Go Global Office of Global Engagement

Berlin - Art and the City: Field Course in Contemporary Art and Theory

VISA 470 | 3 credits

Program overview

This course is led byAlthea Thauberger, Faculty of Arts

  • Course dates: May 15 to July 18, 2024 
  • Travel dates: June 6-20, 2024
  • Format: In-person
  • Location(s) visited: UBC and Berlin, Germany
  • Approximate program fee: $2785-3300 (Go Global fee, tuition, food and flight are not included) 
  • Funding available (click through to learn more about each award) 

Information Session Recording

Students interested in applying, may contact Go Global to request the link for the information session recording. 

Apply by December 5, 2023

 Application instructions here

Apply now

About the course 

Art and the City: Berlin field course in contemporary art and theory will be an intensive studio seminar on historical and contemporary relationships between politics, activism and art production in the city of Berlin. The course will provide students with knowledge of historical cultural movements that have grown out of political resistance and solidarities of importance in that city, as a basis for imagining and building parallel practices in varying present contexts.  

In preparation for the research portion of this course, students will receive an overview of late 19th and 20th Century Berlin cultural and political history at UBC Vancouver, and develop individual research questions. They will then spend 14 intensive days in Berlin, during which time the learning will be focused on post-reunification culture, theory, and activist practices as they are intertwined with current contemporary art production in the city.  Students will be engaged with Berlin-based artists as co-instructors and workshop leaders and will be asked to reflect on their respective positions as visitors in relation to the topics discussed.

Program eligibility  
General Global Seminar requirements

To participate in a Global Seminar, students must:  

  • Be in good-standing in their faculty (as defined by home faculty) 
  • In the year leading up to the Global Seminar, have full-time student status (as defined by home faculty)  
  • Have completed 2nd year requirements before the start of the program (i.e., eligible for 3rd or 4th year standing)  
  • Have at least a 70% academic average in your last full-time academic session before applying  
  • Maintain a 70% academic average leading up to the program  
  • Meet any program specific requirements listed below including pre-requisites before participating 

We are seeking students who:

  • Are highly collaborative
  • May be artists themselves
  • Interested in creativity and activism in an urban context

Final selection will be done by the lead faculty program directors. Spots in the program may be limited.  

Students who wish to participate in the summer after graduating may be eligible on a case-by-case basis. 

Experience and conditions in the Field

The group will be guided by engagement with contemporary art exhibitions in the city as well as Berlin-based co-instructors. With the goal of producing outward facing research/creation, the final course activity will be to produce a new portable artwork and series of blog entries to reflect on their experiences and respective research. The shared thematics and concerns of the exhibition and blog will be determined by the instructor and students, in dialogue with their engagement with the co-instructors. 

The program will be intensive and highly collaborative. 


Shared hostel-style accommodations (e.g. 2 - 4 students to a room) at the Circus hostel. 

Program fees and costs
Approximate fees: $2785-$3300*

*The final fee depends on the number of students in the seminar. All Global Seminars only run if there is a minimum number of students enrolled.  

Program fees include:
  • Accommodation  
  • Program- related travel in-country; (e.g. buses)  
  • Excursions and entrance fees  
  • Some group meals  
  • On-site guest lectures
Not Included:  
  • Go Global Fee 
  • Flights 
  • UBC tuition for credits   
  • Visa/country entrance fees   
  • Health or travel insurance  
  • Most meals 
  • Personal spending money*  

*Some examples of personal costs included: mobile communication, personal transportation that is not related to the learning outcomes of the program, additional meals that are not already identified as part of the Program Fee, immunizations, Visas, etc.   

Arts Research Abroad (ARA) Funding 

This seminar is an Arts Research Abroad (ARA) course. ARA courses will provide an award which will cover up to 50% of the program fee and flights for eligible students. In cases of demonstrated financial need (determined by Enrolment Services), ARA may fund up to 100% of the program fee and flights. 

All eligible Arts students selected for this program will be automatically considered for the award. No additional award application is required.

Eligibility for Arts Research Abroad (ARA) funding:

  • Undergraduate Faculty of Arts students (students from other faculties are not eligible for ARA funding, but may still participate in the program)
  • Selected for this program
  • Students who have Canadian student loans and non-repayable bursaries may qualify for 100% ARA funding

For example, assuming a $3000 program fee: 

  • Students who qualify for 50% ARA funding will have program fee reduced from $3000 to $1500. In addition, you will receive an award equal to 50% of the estimated flight cost, or $1000, whichever is more.
  • Students who qualify for 100% ARA funding will not be charged the program fee, and will receive a cash award equal to the estimated cost of the flight between Vancouver and Guatemala.

Typically, students will need to pay for the flight first and will receive the award during in the summer term.

Program participants who are not eligible for ARA will be charged the full program fee and receive a $1000 Go Global Award.

    Jump to top