I soon learned that Bishop’s was well-known for being a party school, a reputation probably harboured by its remote location partnered with a friendly and energetic atmosphere and a feeling of closeness amongst the student body. It is also known for having a particularly raucous crowd with a penchant for “chirping” the opposition at sporting events, a fact that I got to know intimately from watching hockey and basketball games with a sea of purple at my back.
I was lucky enough to have four electives available to me for my exchange, and I used them to take classes in literature and sociology. The academic intensity was similar to that at QUT, but the marking system was slightly different. All of the classes I took were taught in a combined lecture-tutorial format with an emphasis on student input and interaction, a configuration I’m very familiar with as a student from the School of Justice.
While at Bishop’s I stayed on-campus in a single room in Mackinnon Hall, a traditional dormitory-style residence hall. Mack was close to both the dining hall and the student recreation building and contained two recreation rooms with TVs; this made it super easy to watch the Ottawa vs Montreal hockey games that were customary hall-wide viewing. As a dormitory-style residence hall, Mack provided a really great social atmosphere to what would normally be an isolating experience for me. The students were always ready to dress up for nights at the Gait (the student bar), or for simply hanging out before bed. It also meant giant “family” dinners where everyone in my section would eat dinner together, taking up one giant table because there were so many of us!