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5 Reasons to Go Colleging in Montréal

- Justine

View from Mount Royal

1. It’s home to the most prestigious university in Canada.
McGill, located in the heart of downtown Montreal is a world-renowned institution of higher education, sort of like the Harvard or the Oxford of Canada. Just like most colleges you’d visit, it offers information sessions and tours for prospective students. You can visit their Welcome Center and bookstore, get a delicious lunch on campus, and even sit in on a class or two. Wise collegers would bring warm clothes–even in March, Montréal can be quite cold! The McGill campus is big and bustling with activity, so your visit is sure to be exciting.

2. Mount Royal
How many cities of 2 million people can boast of a mountain being located smack in the middle of them? Right after my McGill tour last week, I climbed up to the Kondiaronk Belvedere, which overlooks the city and offers a gorgeous view of the island and beyond. Visitors can bike, stroll, or cross-country ski on the mountain, and I imagine it would provide a lovely refuge from its urban surroundings.

3. Practicing Your French
One of the most delightful differences between my experience in France and my experience in Montréal was this: When I started fumbling my French in France, whomever I was talking to would immediately switch over to their perfect English. In Canada, however, I carried out entire conversations in my less-than-perfect French because the Quebecois didn’t try and switch the conversation to English. I could tell that if I were accepted at and went to McGill, I’d be fluent by the end of four years.

4. Food
Food in Quebec, I find, is the perfect combination of French and American food. I had multiple crêpes during my stay (both savory and dessert), but there was plenty of American diner-esque cuisine, like pasta, burgers, and sandwiches. There were all the usual North American chains, like Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts, mixed with cute little cafés for my morning coffee fix. Whatever you’re hungry for, you can walk just a few blocks in Montréal to eat it.

5. Old Montreal
After touring the university, we spent the afternoon in Old (Vieux) Montréal. It looked pretty much like it sounds: charming and historic. Just wandering around the cobblestone streets and looking at the neoclassical architecture makes you feel like you’ve been transported back to the nineteenth century. You can take advantage of the large cluster of museums and restaurants, or just do what I did, and walk around ooh-ing and ah-ing until dinner.

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