Have you made up your mind about your destination? The best accommodation deals are being booked fast, don’t let anyone keep ahead!

I want to find a house NOW!

My Erasmus Experience in Montreal, Canada - by Pablo

Why did you choose to go to Montreal, Canada?

I chose Montreal because I had always wanted to study in Canada, and going to Montreal would give me the opportunity to do this.

How long did your scholarship last? How much were you paid?

The scholarship consists of a one-off payment of 2, 400 euros, but this is specific to the UPM (Université Polytechnique de Montréal).

What´s the student life like in Montreal?

Montreal is known for being one of the cities with the largest percentage of students, so the student life there was quite good. On the other hand, there are still a lot of local people busy getting on with their lives there, but it´s not like other northern countries where it´s hard to get to know the natives. The only thing you have to do is show some interest. :)

Would you recommend the city and University of Montreal to other students?

Definitely. The city is incredible, undoubtedly one of the best in Canada since it´s bigger and has more life in it than Ottawa and Quebec, and it´s also better than the similarly-sized Toronto. The universities work a bit differently to in Spain: for example, your marks are awarded with the class average taken into consideration, but it´s not hard to pass the classes. On the other hand, the Polytechnic does much more research and is far more ´alive` and busy than Spanish universities. There are even student committees building solar-powered cars...!

What´s the food like in Montreal?

In general, it´s typical American food, such as hamburgers and pizza... and then poutine, which generally consists of chips with sauce and cheese, although the exact combination varies. There´s also a kind of smoked meat. But, yeah, for your day-to-day meals it´s easier to find fruit and vegetables than meat.

Did you find it hard to find somewhere to live in Montreal?

It´s difficult if you just turn up and start looking for something, and also since I just came for a four-month period, it was hard to find somewhere as lots of landlords are looking for someone to rent to for the whole year. It´s better to come in advance!

How expensive is daily life in Montreal?

Life in general is more expensive than it is in Spain, but if you use the opportunity to buy from cheap supermarkets and share the shopping with your flatmates, you can cut your food costs down to about 200-300 euros per month. There are also lots of bars where you pay next to nothing for drinks, and it´s always good to pre-drink at home if you´re going out!

How are you finding the language? Have you signed up to a language course at the university?

I already knew some French before I arrived, so it wasn´t too hard for me to get used to classes in French, but doing written work was hard. The UdeM (Université de Montréal) offers French courses for students of the business school, the polytechnic (where I studied) and the UdeM itself. In general, you can get by using English everywhere too, and there are even areas for people who prefer speaking in English.

What´s the cheapest way of getting to Montreal from your home city?

By plane. It´s cheaper to fly directly from France, though I don´t know whether it makes a difference in price depending on what airport you fly from.

What are the best places for partying in Montreal?

In general the streets St. Laurent and St. Denis, but contrary to in Spain, here clubs aren´t that popular or appealing. The clubs here are expensive and full of tourists, whereas bars are usually free to get in to and are where you´ll find normal people.

What about eating out in Montreal? What are your favourite places?

If you like poutines, I recommend La Banquise, and near the university there´s Côte des Neiges, which has lots of cheap places. There´s also lots of fast food restaurants which are open at night, too.

What does Montreal have to offer in terms of culture?

The Mont Royal (Mount Royal) and of course the Vieux Port (Old Port), the Place des Arts and the Nôtre-Dame Basilica (if you enter via a side door, or go in to pray, you are allowed to visit for free. Tourists have to pay 5$). In general, the whole city centre is worth visiting, as well as the Botanic Garden. There are also plenty of museums and the like.

Do you have any advice for future students coming to Montreal?

Be excited and motivated, because although the cold puts you off, it´s all worth it! The most difficult part will be going back home! :)

Share your Erasmus Experience in Montreal!

If you know Montreal as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Montreal! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

Add experience →

Comments (0 comments)

Don’t have an account? Sign up.

Wait a moment, please

Run hamsters! Run!