Take a look at the BISC

“Queen’s University has an international campus in the UK! It is in a 15th century castle? What does it look like?”

Well now you can find out. Take a look at the campus at the BISC in our latest video. You can get an idea of where the major things on campus are located. For more information about the Bader International Study Centre, check out our website here – http://www.queensu.ca/bisc/

On a plane flying around the Castle,
Radissen Ramoutar
BISC Admission Representative

Every Castle has a story…

A 15th century castle must have a ton of stories. Herstmonceux Castle existed long before we used it as our international campus and there are many interesting tales to tell. So we have complied a list of interesting facts about the Castle for you to find out a bit more -

  • It was originally owned by the Fiennes family (Of which Ralph Fiennes who plays He Who Must Not Be Named in the Harry Potter films, is a relative.)
  • From 1777 to the early 20th century, the Castle was dismantled and became a ruin.
  • The Southern Coasts of England were very popular for Smugglers and they used the Castle as a smuggler’s den.
  • To keep locals from discovering their smuggler’s den, it is rumored that they created the myth of “The Headless Drummer” to scare them away.
  • In the early 20th century, the Castle ruin was a popular tourist destination in England and it was restored in 1933.
  • In 1992, Dr Alfred Bader was on a train and read a newspaper article advertising the Castle for sale. He and his wife Dr. Isabelle Bader bought the Castle and donated it to his Alma Mater, Queen’s University who turned it into their International Study Centre.
  • In 2009, Queen’s renamed it the Bader International Study Centre in their honour.

You know, the Castle did not always look like this -

F-2Fi_sFSsh6pYJy80u8Ke13FiU5skqYeUTSIUngDOg,UJmChMBV9VOA49Rhh2jWy5j5EonYakeW4fyxkjKS8TwAfter it was abandoned and used as a smugglers den, it became quite the ruin -



Now no Castle would be complete without its own ghosts and Herstmonceux Castle is rumored to have a few ;) Over the years, there have been stories and rumors of The White Lady, The Swimmer, and the Lady in Grey lurking around the estate. The most popular Castle myth would have to be The Headless Drummer.

It is said that a nine foot tall ghost walks the corridors beating on his drum. The story goes that he may be Gregory Fiennes, the 10th Lord Dacre, who would constantly beat his drum to drive would-be suitors from his much younger wife. Eventually, she locked him in a small room and left him to die in 1575. You can still hear the ghostly beating of his drum around the corridors…at least that is what they say…

Some students make a point to go looking for The Headless Drummer  and most of the time, it just leads them our Castle Pub which is also called “The Headless Drummer.”

BTglkMPCYAANXaiIf you find that we have wet your appetite, we would recommend checking out our our website for more information about the interesting history of the Castle -

You know, back in my day…
Radissen Ramoutar
BISC Admission Representative

Know it all – the 2014-2015 BISC Student Handbook is here!

We get a lot of questions from our applicants and future students at this time of year. Did you know that we have a brilliant resource to help you with any of your questions? Well we do! Our BISC Student Handbook is a wonderful resource for parents and students alike and the best news is that we just updated it for our 2014-2015 incoming class!


The 2014-2015 BISC Student Handbook covers a number of topics:

  • Sessional dates
  • Registering for your courses
  • Health insurance information
  • What documents you need to travel to the UK
  • What to pack
  • How to plan your travel
  • Fee payment schedules
  • Additional expenses while studying at the BISC
  • Friendly faces at the Castle (people who are there to help YOU!)
  • Field studies and optional activities
  • Residence and meal plan
  • Location and transportation
  • Useful apps while travelling
  • A pre-departure checklist
  • And so much more!

Our biggest piece of advice to incoming students is to read The BISC Student Handbook.

The BISC Admission team is also here to help! If, for any reason, you still have unanswered questions then please get in touch. Whether it is via email (castle@queensu.ca), Facebook, or Twitter (@_TheCastle), we are more than happy to help you prepare for your time at the Castle. Also don’t forget to watch our videos on our YouTube page BISCtv!

We hope that these resources help you make a smooth transition to university and the Castle!

Reading through the Handbook for the 648th time,
BISC Admissions

BISC Virtual Open House – March 15th, 2014


Every year, Queen’s University has a Open House during March Break. It gives our prospective students a chance to come and see our Kingston Campus and feel what it is like to be a student there.

