A First Year G.S.L.I.S. Student Shares
Impressions About McGill's Program
By Laura Cobrinik
When I first began McGill University School of Library And Information Studies program in January, a few people told me that starting in the winter term and being an International student may cause a few problems. That was not the case. Five minutes of the January orientation program planned for the new students told me that I’d have a smooth adjustment to the Graduate School of Information Studies program at McGill. Because of this carefully planned mid-year orientation program, on the first day of classes, I felt as though I was part of a warm and supportive environment.
There are many factors that kept this feeling alive throughout the term. Of course, the first factor was the students and the faculty themselves. The second factor that has made me feel at home in my new school and in a new country is the support and understanding I have received in my classes again, with my classmates and my professors. Here, the insistence that students work together as team members on required projects is one of the major reasons, I feel, for my strong sense of belonging. The fact that most of the students in the program are required to take the program on a full-time basis has also made me feel at home. For example, on the first Wednesday after classes began I and the other eight students who began the program with me did not have classes. A student who began the program in September noticed that I was an hour late arriving to the GSLIS lounge. That student asked me, "Is everything okay? You are later than usual today." That was when I felt, "Wow! This program is really caring and friendly.” One can see this immediately just walking in the halls of the GSLIS department when almost everyone, at any given moment, has a smile on his or her face.
The supportive environment of the McGill’s Graduate School Of Library and Information Studies comes from the Faculty and the Administration who oversee the program. What makes this program so unique is the "open door policy" that the Professors and the Administrators keep. Not only do the professors in this program have their open door policies, but if they feel that a student will benefit from extra time, the professors will even ask that student to make an appointment outside of regular office hours.
This program was first recommended to me by the chair of the International\National Library School Advisory Board Committee. When I was searching for the right library school program, she told me to "check out" the program at McGill. She told me this because she heard that the library school program at McGill University has a reputation for being the most friendly, for having a community among students and faculty, and for being a tight knit community among the students themselves. What Mary
Elizabeth Poje told me has definitely proven to be true. (I discovered after I had been accepted to the program that the McGill program is less expensive than the library school programs in the United States.)
If you want the same positive experiences that I had during my first term in graduate school, by all means, "check-out" McGill University’s Graduate School Of Library and Information Studies program.