If you are reading this you are most likely considering going on exchange to McGill, I could not recommend it more, it has been the best experience of my life!

I’m in my second year of a bachelor of science, majoring in molecular biology. While I was at McGill I took a lot of microbiology courses which were very similar to UQ except that they didn’t have pracs. I also took a first year astrophysics course and a course titled Molecular Biology of Oncogenes which were both very interesting. For science students the workload at McGill is generally less but the assessment is mostly through midterm and final exams which can be a little daunting.

One of the things I loved most about the fall semester was seeing the city change before my eyes from summer to fall and finally winter. As well as plenty to do within the city itself, Montreal is in a great location for weekend trips to surrounding cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, New York and Boston. The absolute best way to explore these cities is with student groups such as MISN (McGill International Student Network) and Interstude (an organisation run by a past exchange student that offers unique trips for all exchange students in Montreal). There is also an abundance of amazing restaurants and cafes like Lola Rosa, L’Avenue and Kafein (you MUST try their brownie milkshake). If you are feeling homesick there is a great pie shop (owned by a New Zealander) called “Tourtiere Australienne” that even sells vegemite and caramello koalas. Accommodation is much cheaper than in Brisbane and I highly suggest trying to get a place in the McGill Ghetto which is really close to campus, look on McGill classifieds or Craigslist.

My Top 5 tips:

  • Old Montreal is beautiful, make sure you go ice-skating outdoors in winter and see the fireworks on Saturday’s in December.
  • Don’t be hesitant to pay a little bit more to live close to campus if you have the money.
  • Join MISN and other student groups – there are so many to choose from at McGill!
  • You haven’t been to Montreal if you haven’t had poutine or a smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s.
  • If you are there in the fall semester sign up for Frosh (McGill’s orientation), it’s a great way to start the semester and meet other students!

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