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at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.



at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.

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Bader International Study Centre (BISC)
Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR)

SOAR is a one-day summer orientation program for incoming students and their families, run by the Student Experience Office. The program offers structured information sessions, as well as opportunities to connect with upper-year students, faculty, and staff. SOAR aims to help prepare students for new academic expectations, address questions or concerns about life at the BISC, and introduce resources and support services at the BISC, as well as on main campus.

BISC Guide to registration is now available. Please review this document for course registration process. 


  • Prepare effectively for new academic expectations
  • Understand how to make the most of resources and services to support your success at the BISC and Queen’s
  • Meet peers and develop a campus support network before the academic year begins
  • Anticipate important academic dates and deadlines
  • Become familiar with course registration and financial accounts process
  • Start to get to know Kingston
  • Get tips for staying healthy and getting involved at the BISC
  • Get answers to all of your questions from current students, faculty, and staff!

All first-year BISC students are STRONGLY encouraged to attend one of the full day sessions on either Friday, July 10, 2015 or Saturday, July 11, 2015. BISC SOAR sessions will be held at the Biosciences Complex on the Queen's University campus from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day. Additional information about the structure and content of the sessions can be found on the session schedule (TBC).

Register online for BISC SOAR today!


Online Registration

(Online registration for BISC SOAR 2015 is now closed. We will provide a link to the online registration form for BISC SOAR 2016 on this page as soon as the schedule is finalized.)

If you are unable to attend BISC SOAR, please check out the Schedule & Presentation Recordings page at the end of July, once BISC SOAR is over. This page will provide you with a schedule of what happened at SOAR, as well as links to all presentations made at SOAR. You can also check out the Resources page, which will provide you with information from campus partners who were present at SOAR on adjusting to university life and new academic challenges, and links to information on course selection and the registration process.

Still stuck? Email your questions or concerns about SOAR to qsoar@queensu.ca or give us a call at 613-533-2539.

Tools for Course Registration

At SOAR you will find out how to register for courses online. You may also find it helpful to visit the websites listed below to learn more about the many academic programs offered in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen's.

Full-time Arts and Science students at Queen's normally take five full courses (30.0 units), or the equivalent, in their first year of university study. Many courses available to first-year students at the BISC are full courses (6.0 units) which run from September through April. There are also 3.0 unit courses offered at the BISC which only run for one term (Fall or Winter).

A list of first-year courses offered at the BISC can be found on the BISC website and in the First-Year Program Course Registration Instruction Manual. While selecting the courses that interest you, refer to the Arts and Science Academic Calendar and department websites for detailed information on program requirements and necessary prerequisites for second-year courses. If you have any questions about program requirements and first-year course selection, make sure that you ask them when you talk with an academic advisor.

All students in the first-year program at the BISC have been admitted into the Bachelor of Arts program at the BISC. Your first year of study should be about exploring the various disciplines that are available to you at the BISC. While you are not required to select your subject of concentration or Plan until after first year, it is still important to consider the academic direction that you might be heading towards in order to select appropriate first-year courses to satisfy prerequisites for the Plan of interest. By selecting a wide variety of courses, you will have a good foundation of Plan options for moving forward.

Please note that not all disciplines in the Faculty of Arts and Science can be offered at the BISC. If you are interested in pursuing a Plan that does not have a first-year course at the BISC, ask your academic advisor about your options.

Helpful resources

International Studies Certificate

Enhance your degree with an international perspective

If you are planning to take advantage of your surroundings while at the BISC and enroll in a language course (or two!), you are well on your way to earning the required units for the Queen's International Studies Certificate. The International Studies Certificate program consists of three components that all serve to contribute to:

  • personal and professional development
  • language acquisition
  • intercultural learning
  • a learning experience abroad.

The structure of the certificate program enables you to count courses towards your degree while also meeting the requirements of the certificate.

Successful completion of the First-Year Program at the BISC can be counted as your study abroad component for the certificate so it is a natural fit for those who are interested in pursuing another language and cultural learning. Students who successfully complete the certificate program will be awarded the Certificate in International Studies along with their degree upon graduation and it is also recognized on your Queen's transcript. For more information please refer to the International Studies Certificate page.

Accommodations in Kingston

If you plan to stay in Kingston for one or more nights, you may wish to reserve accommodation at one of the following facilities. Please note that the rates quoted are subject to change without notice. Book your accommodation early, as Kingston is a popular tourist destination this time of year.

Queen's Conference Services (University Residences)

You may wish to familiarize yourself with the Queen's University campus and facilities during your visit to Kingston. One way to do this is to spend one or more nights in residence!

Accommodation is available on campus in Leggett or Watts Hall for the premium accommodation experience. Guests may book a climate controlled two-bedroom unit. Within the unit each bedroom has one double bed, desk and chair, closet, direct Internet connection and telephone for local calls. One 3-piece bathroom is located within the unit and is shared by both bedrooms. Cost is $99.00 per night, plus appropriate taxes. Please note that accommodation does not include breakfast. For a more traditional residence room experience, accommodation is also available in Victoria Hall at a rate of $49.99 for a single room and $59.99 for a double room.

For more information about reserving a Queen's residence room for your stay, please visit the Queen's Event Services website.

Downtown Hotels, Inns, Guest Houses

A number of hotel chains (Holiday Inn; Radisson; Sheraton Four Points) maintain properties in downtown Kingston, within walking distance of Queen's University.

There are also a number of bed and breakfast type accommodations that are also conveniently located for access to downtown Kingston or Queen's University.

Visit the BISC SOAR Accommodation Google map for accommodation locations. For more information on hotels, bed and breakfasts, and camp sites and to book your accommodations please refer to the Tourism Kingston website.

Directions and Parking

BISC SOAR 2015 will be held in the Biosciences Complex, located on the Queen's University campus. The building address is 28 Arch Street, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6.

By car

  • From Highway 401 (Macdonald-Cartier Freeway), exit at Sir John A. MacDonald Blvd. (Exit 615).
  • Follow Sir John A. MacDonald Blvd. south all the way down to King St. W.
  • Turn left onto King St. W and continue until Lower University Ave.
  • Turn left on to Lower University Ave ( Kingston General Hospital should now be on your right).
  • At the end of Lower University Ave (Stuart St.), you will see the parking garage.


Please see the main SOAR pages for information about parking

Additional websites and maps to aid you with navigating the Queen's University campus and surrounding area in Kingston: