Bachelor of Business Management/Bachelor of Commerce, 4th year
Bachelor of Business Management/Bachelor of Commerce, 4th year

Academic Experience

The courses i studied on exchange were;
1. Small Business Management
2. Logistics
3. Operations Management
4. Consumer Behaviour
5. Management Skills

At HEC Montreal we did not have tutorials and lectures but had three hour seminars which combined both tutorial activities and lecture content. Nothing is recorded either. Initially, I thought this would be the hardest part of my exchange but surprisingly I did prefer this system in the end because the classes were smaller which meant that there was more interaction and involvement with the class compared to UQ. Every course at HEC is offered in both french and english, therefore there is no challenge in terms of understanding the course material, and most of the other exchange students are in the same class so you always have friends in your classes and the local students are very friendly. The lecturers are for the most part industry workers who hold high positions in companies, therefore the knowledge they bring to each class is really valuable and practical in the real world. I also had the opportunity to go on a number of factory and distribution warehouse visits which were really interesting.

Personal Experience

Although it is cliche, going on exchange was one of the best experiences and opportunities I have ever had the chance to be a part of.

 Montreal has now become my second home and a place I hope to go back and visit in the future. This is entirely due to the HEC's student exchange organisation that organised weekly trips and social activities for all of the exchange students to meet and hang out including a welcome week that was jam packed with the most exciting and fun activities to do in Montreal. This meant that after the first week, you had already made friends with other exchange students and had already visited the best parts of the city. I have met some of my best friends on exchange and most of us students have already organised reunion trips all around the world! This whole experience definitely taught me that leaving your comfort zone at home can be the most rewarding, and that you can make friendships and connect with people anywhere, you just need an open mind and a little push.

Accommodation

I lived off-campus in a share house with other exchange students at the same university. It was so nice to live with people who were experiencing the same thing, as well as people who were just as eager to visit and live in this new city. I had some friends who were living in residences and they all regretted it. I would definitely recommend staying in a hostel or AirBnB for the first week until you get an idea of what area you would like to live in, and also try to share a house with other exchange students, it will definitely make the experience more worthwhile!

Budget

The living costs in Montreal were roughly the same as back in Australia, my rent was $120 CAD a week, food expenses were roughly $50 a week and transport was $200 CAD for the tube pass that lasted my whole exchange (would highly recommend). We had the opportunity to travel to cuba, and I would definitely recommend factoring in costs to travel to either New York, Quebec City or Boston!
I had an allowance of $200 CAD a week, although I would budget a little more if you want to watch more Ice Hockey games and other sports.

Professional Development & Employability

Since being back, I have definitely taken my studies more seriously and have been more inclined to do a masters after my bachelors degree. Meeting so many people from different countries broadens your perspective on the world and makes you realise that there is nothing stopping you from working overseas and definitely motivates you to go and travel or work globally. The courses that I undertook were more of a practical nature and I believe that I have improved my ability to interact with others and adapt to new environments.

Highlights

All the friendships that I made and the travels along the way. It is the most exciting feeling knowing that wherever you travel, now you have friends a little bit everywhere around the world! Montreal was one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities I have ever been to, and being there for a semester I was able to see the changing of seasons from warm weather to -20 degrees!

Top Tips

I would definitely recommend doing an exchange of any kind even if it is just a short term one. The best tip would be to attend some of the meet and greet sessions, it definitely gave me a good idea of what I was getting into and I was able to meet some HEC students that were on exchange at UQ and see them again in Montreal! I would also recommend joining any exchange student organisation at your host university, this will help you make friends more easily and help you get settled in faster. I went in UQ semester 2, and i would also recommend that, because in semester 1 the winter is really rough in Montreal and I feel like there is more to do in the summer.

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