The Queen's Experience
Queen's is not just a place to learn, but a place to live, work and grow. Physical and mental wellness are interconnected and both are essential for academic and personal success. Our supportive community, and the programs and resources available here, help to provide a safe, inclusive and supportive environment.
International students at Queen's come from more than 100 countries
Queen's and Kingston
Queen's campus is in the heart of Kingston – a stunning, historic city of 123,000+ found just a few hours from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, and that consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in Canada. Kingston is a home-away-from-home not only for students from Queen’s, but also for those attending the Royal Military College and St. Lawrence College - more than 30,000 in all!
95% of Queen's student population comes from outside of Kingston
Described as both “quaint” and “eclectic,” Kingston is big enough to provide all the conveniences of modern life and small enough for students, staff and faculty to feel instantly comfortable, safe and at home. In 2013, the BBC listed Kingston as one of the top five university towns in the world. Kingston was also recently identified on the world stage as a leading “Intelligent Community”.
Queen's campus has three major components (main, west and the Isabel campus) within a 1.5 km radius. Kingston General Hospital and the other Queen's-affiliated hospitals, research labs and offices are located nearby and across the city.
Pre-Arrival and Arrival
Queen's University International Centre: QUIC has many resources to help you prepare to come to Canada and to Queen’s University, and to be happy and successful in your time here.
Acculturation and Transition to Life and Academic Success (ATLAS) is an early move-in program for incoming international students that helps ease the transition to Canada and Kingston.
Orientation: Orientation Week is the largest student-run event on campus, with more than 1,000 volunteers working to make your first week at Queen's the best experience possible (participation is voluntary).
There are activities for students in residence, as well as for those not living in residence, for exchange and transfer students (called “NEWTS”), for students who spent their first year at the Bader International Study Centre, and for graduate and mature students. Learn more about NEWTS Orientation...
Faculty orientation activities provide you with information specific to your program, as well as opportunities to meet the people you'll have classes with.
Queerientation events are a gateway for incoming students into the queer community at Queen’s. Learn more about our inclusive community environment...
Queen's 17 Residences provide not only a place to sleep and store your clothes – they are also a place to meet and make friends with students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, values and interests. While living in residence, you’ll be invited to participate in a variety of social activities, cultural events and educational programs, and encouraged to try new things to balance your personal and social interests, your health and well-being, and your academic goals. A spot in a Queen's residence is guaranteed for all first-year students who apply and send in a deposit before the deadline.
90% of first-year students live in residence
An Inclusive and Safe Place to Live
Queen’s strives to maintain a safe and secure environment. Queen's Campus Security and other safety-dedicated staff, along with Student Wellness Services, groups such as First Aid, Student Constables, and Walkhome, provide a range of support services that promote a safety-first approach to campus living.
The "University District" denotes a neighbourhood surrounding campus where a large portion of our student population resides. Though not a part of Queen's campus, the district is vital to the community, and student leaders work in cooperation with the city to maintain and bring improvements to the neighbourhood.
With three dining halls and 21 retail food outlets on campus, there are food options on campus for every eater. All eateries on campus offer vegetarian choices, other alternative diet selections, and a variety of healthy options to accommodate the diversity of student needs. More on food in residence and on campus...
It is said that Kingston has the most restaurants per capita of anywhere in Canada, and there are a wide variety of world cuisines to choose from. There are a number of grocery stores within walking distance from campus, or a short taxi, bus or bike ride away, including a very convenient grocery store on campus in the Queen's Centre.
Queen's Library, Learning Commons and Academic Support
At Queen’s, the library is where you live – in your home, in the classroom and yes, in big buildings.
Queen's University Library is comprised of six campus libraries in five buildings, each with a different area of focus. Our libraries aren’t just big buildings filled with books – they are gathering places, both physical and virtual. Queen's Library is not only a place where ideas are explored, concepts learned and theories unearthed, but where friends are met, relationships are forged and community is created. The library is central to the university, inspiring discovery and enabling creativity.
While our collections are extensive, services available through the Queen's Learning Commons – writing, learning and study, and technical skills support – support the learning experience at Queen’s and help our students succeed.
The transition to university life is a big one for any student. At Queen’s, you are never alone. We have many offices dedicated to helping all our students – including our international degree-seeking students, and exchange and other visiting students. Student Academic Support Services (SASS) has resources available specifically for international students.
Health and Wellness
Queen's is committed to helping students maintain a healthy lifestyle and thrive in a positive learning environment.
Health Services and Counselling: Health care and counselling services are available to all students – including international students with the mandatory UHIP coverage (with some services also provided to his/her spouse and children) – through our Student Wellness Services and other local health-care service providers. Queen's multidisciplinary health team includes family physicians, psychiatrists, registered nurses and support staff.
Athletics and Recreation: More than 80% of our student population is active in sports or recreational activities on campus. Take a break from your studies and unwind with recreational fitness classes, organize a pick-up game with friends, or work out with a personal trainer. If you are interested in competitive or high performance sport, why not try out for one of Queen's varsity teams or clubs?
With our A+ student rating in The Globe and Mail’s Student satisfaction survey, the Queen’s Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC) offers a state-of-the-art fitness facility meeting students’ needs on campus. The ARC features one of the largest cardio and weight facilities in Ontario, plus multiple basketball, volleyball, squash and badminton courts, and Kingston’s largest aquatics centre.
Spiritual Care: The Office of the Interfaith Chaplain provides a welcoming, peaceful and safe space for students of all faiths. The Interfaith Chaplain is available to discuss spiritual, religious, personal and financial problems, concerns or crises. A number of reflection and prayer spaces are available across campus.
Graduate Students: The School of Graduate Studies Habitat website outlines resources for living well and staying well in grad school.
Queen's students don't limit their learning to the classroom. They join clubs and volunteer groups, run for student government, try out for sports teams, and test their skills in academic competitions. The Student Experience at Queen's is about exploring all your capabilities — academic and otherwise — while learning the values of teamwork, and extending this knowledge to topics and causes that interest you beyond your major.
Student Clubs: Queen’s offers practically every club imaginable – well, about 400 of them at least. Not a day goes by on campus without a practice, performance, conference or competition taking place. From Amnesty International and Oxfam to Urban Snowboarding, Queen's Musical Theatre, the Outdoors Club and the Giant Panda Society – there’s probably a club for you.