Education at Queen’s by Michelle Taylor

The education structure is a bit different at Queen’s to what I experienced at the College of Charleston. Courses at Queen’s would meet once to twice a week for lectures where a professor would stand in the front of a lecture hall and speak for several hours and meet once for tutorials which were run by TAs with smaller groups and were discussion based. This resulted in less face-to-face time in classes than is typical for American courses. In addition, your grade is generally only made up of two assignments, at least in my experience. One assignment would be worth 40% of your grade and the other, your final assignment, would be worth 60%. It was therefore very important to do well on your assignments but the rest of the time I generally only had assigned readings to be responsible for. This limited amount of in-class time meant that I could spend more time doing extracurricular activities. I joined the rowing team during my first year at CofC and joined the club at Queen’s as well. We had early morning practices six days a week with afternoon sessions on Wednesdays. I would also work out in the gym 2-3 times a week. Early morning practices were easy enough to balance with classes so long as I wasn’t late getting off the water. That sometimes led to a very brisk walk to class and sliding into my seat just before the lecture started. When it came to afternoon practices, I was thankful for the more limited class times as my afternoons were generally free. I was lucky enough to have one class in the morning each day of the week, with my only afternoon class being on Tuesdays and done at 4. The Boat Club is not unique in the amount of time it takes up. Many of the sports on campus are able to compete at equally high levels as they have ample time to train. Even outside of sports, many students are members of clubs that practice several times a week or go on trips because they have the time to do so. Less time in class means more time for other activities, though more of an emphasis is placed on the student to be in charge of their own learning. There aren’t any homework or frequent assignments to keep track of. It is up to the student how much of the readings they do and how frequently they do it. Overall, I have quite enjoyed being able to devote more time to my rowing while only having a few weeks this semester when I had to stress about assignments, and a few hours a week of reading.

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