Queen's University

Queen's Blyth program takes classroom into the world

Queen's-Blyth students listen to a tour guide in Toledo, Spain, as part of their course Topics in History: Spain and Spanish America 1492-1992. 

More than 100 students from 15 universities across Canada participated this spring and summer in the inaugural Queen’s Blyth Worldwide International Studies Program (QBW). QBW is a study-abroad and experiential-learning opportunity offered by Queen’s to students from any university.

“It was a really great experience,” says Torie Hornell, a psychology and sociology student from Acadia University who travelled with QBW to Spain in May. “I like that we had the opportunity to learn a variety of things, not just on an academic level. I really learned a lot about myself while travelling.”

QBW essentially uproots the classroom and brings it into the world, through integrated academic field studies. Students choose a Queen’s course and a country – such as gender studies in Spain or environmental geology in Costa Rica – and earn credits toward their degree. They spend three weeks travelling to different cities with an instructor, a program manager and an activities coordinator.

The instructors, from Queen’s and other institutions, give lectures and accompany students on academic field studies, providing both a formal and informal learning environment. This year, students took courses in Spain, Italy, France and Costa Rica.

“Not everyone has the resources or opportunity to do a traditional full-semester exchange and this is a really great hybrid,” says Queen’s art history student Anna Speyer, who also went to Spain in May. “It’s not as long but you still get that same experience of being and studying abroad, just on a smaller scale.”

QBW runs two sessions per year, in May and June. It will expand in 2013, offering additional courses in Greece, Australia, Tanzania, Bhutan/Nepal, China and India.

“The QBW program offers participants an unparalleled opportunity to gain valuable international experience with superb instructors in exotic locations around the world,” says James Lee, Vice-Provost (International). "Moreover, there's no better way to truly understand fundamental ideas and concepts than to live and experience them, wherever that may take you, and the QBW program does just that."

QBW is a partnership between Queen’s University and Blyth Education. Blyth has pioneered worldwide educational programs for more than 30 years.

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Last updated at 9:45 pm EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
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