Tag Archives: burlington

Montreal: Further Abroad Than You Think

By Anna Bilotta (PSYCH ’20)

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

The Internship Chronicles – Ben Cortijo

By Ben Cortijo (GDES ’19)

I worked at Edoki Academy, a well-oiled machine which churns out multiple games a year while maintaining their main product: Montessori Preschool. Montessori Preschool is a subscription-based service which provides over 10,000 users with a plethora of mini-games designed to teach children in ways they’ll find fun and interesting. With this, users can learn the basics of math, English/French, Mandarin, and practical applications such as taking care of a pet. Along with this, anyone who subscribes to the service is also given access to all of the company’s other games. These other games range from beginner programming skills in Code Karts to gardening in Montessori Nature. Edoki has a catalog of over twenty-five games each of which has their own teaching point and helps teach children basic problem-solving.  While interning there I filled many roles for the company, the primary one being a translator for the company’s emails. Creating English versions of their PDFs for their subscribers who do not speak French. This is what I did for the majority of my time at the company, but it was by far the most lenient duty I had. By which I mean that unlike many of the other jobs I had done this one had no real constrictions, and thus I was able to express my creativity in the formatting. Continue reading

The Internship Chronicles – Sophia Penna

By Sophia Penna (GDDM ’19)

Over the course of my time studying at the Champlain Montreal Campus I  held an internship at Rank Media Agency as their graphic design intern. Rank first opened their doors in 2009 and has grown to an international scale. As a design agency they work with their clients helping them to grow their businesses, through creative design and custom marketing strategies based on their goals. Rank works with their clients to build upon their brand through an integrated approach where creativity meets technology. The staff is welcoming, helpful, and in constant communication.

At Rank I was able to build upon the knowledge I had learned from my prior studies. I was assigned daily tasks that were later critiqued by my supervisor, Ryan. He would then review my designs with me and go through any revisions he recommended and why. Through the company chat channel, Slack, we would often send links to resources, files, and even color swatches when working on projects. Any clarifying questions could be easily answered through this chat system. This portal was used throughout the office to keep the interns in the loop of any office plans and activities. The design team has their own closed group as a way to communicate interesting websites to draw inspiration from as well as to arrange creative meetings. Continue reading

A Student’s Guide to Chinatown

By Rian Atherton (California Lutheran University ’18)

In order to talk about Chinatown you have to first delve into the History and the customs of the people living there. Now you don’t have to be an expert on Chinatown but you should at least familiarize yourself with some of these basics. One of the most important things you need to realize if you are visiting Chinatown is that everything here is a bit different. Like all immigrant areas the people here have brought some of their customs and traditions from overseas. First and foremost of these is that the elderly take priority sometimes you may be in a shop and you may be first and an old Chinese man or woman will walk in and a slew of rapid fire Cantonese will fire out faster than a bullet train. Don’t be offended but you are no longer the priority, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the fact that they probably have known each other for decades and the Chinese have a deference for the elderly that western countries lack.  That being said, it is worth the wait because the food in Chinatown is absolutely divine.

Continue reading

The Internship Chronicles: Lizzy Hammond

Elisabeth Hammond (PWRT ’19) – Game Writer at Tuque Games

Working out the logistics of an internship was a long and arduous process for me that in volved many emails that mostly inquired whether or not it fit into my academic plan. Caught in the odd position of “not really a game designer,” but at the same time searching for a, more or less, game design internship, alongside having switched into the Professional Writing major my sophomore year of college, and thus having to double down on classes, I wasn’t sure if I was afraid of not being able to graduate on time or if I was afraid of not having the experience game companies so often seek from freshly minted graduates.

As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry about either.

Not only did an internship fit snugly into my academic plan so that I’d graduate within four years, but I was taken on not as a game designer, but as a game writer at Tuque Games. It seemed almost too good to be true, and I spent my winter break excitedly waiting to return to Montreal for a second semester and to see what my internship had in store for me. Continue reading

Botany & Bugs

By Lenny Gingello (GDES ’19)

Last Thursday SCI-155 Global Environmental Earth Science visited tropical rainforests, a forest full of butterflies, a hacienda, and many other ecosystems. How did we do this while in Montreal? Well, we went to the Montreal Botanical Garden!

Our first stop when we got there was the Insectarium where we saw many cool (and terrifying) insects. Not only did they have many preserved specimens, but they had some live ones as well. Most notably, they have an open vine on the top floor where ants are freely roaming around. This is something that people normally aren’t able to see so seeing ants interact with each other and move about an open space was really cool. Next we moved into the greenhouses. This was a truly beautiful space. We entered in the middle and to either side the building had rooms filled with different kinds of plants from different environments. We walked through environments ranging from a tropical rain forest, a temperate forest, an Asian garden with bonsai trees, a hacienda in the desert, a room full of cacti and plants from arid regions, and even more impressively a room full of butterflies.

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

A Pizza Advice

By Kyle Mays (Multimedia – California Lutheran ’18)

Like the DemoNight I attended last week, this was event where my expectations had to be put in check in a great way, but for entirely different reasons. I hadn’t expected the alumni pizza night to be anything more than hanging out with past students while also getting free pizza. What I had not taken into account was the number of alumni that would show up, that they were nearly all full time developers at professional Montreal game studios such as Ubisoft and Rogue Factor, and that they were mainly there to talk to us!

The Q&A they hosted was full of solid and insightful advice on how to start looking for jobs upon graduating, their workplace environments, and necessary communication skills. Some of the best tips I heard included the importance of being able to read conversations you are having with recruiters at social events, and how important it is to try and be likable and relate to their interests rather than your own personal interest in getting a job from them. They stressed the importance of being able to put yourself out there and practice conversational skills as much as you can, and if you can’t do it on your own, go with a friend who might help keep the conversation flowing and accentuate the qualities you have that you might not even recognize. None of the advice felt like it was condescending or a show they put on for us: it felt really genuine and practical and I really appreciated it.

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).

Continue reading