NEW!  A new Dual Degree in Computer Science is available starting with fall 2011

Graduates will obtain two degrees, a BSc Specialised Honours in computer science from York and a BSc Bachelor from BRSU. Normally, the latter degree is conferred at the end of year three, and the former at the end of year four. The dual degree requires a year-long study abroad (8-10 months) in year three, starting normally in the fall. The equivalent of at least 30 credits must be completed while on exchange, divided between BRSU (fall) and University of Crete (winter), including a research internship and an undergraduate thesis. The program has very limited capacity and selection is based on academic standing. Funding is available for F/W 2011/2012 for succesful applicants that are currently in a computer science BSc program at York. Successful applicants will be among those who are currently completing year zero (direct applicants from high school), or one, or two at York.

If interested, and you should, write me.

Information of Interest for all students who plan a full term (or two full terms) in any of Heraklion, Bonn, Warsaw, in the context of the CAN-EU funded transatlantic student exchange agreement.

Follow this link to find  out  which courses,  offered by our European partners, are transferrable as York CSE courses
upon your successfully completing them. Each row is a row of courses which will be credited as the York course on the first column.

2011 Summer School in WUT, Poland (CSE4401 3.0; Stay: May 1-May 31; Classes: May 4-May 30)

Sponsored by WUT

2011 Summer School in St. Augustin, Germany (CSE4412 3.0; Stay: June 1-June 30; Classes: June 6-June 30)

Sponsored by BRSU

2011 Summer School in Heraklion, Crete, Greece (CSE4422 3.0; Stay: July 3-July 31; Classes: July 4-July 21)

Sponsored by ICS/FORTH

As previously communicated to all students enrolled in 2nd, 3rd and 4th year computer science courses, the department is actively encouraging international exchanges and in that context it has organised, since 2003, summer schools in Germany (Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg,  known also as BRSU) and is  continuing to expand these by organising in 2011 three summer schools as listed above.

These schools are consistent with and support a broader exchange program  established with HRSDC financial support in 2004 and renewed in 2008 for a four year term. This program involves two York partners in Canada (U of New Brunswick and Dalhousie U) and three partners in Europe (BRSU, Warsaw University of Technology (WUT), and University of Crete and ICS/FORTH).  This program allows for short-term (summer) or long-term (fall and/or winter)  student exchanges across the Atlantic. Summer schools are an integral part of this effort. Participating York computer science students will be immersed in a foreign culture and language milieu for a minimum duration of one month, and take an intensive computer science course abroad (in English) that counts toward their degree at York. This brief visit, it is hoped, will whet the appetite of students and prepare them to go back, to the same or to one of the other two European partner universities, for at least one long-term of study (fall or winter, or both). Unlike summer schools, instruction during the longer exchange visit in the fall or winter terms may be in the host country's native language, although there may also be some courses that are taught in English. WUT have extensive offerings in English. BRSU have almost all 4th year courses offered in English.

It is important to note that the University of Crete provides linguistic accommodation to English speaking students who visit in the Fall and or Winter terms.

Instruction in Summer Schools is, of course, always in English. This accommodation, during fall and / or winter exchanges, extends to instruction and examinations. I quote from

  • Language of Instruction
  • The language of instruction is Greek. However, special arrangements for English-speaking students can be discussed with each Department.

The language barrier will be addressed systematically, first by "survival" language courses offered by the host institutions during the summer schools. These brief courses in basic language skills will give the visiting students the ability to interface with the locals in their native language, and will be a good co-requisite towards appreciating the host country's culture. These skills along with the fact that many people in Heraklion, Bonn and Warsaw are able to communicate in English will make it fairly easy for York students to communicate.

For longer term visits, York students who wish to participate in a fall or winter (or both) exchanges have access to, and it is recommended that they take, intensive language courses at York as part of their preparation to go for a fall and/or winter exchange. York has a rich set of courses in both German and (modern) Greek.

Of strong interest to those contemplating participation in an exchange program is the new honours degree programs that leads to an International BSc (iBSc) and an International BA (iBA) in Computer Science. For details see the latest on-line mini-Calendar and checklists on this page Why not plan to visit our EU partners in partial fulfilment of your iBSc/iBA requirements and benefit from the HRSDC funding! Indeed you should seriously consider the new Dual Bsc degree!

For advise and more information please email me.

Some touristy-like info (for Crete; my expertise does not allow me to do justice to Bonn and surroundings, but you will want to visit the small town of Siegburg, 2.7km from the BRSU, and, of course, Cologne; for Warsaw follow this link)

