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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
June 30, 2015
Canadian Excellence

Testimonial: Vanessa Fransen

Laurier is the perfect balance of being big enough to offer incredible opportunities to its students and small enough that professors actually know their students. You’re not just a number, and you don’t get lost in the shuffle here. We have a great department, from the administrative staff in the department office to the professors—they’re all here to support you.

In my time at Laurier, I was on the executive of the History Students’ Association, active within the department, and was also given the Cleghorn bursary, which paid for travel within France, Germany, Belgium and Holland, researching the World Wars. These were great opportunities outside of the classroom that shaped my life at Laurier just as much as my professors did.

There are a few things I would encourage prospective students to do at Laurier. First, get involved! I can’t stress this enough. Laurier is a very community oriented school and there are opportunities everywhere to get involved – find one that works for you and jump in. It makes for a well rounded and enjoyable experience that extends out of the classroom. Second, get to know your professors. In my experience, they were accessible and approachable, and they want to help, but you have to do your part too. Take advantage of office hours to clarify questions, expand on topics or just say hello! Make a name for yourself. It will serve you well in classes and for future networking.

Your experiences in the history program will benefit you in life after Laurier too. I’m pursuing a post-graduate diploma in justice studies, focusing on policing, and skills that I learned during my history degree prove useful every day. The understanding of research skills, the need for context and background information, a critical eye for bias, and analytical thinking skills are just a few of the skills that I learned from Laurier history that will translate into my career. History is one of the most versatile university degrees, and will teach you skills that can benefit you in almost any career, even one outside of the boundaries of traditionally historical fields.

Laurier is a great choice if you’re looking for a community oriented school and faculty, with excellent staff, incredible chances for learning inside and outside of the classroom and skills you’ll use for the rest of your life.

Vanessa Fransen, BA Honours History and English, 2012