Studying Abroad

International Study Centre & Exchanges

A number of our students take the opportunity of studying abroad for a term or an entire year, benefiting from bilateral exchanges to universities in a wide array of countries. They also have access to the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) in Herstmonceux, England, where Queen’s English Department courses are taught at all levels, including ENGL 100.

Of the Queen’s students who study abroad, many do so in their third year; given the very specific set of third-year requirements that English Majors and Medials must complete (Core courses D, E, and F for Majors; D and E for Medials), it is thus especially important that students registered in these two Plans engage in careful advance planning if they intend to study abroad in their third year. Students who will be away from Queen’s for the entire third year should be careful to enrol in at least 6.0 (and preferably 12.0) units of courses at their exchange institution that can be counted toward the 300-level Core course requirements. Students who will be away only for one term during their third year may have to reverse the usual trajectory, taking more courses than normal at the 400-level during their term at Queen’s, and then completing all of their 300-level requirements when they return here for their fourth year. It is advisable that all students intending to study abroad in their third or fourth year consult with the departmental Exchange Coordinator or the Undergraduate Chair of English before finalizing their course selections at other universities.

Students registered in an English Major or Medial Plan should be in residence at Queen’s for the entirety of their second year, so that they can complete ENGL 200 and ENGL 290 (Core courses B and C), which are prerequisites for doing upper-level work in the Queen’s English Department.

International Study Centre, Herstmonceux Castle

The Department of English offers courses at Queen's International Study Center (ISC) located at Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England. Students entering Queen's may apply to spend their first year at Herstmonceux and take ENGL 100, the “Introduction to Literary Study.” The setting in southern England, not far from London, has special resonance for the survey of English literature; visits to sites associated with particular literary works and authors are integrated into the course and give students an enriched sense of the literature’s social and historical contexts.

A range of English courses is offered each fall and winter term, so most students have no difficulty integrating a stay at the ISC into their ENGL degree program. Special arrangements, such as an accelerated half-year delivery of some full-year courses and a provision for some “cross-over” courses to be taken for either 200- or 300-level credits, have been instituted to make it possible for students to take a term or more at the ISC and still complete their English degree requirements on schedule. Also worth noting are courses specially designed for the ISC, such as English 278/3.0, “Literature and Place.” The content and approach of this course vary from year to year, but when taught with specific period content it can be counted as a period half-credit (e.g., as a group 7 half-course when taught with Modernist texts).

Why should I consider studying at the ISC?

Like any study abroad experience, spending a term or year at the ISC broadens your intellectual horizon and gets you in touch with people from different cultural backgrounds. The Upper-Year program at the ISC is of interest especially to students who wish to enrich their academic degree program with an international component and who want to prepare themselves for the global marketplace. There are many additional benefits unique to this exceptional learning environment:

  • You will experience small classes and daily interaction with faculty and students
  • You will go on field study trips and conduct site visits which are an integral part of your course work
  • You will participate in a mid-term study excursion to continental Europe (including visits to Brussels and Paris)
  • You will enrol in courses with a European focus and in core courses that are truly interdisciplinary
  • You will have the opportunity to earn a Letter or Certificate of Achievement in International Studies

Will I be able to fit one or two terms at the ISC into my Plan in English?

YES - If you are pursuing a BA (Minor), you can fit a full year of study at the ISC into your overall degree program in your second or third year. Students pursuing a BAH with a Medial Plan in English might, with careful planning, be able to incorporate up to a year at the ISC. Students pursuing a major Plan in ENGL may spend Fall and/or Winter term(s) at the ISC.

A full module in English literature is offered each Fall and Winter term, thus enabling ENGL students seamlessly to integrate a term or year at the ISC into their degree program. Spring and Summer term options are also available. Although most upper-year ENGL students attend the ISC in their third year, you can start planning for study at the ISC from year 1. For more detailed descriptions of programs and current course offerings, visit the ISC web site its current first-year and upper-year course offerings.

Financial Assistance

Lack of funds should not deter you from enrolling at the ISC. Help is definitely available! Information about bursaries and awards for study at the ISC can be found at:

Students Awards Office, 101 Richardson Hall
Phone: (613) 533-2216

Further Information

Talk to the Undergraduate Chair in the Department of English (533-2153), or visit:

International Programs Office
Faculty of Arts and Science
B206 Mackintosh-Corry Hall
Phone: (613) 533-2815

For detailed information about the English program at the ISC, including application forms, visit:

ISC Admission
Gordon Hall, Room 203
74 Union Street, Kingston, K7L 3N6

Exchange Programs

Queen’s has exchange programs with universities in countries including England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

In the exchange program, you spend your third year at an overseas university but pay Queen’s tuition and residence fees. If you are interested in this opportunity, complete an application in your second year. For more details, consult the section on International Exchange Programs in the Arts and Science Calendar or contact the International Programs Office. Working together, the English Department and IPO seek to encourage and facilitate overseas study while ensuring that your exchange courses fit with your English degree requirements.

English students considering an exchange program should consult with the English Department’s Exchange Coordinator:

Christopher Fanning
Office: Watson 536
Office Hours: By appointment
Extension: 74440

Contact by e-mail is encouraged. Please note that the Exchange Coordinator can only assist Queen’s students considering an international exchange; incoming exchange students or students interested in studying at the ISC should contact the English Department’s Undergraduate Chair.

Page last updated June 10, 2011