Prof. Graham Broad and Prof. Katrina Pasierbek
Classroom Component:10 Fridays 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM commencing Jan 2020
Overseas Program:May 1st to 13th 2022 (travel April 30th and May 13th)

Pre-requisite: History 3797F / 4797F (fall 2021 – see below)


This course will introduce students to the complex ways that the history of the World Wars has been presented in commemorative architecture and military cemeteries, in the preservation of former battlefields, in battlefield tourism, and in museums.

Students will assess how these sites and the practices associated with them have affected the social memory of the World Wars; have contributed to often divisive questions of national identity; and have influenced attempts to reconcile former enemies.

While foregrounding the Canadian experience, we will also consider the experience of Commonwealth countries, the United States, France, and Germany.

The course will be an invaluable experience for those considering graduate studies in history or careers in the field of public history.


The mandatory 20-hour classroom seminar at King’s (and other sites in London) will be complemented by a 12 day overseas program in Belgium and France. Sites to be visited include:

  • Ypres, Belgium
  • Langemark German War Cemetery, Belgium
  • Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, Belgium
  • Amiens and Newfoundland Park, France
  • Vimy Ridge, France
  • Mons, Belgium
  • Bayeux, Juno Beach, Arromanches, and Caen, France
  • And much else

Course requirements involve written submissions and oral participation, including presentations overseas.

As the overseas study program involves meetings with community groups and access to locations not normally available to visitors, a very high level of professionalism is expected from participants.

Note: the overseas program will involve moderate and occasional moderate/strenuous physical activity (walking and cycling tours; moderate hiking over occasionally steep/uneven terrain).


History 3797F / History 4797F taken fall term 2021 OR permission of the instructors.

The course may be taken as either a 3000-level or 4000-level course, with slightly different requirements for each.

The course is open to non-history students provided the pre-requisites are met.


If you have questions or would like to apply, please send an e-mail to Prof. Graham Broad and Prof. Katrina Pasierbek tohistoryfieldschool@kings.uwo.cawith the subject line Application for History 3710/4710G along with

  • a copy of your unofficial transcript
  • one letter of academic reference (i.e. from a professor)
  • a 1-2 page statement answering the questions "How will this course enhance my academic experience?" and "What qualities do I bring to the overseas program?"

Applications are due 12 July 2021. Late applicants will be considered subject to the availability of space in the course.

Selected applicants will be chosen for a Zoom interview with the course instructors in early July.


Frequently Asked Questions

History 3710/4710G was offered in 2020 but the overseas program was cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Yes: History 3797/4797F (fall 2021). This is a half-credit course that will serve as academic preparation for History 3710F/4710F but also will function as an excellent stand-alone course, featuring local field work, site visits, and several prominent guest speakers.

Under exceptional circumstances we will consider giving special permission to students to take 3710/4710F without the pre-requisite.

King’s requires a mandatory classroom component of 20 hours for any experiential learning course. We will hold these hours on 10 Fridays in the winter term 2022.

Note that this is an abbreviated classroom component compared to the 34-36 hours of a standard half-course.

Yes! However, the class is capped at 20 –in the event of more than 20 qualifying students, history students will be given priority.

Yes, although permission of your home faculty may be required. In addition, note that the King’s $1000 bursary is available only to full-time King’s students. You may wish to see if your home faculty has a similar bursary that you can apply towards a course taken at King’s.

You may choose to take the course at either 3000 or 4000 level. There are slightly different requirements for each.

Your mark for the course will be entered as an “incomplete” and a final grade submitted after you successfully complete the overseas program on 13 May 2022. We have made arrangements with the academic dean’s office to ensure that your marks will be submitted in time to permit you to graduate and attend convocation, if that is your goal.

Our plan is to travel in May 2022. We will not proceed overseas if it is unsafe to do so. For this, we rely on guidance from the Department of Global Affairs Canada.

We cannot say for certain that travel will be permitted. However, given the pace of the vaccine rollout and the rapid decline of Covid-19 cases in Europe, indicators are good that international travel without quarantine to Belgium and France will be possible in May 2022.

