Audrey - McGill University

B. Arts
Semester 2, 2017

Academic experience

I studied two 350 level courses, which were methods classes for archaeology and anthropology. Unfortunately UQ doesn't offer much in the way of practical methods for field anthropology, and these were a great window into that. I also took one 400 and one 500 level course, and a 200 level. The 200 level was pretty much the same as any first year introductory course, but it's always nice to get a new spin on things and there was much more hominid anatomy than in any of my UQ anthropology courses. My 500 level course was by far my favourite, and although the workload was huge, with about 100-150 pages of complex reading per week, it really focussed on current fieldwork that my lecturer was involved in which gave the learning a real sense of practical purpose.

Personal experience

I joined the McGill Outdoors Club and the Cycling Club, and that was probably the best decision I could have made. It put me in touch with a lot of great people and I got to explore the hiking and biking trails around Montreal way more than I would have otherwise. Not a lot of people have cars in the city, so the Outdoors Club really helps organise carpooling to go on hikes, which was fantastic.

Accommodation

I lived off-campus just in a flat share that I organised myself. This wasn't the best part of my experience, my roommate was pretty unclean and it was expensive in comparison to what you can get in the city. I would recommend joining the Montreal renters group on Facebook because you can get some really cheap and nice places on there.

Budget

Rent can be cheap, but I was paying more than I should have been. You can get a nice place with wifi and all amenities included for around $140. Living close to uni and carpooling when leaving the city meant I didn't really take much public transport, so I'm not sure how good or costly it is. I took the metro a couple of times and a day pass was around $3.50 I think.

Food was the best, it was super cheap and there are some awesome fresh food markets in Montreal (Jean Talon and Atwater Markets), I could do my weeks worth of shopping for like $50 CAD. I actually only spent like $10,000 in the months I was at uni, but then I went travelling, hit the slopes, and did all the snow sports I could find so my total spend was around $15,000.

Professional development and employability

The best part of going to McGill was that there is way more contact with lecturers- they are genuinely really friendly and want to help you progress your career and make academic connections. I will definitely keep in touch with my lecturers which is a great foot in the door if you want a career in academia and research (which I do).

Highlight

It's hard to pick one thing, but I would probably say just being in a much more personal learning environment where you get to really engage with the lecturer. It definitely reignited my passion for what I want to do.

Top tips

Definitely do it. There's nothing better than broadening your academic prospects and challenging yourself to learn from a new perspective.