International Programs Office

International Programs Office

International Programs Office

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Learn about exchange from a Peer Adviser

Exchange Peer Advisers are returned exchange students who have undergone training so they can advise their peers on how to best prepare for the program. They attend events and spend an hour in the International Programs Office Zoom Room so they can meet with students who have questions about the exchange program. 

Interested in meeting with a Peer Adviser? The program has ended for 2020-21.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
10:00am - 11:00am

 

 

   
11:00am - 12:00pm       

 

   
3:00pm - 4:00pm

 

   

 

Here are short exchange reflections from this past academic year's peer advisers:

Xiaochuan Y. — a PHIL/RELS student who studied at University College Maastricht.
Exchange Country: The Netherlands
Host University: University College Maastricht

Discipline: PHIL/RELS

Photo of Xiaochuan standing in street - MaastrichtI completed my exchange study at University College Maastricht in the Netherlands. UCM features Problem-based Learning (PBL), where students are placed in small tutorial groups and engage in student-centered active learning. Studying at UCM has significantly improved my independent learning skills and team collaboration capacity. I have taken various humanities courses and practical skill courses, such as academic writing, academic debate, and journal writing. Engaging in small tutorial groups allows me to have many in-depth and one-on-one conversations with my professors, which helps me pursue my academic interests and discover possible future orientation.

In my spare time, I have travelled all over Europe and to the north of Africa. Since Maastricht is at the border with Belgium and Germany, my friends and I used to make weekend trips to cities nearby and discovered great local restaurants. Doing my year abroad in Maastricht was an unforgettable and fulfilling experience. I am grateful that Queen’s has given me the opportunity to study at UCM and challenge my old self in many ways.

Tianyu (Chris) Y. — a FILM student who studied at University of Manchester.
Exchange Country: United Kingdom, England
Host University: University of Manchester

Discipline: FILM

Photo of Tianyu (chris) standing in street - ManchesterI went on exchange to the University of Manchester in England for the past school year. Studying abroad is an incredible experience that transformed myself personally and academically. Immersed myself in a different environment, I was always exposed to different cultures, new knowledge, and interesting people. I have developed networks across the globe and learned to embrace cultural differences with an open mind. The exchange life really helped me to think both globally and self-reflexively and gain a better understanding of my own position in the ever-changing world.

As a film student, studying in Manchester is a fantastic experience. I was able to take a wide variety of courses on world cinema and investigate film representations in relation to broader socio-cultural issues under a globalised context. One of my favourite courses is contemporary British cinema, which enables me to explore how ideas of the national and post national are implicated in genre conventions, how recent political movements, especially Brexit, is staged on screen, and how popular costume dramas and James Bond films can render different readings of culture. As an exchange student, I was also able to select many interesting elective courses on British culture, literature, and society, which gave me an exciting opportunity to push my boundaries of learning.

One of my favourite experiences is travelling around Europe to attend film festivals. I was able to use my student’s accreditation to get into many world premieres, special screenings, masterclasses, and forums. The most exciting thing is that I had face-to-face conversations with my favourite directors and movie stars that I have never imagined before. I also made a couple of friends with the same passion for films.

Exchange is truly a memorable experience and generates a huge impact on my life. If you have any questions, please come and chat with me. I’d love to share more of my stories with you.

Bertug Y. —  a POLS/HIST student who studied at Koç University.
Exchange Country: Turkey
Host University: Koç University

Discipline: POLS/HIST

Photo of Bertug standing in street - KocHello! My name is Bertug and I am a 4th year Politics major and History minor. For the fall 2019 semester I had the opportunity to study at Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey. Participating in the exchange program was one of the best decisions I have made and was a life-changing experience for me that I highly recommend to others who are considering the exchange program.

Living on the other side of the world in a country that had different cultural norms and expectations gave me the chance to gain more independence and be open to participate in inter-cultural events. Living in a city like Istanbul for 4 months where the population is nearly 20 million people was definitely a big adjustment. But after being involved in the university community at Koc, going around the city, engaging with the local population, and making life-long friends along the way, I gained a lot of confidence in immersing myself in an environment that I was not familiar with. Going on exchange in Turkey also gave me the opportunity to learn in a different university environment. The small classroom sizes at Koc University provided me with the opportunity to engage more proactively in lectures that sometimes you may not come across at Queen’s! Another positive aspect of going on exchange was having the chance to try new foods that were authentic to Turkey. I can gladly say that my exchange experience was the highlight of my undergraduate education and greatly expanded my knowledge of the world!

Rachel (Roo) T. — a GPHY/DEVS student who studied at University West Indies, St. Augustine Campus.
Exchange Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Host University: University West Indies, St. Augustine Campus

Discipline: GPHY/DEVS

Photo of Roo standing in street - West IndiesHello everyone! My name is Roo Thompson and I am a 4th geography and global development student here at Queen’s University. During my 3rd year, I participated in a full year bilateral exchange to the University of the West Indies- St Augustine Campus (UWI) in Trinidad and Tobago. At this university, I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, experience a new kind of learning style, and immerse myself in a new culture..

While at UWI, I got involved with extra curricular’s, such as the Hiking Club, International Student Association, and Geography Club that allowed me to meet many cool people and tour the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. UWI is a smaller university, so I really had the opportunity to get to know a lot of people on campus, in residence, and meet my professors personally. One of my favourite educational experiences was going to a lab for one of my geography classes, where I had to take a water sample of different elevation on a mountain. Having hands-on experience and learning outside the classroom was something not all Queen's students get the opportunity to do and I appreciated that style of learning. .

Another thing I took part in was a large cultural event that occurs in Trinidad and Tobago each year called Carnival. This is where everyone wears beautiful costumes and takes to the streets to celebrate. It’s a 4-day long festival where many aspects of Caribbean culture are displayed, and I loved every minute of it! My exchange taught me so much about myself and others. I am looking forward to meeting everyone interested in an exchange, so I can help in your future journeys.” .

Vanessa L. — a KINE student who studied at University of Helsinki.
Exchange Country: Finland
Host University: University of Helsinki

Discipline: KINE 

Photo of Vanessa standing in street - HelsinkiI went on exchange during the Winter 2020 semester at the University of Helsinki. Exchange was a fantastic opportunity and has been one of the highlights of my undergrad! My time spent on exchange lead to many cultural discoveries, immense personal growth, and the development of irreplaceable relationships. I had wanted to go on exchange since my first year at Queen's, and the experience exceeded all of my expectations!

Helsinki is a great city to live and study in! The city is overflowed with innovative architecture, ground-breaking design, and exciting dining spots. Not to mention, Helsinki is a walkable, culture-packed urban centre that is surrounded by archipelago's islands, beaches, and extensive parks and gardens. When living in Helsinki, there is plenty of opportunities to participate in outdoor activities.

While on exchange I was able to immerse myself in the Finnish culture. I tried traditional Finnish food and took part in various Finnish activities. What I especially loved about Helsinki was how safe and accessible the city was. The public transit was very efficient and made it easy to travel throughout the city, to surrounding areas, and to Helsinki's international airport. While abroad, I was fortunate enough to have travelled to Finnish Lapland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

The best way to describe living in Finland is like having all of the comforts of living in Canada with a mix of European culture. Exchange was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I cannot say enough good things about. I would highly recommend spending a semester abroad to prospective students!