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Study in Montreal – Choose Montreal, Canada as study abroad destination

by Aatif Nafees

Montréal is a multicultural, multilingual and vibrant city and is widely referred to as Canada’s ‘cultural capital’. It is also the largest city in Canada’s Quebec province. Hosting  the finest Canadian universities, Montreal is a popular choice among students around the world. With four universities, seven other degree-awarding institutions, and 12 CEGEPs (general and vocational colleges, exclusive to Quebec’s education system) located within an 8 km radius, Montreal has the highest concentration of post-secondary students of all major cities in North America. Three of its universities are among the top 500 universities of the world which makes Montreal an ideal choice for someone who is looking for the highest standard of education and a place full of culture and spirited people.

Montreal holds the reputation of being one of the best cities for students in the world and hosts more than 30,000 international students (Montreal Gazette). It has been ranked 6th on the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Top Student Cities List 2019, right after Berlin and before Paris.

In this article, we will talk about some of the best features of Montreal and why it is a great choice for international students, its top universities, its vibrant life and how can a student get the best out of this wonderful city.Study Abroad

Study in Montreal – Why Montreal as a Study Abroad Destination?

Of Greater Montreal’s 3.8 million residents, nearly 250,000 are college or university students—that’s more students per capita than any other North American city. Montreal is also a regular contender in the lists of the world’s best places to live and even the students seem to agree. Montreal is celebrated for its arts and culture, as well as the friendliness of its residents and the diversity. It’s also famous for its laid back yet lively lifestyle, attractive boulevards, thriving creative industries, café culture, its impressive arts venues, live performances and nightlife. Let’s look at a few facts which makes Montreal a great choice for international students –

  • Number of universities ranked by QS in the top 100 – 3
  • Highest-ranked institution – McGill University (35th in the world)
  • Population – 3.8 million
  • Average international fees (at ranked univ.) – CAD 16,098
  • Desirability rank – 11th
  • Employer Activity rank – 22nd
  • Affordability rank – 68th
  • Student View rank – 2nd 

Related Articles : Study in Canada & Study in Canada without IELTS

Study in Montreal – Student Life in Montreal 

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. With a mix of English and French, multiple ethnicities, food, entertainment, and much more, it offers an environment of comprehensive development to the students. It also hosts amazing concerts, games and beautiful nightlife. ‘Francofolies’, ‘Festival de jazz’, ‘Festival des nuits d’Afrique’, ‘Festival du rire’, ‘Montréal en lumièr’e and Street Art Festival are some of the famous annual highlights. Here are an overview on a few everyday aspects of the city:

  • Accommodation – All the major universities in Montreal offer accommodation facilities to its students. The cost of the university-offered-accommodation is between CAD 400-700 monthly. Students can also opt for private accommodations as well which will cost approx. CAD 6500-7000 annually. 
  • Transportation – Montreal is the best city to walk in on a sunny day. For those who do not like to walk, a bicycle is also a good option. Montreal is officially the most bicycle-friendly place in North America, with 700 kilometres of bike paths. It also features a great, accessible and inexpensive public transit system. The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) provides discounts for students who want to use the clean, fast and safe buses and subways. Finally, for those living outside of the city centre, there’s the train! The AMT (a public transportation provider in Montreal which operates train lines) covers most of the places on or around the island of Montreal that the STM doesn’t cover.
  • Healthcare – Healthcare system in Canada is administered differently in each province. In Quebec, it is run by the Regie de l’Assurance Maladie du Québec (RAMQ). Under the RAMQ, even expats can qualify for subsidised healthcare, provided they do not leave the province for more than 21 days at a time. In order to receive healthcare in Montreal, expats need to register with RAMQ and receive a medical insurance card which has a Social Insurance Number (SIN). There is then a three-month waiting period during which expats will need to pay for private health insurance. The exceptions to this are in cases of pregnancy, childbirth, victims of violence and patients with infectious diseases that are a danger to public health.
  • Culture – Montreal is widely known for its 120 festivals and annual parades. There are also large concentrations of other ethnic groups such as Caribbeans, Africans, Arabs, Asians, Latino, Indians and Pakistani. All of these people coexist peacefully and give Montreal a unique culture, especially when it comes to tasting new food.
  • Part-time jobs – Montreal is a well-employed city and finding a suitable part-time job is not difficult for students. The students need to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to obtain a work permit. With a work permit, a student can work up to 20 hours per week during the semesters and full time during holidays.Study Abroad

Study in Montreal – Staying in Montreal after Studies 

Montreal is an ideal place to stay in Canada once you have completed your studies. The simplest way to do so is to apply for a postgraduate work permit to CIC Canada. You will have to fill out the ‘IMM5710 form’, present your grades transcripts and a written confirmation of the acquisition of your degree. However, there are three important conditions to be kept into consideration:

  1. If your program was less than 8 months, you aren’t eligible for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
  2. If your program was more than 8 months but less than 2 years, you can get a PGWP that’s valid for up to the same length as your study program. For example, if you completed a 9-month program, you will get a work permit for up to 9 months.
  3. If your program was 2 years or more, you will get a PGWP that’s valid for 3 years.

Get full information on Canada Country Page about colleges and courses at UG and PG level in Canada.

Study in Montreal – Top Universities of Montreal

McGill University McGill University

  1. Ranking – 34 (QS Ranking, 2020), 42 (Times Higher Education Ranking, 2020)
  2. Total Number of Students – 31,294
  3. Number of International Students – 10,420
  4. Female to Male ratio – 59:41
  5. PG to UG Ratio – 6:19

Founded in 1821 by royal charter, granted by King George IV, the McGill University is the oldest university in Montreal and one of just three English-language universities in Quebec. It is among Canada’s most prestigious universities, attracting thousands of international students from over 150 countries every year, and the highest percentage of PhD students of any Canadian research university. The university is made up of 11 faculties, with 11 schools, all housed in 300 buildings. The main campus of the university is in downtown Montreal at the foot of Mount Royal. Next to the main campus is Milton Parc, an urban area that is home to many of the university’s students. The second campus is 18 miles west of the university in a more rural environment.

