by Andrew Pan (2016-2017)
Queen’s University is located in the small college town of Kingston, Ontario. It is situated in between Toronto and Montreal. Queen’s is also home to the Smith School of Business; with a 9% acceptance rate, the school belongs to an extremely competitive cohort of business students. While Queen’s Commerce boasts strong academics, this university is all about student life and culture. I personally believe that student life at Queen’s was one of the main contributing factors that made my exchange one of the best times of my life.
With over 33 committees and 18 business conferences, The Smith School of Business provides you with numerous opportunities to get involved. This is a great way to bump up your resume while you have fun on exchange. If you want to get involved in these clubs, it is imperative you attend the CommSoc frosh week hiring. This is a great opportunity for you to network with student representatives and get an overall idea of what each society does. Some societies I recommend joining include: I.C.B.C (Inter-Collegiate Business Competitions), Q3C, Queen’s Private Capital Group (QPCG) and many more.
While you may apply for leadership positions in these societies, it is also useful to participate as a delegate in the conference that are run by these clubs. This gives you opportunities to network and collaborate with a vast range of corporate partners.
Note: Some societies have an intense selection process. As a second year this may seem daunting but I recommend you try out anyway.
Click here to find out more about Queen’s extracurriculars!
Living in this college town has a range of accommodation options. Student dorms are available at West Campus (around 15-minute walk to campus). This option however means you will be living with other exchange students and first years. To maximise your North American college experience, I recommend moving in with Canadian students in the ‘student ghetto area’. This is basically a student neighbourhood. It is an amazing opportunity to live in your own house with up to 4 other students. This housing is usually closer to the Smith School of Business and a relatively cheaper option.
Read more about student housing at Queen’s here.
Like many North American colleges, the Smith School of Business runs its classes using 1.5 hour seminars that occur twice a week. Classes are highly interactive and facilitated by a professor. Classes are usually small with a maximum of 80 students per course. As a result, it is much easier to get to know your professor. Many classes require you to create a name tag to assist with this process. I was lucky enough to be taught by professors who were alumni of top universities such as Wharton and LSE with extensive experience in both global and Canadian firms.
Things to do while on exchange at Queen’s
Your student experience at Queen’s WOULD NOT be complete without celebrating these events with local Queen’s students and other exchange students (click on each event to find out more):
- Frosh Week (Semester 1)
- HOCO (Homecoming)
- St Patrick’s Day
- Weekend house parties: It is recommended that you befriend some Canadian students and experience North American style house parties at the famous ‘University Ghetto’.
- Bar Hopping/ Clubs: Many located in the downtown area. Some essentials include:
- Ale House
- The Underground
- College football games: During semester one there are plenty of college football games against other rival Canadian schools.
- Intramural Sports: These are the equivalent to social sports at UNSW. In particular Ice hockey is a must because you are in Canada.
- Take a peaceful walk around Lake Ontario or even go swimming (Summer): Lake Ontario is one of the Great Lakes of North America. It is literally right outside of your doorstep! During summer it is a very popular destination for students to swim in
- Take a scenic hike at Rock Dunder (Max 40 mins)
- Take advantage of the winter snow by shredding the slopes of Mont Tremblant (Near Montreal)
- Weekend trips to Toronto: if you feel like you are missing the big city lifestyle, take a Megabus or Rideshare to Toronto (Max 2 hours).
To read more about Queen’s, check out Marija’s experiences here!
Want more on Canada? Click here to read about HEC Montreal, another Canadian university!