We do not know for certain if proof of vaccination will be required in order to travel internationally in 2022. As of June 2021 however, the European Union is requiring proof of vaccination for visitors.

Yes. In 2020 we pivoted to an in-class format which permitted students to complete the course credit with a minimum of additional work. In the unfortunate event that we cannot go overseas, we will make similar arrangements.

A full itinerary will be available in the fall. For now, the basic outline is:

  • 30 April 2020 Depart Toronto Pearson airport
  • 1 May 2022: overseas program begins at Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris, France
  • 1 May to 4 May: Ypres region, Belgium
  • 5 May to 7 May: Somme region, France
  • 7 May to 8 May: Dieppe, France
  • 8 May to 12 May: Normandy region, France
  • 13 May 2022: group returns to Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris

We will be staying at excellent accommodations. Note that there will be shared rooms and bathrooms for students (up to 4 per room.)

Yes. Profs. Broad and Pasierbek are experienced experiential learning guides. Prof. Broad is a guide with the Canadian Battlefield Foundation (CBF) and Prof. Pasierbek has been a guide with the Vimy Foundation and has joined the CBF as a guide as well. They have stayed at our accommodations, as well.

We have booked a touring coach bus. Prof. Pasierbek has worked with the tour company before and the driver knows the regions we are visiting very well. However, the tour bus cannot directly access all of the sites you will be visiting. Students should be prepared to walk/hike considerable distances over often uneven terrain (beaches, fields, etc.)

In addition, we are planning a one-day bicycle tour around the Ypres region. The terrain is mostly level, the distances are short, and there is a good bicycle infrastructure in the region. You may wish to get some practice in on a bicycle if it has been a while. (We will offer safe practice rides in London before departure.)

Yes! You are responsible for booking your own flights. However, you must meet the class at CDG Paris in the morning of 1 May 2022 and stay with the class for the complete itinerary to obtain a credit. Our coach bus will return everyone to CDG Paris on 13 May. From there, you may depart to anywhere you like. Based on our 2020 experience, roughly half the class chose to travel to and from France as a group.

Yes! Although our days our are very busy, you will have free time most evenings –unless you have to prep for a presentation the following day! The locations we are staying in are tourist-friendly and there are interesting sites nearby.

In addition, we will be making a few cultural excursions into fascinating cities such as Amiens, Caen, and Bayeux, where we will visit medieval historical attractions and you’ll have time to shop or relax.

We do not have precise figures yet and so we can only provide estimates at present. King’s offers students a $1000 bursary to offset the cost of an experiential learning course. This would be deducted from the cost for qualifying students (you need to be a full-time King’s student who has not already used the maximum available bursary in other courses.) Student financial services at King’s can provide more details.

Estimated Costs


Students will be responsible for purchasing their own flight. You must also purchase travel insurance. Economy flights from Toronto/Paris round trip are currently available for about $750.


Some meals are included in the costs of accommodations (see “additional fees”, below), including breakfasts and packed lunches at half of the locations we are staying. You will be responsible for purchasing your own food at all other locations and for dinner. However, our accommodations most nights will include full kitchens and there are nearby markets, which means we can cook together for a big savings.


We will ensure that you don’t have to buy expensive books for the course. In 2020, students only had to buy one book and it cost less than $40. Some students shared a copy.

Additional fees owed to King’s

Based on our 2020 planning, we estimate that the amount each student will owe to King’s for accommodations, museum entries, materials, and the coach touring bus will be approximately $400 after the $1000 bursary is deducted. However, we are seeking outside sources of funding that might reduce that amount.

NOTE: The estimate of additional fees owed to King’s is based on a 20 student model. Costs will increase proportionately if we have fewer students.

You must acquire travel insurance that will cover the cost of flight cancellations. The international office and experiential learning coordinator at King’s will provide details. However, in the event of the cancellation you will not be liable for any further expenses and any fees you have paid to King’s for the course will be refunded.

If you have more questions, feel free to contact us at