This post will help you evaluate Smith School of Business of Queen’s University, Canada as an exchange university on the basis of the key points mentioned below:
CGPA range to get this college
As per the previous year trends, this university can be easily obtained at a batch rank of 200-220 with a CGPA of more than 2.5/4. This has been primarily due to students with higher ranks preferring mainland European universities.
The faculty is well versed and extremely competent in the course they teach. Most of them are industry veterans who have been global leaders in the corporate world. You can find more about the faculties here. https://smith.queensu.ca/faculty_and_research/faculty.php
Courses are well-rounded and cover all fields of study. The pedagogy is well-defined and the course in its entirety gives you a complete understanding of the subject. They are 3 credit courses, with 12 sessions of 3 hours each (36 contact hours).
No of seats, Indians
On average, the number of seats offered have been 3-4 students per Indian university. Canada, in-general has a lot of Indians, almost 50% of Canada’s population comprises Asians and Indians. The batch is 70-80 people strong. Almost 50% of them go on exchange, so 50% of the people you meet there would be other exchange students who have come from all over of the world. Lots of French and German exchange students are there in the batch.
No hostel facility available for exchange students. You need to find your own AirBnB before coming here. The college will send you a list of the nice places to stay nearby the college but these are usually expensive. It is imperative to find a place before you go to Kingston otherwise hotel charges for the interim will be very high. If you cannot find one at all, inform the CIM at Smith, they will find you a place a stay within budget. Canada is a very safe place for both men and women. Kingston is a beautiful small city in Ontario and is mostly comprised of the white population.
While visiting other places, (esp the west coast) is completely out of question due to high ticket prices, you can visit the USA. New York is a 3-hour bus ride from Kingston. Boston, Buffalo, Washington are within reach from the city. You can also visit Nova Scotia.
They generally say you need to be present for all classes but nobody really cares about the attendance unless there is a class participation component.
Project work, Bunking
Most courses I took had full on projects which served as the main deliverable towards the grade. Projects are easier compared to IIMB. It helps if you have local contacts so try to form groups with Smith home students.
You can bunk all you want, unless there is a grade component on class participation.
Given you have moderate spending habit, 3.5-5 Lakh INR should suffice:
Here is a rough estimate breakdown in INR:
Tickets: 90 to 1.5 lakh
Housing: 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh
Course fees: 5000 times number of subjects (So if you take 120 contact hours which is the least, you have to take 4 courses. Which amounts to 20,000).
Discretionary and travel expenses: 1 lakh
Where to stay
AirBnB should be the best choice. If not try Homestay. College also shares a list of accommodation suggestions. Try to stay within 2 km of the college, which is located on Union Street south side of Alfred Street. You can live on Princess St., King St., or Downtown Kingston. You can also stay far from the college which should not be a problem because the city is well connected by buses and cab. Buses are free for Smith students.
Travel and connectivity
Kinsgton is well connected to Toronto and Montreal both of which have international airports, bus-services and trains. Kingston has a small domestic airport. You can also share a car ride from Kijiji to go up-to to Toronto or Montreal for CAD 50. You can also take a train from Kingston but it is expensive around CAD 100
All kinds of food are available in Canada. All major fast food chains like MacD, KFC, Dominos is available. There are large supermarkets where you can buy your own stuff and cook. Lots of Indian restaurants but a tad expensive than regular food. Korean, Chinese and Japanese food is very popular.
Each course is 12 sessions long typically spanning 2.5 -3 weeks. At a time, maximum of two courses will be overlapping. So you will have lots of free time.
None of the courses I chose had a final exam component. But some of my fellow exchange buddies did have and it was pretty standard, definitely not tougher than IIMB end terms. Overall course difficulty is not much high, you can put 75% of the effort you put here and score 100% more. Try to choose courses with projects and not end terms.
N.B. : Please apply for visa as soon as you receive the official letter from Smith. There should be atleast 1.5 months’ time to your departure when you apply.
Miss Ipsita Das is a final year MBA student at IIM Bangalore. She did her internship with Development Bank of Singapore. As a part of her exchange program, she went to Smith School of Business, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada for 3 months.