Transition to Second Year
Many students who attend the Castle for the first-year program also find it difficult “returning” to their home institution for the start of second-year. We are continuously working on a number of support systems to help you with your transition to second year.
So what do we have set up to help you with your transition? Here are a couple of programs and resources that are here to support YOU:
The pen pal program is meant to connect BISC and Kingston campus students during their first year of university.
First year students at Queen's University's Kingston campus write letters to the first year students at the BISC about their first few weeks of university. These letters are sent to the castle and BISC students are invited to write back to their classmates in Kingston about their first few weeks studying abroad. After the first exchange of letters students are encourage to continue communicating with their pen pal throughout the academic year. A meet and greet will be set up for pen pals when students return to the Kingston campus for their second year of university in September.
This initiative is organized by the Residence Society at Queen's, BISC Admissions, and Student Services at the BISC.
First year students at the BISC get priority for on campus housing for their second year of undergraduate studies at Queen’s because they are not able to look for a place in Kingston in person. These houses and apartments are owned by Queen’s University and are within a 5-10 minute walk to campus. For more information refer to the Community Housing website
These sessions will cover how to choose an academic plan and how to select your courses for second year. These sessions will also give you key dates, deadlines, and advice on how to navigate the self-service student registration system, (SOLUS). Information about your transition to the Queen’s University campus and other opportunities you can have within your undergraduate degree program will also be discussed. For more information please refer to our page Academic Transition to Second Year
This session will allow you to meet with an academic advisor to discuss which academic plan and courses you are interested in pursuing in your second year of undergraduate studies. For more information please refer to our page Academic Transition to Second Year
Over the summer between your first year at the BISC and your second year at Queen’s you will be invited to a “Welcome to your Second Year at Queen’s” Facebook group – this will be a forum in which you can ask questions to BISC Mentors. The BISC Mentors are a select group of student leaders who attended the BISC in their first year of undergraduate studies and have completed their second year of undergraduate studies at Queen’s University’s Kingston campus. Working closely with the BISC Admission Office at Queen’s and with Student Services at the BISC they will help ease your transition from first year at the BISC to second year on the Kingston campus, by providing support and creating safe social environments to help you integrate into the Queen’s community. For more information about our BISC Mentors please refer to our page Buddy Mentorship Program
This mandatory pre-orientation day is held the Tuesday before orientation week begins. You will get to meet your Mentors, learn Queen's traditions, go on a scavenger hunt/campus tour, watch Existere, and enjoy your choice of a Casino Night or movie in the park. For more information about our special Welcome to Queen's Day please refer to our page Welcome to Queen’s Workshop in April.
This handbook provides you with all the resources available on campus and information about Kingston, along with a section on “Queen’s Speak” (all the Queen’s lingo).