Morgan - McGill University

B Business Management
Semester 2, 2018
A really cool quirky cold student city packed with lots of art, hidden surprises, and Quebecois people.

Academic experience

I enrolled in a range of history and social science health courses. The quality of the lecturers was exemplary and the courses themselves were very well constructed and engaging. McGill's application process to sign on to courses however is an absolute nightmare that places exchange student at the bottom of the ladder when determining priority into classes. The exchange student course application opens two months after all the other students and the assistance given at the McGill services office was akin to just shrugging at me and saying 'what can you do!'. This wasn't their fault. It is just their hands were tied by the administrative rules and were unable to give effective assistance.

Personal experience

I found the student interaction at McGill somewhat lacking to be honest. There was no clearly available exchange social group to join. I met a lot of great people and made some really good friends but that was primarily through my own endeavours outisde of university in the local dance scene

Accommodation

I live off campus but very close to McGill. If you are there in Fall or Winter I recommend living quite close to the university as walking in the cold is incredibly unpleasant. If you can manage it try and sort out accommodation with the McGill housing although it is very competitive get in ASAP or email them regularly afterwards enquiring after openings.

Costs

Montreal's pricing was in my mind very similar to my life here. I suppose it just depends on how lavish a lifestyle you typically support. The rent was a lot cheaper however. I was paying $350 CA per month for a house on the front steps of McGill. It was a bit small and old but it was pretty good overall.

Challenge

I suppose it was just difficult being away from familiarity. Most social interaction you have with people until you get to know them are always so 'performed' i suppose? You are presenting this image of who you are and it can get a bit exhausting. Whereas when I'm at home I am surrounded by friends and family that I can truly relax around.

Professional Development

I suppose any extended trip like that primarily just concretes your confidence in your own ability to function independently and to manage crises. That level of confidence would strongly influence the way you behave and perceive things when you come home and that belief in yourself often results in a more competent and capable employee.

Highlight

I am really into Swing Dancing and the dance scene over there in Montreal is absolutely awesome. They have a theatre called the Rialto Theatre which is an old building from the early 1900s and social dances were held there each month with some of the best jazz musicians in the world. It was really spectacular experiencing all of that.

Top tips

I am going to sound like an incredibly depressed and down person saying this but don't feel bad if you are sometimes not having a great time. Going on exchange isn't always a whirlwind of absolute fun and friendship and happiness. I would imagine everyone goes through emotional ups and downs whilst on exchange and if there are moments where you are feeling down don't feel bad or guilty about it. Going on exchange, particularly by yourself, is a scary and tough thing to do and you are doing it!