The Mark and Gail Appel Program in Holocaust & Antiracism Education
at York University

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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.
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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."
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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.
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4. What 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.
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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.
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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 the tentative 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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11. What will we do during the Symposium in Toronto in        February 2010?

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.
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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.
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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.
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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 agreed on).

There will be separate Orientation Seminars in Canada, Germany, and Poland in spring 2013.
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15. Whom should I contact to find out more about the project?

All Universities
Michael Brown
Sara Horowitz
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