Jessica Atkinson, 2014-2015, Université de Montréal


You will find looking for accommodation in Montreal quite different to your experience in London, and if like me you decide that another year spent in halls is not for you then looking for accommodation in Montreal is both easy and stressful all at the same time. I say this because there is a whole wealth of rooms on offer for you online, on sites such as Craigslist BUT only a fraction of landlords/advertisers will respond to your emails. Secondly the rooms are often not to the standard of London flats and in Montreal most tenants are welcome to re-decorate to their heart’s content BUT for year abroad students, who are only looking for a room for 9 months, this really isn’t something you are wanting to do so be ready for sometimes dirty and old fashioned flats. All this aside the great thing about Montreal accommodation is the cheap rental prices which will probably be half the price of your London rent!

Here are my top tips for looking for accommodation in Montreal:

1- Look at a map and decide what location you want to be in. Although there are many rooms available very close to UDEM campus, these are also a bit further out from all the activities, restaurants and bars of The Plateau and Downtown Montreal. You need to choose which your priority is and which you’d rather travel for.

– Once locations are decided on look on and for rooms available in your favoured locations. Email as many advertisers as you can as many will not reply and being able to see several rooms in one day means you are more likely to find one you like.

– Do not exchange ANY money before you see the room! There has been known to be scammers renting out non-existent flats to exchange students in Montreal.

– Subletting rooms is very big in Montreal and leases often end in April, so be sure to come to Montreal as early as you can during summer, not only will you get the first pick of the flats available but you will also make the most of Montreal’s wealth of summer activities.

– Be sure to take careful note of the public transport in proximity to the flat, when the temperature falls below -25 degrees C you will not want to traipse through the snow for 20 minutes to the nearest bus or metro!

Weekend Activities

Fun things to do in Montreal!

There are always lots of things to do in Montreal despite the cold of winter, people in Montreal seem to have more fun in order to get over the winter blues. Here is my personal list of the best things to do in Montreal:

1) POP Montreal!

In September Montreal hosts an indie, rock, electronic, rap, art and fashion festival over several venues and many days. Event tickets can be bought for separate events or festival passes can be purchased for a whole wealth of fun during the day and throughout the night. Although if like me, you are looking to save your money, they are loads of free events or you can become a festival volunteer and receive a free festival pass. Becoming a volunteer was a great way to meet people in my first month of living in Montreal!

2) Sundays at Mont Royal Park

During the summer months people of Montreal flock to Mont Royal Park on a Sunday to drink, eat, lay in the sun and have a generally relaxed time. This is a great opportunity to make the most of Montreal’s beautiful weather before the cold sets in.

3) Igloo Fest

Happening in the deepest, darkest depths of Montreal winter, Igloo Fest is a four week long electronic festival happening in Montreal’s old port. This is great fun, and not only is there great music and ambience but there is also free marshmallow roasting all night!

4) Mont Royal Observatory by night

Possibly one of the best spots in the city, Mont Royal Observatory offers breath taking views of Montreal downtown, but this pleasure should be enjoyed most of all at night when the lights of the city are quite dazzling.

5) Interstude Trips

Interstude is an international student community who offer affordable trips for exchange students all year round. This is a great chance to travel to places on reduced travel and accommodation rates and meet lots of other international students. Trips this year have included Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and DC.

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