This year, we decided to get our international campus involved and we hosted a Virtual Open House for all of the visitors to our Kingston Campus. Prospective students and their families came to our presentation where we had four staff members from the Castle showing off four specific locations: the Dining Hall, the Castle Courtyard, one of our largest Classrooms and a Residence Room.

We were able to record the tour and you can view it here. Students and parents had the opportunity to ask questions live and find out more about the spaces and the campus. If you have any additional questions or you would like to learn more, please email us at castle@queensu.ca and we will be happy to tell you more.

We hope you enjoy this glimpse at the Castle and we have some very exciting things coming soon!

Get excited,
Radissen Ramoutar
BISC Admission Representative

BISC First Year Hangout – March 2014 (Our final Hangout)

Hello Everyone,

Happy first day of Spring (despite the weather not feeling like it)! We have a real treat for you today and that is our BISC First Year Hangout for March 2014.

This will be our last Hangout for the 2013 / 2014 year and we have had an absolute blast making them for you. On behalf of Asheika, Sam, Blake and Johanna, I would like to thank everyone who watched our hangouts (live or afterwards), asked questions, and gave feedback. We really appreciate you all taking such an interest in these Hangouts and we hope they are helpful to you!

You can view all of our First Year Hangouts from August 2013 all the way up until March 2014 on our YouTube Channel, BISCtv. If you have any questions about our Hangouts or about the BISC in general, please feel free to let us know by emailing us at castle@queensu.ca

We hope you enjoyed Hanging Out with us,
Radissen Ramoutar
BISC Admission Representative

March Break Open House (BISC Style)

So you can’t make it to the Castle in the UK to visit the campus? We are not sure why since there are only several thousand miles and an entire ocean in your way. We are just kidding. We know that the distance makes it tough to visit the BISC for many of our students in North America. We do, however, have a fantastic campus in Kingston, Ontario, Canada that is a bit nearer for those students who live in Canada and the U.S. It may not be a Castle but it is still a beautiful campus.

Coincidentally ;) that campus in Kingston, ON is also having their March Break Open House this Saturday (March 15th 2014). March Break Open House is your chance to come onto campus for a day and see what it is like to study at Queen’s. You will be able to take a tour of the campus, meet with professors and students, visit faculties and departments and much more.

With all the excitement at our Kingston Campus, we decided to throw our own March Break Open House for the BISC. Since we are unfortunately not able to pick everyone up from our Kingston campus and fly them to the BISC (since that would take too long), we decided to do the next best thing – a Virtual Tour.

Students (family and friends) that attend March Break Open House at our Kingston campus will be able to attend a BISC presentation where we will be doing a Virtual Tour of the BISC. We will have four locations (*subject to availability) for you to see:

  • The Castle Exterior
  • Our Residence (Bader Hall)
  • The Dining Hall
  • A typical BISC Classroom

We will also have faculty and staff who will be joining us live from the Castle to answer questions and tell you more about the campus and our program. These presentations will be occurring at 11am, 12pm and 1pm in the Welcome Centre of Gordon Hall at our Kingston campus. If you would like more information or would like to register for March Break Open House, you can do so here.

Can’t make it? Well we have you covered. We will be recording the Virtual Tour and uploading it to our YouTube Channel “BISCtv” so you can view it from home. We also have a ton of other videos on “BISCtv” that give you an inside look at what the BISC is all about. You can view those right now if you would like to learn more.

We can’t wait to see many of you this weekend and stay tuned next week for our BISC First Year Hangout for March 2014.

Renaming it to March BISC Open House,
Radissen Ramoutar
BISC Admission Representative


BISC Special Event – Our Student Services Hangout

We promised you some special posts over the last two weeks and we have a fantastic one for you today. For this blog post, we have decided to do a very special BISC Hangout. We were over the moon with excitement about our guests, Cheryl and Isabella, for this Hangout and they joined us live from the Castle.

