Category Archives: Our Bloggers

Each semester two students are chosen to write blogs on a regular basis about their experiences in Montreal.

23 Reasons to Study Abroad in Montreal

By Amanda Gates (GDES ’19)

[Throughout the Spring ’18 semester, Social Media Ambassador Amanda has explored Montreal and its many hidden corners. Here she gives her best reasons as to why students should consider coming up here with the Champlain Abroad program]

1. New way of living

College dorms can be boring. Picture this instead: hotel-style rooms, kitchens, and freedom. Continue reading

A Certain Vintage

By Amanda Gates (GDES ’19)

It’s to no one’s surprise that college students tend to run short of cash. The hunt for the cheapest deals is an ongoing personal battle during every hour of the day. The most important survival factor is of course, food, but clothing comes in as a close second. In a city where fashion is so prevalent, how and where can students keep up?

Thrift is a great answer to a lot of problems. Need something cheap or want something unique? Perfect. Need to get out of your room or go on a new adventure? Also a good choice. A glance at the past isn’t always for the museums and Montreal provides great opportunities to find it elsewhere. Throughout the year, Montreal hosts a variety of different thrift events all across the city. No one sale is the same, and better yet, every find is unique. Tons of people have found crazy items and insane brand deals at the cost of almost nothing. So, it was my time to find something of my own! Continue reading

Tunnel Vision – The Underground City

By Amanda Gates (GDES ’19)

Have you ever felt like exploring beneath the city streets? To your luck, the entrance to one of Montreal’s very own Narnia’s is right at your fingertips. For what feels like miles throughout the downtown core, a series of malls and tunnels connect the above to the below. The adventures and discoveries double with the existence of this underground city, and while sometimes difficult to find and navigate around, the easiest first step to get there begins at the McGill metro station. Continue reading

Ready, Set, Canada!

By Amanda Gates (GDES ’19)

The sun was just rising, the car packed like Tetris, and Montreal, Canada written into Waze on the dashboard from Concord, Massachusetts. The whole family was stuffed into the handy dandy Buick SUV, papers ready and a plan set. Our dog Pepper content in his bed on my brother’s lap, and our cat left at home as the king of the house for the weekend. It felt like vacation, yet it wasn’t. Nerves tangled and butterflies wild, I was excited, but absolutely terrified. Three hours later we were in Vermont, dropping my brother’s luggage off at McDonald Hall, and another hour later we crossed the border into Canada. They say the biggest cultural difference in the shortest amount of time is the leap from Burlington, Vermont to Montreal, Quebec, and they’re not wrong. It was little city to mini New York (with a bit of Paris thrown in for good measure).

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Montreal: A city of art

Elisabeth Hammond (PWRT ’19)

Montreal is a city of art, something you don’t really see unless you wander out of the port area. While the Old City is stunning in its own historical sense ─ with spiraling architecture and the sheer magnificence that is Notre Dame ─ the bustling pop-culture overtake in the rest of the city is pretty amazing too.

The first time I wandered randomly from the dorms and the Older City was also the first time I wandered into a forest of art. Boulevard de Maisonneuve displays so many beautiful walls of art that can’t fall into the category of “graffiti” and its negative connotations. Continue reading

Garden of Delights

By Elisabeth Hammond (PWRT ’19)

After an unexpected heatwave that rivaled Florida, the weather finally cooled off enough to enjoy fully the outdoors. Without the boiling heat, a Friday trip to the Botanical Garden’s annual Garden of Lights was actually something to look forward to. While I’ve been to the famous Garden many times, I had never been there when the light festival was held. Needless to say, already a fan of the Garden, the event was something I anticipated.

The breeze was cool and the metro bearable as the group made their way from the academic center to the Garden with a noticeable mass of others. Many people streamed from the sidewalks and joined together on the walk to the gardens, and excitement that many felt could be shared by everyone.

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Town from Country

By Elisabeth Hammond (PWRT ’19)

Artwork in Place-des-Arts metro station.

There is no question that a city is inexplicably different from the countryside. There is more noise, more people, more activity; the city is entirely non-stop while the countryside’s rolling hills and mountains move as slowly as the cows that graze on them.

It was far from my first time in Montreal ─ living a mere two hours away made the city a popular day-trip spot for my family ─ but it was my first time going up and down the streets where I would be living, learning and memorizing the ins and outs and shortcuts to the metro. Despite the fear that settled with the move from silent no-where to loud somewhere, Montreal’s prospect of exploration and new experiences overcame that quickly.

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In The Streets

By Laura Reilly (EGPR ’18)

With the weather getting warmer and warmer, there is no valid excuse to stay indoors (that includes schoolwork, right?). Whether you’re just getting out of class or looking for something to do on the weekend, there are almost too many places to check out around the city. While Burlington might have Church St, we’ve got some streets of our own that are full of city life and things to do.

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I Swear I Made A Movie!

By Freeman Fletcher (FILM ’18)

If you’re a film major, you’ll know how daunting the task of making anything is. There’s equipment you have to wrangle, actors you have to coordinate, a crew you can’t argue with, a spectacularly under-considered shooting schedule; the list goes on. Did the lens always have that crack in the side? What do you mean the batteries aren’t charged? Are we sure that outlet can withstand those lights? Can we get that again but this time do it entirely different? You want to put the dolly where? We can’t wrap, we haven’t rolled yet! What a pleasure!

Now try it with four people in a country that only mostly speaks the same language. Welcome to semester abroad Montreal Film 2! “If Nancy doesn’t wake up screaming, she won’t wake up at all!” [Nightmare On Elm Street reference -ed.]

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Gaming the City

By Laura Reilly (EGPR ’18)

Montreal is a huge gaming hub. What I mean by this is that Montreal is full of not only great game companies like Ubisoft or Compulsion, but Montreal is also home to some of the greatest gaming opportunities for either developers or those that just love playing video games. To name a few would be an understatement, so I’m here to name all of the different aspects of gaming culture here in Montreal!

  1. In the classroom

If you’re majoring in a division of the Game Studio, chances are your professors are developers themselves at different companies. For example, artists here learn VFX  from a developer at Behaviour, and two sections of Production ll learn from a producer and a gameplay programmer at Ubisoft! Since our professors are in the industry themselves, they have the firsthand experience of working in the industry to apply knowledge into the classroom. And if you’re lucky, they’ll invite recruiters to come and play your Production games! (Some are coming next week to see mine…help).

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