there be?
We will meet separately with the Canadian, German
and Polish students in May or June of 2013 to ensure that everyone
has an equivalent background and that all concerns are addressed.
Many of the members of previous groups will be happy to advise
you on their experience, and we can put you in touch with them.
13. What languages
will be spoken in the group?
The "official" language of the project is
English, but French, German, and Polish will no doubt be spoken
at times. To ensure communication within the group, everyone
must have an adequate command of English.
14. What are the
main dates for the project?
We will likely meet as a group on Monday, July 22, 2013 (which
means those flying from Canada will leave Sunday, July 21);
the Field Study continues through Friday, August 16. The Toronto
Symposium is scheduled for mid-February 2014 (dates to be
There will be separate Orientation Seminars in
Canada, Germany, and Poland in spring 2013.
15. Whom should I contact
to find out more about the project?