10 steps for studying in Montréal

studying in Montréal

If you’re an international student and considering coming to Canada to get your degree, studying in Montréal should be your final destination?

Montréal is also very multicultural since it’s now a home for 35,000 international students from across the globe. The city has an incredible atmosphere, a variety of cultural sights, and great opportunities for life and work.

Interested in studying in Montréal?

We’ve prepared a small step-by-step guide to help you find the right university and join the fun crowd of international students in Montréal.

Studying in Montreal
Studying in Montreal

1. Choose a college or university

In general, in Canada, there are different types of higher education institutions:

  • universities – do research, offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees
  • public and private colleges – offer traditional academic programs, but the prices for private colleges are higher
  • applied arts and sciences schools – have shorter-term narrow-focus programs

Montréal offers international students all three types of colleges and universities.

2. Pick a program

Next, it’s time to pick a program you’d like to apply for. As you already know, colleges and universities in Montréal offer plenty of programs, and you can get any degree you like.

Here, the decision is all yours. If you’re having a hard time making the right one, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your main interest?
  • What would you like to learn?
  • Where do you want to work after graduation?
  • Would you like to graduate with work experience?
  • Would you like a program to offer internships?

Answering these questions will help you pick the right vector for your future studies.

3. Evaluate the studying costs

When you pick the program you’d like to master, you’ll find out that several colleges and universities offer opportunities to complete it. At this point, you need to consider how much each of them will charge you.

For example, Concordia University offers a computer science program for around CAD 26,000 for international students, while the same program at Dawson College will cost $8,000 per semester or around $16,000 for a full year. For more precise information regarding the tuition costs, contact the school representative.

4. Find out if there are any hidden expenses

Besides the costs per program, you should also prepare yourself for additional expenses that students usually cover out of their own pocket.

Just to provide some context, Concordia University shares that all students need to be ready to pay around $2,000 for books and supplies:

Studying in Montréal – Credit: Concordia University

Some universities and colleges offer scholarships that cover expenses on books and supplies. Martha Zou, a writer at Lets Grade It and a Dawson College graduate, shares that her school grant paid for her books and some of her residence fees. So, ask your college if there are any scholarships available.

In case you can’t find additional financial information, you can ask for help on student forums or find other international students to ask about their experience. 

5. Check out housing options

Since you’ll be coming to Montréal, it’s important to get your housing ready beforehand. This way, you’ll be safe knowing that a room or an apartment is waiting for you when you arrive.

Some colleges and universities offer housing options on campus. The fees for the housing vary depending on the level of certification and the year of studies.

For instance, 1-year undergraduate students in McGill University in Montréal have to pay around $16,000 a year for a regular single room. At the same time, 2nd and 3rd-year undergraduate students can rent a studio apartment from the university for about $12,000.

6. Learn if you are eligible

The next step is to find out the admission criteria and whether the school can accept your application.

Some colleges and universities have very basic eligibility criteria. For example, to study Journalism at McGill University, all you need is the 25.80 overall cutoff R-score (based on your academic performance) and the proof of language proficiency:

studying in Montréal – Credit: McGill University

When it comes to some specific degrees, like computer science, colleges and universities may put an emphasis on particular grades in subjects like Math, Physics, etc., according to which they select the best students. So, make sure you look up these requirements before applying.

7. Take the language proficiency test

All Montreal schools require that you have a language proficiency certificate ready before you submit your application documents.

There are several English proficiency tests that Canadian universities and schools in Montréal accept:

  • TOEFL
  • IELTS
  • Cambridge C1 or C2 Proficiency
  • Pearson Test of English
  • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)
  • Duolingo English Test (DET)

Some Montréal universities, like McGill University, have their own certification classes that you can apply for to obtain a certificate and apply for a program. However, the same school also accepts TOEFL and IELTS certificates.

8. Collect your documents

Let’s talk about the documents you’ll have to submit when applying for a college or university in Montréal.

A standard document package usually includes:

  • identity documents ( a copy of the birth certificate, passport, and so on)
  • transcripts of previously obtained degrees
  • letter of recommendation

Apart from that, some colleges and universities also ask students to send admission essays, especially if the program is very competitive. You can write this essay yourself or ask an essay writing company for help since it has people who specialize in creating highly customized admission essays tailored to each school’s requirements.

Another document you have to get before applying is the Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ), which is a mandatory immigration document required from all international students who’re coming to study in Quebec. This certificate requires a set of documents that Immigration Quebec has to review and issue formal permission for you to enter the province.

9. Purchase health insurance

Many students try to save money, thinking they won’t have to get any medical help. However, you’re taking a huge risk if you don’t have at least basic insurance – hospital bills can end up costing you thousands of dollars.

So, regardless if you’re going to Montréal to study during the pandemic or just planning to come here in the future, obtaining health insurance should be on your must-have list. You can also purchase insurance once you come to Montréal. Some schools even have on-campus hospitals that offer insurance.

10. Become a Student in Montréal

Once you’ve evaluated your options and collected all documents, submit them and start planning your trip.

How light should you pack?

In winter, the temperature in Montréal can drop to -12 C, but the summers are usually quite warm, with temperatures sometimes reaching +30 C. So, pack clothes appropriate for all the seasons. And don’t forget your waterproof boots.

Wrapping Up

At first, applying for a school in Montréal seems too involved. However, the process is not as difficult, and schools usually offer full support for international students who want to come and study in Montréal.

All you need is to be determined and positive about your chances. Find the right program, get all the certifications, and apply. Montréal has schools with programs for everyone!

Author bio: Mark Blackwood is a professional writer and editor. He also worked as a college admission counselor, giving students practical advice on how to get into the schools of their dreams.

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