Bienvenue à Montréal

the Stoop!Bonjour!

I have arrived in the beautiful city of Montreal. (That was almost a month ago now, but i’ve been really busy)

Again, extremely tired after an 11hr flight, via Zurich.
Luckily I had emergency exit seats this time!

Before collecting our bags we all had to go through immigration. On the plane they give you a simple form to fill in which you hand to the officer.
Being a student I then had to go to another queue where I handed the lady my study permit and original acceptance letter to McGill. A few minutes later she stamped it and directed me to the CAQ queue. All i had to do here was give the lady my CAQ and i was done! It only took 30mins, alot shorter than i was expecting.

After that I collected my bags and went through to arrivals. In my McGill International Student Services Pre-Departure and Immigration Guide, it said there would be a team their all day to help you out. It’s definitely worth speaking to them because they gave me a ticket which gave me discount on the bus to Berri-UQAM (the main bus terminal in the city). Usually it would cost $16, but students were able to get it for $5.

I was keen to practice my French, so i got chatting to a French dude on the bus. I clearly needed lessons, since it had been 3 years since last doing any.

Montréal has great public transport: Metro and Bus. A single fare is $2.75, but this allows for changes onto all the different coloured lines. Included in your ticket fare is a bus journey too, so $2.75 for 1 metro and 1 bus ride. Not bad.

MAJOR TIP- BUY A 3 DAY TOURIST CARD-ALLOWS UNLIMITED TRAVEL!!!
I didn’t know about it at the time 😦

Once you’ve registered at McGill you can also get an Opus Card, which allows unlimited use of Metro and Bus for $37 per month. I’ve been told that the metro is vital when it comes to Winter!

Ok, so the first 2 weeks I stayed in a hostel near Jean Talon, which is quite a francophone area. I would advise getting a taxi from Berri-Uqam to wherever you’re staying because it’s really difficult with two 23kg bags, especially in the unexpected humidity of Montreal.

My hostel was called Explorers House Holiday Makers. It was one of the cheaper places to stay, around $20 a night, but that’s due to it’s distance out of town. On arrival I was greeted by lots of friendly travellers, all here for short periods of time and looking to go out and party. So basically, for the first week or so, instead of looking tirelessly for accommodation, I went out every night with these guys. Maybe not the best plan, BUT… I met some truely amazing people. I’ve stayed in plenty of hostels before but I can honestly say they were the best! Plus, I now have reasons (and free accomm.) in Boston, Delaware, Israel, Netherlands and VENEZUELA!!!

After this mental week and only viewing a few places I started to panic. Term was starting in a week and FROSH (equivalent to Fresher’s week) would be starting in a couple of days….

I’ll do another post talking about Frosh, Flat Hunting and any other crazy stuff I got up to soon.

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