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McMaster University


Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Language of Instruction: English

International Student Office: Partners in Canada

McMaster University Website

FCO Travel Advice: Canada

History Year Abroad Student Views
  • One of my tutors offered me a research job as she was putting together a new course on Atlantic Slavery. This position taught me a great deal about copywriting and sourcing visual images from all over the internet correctly.
  • I feel that my writing has improved . . . the sheer number of papers I was asked to write gave me the opportunity to continually practice my research and writing skills. . . I was encouraged by the fact that the year did not contribute to my grade. Initially I saw this as an opportunity to cut corners but I gradually came to see it as a chance to experiment with my writing style and research methods.
  • Studying at McMaster gave me the chance to start completely different extracurricular activities. . . My biggest commitment was to the McMaster Outdoor Club. I partook in a number of hiking trips around Ontario and in New York State. Here I found my closest friends, two of which I completed a 5 week hiking and road trip across Canada with.
  • It was fascinating, and at times upsetting, to learn about and experience some of Canada's incredibly diverse indigenous culture. I visited several First Nations reserves and had numerous conversations with friends about the issue of indigenous rights.
  • The constant assessment system, although stressful at first, quickly taught me how to control my anxiety towards essays and exams and allowed me to perfect my ability to take assessment under pressure on a weekly basis.
  • Being able to become part of a foreign culture not just on a personal level but as part of a workforce and being shown such acceptance has made me realise that working abraod is now not just a hypothetical but a realistic and achievable goal.
  • I can now go into my final year at Warwick with a much deeper appreciation of how historians are as much a part of the history they write as the history itself. My exchange gave me a very practical experience of history that I would have been unable to have within the confines of a very academically-rigorous syllabus at Warwick. In my first semester abroad, I even designed a historical brochure for a local business in the area which was celebrating its 100th anniversary.
  • I took part in a Student Union presidential campaign, as one of the social media co-ordinators of one of the candidates, and this felt almost like a full-time job for two weeks. This orientated me to a working lifestyle in a foreign country, and will definitely improve my attractiveness as a future employee both in the UK and overseas.
  • It was really interesting to take part in Canadian History modules, which engaged with questions of Canadian identity and the numerous factors affecting perceptions of what it means to be Canadian. I feel participating in these classes enhanced my appreciation for the fluidity of culture and national identities.
  • Despite living on campus, McMaster seemed to be a university centred very much around university studies and less around the holistic “university experience”. The university campus became quiet in the evenings and on the weekends, and the clubs and societies on offer seemed to be less regular and popular than their British counterparts. This sounds like a disappointing realisation to have, but it enhanced my experience of studying abroad.
  • For one of my courses at McMaster, 40% of my grade came from a debate at an end-of-year conference. I had never participated in an academic debate before, but this proved to be an incredibly fruitful experience for me, improving my clarity and confidence in public speaking, and ultimately led to me being awarded a $500 prize for being “best speaker”.
  • I was an active member of the McMaster International Exchange (MiX) which organised events and trips that allowed international students to meet other McMaster students, both from Canada and elsewhere in the world.
  • I spent my second year of university saving up enough money so that I did not have to work during my year abroad, which meant that I had plenty of time to travel across Canada and the North American continent. My travels took me across Canada (to Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, the Canadian Rockies, and Vancouver) and all over the USA (as far south as Miami, but also to NYC, San Francisco, Seattle, Yosemite National Park, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon).
  • I learnt to consider history within different contexts. For example, essays at McMaster often consider how history has impacted public knowledge, popular culture and building of identities. This has encouraged me to greater consider how the impact of historical events is evident in the modern world.

  • I expected Canadian culture to be slightly different to the UK but as an English-speaking country, I expected the culture to be somewhat familiar. In fact, I noticed very distinct differences in culture immediately upon my arrival in Canada and at McMaster. This has given been a new level of understanding of cultural differences and also taught me ways in which I can adapt to new cultures and embrace them.

Please note that not all institutions are available each year, and places will be allocated on a competitive basis. Partnerships may be added or withdrawn at any time, and are always subject to availability. The institutions available each year will be posted in the preceding Autumn Term.

Year Abroad Contacts:

Professor Tim Lockley
Director of Study Abroad Programmes
Mrs Val Melling

Tel: +44 (0)24 765 22502
HistoryOffice at warwick dot ac dot uk