My time as an exchange student in Montreal was everything I expected it to be and more; as cliché as it sounds. I personally believe it’s the best way to experience a country and meet like-minded people.

As a fourth year Commerce/Arts student, I purposely saved up my electives so I could study some intro courses at McGill. This was a smart move because all the other perks of exchange such as travel and social events doesn’t give you much time to stay on top of your work. Studying five subjects simultaneously can be daunting, however joining a note-sharing group can be really helpful especially during exam time. These study groups can be found on the discussion boards or even make one yourself like I did.

Montreal is a beautiful city full of food, bars and festivals. It’s similar to Melbourne with a French twist. My friends and I spent most of our time in cafes (café Neve), walking up Mont Royal or planning our next trip. Thanks to the centrality of Montreal, excursions to Boston or the Caribbean are easy organise and not as expensive as you think. I went to Cuba and I definitely recommend it. Most importantly, the best part of my experience was all the wonderful people I met from around the world and the lasting friendships I forged. Admittedly, most of my friends were other exchange students but together we attended French classes and shared our best tips on staying warm; iphone gloves!

I lived in a terrace apartment in the Plateau, which I found on Craiglist two weeks before I uni started. I found overall expenses are similar to Australia with the exception that rent in Montreal is more affordable averaging to $650 a month for a nice place close to the city.

5 Top Tips For Montreal

  • Phone plans in Canada are expensive so try and get one that doesn’t involve a plan. Chatr seems to be the best deal.
  • Olive and Gourmando is a must for all those food lovers out there! It’s located in the Old Port.
  • Go ice-skating at the beautiful and natural Parc La Fontaine.
  • Join MISN and McGill Outdoors Club for organised university trips.
  • Catch the Amtrak train and visit New York for the weekend.

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