International Programs Office

International Programs Office

International Programs Office

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The Bader International Study Centre






A 15th century castle owned and operated by Queen’s University, this small, liberal arts campus is a “Gateway to the World” emphasizing global citizenship and experiential learning.

Featuring small classes and integrated field studies, the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) offers students the opportunity to earn Queen's credits in an international setting. Courses focus on British, European and International themes, and are open to all students attending Queen's University and students from other post-secondary institutions. The BISC offers programs for both first-year and upper-year students. The BISC is located at Herstmonceux Castle in Hailsham, East Sussex in the United Kingdom.

Bursaries are available for students attending the BISC, but please note all domestic students (Canadian citizens and permanent residents) will be required to apply for government student financial assistance in order to be considered for BISC bursary assistance. Generally a student will be expected to have qualified for at least $5,000 of government student assistance.
First Year Program

You may opt to spend your first year at the BISC. Centred on the themes Thinking Locally and Acting Globally, the BISC First Year Program is a package specifically designed to build on the Castle’s strengths—small class sizes, vibrant community, and international setting—in order to provide a strong academic foundation for the rest of your studies and develop crucial skills that will enhance your future employability. 

The First Year Program offers a selection of introductory courses that maximizes access to many popular Arts and Science degree concentrations, and provides opportunities for students to engage in field studies while interacting with an international community of scholars. Upon completion of their first year, students come to Queen's in Kingston to begin second-year studies and complete their degree programs.

Learn more about the First Year Program

Upper Year Program

Whether or not you spend your first year at the BISC, you may spend one or more terms in the BISC Upper Year program. The Upper Year Program offers you the opportunity to attend the BISC while earning Queen's credits towards degree programs. This program is available to qualified students worldwide and is offered during the Fall (September-December); Winter (January-April); Summer (May to June) terms.

Queen’s students do not need to apply for an International Letter of Permission to study at the BISC.

Learn more about the Upper Year Program

Specialised Programs

Specialised programs such as the Interdisciplinary Studies in Global Health and Disability and Field School in Digital Humanities also run during the summer. Five to six weeks in duration, and satisfying 6.0 to 9.0 units, these programs run between May and July. Start and end dates vary according to program, so please refer to the individual program pages for further information.

Learn more about the Specialised Programs

Predeparture and Re-Entry
Information for First Years and Upper Years departing to and returning from the BISC

Students sitting on the steps to the bridge across the moat to the Castle

Upper Year Predeparture

To help upper-year students prepare for their term abroad at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC), the IPO provides an orientation session which covers topics such as the academic program, field studies, facilities/services, and student life at the BISC.  There may also be an opportunity to hear from former BISC students about their experience. 

Please note this is not the mandatory pre-departure session that is run through the QUIC office (International Centre). In order to register for the Queen’s Emergency Support Program (ESP), all students are required to do the pre-departure session, which is now available on-line for your convenience. For more information about the ESP and access to the online predeparture session, please see the Safety Abroad section of the QUIC website.

You will be advised of the date and time of the predeparture sessions, which will also be advertised on this website.

First Year Predeparture

Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR) is administered by the BISC team in the Office of the University Registrar, Undergraduate Admission. Please visit the BISC website for more information.

Information and Resources for Returning First Year BISC Students

Making the transition from the Castle to Queen's can be a challenging experience. Adjusting to a new campus in an unfamiliar city will take some time and effort, and the learning curve will be steep at times.

Although the thought of making this transition can seem daunting and even a bit scary, there is no need for it to be. The year you have spent at the Castle and the skills you acquired there have prepared you well for the challenges that lay ahead. And, if you need any help along the way, you will find there are a number of services available at Queen's to lend a hand.

Please visit the BISC website to see the types of activities and support structures that are in place to help you adjust academically and personally to life at Queen's.