  1. Visit Knossos (King Minos's domain). Allow the better part of a whole day!
  2. Visit the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion.
  3. Visit Fodele, El Greco's birth place.
  4. Visit Phaistos (this also has many morphs: From "Festos" to "Phestos" and back. Original is Φαιστος).
  5. Visit Chania (or Hania).
  6. Visit Sfakia (or "Chora Sfakion"). In this context, and if time (and strong legs) permit, you will want to walk the Samaria Gorge. This can be combined with a visit to Chania. While at it combine with a visit to Fragokastelo.  If you are lucky you may witness "Drosoulites", ghostly shadows that sometimes are seen "dancing" on the outside walls of the Castle. Where they are coming from no one knows ...
  7. Visit Agios Nikolaos.
  8. Visit Rethimnon.
  9. Visit the various historic monasteries. ("Moni Preveli" is a must-see, and the associated beach at the foot of the steep hill a must-visit.)
  10. Don't miss "Oropedio" (the Plateau).
  11. If you want to see where Zeus was hidden as a baby by his mother (because his dad, Kronos, had the bad habit of eating his children), then you must visit Dikteon Andron (Dikteon Cave).
  12. But no matter what you do, do taste the food at every opportunity! I was impressed by "Kyriakos" in my previous visits to Heraklion, but this is only one of many excellent places to eat  in Heraklion and elsewhere in Crete.
  13. Last but not least, Crete has beautiful beaches. Not too far from Heraklion are "Agia Pelagia", "Lygaria" and "Stalis" beaches. Beautiful sea, and nice little restaurants by the sea for you to enjoy a post-swim bite (great seafood!).


  1. How do I enrol to the summer schools (CSE 4401 3.0, CSE 4412 3.0, CSE4422 3.0)?  You will enrol at York using REM. However this enrolment is by permission only (as, for example, is the enrolment procedure for CSE 4080 3.0). It will be necessary for you to obtain prior permission from the undergraduate director (George Tourlakis). Permissions will be influenced by your standing (overall gpa is a major factor) and the fact that there are only a grand total of approximately 15  spots available. Needless to say that prerequisites must be totally met.
  2. Can I enrol to all there schools? Yes! But we have funding only for two per student.
  3. Will these summer courses count towards my York degree? Yes! These are, from our perspective, CSE4401 3.0, CSE 4412 3.0 and CSE4422 3.0. They just happen to be taught off campus.
  4. What about texts? Will we buy them in Warsaw, Bonn or Iraklion? There is no "must have" text. Recommended for CSE4412 is Machine Learning, by Tom Mitchell, McGraw Hill, 1997. See also CSE4412 3.0 CSE4401 3.0 in Warsaw and CSE4422 3.0 in Crete will use the instructor's notes and a collection of papers.
  5. What about my air fare to and from Warsaw, Bonn or Heraklion? Am I responsible for the cost? You will make your own travel arangements. However all students that are Canadian residents (and at most 30 years old) are eligible for HRSDC financial support, and will be funded to partially defray their expenses. York students that are non-residents are eligible for York International Mobiliity Award (YIMA).
  6. How easy is it to book flights to Warsaw, Bonn or to Heraklion? Very easy! There are several airlines that fly to Frankfurt from Toronto. From Frankfurt Airport one can take the Inter-City Express train (ICE; see to reach Bonn via Siegburg (Siegburg/Bonn station). The trip from Frankfurt airport to Siegburg is 38 minutes. From Siegburg you can take the local train to reach Bonn (about 20km away, less than the distance from York U to downtown). Your accommodation in Germany will be in Bonn and I will give you details in the nearest future. Expense is expected to be about 300 Euro for a month of stay. Now, for Iraklion, you normally reach it by air from Athens, but you can reach it by boat from Pireaus, the port-city of Athens. There are several airlines that conect Toronto to Athens. The flight from Athens to Heraklion is about 30 min, while by boat it takes about 6 hours. Talk to your travel agent! My experience has been that agents are in general more cost-effective than on-line reservations. I also found that reserving early is cheaper. In particular, ask your agent about direct flights from Frankfurt or other German cities to Iraklion. There are quite a few of those in the summer months and they will be relevant to those who take both summer schools. For WUT see this link.
  7. Will I need a VISA to travel to Poland, Germany or Greece? If you are a Canadian citizen, no. Otherwise, you might need one. Please enquire and make necessary and timely arrangements with the Consulates General of Poland (, Germany ( and  Greece in Toronto (
  8. Where will I stay and what will be my accommodation costs? Accommodation will be reserved in a student residence in Bonn (details TBA); cost approxiately 300 Euro for a month. In Heraklion you will stay in the suburb Ammoudara (which has a very nice beach within stone's-throw from the hotel). Accommodation will be reserved in "PETOUSIS Apartments (hotel)" (see The hotel stay cost,  based on double occupancy (two people per room) will be in the neighbourhood of 25.00 Euro per person per day, before the ICS subsidy. The price includes breakfast. The ICS subsidy is a payment made on behalf of each student directly to the hotel. The level of the ICS subsidy for 2011, per student, will be announced.
  9. What are the dates of stay, nominally? The course dates are given above: In white type is the suggested overall stay. In orange type I give the course dates.
  10. Will there be any "survival Polish, German or Greek" instruction in these summer schools, and what will it cost to register?  Yes, we hope so (i.e., planning so) at a zero cost. Where available, the language courses will be compulsory.
  11. For CSE4412, are both accommodation and instruction in the city of Bonn? Accommodation will be in Bonn. Instruction is in Sankt Augustin (Saint Augustin) some 20km from Bonn, with a frequent train connection. Here is a map.
  12. For CSE4422, are both accommodation and instruction in the city of Heraklion? Accommodation will be in Heraklion. Instruction is in Voutes, in the ICS premises (see map). This is outside Heraklion.
  13. For CSE4401, are both accommodation and instruction in the city of Warsaw? See this link.
  14. What do I need to legally drive in Europe? You need a valid Canadian driver's licence and an International driver's licence that is issued by any CAA office in Toronto while-you-wait.

  Last updated: April 18, 2011