UQ Program: Bachelor of Arts

At the McGill Open air Pub, celebrating the end of exams! Left to Right: Myra, Kelsey, Casey,  Pascale, Bill.Montreal! I picked the city because, well, I didn't really know a whole lot about it. A French city in North America? Sounds pretty great! And I lucked out because Montreal is, in so many ways, the greatest city I have visited. Let me explain.

First off, it is a concentrated city. I lived in the Plateau, a neighborhood populated by students, immigrants, and every species of fun loving human being imaginable. About two blocks away was St-Laurent, Montreal's main strip full of cheap bars, expensive clubs and great nights out. It only took me 5 minutes to walk to Bifteck, a wateringhole which occupied rather the same position in my life as McLaren's does in How I met your Mother. It took my 15 minutes to walk to McGill, manageable even in the blustering snow. Downtown was only another 5 minutes from that, for all your shopping and festival needs. And, in the summer, there was a huge park across the road where it seems every student gathers to soak up the sunshine.

If you can be in Montreal in the summer, do so. There are festivals (Jazz, comedy, fringe, etc.) on all the time and every Sunday an event called Tamtams, where thousands of people (not an exaggeration) converge on the park and from spontaneous African drumming circles, juggle, tight rope walk, and even hit each other with duct tape swords (it's called live action role playing, and to be fair it's a bit more organised than that). It's even better than it sounds, and showcases the best thing about Montreal – her people. But even in winter there's always loads to do. It's such a vibrant, fun city full of interesting characters. The uni itself is great; students get really involved. I lived with one of the editor's of the McGill Daily, a student run paper that publishes twice weekly and, unlike the Semper, actually contains news and thoughtful commentary. It's fantastic.

A snowy Australia Day. Left to Right: Caitlin, Carissa, Bill, Pascale, Bec, Nick.I studied Arts at McGill so it was relatively easy to get most of my subjects. Studying five subjects cost a bit of extra studying effort, but not unreasonably so. I found that I just studied in the time I would otherwise have used up taking the bus to UQ. If you find you can't get into a subject you want, don't panic; a lot of students sit in courses they're not going to take just to reserve a place in case they do. Friends of mine were well down the waiting list for courses but still got in.

If you're going over in winter, the McGil chaplaincy also offers a great winter coat service in which you can, well, grab a free winter coat left by other students passing through. It's awesome to know that if you don't have quite enough warm stuff you can resolve that problem for free. I highly recommend Montreal and McGill. Go there. It will be worth it.

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