When I told my classmates back at the Burlington campus that I was going abroad to Montreal this semester, most of them replied with a “Pshhh… that’s not really abroad.” I should tell you that I went in to this experience with a similar attitude, and I was completely and utterly wrong. I had not at all expected to feel the culture shock that I’m currently going through. Canada may be our neighboring country, but it’s very different here than in the U.S.
Yes, you can get through living in Montreal with speaking just English, but an understanding of French is definitely helpful. There’s a language barrier here so at times you may have difficulty communicating with the cashier while checking out at a store or with a the server while trying to order food at a restaurant (yes, both of these have happened to me so far). Even beyond the language barrier, Montreal has its own unique culture that takes a lot of getting used to. Especially in comparison to Burlington, Montreal is a completely different place.
If you’re an artist or a spectator alike, the city is the perfect place to get inspired and see art… well, everywhere you look! Between art in the subways, 3D projections on buildings (which are becoming increasingly popular), and graffiti on buildings, you really can’t miss this city’s flare. Montreal is also the place to explore, above and below ground! It’s like there’s another city under the city itself, and a lot of places underground connect to each other so you can avoid the cold for a while (thank goodness!) I’ve gone a bit photo crazy since I’ve gotten here, and have included a variety of my favorites below. Please check out the sites I’ve seen.
– Lindsey DeBerry, Champlain Montreal Spring 2013 Blogger – Graphic Design Major