Top Courses at McGill University, Montreal

McGill University offers UG, PG and higher courses in a number of subjects. Times Higher Education has ranked it #20 in Law, #23 Clinical, Preclinical and health courses, #29 in Psychology, #43 in Life Sciences, #46 in Social Sciences #47 in Engineering and Technology #48 in Education, #45 in Arts and Humanities, #66 in Computer Science and #96 in Business and Economics. 

Tuition Fee at McGill University 

The fee to be paid by the students varies from course to course. The tentative undergraduate cost at McGill University comes to be between CAD 15,000 to CAD 50,000 per annum. For post-graduation, the fee starts at CAD 3,000 for some courses and goes up to CAD 50,000 for courses like Masters in Business Administration. You can check course fees for various UG courses by clicking here and for PG course, click here.

Université de Montréal (University of Montreal)Université de Montréal

  1. Ranking – 85th (Times Higher Education Ranking, 2020), 137 (QS Ranking 2020)
  2. Total Number of Students – 36,794
  3. Number of International Students – 7,901
  4. Female to Male ratio – 59:41
  5. PG to UG Ratio – 39:61

With the goal of offering higher education, Université de Montréal (UdeM) was founded in 1878 with just three faculties: theology, law and medicine. Today it has 16 faculties and schools, 37 affiliated health establishments, 2 affiliated schools, HEC Montréal and École Polytechnique. It runs 250 undergraduate programs and 350 graduate programs for 66,500 students from all over the world. The University of Montreal attracts over CAD 500 million in research funding every year, making it one of the three foremost university research hubs in Canada and a great opportunity for research scholars.

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Study in Montreal – Top Courses at the University of Montreal

The University of Montreal is one of the leading universities of Canada and offers a swathe of courses to UG, PG and research aspirants. Many renowned laboratories were born at the University of Montreal, including MILA, the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC), and the Centre de Recherche en Droit Public (CRDP). Times Higher Education has ranked UdeM #31 in Computer and Science courses; #55 in Clinical, pre-clinical and health courses; #99 in Law; #126-175 in Arts, Humanities and Life Sciences; #201-250 in Education and Psychology and #251-300 in Physical Sciences, Engineering and Technology. It has also been ranked #21 in overall quality of education.

Tuition Fee at University of Montreal 

The fee to be paid for the various courses at UdeM depends on the domicile of the applicants. The fee structure for Canadian students is different from international students. International students have to pay CAD 58,070 for undergraduate courses in the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences, Geography, Education and Physical Education, etc. For UG courses in Medicine, Paramedic, Agriculture, Music, etc., the tuition fee is about CAD 64,863. For Pure Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, IT, Administration and law the fee is close to CAD 76,574. For international graduate students, the fee for various full time courses is close to CAD 87,100 with additional expenses also chargeable.

Concordia University 

  1. Ranking – #462 according (QS Rankings, 2020), #601-800 (THE Rankings 2020)
  2. Total Number of Students – 33,850
  3. Number of International Students – 9800
  4. Female to Male ratio – 50:50
  5. PG to UG Ratio – 21:79

A relatively new university, Concordia University has already built a reputation for itself. Although the roots of its founding institutions go back more than 160 years, Concordia University was formed on August 24, 1974, through the merger of Loyola College (1896) and Sir George Williams University (1926). Today with close to 48,000 students, Concordia is among the largest urban universities in Canada. QS Rankings has included it at #67 in the list of the top under 50 Universities of the world.

Top Courses at the Concordia University

Concordia University offers hundreds of Bachelor’s programs in four faculties: Arts and Science, Fine Arts, the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science and the John Molson School of Business. Some of its courses are ranked among the desirable options for students in various fields. According to QS  World Rankings 2020, it is ranked #251-200 in Arts & Humanities, Engineering & Technology, Business & Economics, Psychology and Computer Science and #125-150 in Education.

Tuition Fee at Concordia University 

The fee structure at the University of Concorde depends upon the faculty and the domicile status of the student. 

The tentative annual cost for international students is close to CAD 20,000. Apart from the tuition fee, other expenses like accommodation, books, supplies and personal expenses are also to be met by the students.  To know the fee structure of specific courses, you can visit the Tuition fee calculator.

Université du Québec à Montréal (University of Quebec in Montreal)

This is a public university with a French-language based curriculum. It is the largest constituent element of the Université du Québec system which is a congregation of ten provincially run public universities in Quebec, Canada.

For more details visit Université du Québec à Montréal.Study Abroad

Study in Montreal – FAQs

Q. How can a potential international student apply to study in Montreal?

A. In order to apply for a Canadian study permit, prospective international students must first obtain a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). As each institution may have different admission requirements and application processes, interested applicants may contact the desired institution(s) individually. 

Q. What is the cost of tuition for international students in Montreal?

A. International students in Montreal may expect to pay between CAD 12,000 and CAD 18,602 per year, depending on the program of study. Universities show more variation intuition. International students may expect to pay between CAD 10,000 and CAD 30,000 per year, depending on the program of study (certain specialized post-graduate programs may be more expensive).

Q. What is the average monthly cost of living for a student in Montreal?

A. In order to apply for a study permit, a potential international student must show that he or she has CAD 11,000 in addition to tuition fees to cover living expenses in Quebec. This equates to CAD 917 per month. An approximate estimation of living costs in Quebec is given below.

What is the average monthly cost of living for a student in Montreal

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