Back from Oz, On to Canadia!

I’ve just got back today from an absoultely epic 10 week trip to SE Asia and Australia. A rather disgusting 24 hour flight from Brisbane with no legroom, not cool when you’re 6’5″. Eventhough i’m insanely knackered and want to just close my eyes I know that I need to hit the ground running in respect to going to McGill. By the way, my flight’s in 6 days!

Finally my Study Permit arrived! A week before my flight out. The price of flights was going to ridiculous if i’d left it this late to book.
My flights from Manchester to Montreal (YUL) were £460 return with Swiss Airways. Luckily, my Local Education Authority have said they will reimburse the cost of 2 sets of return flights as long as I pay the first £300, which seems like a great deal. Originally I wasn’t planning on coming home for Xmas, but this offer made it seem more realistic. You’d probably have to speak with SAAS or your LEA, as they differ to what support (if any) they give.

Going back to my Study Permit, I applied 10 weeks ago and I thought it would arrive well before my departure, but oh no. So seriously, get your CAQ and Study Permit Applications in early. Don’t forget CAQ is only required for studying in Quebec, don’t know why? I have heard the Quebecoise (people from Quebec) like to be different from the rest of Canada.

My next hurdle is finding accommodation. After spending 6 weeks in Oz I’ve taken on the philosophy that “no plan is the best plan”!
Saying that, I have a rough idea of where in Montreal I’d like to live. Basically, as close to campus as possible. I’ve had enough of 30mins walks to Uni. McGill didn’t offer me any Student Halls, even after emailing them several times. Their policy is not to offer exchange students “Uni Rez”, which was a bit of a gutter for a while, but then i realised finding my own place will be cheaper. Plus, Jacqueline, also from Glasgow Uni on exchange at McGill wants to share, so that seems like a good plan. We’ve seen a few decent places on the internet, but it’s just not the same as seeing it in person…

You have to realise that temperatures in Montreal can go as low as -30oC, so warm clothing is a necessity, so I’ve packed lots and lots of thick jumpers in preparation. Luckily SWISS allows you to take 2 bags, each with a 23kg allowance, so i thought this would be enough…For a holiday it would be brilliant, but taking a years worth of clothing for a massively varying climate is tough, as well as your textbooks, any sports equipment, laptop, shoes….
Anyway, i managed to get under the limit somehow.

Term starts 1st September, so i figured arriving on the 20th would give me enough time to search for an apartment.
In addition I wanted to get the feel of the city, learn where the best places to stay where etc.
I also booked a hostel for a few nights, Explorers House (near Jean-Talon Metro Station), so that I had a base to start searching.

Don’t forget, if you have any questions, just drop me an email, preferably bigand12345@hotmail.com

Thanks

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