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Arriving at the BISC

  • 2019 DrummersAs currently required by the UK government all students will complete a period of quarantine that will last at least ten days. In the event of the relaxation of the quarantine requirement the BISC maintains the right to implement a quarantine period
  • Students will become one bubble unit within the Castle grounds, which will allow students to spend time outdoors in a socially-distanced setting during the initial quarantine period. Students are required to wear masks in all public areas when outside of their room at Bader Hall unless they are eating or drinking OR during personal grooming or showering.
  • Students must comply with off-limit zones which will be clearly designated to enable staff to continue their work without contact with students.
  • Students will be assigned to meal groups and meals throughout the Fall term will be served at assigned times to ensure socially distancing. Interactions with the catering team will be minimised where possible.
  • Activities and events will be arranged in order to meet social distancing requirements. Use of the gym and sports hall will require advanced sign-up to specific time-slots. Time-slots must be adhered to in order to allow time for cleaning between sessions.
  • Classes will start either virtually or in socially-distanced classrooms during the quarantine period.
  • During the quarantine period students are prohibited from leaving Castle grounds, with the only exception being for medical care and must be pre-approved by ... Students who leave the Castle grounds during the quarantine period will be dismissed from the program and will be subject to any fines and/or criminal charges from the UK government.


  • 2019 HealthThe BISC will not expect students to have received the COVID-19 vaccine by the time of their arrival at the start of the Fall 2021 term. We anticipate that students will be eligible to receive the vaccine through the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) during the Fall term.
  • Students should ensure that their travel insurance provides coverage for COVID-19 related treatment, should the possibility of travelling to countries outside of the United Kingdom be an option.
  • Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms will be required to self-isolate in their room and follow the procedure for testing through the UK’s NHS.
  • In the event of a new lockdown being implemented by the UK Government, a feasibility review will be conducted by BISC and Queen’s University to assess how the remainder of the term will be conducted, and if necessary restricting students to the Castle grounds and tightening of social distancing and socialisation rules.

Travelling to the BISC

You must have proof of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test to travel to England.

Travelling to the BISCIf you arrive in England without proof of a negative test result, you could be fined £500.

From 15 February 2021 onwards, everyone allowed to enter England from outside the Common Travel Area must:

  • quarantine for 10 days
  • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on day 2 and day 8 of quarantining
  • follow the national lockdown rules

Returning to Canada

As of February 21, 2021, you must meet the new testing and quarantine requirements when entering Canada.

You must also have a quarantine plan that shows how you will quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This plan is mandatory.

Academic & Personal Travel

BISC-Sponsored Travel

  • 2019 MinibusBISC-sponsored travel will be offered within the parameters of the latest UK Government guidelines.
  • ELO’s will run to destinations within the local area.
  • The Mid-Term Trips will operate to destinations within the United Kingdom.

Personal Travel

  • Students must adhere to the current UK governmental restrictions regarding travel.
  • Travel across borders within the UK and to countries outside of the UK is currently prohibited. Should travel restrictions be lifted, students must familiarise themselves with any local restrictions, entry and quarantine requirements that will apply both at their destination and upon their return to the UK. Travel and quarantine restrictions can be implemented at very short notice.
  • Students who decide to travel to a country that then requires a period in quarantine upon their return may not return to the BISC to quarantine on the Castle grounds and must make alternate arrangements for the duration of their quarantine period.

Coronavirus COVID-19 and the BISC Fall 2021 plans

Fall FY18The BISC team is eagerly planning to welcome next year’s incoming class. The health and safety of students, staff, and faculty is a primary concern and decisions regarding precautionary health measures taken at the BISC will be made in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada and UK public health authorities.

To best protect the BISC community, we have introduced a number of new health and safety guidelines in-line with current UK COVID-19 restrictions. These guidelines are regularly reviewed to ensure they reflect the current situation. As UK restrictions are lifted the guidelines will change to reflect this.

The UK is currently in a national lockdown and the information on the following pages is based on current restrictions in England. As we move through the “Roadmap out of lockdown” the current strict lockdown rules will be relaxed and as such we will update our guidance accordingly.  Please be advised that guidelines issued by the UK Government and the BISC are subject to change and may be changed a very short notice.

Academics at the BISC

  • 2019 DryClassrooms and labs will only have classes assigned that meet the maximum safe occupancy threshold. The wearing of masks or face coverings, and social distancing must be maintained in classrooms or labs.
  • Students who are ill or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not attend class.
  • In the event of a new lockdown being introduced classes will pivot to online delivery.
  • Hand sanitiser dispensers will be located throughout the castle and at the entrance to each classroom for staff, faculty and students to use.
  • Cleaning supplies for staff, faculty and students to wipe down high touch points and surfaces will be available throughout the building.
  • Housekeeping staff will provide an increased service to all areas of the Castle.

