My Experience of Bishops University, Quebec, Canada
Location: Bishop’s is situated about an hour and a half away from Montreal City by bus. The college is in a small town; Lenoxville. The college itself is five minute’s walk from this town/street. As small as it is, Lenoxville has everything students need including, a garage, an off-license, two pubs and one “club”, pharmacies and supermarkets. Oh and for the mid-night munchies there is Sub-Way, Mc Donald’s, and Captain Grek’s or the chipper as we might call it! You can easily travel to Montreal at the weekends from the bus station in Sherbrooke, a town five minutes from Lenoxville by bus. Also the college is located not far from Vermont where, if the snow falls and you make friends with some drivers there is always the opportunity to do some skiing or snowboarding in the winter months.
Classes: While I was in Bishops I studied marketing and organisational behaviour. The classes are two hours long once a week, so in total we had 10 hours of lectures weekly. Some of the classes had students taking their finals in them and so the classes are taken quite seriously by most students. Also, since people in Canada have to pay a lot of money to go to college the general rule is that they work hard. Classes emphasise participation and group work. While at first this can seem quite daunting, you get used to their way of doing things very quickly. And classes often feel more like a group discussion than a lecture. The work load from classes is constant but easy enough to keep up with and not too difficult.
People: The people in Bishop’s are on most part outgoing and confident. You may find that people just sit beside you and start talking to you, this is something we found quite odd at the beginning but it is such an easy place to meet people and they are all very friendly. So my advice would be to be like them, just start talking to people early on and this will mean you are invited to all the good parties!
Social Life: Ok, so this part is the best and most important part of Bishops! Because the university is small, you essentially know everyone and they will know you. I remember walking down the corridor and having a group of boys shout of hey “There’s the Irish girls” and we had never seen them before! If you are thinking of Bishops as a possible college for you, I would be warning you that these students give the Irish a run for their money at the drinking games. They do work hard but they play a hell of a lot harder! And as Irish they will be expecting you to attend every party and be the last man standing! There is an event on nearly every night in Lenoxville, be it at the Lion pub or the Gate bar that is on campus. They have a lot of themed nights like 90’s, fancy dress and so on so bring plenty of fun clothes!
Accommodation: We stayed on campus while in Bishops, as a general rule we would recommend students choose either Abott or Kheuner as residence; these are the ones that have the most fun and mischief! In residence there is only first year students and exchange students. So if you want to socialise with the older students you will need to get talking during class or in the bars! The accommodation is two rooms connected by a sharing bathroom. While it is basic, it is luxury compared to some of the off campus houses! You do not have a kitchen or sitting room, but in the residence is TV and games rooms and food is provided from 8-11 (I think) in the nearby canteen.
Important Dates: We missed out on frosh week, and would indefinitely recommend you check when this begins before you book flights as this is the best time to meet people and get used to the university. Also some of the best days in Bishops are homecoming and Halloween. Finally we would recommend that you attend all the football games, as confusing and all as they are at the start they are a really good laugh!
It really is an amazing college and I had the best experience of my life there. I’d recommend it for you if you don’t mind doing a bit of work, are willing to try new things are looking to met some new people! Oh and if you can represent the Irish in drinking competitions! Purple is their college colour...so bring plenty of purple clothes!