UQ Program: Bachelor of Arts

I will always have such wonderful memories of my time in Montreal. It is a beautiful city and McGill is a fantastic university.

I was fortunate to find a room in a share apartment overlooking Saint-Denis – one of the major streets in Montreal, with lots of cafes, bars and restaurants lining the streets. I had a dreamy view over the street, its church spires and squirrel-filled trees. I lived with a fantastic group of people – my housemates hailed from Mauritius, Canada, Kenya, Italy and Iran. McGill attracts people from all over the world and it is truly the place for interacting with people from a myriad of different cultural backgrounds.

I would recommend joining the McGill outdoors club as they go on trips most weekends – if you want to take advantage of the beautiful natural parks and outdoorsy activities on offer this is a great and cost effective way to do it. Also, the McGill International Student Society (MISN) organise lots of great trips and tours to nearby cities (NYC, Boston etc).

At uni I took advantage of the challenging courses offered by the French Department and signed up for a course on French Literature in the 18th century – It was a course geared to French native speakers and I managed to muddle my way though with the help of my kind Prof... If you have a good level of French, I would recommend taking courses in this department as they are of a more challenging level than any of those available at UQ due to the French-speaking nature of the region. I also took a couple of Political Science courses that were really fantastic. McGill Polsci courses seem to have a particularly hands on focus with a couple holding 'sims' – simulations of real world problems where students represent various countries and organisations and work to support their state’s interests while attempting to resolve a conflict.

If you thought UQ had clubs, wait until you see the number of clubs and organisations on offer at McGill. After getting thoroughly carried away at sign-on night I found myself a member of a few different theatre societies, the outdoor club, the drawing society, various musical groups, a couple of charitable organisations and the Midnight Kitchen – a student run group that offers free vegan lunches to students every day (the food is usually pretty great – this is where I lunched most days – head to the SSMU building).

Despite being renowned for academics, McGill also has a vibrant arts community and if you watch the boards in the arts building there is a constant flow of plays and auditions on offer.
Having joined theatre groups, I found myself auditioning for a few plays and ended up performing in a piece from A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was great fun and I met many more wonderful people. Most notably, I also joined McGill Improv – an improvisational theatre group and something I had wanted to try for a while – and had an amazing time improvising with them a couple of times a week and hope to stay in touch with many of the friends I made there.

While it's not the warmest place during the winter, if you have the right clothes and a hankering to see some snow, Montreal is the place to be. It was so surreal waking up to see a blanket of snow covering everything. I walked to uni most days whatever the weather and would sometimes feel as though the distance doubled due to the amount of snow there was to trudge through -but the novelty never wore off.

I would strongly recommend staying for the Summer – Montrealers live for the summer (which doesn’t last all that long) and manage to fit hundreds of performances, festivals and street carnivals into two balmy months. Also, If you don’t mind leaving things a little less planned I would say avoid booking your return ticket too far in advance – you might find that your feet are still itching for more travel but your return date is too pricey to change. Bon voyage

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