The Bader International Study Centre is located just minutes from England's southern coast. We take advantage of this proximity to key global cities such as London, Paris, and Berlin, in order to provide you with innovative and unique experiential learning opportunities. You can explore British culture and history in nearby cities such as Brighton, Eastbourne, Battle, Bexhill, and Hastings. Each has a vibrant culture that is on display in local shops, restaurants, and on colourful seaside piers.


Paris skyline at night The major cities of continental Europe are all easily accessible from the BISC. Experiential Learning Opportunities during the Mid-Term Trips to cities such as Paris bring you to the major governmental organizations, historical sites, and cultural locations. Europe's diverse culture and important role global affairs creates the ideal setting for experiential, interdisciplinary learning.


View of House of Parliament from the South BankThe BISC is two hours south of London with train services running several times per hour, putting this global city at your fingertips. London is home to top businesses, government institutions, and non-governmental organizations, and the BISC's proximity to London is vital for supporting experiential learning which provides you with the opportunity to learn in a hands-on environment from key practitioners and officials. In doing so we help you connect classroom learning and skill development to the realities of our globalized world.

East Sussex

A picturesque view of the East Sussex Downs on a misty morning

The county of East Sussex is located on the South East coast of England, giving excellent access to the UK and Europe. Due to its geographical location and close proximity to France, Sussex has been subject to some of England’s major invasions, including the Roman invasion of Britain and the Battle of Hastings in 1066. In addition to visiting many historical locations, you will be spoiled for choice with the beautiful countryside and stunning coastlines. Fortunately, the weather in Sussex is some of the best in the country, with mild winters and warmer climates throughout the year.

Find out more about East Sussex

The Castle

View of the grounds from the top of the castle, overlooking the inner courtyard

Set in the heart of the English countryside, the Herstmonceux estate consists of 550 acres of rolling Sussex landscape, approximately two hours by train south of London, and half an hour by minibus east of Brighton. As well as being an International Study Centre, the Castle’s gardens and grounds attract visitors from around the UK and the world.

Find out more about the Castle estate

Term life at the BISC

Bader Hall

  • 2019 ServeryDuring Fall 2021 term bedrooms in Bader Hall will be allocated on a single occupancy basis. We expect to move back to the regular twin occupancy format for Winter 2022 unless there is a documented medical need for a single room assignment.
  • Students must follow all social distancing instructions, including maintaining a two-metre distance from others, the one-way or “keep-left” systems throughout the building, lift (elevator) capacity and Common Room capacities. Students will not be to have visitors in their bedrooms.
  • Masks and face coverings must be worn in all public areas unless they are eating or drinking, OR during personal grooming or showering.
  • Hand sanitiser dispensers will be located throughout the building for students to use.
  • Cleaning supplies for students to wipe down high touch points and surfaces will be available throughout the building.
  • Housekeeping staff will provide an increased service.
  • No more than two people should be in the Laundry Room at one time and social distancing rules must be maintained.

Welcome to the Bader International Study Centre, the UK campus of Queen’s University at Kingston, located at Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex. Built in the fifteenth century and joining the Queen’s family in 1993, Herstmonceux Castle is arguably both the oldest and one of the newest parts of what is one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious universities.

Our founders, Drs. Alfred and Isabel Bader, gave Herstmonceux Castle and Estate to Queen’s in 1993 for the development of an international study centre, where students, teachers and scholars from around the world could study, engage with and learn from one another in an interdisciplinary academic environment. Dr. Alfred Bader is a research chemist who not only founded Sigma-Aldrich, a global chemical company, but is also an expert on Renaissance art, and a generous philanthropist. As a chemist myself, and former Associate Dean of Arts and Science, I strongly identify with the Baders’ vision. As Vice-Provost and Executive Director of the BISC, I have the responsibility to ensure that their vision for “the Castle” continues to be fostered, as well as the privilege to lead a talented array of students, faculty and staff who work to make that vision a daily reality in a truly magical setting.

Why come to BISC? Besides the romance of the Castle itself and its spectacular gardens and grounds, as an undergraduate student you will receive a Queen’s education in an inclusive and nurturing residential environment, with small class sizes (our First Year classes have an average of just 14 students per class) and with daily access to your professors and tutors. You will have a learning experience like no other, with hands-on training in your discipline, both at the Castle and in offsite locations around the UK and Europe.

VPED - Dr Hugh HortonIn addition to students in our first-year programs in Arts, Science and Concurrent Education, we welcome an annual array of scholars-in-residence, researchers, academic conferences and offer specialized programs to upper-year undergraduate and professional students in fields as diverse as Roman archaeology, international law and politics, global health and global project management. Whether you come here for the academic year, or just a few weeks, I hope you will consider joining and contributing to our community.

A Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Queen’s University, Dr. Horton joined the BISC as its Vice-Provost and Executive Director in July 2017.

Find out more about Dr. Horton by visiting his Queen’s University research website Listen to Dr. Horton discussing his role and vision for the BISC on the CFRC Podcast Network
Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
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