Student Experience

Student Experience

Student Testimonials

Jaclyn Kaller holding her diploma at convocationI could not have made a better choice than the BU undergraduate program in History and Global Studies. It gave me the opportunity to study and work with experienced, supportive, faculty and the chance to meet new friends and classmates through the Bishop’s University History Association, one of the most active clubs on campus. The department’s rich range of courses and independent study offerings allowed me to develop good critical thinking skills and effective research strategies and enhanced my understanding of the past and its relevance to issues and problems of today. The program also fueled my interest in pursuing graduate studies.

One of the reasons for this was that I was able to participate in one of several research internships available to history students. Working with Dr. Gordon Barker on the freedom fights of African American women in antebellum America, I travelled to several archival repositories in Pennsylvania, thanks to the Young Travel Award and research funds available to History Faculty.

The Bishop’s University History Program positioned me for successful applications for graduate studies and generous scholarship funding. I am confident that I am now well prepared to take on new scholarly challenges in September 2020 when I begin a graduate program for a Master of Arts in History at another leading Canadian university.

Jaclyn Kaller, April 2020

Cara O'ConnellIt was a privilege to study history at Bishop’s. Considering Bishop’s is a small university I was able to take a wide variety of courses. From my first year onward I had direct contact with my professors. They taught me so much about history, learning, teaching, and future work options in the field.

Because the Department and classes were small, I really felt that both my Professors and my fellow students knew me and were a part of my academic growth. It was nice to know that others knew how much I had progressed from my first introductory course. The upper year seminars were great and the fact that I was able to take a number of seminars during my undergrad is just wonderful. By the time I reached my fourth year I really felt that I had become part of the Department.

The support I received from my Professors over the years was so important to me and it was such a gift. Without it I don’t think I would have applied to grad school. I don’t know how many students from big universities could say the same of their undergrad experience. Cara O'Connell '07, M.A. (Queen's University)

John HornAbout 288 Words on John Horn and the Bishop’s University History Department.

John Horn is taking over Canada’s West Coast. Well, at least one of Vancouver Island’s fastest growing community colleges. And it is undoubtedly in large part because of his creative immersion in Bishop’s University’s Division of Humanities, particularly the History Department. John completed his Masters of Arts in History in 2004, and currently works as a Career Educator and Instructor at Camosun College in Victoria, BC, where he helps students make the – at times – difficult transition from school to the workplace. He also teaches courses about pirates. Seriously. John was the Valedictorian of the Class of 2003, appeared on CBC Newsworld’s The Hour with George Stroumbolopoulos in 2005, helped to organize a youth employment conference in Kigali, Rwanda in 2006, and is currently an Instructor and the official Emcee of the Camosun College Foundation.

What does the employer community cite as the most important skill that an entry level worker can possess? Communication. What is today’s most common form of workplace communication? Email. Couple these trends with the written and verbal communication skills gleaned by students studying History at Bishop’s and you have a recipe for success in the real world. Skilfully researching and presenting ideas is power, and there are only a handful of post-secondary institutions in Canada that teach young learners how to wield such abilities with the utmost effectiveness. Bishop’s is not only one of them – it’s one of the leaders.

Studying History at Bishop’s means confidence. Small class sizes and personalized instruction makes Gaiter-grads a unique commodity in the real-world, as they will stand up, speak their minds and constructively question authority when their colleagues struggle to do so. Learning about the past at Bishop’s University means success in the future.

Exeunt John Horn

Kevin FosterCompleting a History degree at Bishop’s was a very rewarding experience. It enabled me to successfully complete an M.A. in Public History and start a career in the Federal Public Service. History is an excellent subject to study because it provides you with depth and context to many issues that affect you in the present. It also gives you a useful suite of tools which are valuable in almost any job: solid writing and oral communication, critical analysis and well-developed research skills. There are a number of advantages to studying history at Bishop’s. The small class sizes mean that your work is marked by professors eager to give you direct personal feedback. It also enables you to engage in meaningful classroom discussions and debates with your fellow students. Perhaps the best aspect of Bishop’s is the high calibre of the professors in the History Department. They are well-respected scholars but also passionate educators. This makes the classes engaging and emphasizes the fact that you are treated as an individual. I plan to encourage family and friends to attend one of the best universities in Canada and be part of the next 150 years’ history of Bishop’s.Kevin Foster

Enlightening is the word I would use to describe history at Bishop’s. The knowledge I received at BU was diverse, allowing me to develop in several areas, and the department was very active outside of the classroom, which created social skills and friendships that will be part of my life forever.

History at Bishop’s is complemented by social stimulation. It gets you thinking about the complexity of human interaction and the events and themes that have shaped nations and cultures. Once I graduated I was well rounded and prepared to seek out a specific life path. I felt confident with my understanding of Canada and Quebec, and I wanted to continue where I left off because I couldn’t get enough. History gave me so much ambition. Learning about great people made me want to be one.

The faculty was quite special. I lived with several friends during my time at Bishop’s, some of which were also in history and some of which simply had a few classes in history. We used to look forward to parties hosted by our profs at their homes. We always knew it would be a great night full of interesting conversations, good wine, and knowledge that we were fortunate enough to obtain through a unique medium. My history professors left a strong impression on me. They were extremely friendly and approachable, and I stay in touch with them still today.

The program forced me do become broadminded because of its structure. I dipped my toes in various types of history and several different geographical areas as well. I was also encouraged to experience other subjects such as philosophy, languages, and theatre. This allowed me to gain a keen interest in theatre and become an active member of their department as well.

To conclude I emphasize my favorite aspect of both the history department and the university as a whole, its size. First year classes are usually larger, however, as time goes on and you progress through your degree academic intimacy with students and professors spear heads your learning experience and defines your day to day.

Attending Bishop’s was the best decision of my youth. Choosing to study history is evolving into the best decision I could have made for my future. I can’t wait to see what comes next.Connor Quinn

“A Day in the Life” Features:

Courtney Farquharson, Honours History

Courtney FarquharsonA day in the life of an honours history student usually begins at Tim Hortons where I will purchase a large coffee to help me get through the day.

On my way to class I will drop into visit my history professors in Morris House.  Being involved in the History Association means that I have a close relationship with all the professors. They’re my best assets; being it planning a trip or organizing a speaker they are there to help with anything we need along the way.  The professors are also there to help answer any other questions I may have.

My first class of the day is a lecture class called The 20th Century World. It’s a good survey course and a great way to get a broad overview of many topics and see if there’s any one that really interests you which can then be further pursued in 300 and 400 level course.  After class I’ll go to the library during my hour break to re-read the notes I took for my seminar class. My seminar class is called Europe: State and Society in Transition 1400-1800 and it is my favourite course that I have taken at Bishop’s. It’s about social history, the history of the masses. The readings we do and have to present on are all very interesting to me. The Reformation is my favourite historical time period and getting to do a seminar presentation on it was the best. In a seminar class you’re expected to lead the class in a discussion on an assigned reading. It’s a lot of work but also very interesting to hear your classmates answers to the questions that you come up with.

After an engaging and enlightening discussion it’s time to prepare for a History Association meeting. I’m the Vice-President so I need to make sure that the President doesn’t need me to do anything last minute before the meeting. I’ll go to the library after my seminar to do some reading before the meeting.

The History Association is a very involved association and we have done many things over the past four years. A typical History Association meeting will involve planning a fundraiser, planning our major event, and planning a group activity.  Getting involved in the department club is one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. It gives you so many opportunities to meet history students in different years and make connections and friendships that will last a lifetime.