Although my journey throughout Montreal has only begun, my experience in my classes has been one to remember. Among all the classes offered here, the most interesting one that I am currently enrolled in would be the Food Writing class taught by the great Susan Semenak due to its abstract and surprising nature. As the name suggests, the class revolves around the exploration and history of food in the city of Montreal. This includes eating, discovering, and caring for new and local foods around the area, and writing stories and personal messages about how the experiences made us feel or how they connected with our personal lives.
When I first arrived at Champlain, I had the rare luck of knowing what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: write video games. I’m a senior now, and that goal remarkably hasn’t changed, even though I have discovered a love for screenwriting and poetry along the way.
There was only one class, then, that I wanted to take on my first day of freshman year, and now I’m finally getting the chance to take it: Interactive Storytelling. I was a bit worried walking into my first class since I’d been looking forward to this for four years, but I didn’t need to worry. Over the course of this first month, I’ve already learned a lot, and I’m starting to find that I really do love game writing.
I chose Marketing as my major because I felt it was the best of both worlds; I could remain creative while also having a wide variety of career paths. Unfortunately, on the path to having a creative career, I feel like there have been a lot of classes that I really struggle to get through. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of accounting, it’s just not something I easily can grasp. That’s why when choosing my classes for this semester in Montreal I really wanted to take advantage of the creative atmosphere of the city. I immediately knew that I wanted to take Emerging Media in Montreal. I wasn’t exactly sure of what the class entailed but I knew that the Marketing sphere is always adapting to new technology and media so I thought it would fit perfectly with my major. Previously, I had taken the Digital Marketing class for my minor. We had briefly talked about virtual reality and voice search as new platforms for marketing. Having very little experience with virtual reality I thought it would be beneficial to take a class that would introduce me to this and other media that could be crucial to my future career.
My first two weeks studying abroad in Montreal have been a wild ride. After spending what felt like ages to unpack everything I’ve taken these first two weeks to familiarize myself with the metro, our small campus, and explore as much as I can of the city and restaurants visiting places such as the Hinnawi Bros a small yet cozy bagel shop right off of campus, or Takumi Sushi an all you can eat sushi restaurant. Or small more homey places like Brit and Chips which are a nearly five-minute walk from the Evo building. These past two weeks have felt long while adapting to the constant horns and lights of the city, but I already feel at home living in the Evo residence surrounded by friends and hard working individuals. While I miss my friends in Burlington, I know I will develop a strong connection with my peers in Montreal.
The week before coming to Montreal for this semester was like freshman year all over again. I am from New Jersey so going to Vermont for school seemed like a whole new world. There was all the same excitement and fear before coming to Montreal that I had leading up to my first semester at Champlain College. While packing for Montreal my head was all over the place trying to make lists of everything I needed and how much space I had in actuality to pack. I was also just so excited to be in a new place and be able to explore. In this excitement, my sense of organization seemed to go out the window and stay that way for the first couple of weeks while here.
I don’t pride myself on my navigation skills. In fact, I have the worst sense of direction of anyone I’ve ever met. Just this past summer, I was headed for Rockefeller Center in New York City. I live an hour away from NYC, so I’ve been visiting the city for years. I figured that, by this point, I could navigate it pretty easily. I looked at Google Maps, nodded to myself, and walked in the exact opposite direction of the center for about half an hour before I realized that I may have taken a wrong turn somewhere.
I was thus a bit worried when I realized I would have to navigate around Montreal—a city I had no prior experience with—for four months. Would I end up walking off of the island when I only meant to go to class? Would I walk to the top of Mount Royal before I realized something was wrong? The possibilities were endless!
Summer Program Participants (l-r) Kenya Cummins & Julia Lenoard in Old Montreal
I had always wanted to study abroad, so when I got the opportunity to attend Champlain College’s Montreal Summer Culture Program I immediately took the chance. I had traveled many times to cities both in and outside the United States before; I had even traveled to Montreal in the past for weekend trips. I always thought that Montreal was similar to other major North American cities. But after living in the city for over a month, my opinion of the city has changed; Montreal does not fall into the typical mold of the US or Canadian city. Its bilingualism and mix of cultures offers residents and visitors a one-of-a-kind living situation. Anyone who tells you that Montreal is more similar to the United States than different is wrong, but you can only learn that from spending a good amount of time here. Montreal is a valid and excellent study abroad option; you get to experience a different language being spoken around you while being in a truly foreign place. The culture of Montreal, and Canada in general, is also unique because there is not an emphasis on assimilation of “different” groups; each ethnicity found here is fully represented, whether that be through food or art. Continue reading →
[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]
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 →
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 →
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