Current Activities


International Cooperation


In addition to its involvement in the international network for Canada and Québec studies, the BICQS maintains longstanding partnership relations to the University of Guelph (Ontario), the Université de Montréal (Québec), the University of / Université d'Ottawa (Ontario), and the University of Waterloo (Ontario).

The establishment of a partnership between the University of Bremen and the Université de Montréal was initiated by Helga Bories-Sawala in the course of several stays as a visiting professor. Home to more than 65.000 students coming from 100 countries, the Université de Montréal is the world's largest Francophone university and according to the university's homepage one of the top universities in the French-speaking world (status as of 2012). With regard to research output, it occupies no. 3 in the Canadian ranking (status as of 2012). Prospective partners of BICQS are the Canadian Center for German and European Studies (CCEAE), the Center for International Studies and Research (CERIUM), the Interuniversity Research Center for Québec Literature and Culture (CRILQ), the Institute for European Studies / EU Center of Excellence (IES/EUCE), the German Studies' Department at Modern Languages and Literatures as well as the departments of French Literature, Comparative Literature, History, Political Sciences and Sociology. A cosmopolitan city with more than a million inhabitants, Montréal is situated at the mighty St. Lawrence River. It offers a combination of tradition and modernity; American and French atmosphere; sky scrapers and distinctive neighbourhoods; Bohemian flair; ice hockey; a variety of theatres; a world-famous circus; an opera of international significance; several art house cinemas; numerous street cafés; small parks and the big city mountain Mont-Royal; inspiring museums and well-equipped libraries; a continued sequence of festivals of various kinds and a candid curiosity towards the diversity of life.

The contract of collaboration between the University of Ottawa and the University of Bremen was officially signed in April 2011. It is of particular interest to BICQS not least because the University of Ottawa is home to several centres and institutes with an interdisciplinary focus, such as the Institute for Canadian Studies, the Centre de Recherche en Civilisation Canadienne Française, the Institute for Political Sciences and the departments of Modern Languages and Literatures, English and French, with which BICQS has already established mutual contacts that will now become further developed. Proud of its distinctive bilingual tradition, the University of Ottawa calls itself ‘the Canadian university'; a third of Ottawa's 36.000 Canadian and international students are English native speakers. The city of Ottawa is, comparable to Bonn prior to the German reunification, a capital whose eminent qualities underline its status: it provides renowned museums, international flair and a lively culture in an assessable dimension. From Parliament Hill, it takes a walk of only few minutes to reach By-Market, Canal Rideau and the university campus, while a bridge in the centre of the city connects the Provinces Ontario and Québec.

During his sabbatical at the University of Guelph, Norbert Schaffeld established very promising contacts with representatives of this university. For Bremen, the School of English and Theatre Studies and the School of Languages and Literatures are of particular interest here. An intensive scientific dialogue constitutes an excellent basis for the implementation of a student exchange programme, which – given the specific background of migration in Ontario – should also be profitable for the departments of German Studies, History, Sociology and Politics at the University of Bremen.

The partnerships with the universities in Montréal, Guelph, Ottawa and Waterloo are supposed to result in an exchange between the participating institutions and people, and to lead to the organization of collaborative research projects, conferences and publications. Above all, however, they will include the exchange of students, who will profit from special conditions regarding tuition fees at the partner university and receive assistance in finding accommodation. Together with other partners an application for the status of a European-Canadian Consortium (EACEA) is envisaged, as well as a participation in assistant programmes.

Beyond these privileged partnerships, the long-standing and multi-annual contacts to the following universities are capable of development: University of Toronto, York University: Glendon College, Université de Moncton, Université du Québec à Montréal, Université Laval, and Concordia University (Montreal).