Cheryl and Isabella both work in Student Services at the Castle. Cheryl is an Assistant Student Services Manager and Isabella is a Student Life Coordinator (watch the hangout to learn exactly what they do). BISC Student Services is our greatest resource when students ask us about Student Life, Residence Life, support systems, counseling for students and much more. We wanted to give you a chance to find out more about this amazing team at the BISC and we figured who better to tell you more than two of the people from that group (we had some technical difficulties near the end but we included the information you may have missed due to the sound hiccup below).

You can view the hangout here -

For more information about Student Services at the BISC, you can visit their section on our website. For any additional question for / about Student Services at the BISC, be sure to email us at castle@queensu.ca and we will get an answer for you.

Student Services are the best,
Radissen Ramoutar
BISC Admission Representative

Castle Spring1

BISC First Year Hangout – February 2014

The end of February is almost here and you know what that means – we have another BISC First Year Hangout for you! This month has been quite busy for our BISC students and it is jam packed with some great information.

Give it a view to find out more about some of the highlights that our first year students experienced on their Midterm Trip, some of the activities they do in their spare time and more about their classes. You can watch it below or you can head over to our YouTube Channel BISCtv to see all our BISC First Year Hangouts

Thank you to those who submitted questions live, we really appreciate your interest and thank you for engaging with us.  We really appreciate all the great questions we are receiving so be sure to keep sending more in. You can submit questions for us to ask our First Year Students via Facebook, Twitter, Email (castle@queensu.ca) or you can watch and ask live!

We will be back on March 19th @ 4pm EDT for our next BISC First Year Hangout and we hope that you will join us then.

Heading into March with a smile,
Radissen Ramoutar
BISC Admission Representative


Stay tuned…

Hello everyone!

This is an incredibly busy week for the BISC with our admission reps traveling and our midterm trip wrapping up!

We won’t have a full blog post this week but please do not worry! We plan to make this up to all of you by doing two very special posts soon. We hope you are as excited for them as we are.

Enjoy the rest of your week and please feel free to let us know if you have any questions about the BISC.


Traveling and planning,
Radissen Ramoutar
BISC Admission Representative

Experiential Learning with the BISC

One of the greatest advantages about studying at the BISC is that students get to experience what they are learning. At the BISC, this is (accurately) refered to as Experiential Learning.

What do we mean when we say that you will get to experience what you are learning? Well each term at the BISC you will have the opportunity to go on one-day and multi-day excursions designed to enhance your learning experience by bringing your lectures to life! These excursions are called Field Studies and they combine self-learning with guided research on primary source materials of all kinds. You may be reading and examining a Shakespearean play one day and find yourself sitting in the Globe Theatre watching it on stage the next. Perhaps you are taking an art history course and studying the Mona Lisa then you pop over to the Louvre in Paris to actually see it up close and in person. Politics students may find themselves experiencing government first hand by interviewing Parliamentarians. Those studying International Relations visit the International Maritime Organization headquarters in London to evaluate how marine safety standards continue to facilitate world trade over a hundred years after the Titanic disaster.

We always stress to students that it is one thing to sit in a classroom and read about an event or place but it is a whole other experience to actually visit and experience the location. Imagine standing on the shores of Dieppe where the Raid of Dieppe took place on August 19th, 1942 and listening to your professor describe how this location was part of a pivotal moment in the Second World War.

Cultural Studies are also part of the Experiential Learning aspect of the BISC and these are trips arranged by Student Services. It would be a shame to study in a different country and not immerse yourself in the culture, which is what these trips were designed to help you do. You may go to Vimy Ridge, Stonehenge, the West End in London to see a musical or play, or a local festival. These trips are a great way to experience English Culture and explore more of England at a reasonable price.

Once ever term, students also have a Midterm Trip. This 5 day long trip in the middle of the term combines both course related field studies as well as cultural studies. Free time is also incorporated into the Midterm Trip so that it is not all work and no play. It is a great chance for students at the BISC to take a trip together and explore global, political, cultural and historic sites of interest. The Midterm Trip for this term will be kicking off tomorrow and our current students are off to Dieppe, Caen, Ghent and Paris!

We always love to hear from students that have done the first year program at the BISC and returned to our Kingston Campus for Upper Years. Most students tell us about how these field studies really affected their interest in their classes and how much the experiences still help them in their upper years of study. We can’t wait for many of you to start your BISC adventure and experience many of these amazing trips for yourselves!

Radissen Ramoutar
BISC Admission Representative