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King's College (Canada)

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Foundation Year - best year in university - and I have 4 earned degrees
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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Don't bother unless you are wealthy, white, and from Toronto and preferably already have a clique to fall back on. Anyone else is pretty much fair game and the atmosphere is incredibly standoffish and "high school", but this time even the professors only reward [listen at all to..] the select popular Toronto brats. Nepotism rampant, useless degree, no future prospects no matter how much effort you put into very special EMSP honors HOST/Contemporary studies degree. Oh and they are firing some of their best female professors so bye bye role models. The buildings are falling apart but that should be expected, but yet there is a reason why the retention rates are brutal and its not because its "academically challenging" the way the admissions would like you to believe.
3rd Year Female -- Class 2016
Surrounding City: A-, University Resource Use/ spending: F
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King's is a very niche school; niche being,Quite BrightEnglish
King's is a very niche school; niche being, if you prefer books, learning, pretentiousness, and discussing the omnipresence of Plato's principle of the "good" in all subsequent branches of philosophy through history over binge drinking, sports rallies and rehashing last night's "LOST" - you will probably like King's. Not to say it's a strictly nerd school - the place is some kind of Halifax hipster mecca - but you should enjoy reading, discussing, and making personal connections with literature to go here. A large chunk of the student body is already exceptionally well-read before arriving, which can be sort of jarring.

The first two major points about King's that draw students in are the Foundation Year Program (FYP) and it's Bachelor of Journalism program (either 4 year or 1 year). FYP is the standard 1st year course for all King's students, it incorporates all your core first year classes into one giant two hour lecture that is followed by small, one hour tutorials in groups of about 15 students, led by a member of the staff. The reading list is dauntingly huge, with ballpark 100 texts to read over the course of the year and two course packs of supplementary texts roughly the size of metro phone books (expect to pay close to a grand in books alone.) Assessment comes in the form of one 1200 word paper every two weeks on any one of a set of topics issued by the program chair, two (easy) midterms, and two (nerve-wracking) oral final exams. Despite being incredibly demanding, the program is still rewarding and enriching, and the rotating cast of lecturers (mostly King's faculty but with a few guests) are all intelligent, funny, and in most cases incredibly respected in the academic community. I can't stress enough how fulfilling FYP is - it's an almost inhuman amount of work at times, but you learn to love it passionately.

The journalism school is of exceptionally high repute throughout Canada, and despite being slow to get off to a good start, but it really focuses more on broadcast journalism than print until you hit third year. It does offer a good internship program in fourth year, however, and most grads find work with ease either in the city or through the CBC all over Canada.

Additional programs specific to the school are the Early Modern Studies Program (covering topics from the middle ages to the scientific revolution), Conteporary Studies program (Scientific Revolution and Beyond), and the History of Science and Technology program (which offers courses with subjects like "Ancient and Medieval Alchemy" or "The Nature of Time"). These programs offer refreshing, period-focused interdisciplinary studies while still remaining under the umbrella of Language Arts. On top of all this, EMSP prof and occasional FYP lecturer Simon Kow is a Total Fox. The only drawback to majoring in one of King's specialty programs is that it requires you to double major in another program, which 9 times out of 10 requires you to study at Dalhousie.

Dalhousie is a terrible, terrible, useless school.
Overall, the student population is friendly, oftentimes eccentric, and foster a schoolwide obsession with zombies, ninjas, and pirates. Societies such as the King's Medieval Society occasionally hold melee dualing tournaments in full plate mail in the quad. Parties are often raucous and themed, and will involve heavy drinking and substance abuse, but the environment is alltogether very safe. Residence operates on a "Don" system, where instead of student RA's, post-grad students look out for the undergrads in an almost sibling-like fashion. Hazing is practically nil - upper years would sooner buy you a beer and invite you to play a round of 9-ball than subject you to degrading acts.

Also impressive is the fact that despite being funded almost exclusively on the tuition of rich white Torontonian private school brats, King's has a remarkable social conscience. The school, despite being one of the smallest in the country, is at the forefront of the student activism movement to lower Nova Scotian tuition fees.Overall, an incredible community experience, and an intellectual goldmine. Just be careful you don't fall into the King's trap of being a sheltered, insufferable know-it-all. Students can spend so much time cloistered away on campus with their books that they forget what the real world is like.

4th Year Female -- Class 2007
Innovation: A+, Collaboration/Competitive: B+
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