Which university to pick in Montreal?

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Montreal is a destination of choice among international students, and an increasing number of people are moving to the city to pursue their education. However, before applying, you must pick a university according to your interests, tastes, and talents. This can be a challenging task.

This article will present the four major institutions that compose Montreal’s academic ensemble and explore the notable features of each, in order to faciliate the selection process of the anglophone or francophone student eager to study in Montreal.

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The oldest and most renowned university of the batch is McGill. Founded in 1821, it has since then established its reputation as one of the best institutions in the country, especially in the field of medicine, as it was ranked first among medical-doctorate universities in Maclean’s 2017 university rankings. And according to McGill’s official website, over 1000 health care professionals graduate from McGill each year.

If you are looking for the real North American experience on campus, then McGill is guaranteed to meet your expectations. Often nicknamed the Harvard of Canada due to its excellent education dispensability, it also has a beautiful grassy American-style campus and an active greek life (five sororities and seven fraternities, to be exact).

Fun fact : our very own prime minister Justin Trudeau is a McGill alumni, having gratuated in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in literature before entering the Canadian political sphere.

Concordia University, which is located merely 2 metro stations away from its anglophone compatriot McGill, is a sound choice for you if you are majoring in communication, education, English lit, linguistics or sociology, as this university is known for being especially distinguished in these programs.

Its affiliated business school, JMSB, is also reputable in all things commerce, administration, management and accounting. It shines on a worldwide level, as demonstrated by the fact that it was ranked second in Eduniversal’s Top Business School with significant international influence list.

Concordia is the host of more than 6300 international students, for whom informative material is widely available online as well as on-site. The International Students Office of Concordia offers future and current foreign students comprehensive ressources concerning the application process and subsequent enrollment to Concordia University.

Turning to the French side, Uqam (Université du Québec à Montréal) is a good option for anyone majoring in history, visual arts, theater, design, sociology or gender studies. It also has a wide selection of communication and media programs, as well as competent top of the notch professors. This very urban university is known for its progressive policies and the political involvement of its students who frequently participate in left-leaning events and protests.

Uqam’s science faculty, whose campus is located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, offers programs in many fields (such as actuarial science, biology, chemistry, geology, computer science, mathematics, etc). Its problem-learning biology program is particularly well-known. Uqam’s Faculty of Science has many centers of excellence in research, particularly in the areas of earth sciences and the environment.

Uqam’s business school (ESG) offers numerous economically-oriented programs such as management, tourism, marketing, finance and accounting. Its International Office can help upcoming students prepare their semester in Montreal. If you are looking for on-campus accommodation, you can choose to stay in Uqam’s student dormitory.

In total, 250 programs are available to Uqam’s 3500 annual foreign students, who come from 96 countries. Additionnal information on this topic can be found on their official website’s ressources for future foreign students page.

While the three aforementioned universities are within walking distance of eachother in Downtown Montreal, this last one is located a little further up the mountain, on the blue line of the STM. The Université de Montréal (UdeM) is a research-oriented university that enjoys a reputation as an esteemed insitution of higher learning on the international francophone scene.

Its name is associated with two specialized establishments, one of engineering (Polytechnique) and one of management studies (HEC). Including these affiliated schools, UdeM has the biggest student body among the four universities, with 63 000 students enrolled in over 296 undergraduate and 427 graduate programs.

UdeM is also known for the athletic achievements of its sports teams who are called the Carabins, and for its epic on-campus parties such as Polytechnique’s Beach Party. If applying to UdeM is something you are contemplating, you can visit Focus UdeM, a blog whose content is geared towards curious outsiders desirous to learn more about UdeM students and the work they do.

A specialized school that needs to be included in the list is ETS, a public engineering school. Its students benefit from business incubators that help them develop their projects and they often participate in international competitions. ETS also welcomes a large number of international students.

Now that you are informed of each university’s specific aspects and quirks, you are ready to make a choice and start your application process.

Written by Mona Bergeron

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