I’m going to be honest: I really didn’t think Montreal would have a huge impact on me. I just figured it would be another semester, albeit with a lot of new, fun experiences in a totally new place.
That didn’t happen. If anything, this semester had the most impact on me out of any I’ve had at Champlain, since it allowed me to get to know myself for, really, the first time in my life.
Going abroad meant depending on myself, in a lot of ways: making my own food, commuting to work, and living apart from the big college community I was used to. It also meant spending a lot of time by myself, which, as a social introvert, sounded perfectly ideal to me. Continue reading →
When I crossed the bridge into Montreal back in August it suddenly hit me that this is where I would be until December. I have previously worked at an overnight summer camp that would keep me away from home for two months during the summer, but somehow I was still a little apprehensive about being away from everything that was familiar for so long. It had been easy for me to say that Burlington was only an hour or so away so Montreal wouldn’t be too different until I arrived. The first week here I quickly realized that I was going to be living in a city with it’s own rich and unique culture. Almost immediately, I fell in love with the city and those who formed its unique culture.
I have deeply rooted faith that purposefully placing yourself outside of your comfort zone creates an environment that nurtures growth. If we were comfortable all the time, we would never test our limits and see what we are truly capable of. During my time in Montreal, there were definitely challenges that pushed me out of my comfort zone. For me, speaking French is something that makes me wildly uncomfortable. I studied French for three years in high school and picked it up again this semester. I can read quite a few things and understand when someone speaks to me. However, speaking was always difficult because I felt I would look dense or say something wrong. Continue reading →
When I initially came to Montreal, I was a bit wary of the supposed “lack” of student activities. There wouldn’t be any clubs up here, and I thought because of that, there wouldn’t be as many events to go to. Where were the volunteer sessions? The trips downtown? The free food???
Lucky for me, I was immediately proven wrong. Champlain Montreal constantly has activities going on and (even luckier for me) tons of those activities involve free food. Continue reading →
One of the trends I’ve noticed while being in Montreal is that teachers will go out of their way to bring the class into the community of Montreal. All of my classes have had outings into the city to museums, cinemas, walking tours, and more. As someone who finds it really hard for concentrate on one thing for a really long time these types of classes really help me stay
focused and understand the content we are given to learn.
One class that has had a lot of these outings has been CCM 301: Emerging Media and Innovation. Earlier in the semester the class went to the PHI Center for an exhibition with a variety of virtual reality art pieces. Manic, one of the more popular VR pieces, is actually based on a documentary movie of the same title. It was filmed and directed by Kalina Bertin, a Montreal artist who later in the semester was kind enough to come talk to us at the academic
center after a screening of the documentary. Continue reading →
Among the many off-campus activities I participated in this semester, there are none that I enjoyed more than the company visits. While many of our visits are simply tours of the establishment, some are more personal. Even the tours opened up untold secrets of the game industry, and new possibilities for networking. This all packaged into a single trip in which we explore the city of Montreal just a little bit more. Parties set up by companies/studios or events and conventions such as MEGA or MIGS allow even more networking and communication through direct conversations. Continue reading →
Social Media Coordinator, Claire Yeash, spoke with the producers in Montreal during the Fall 2018 semester about the city, the study abroad process, internships, and what it is like to be a producer.
Montreal is one of the biggest gaming hubs in the world; it is the largest city in game development in Canada, a country that ranks third in the world for games.
The producers in Montreal during Fall 2018
Developers from all over flock to this great city, and with over 150 indie companies and multiple AAA studios such as Ubisoft, Square Enix, and EA, there is a huge video game community. In addition to a great networking advantage, students who study in Montreal can gain valuable experience in a professional studio, attend interesting classes that improve students’ skills tenfold and dive into the culture of Montreal.
Jonathan Vogt (PWRT ’19) at the Years & Years show in Montreal.
Everyone has their favorite hobby, and I think hobbies can often tell us about a place, whether it is poking around thrift stores, skateboarding, or something else entirely. For me, concerts are simultaneously my favorite thing to do in my spare time and my own way of getting to know a city.
It’s funny to me that I like them so much, too, as I’m a clear introvert who doesn’t seem like she’d enjoy being in the middle of a huge crowd of people. But there’s something about being in a room full of people singing to your favorite songs with an artist you love that makes everything seem worth it. Concerts are the places where I feel most happy, so it only makes sense that I would try to attend as many as possible when I came to Montreal. Continue reading →
Champlain College’s initiative to be inclusive and diverse in its curriculum continues at the Montreal Campus. SWK 230, new to Montreal as of fall 2018, taught by Jann Tomaro, focuses on the local LGBTQ community. The course brings students into the community to explore how an individual’s identity affects how they interact with society. The class addresses various topics such as the history of the LGBTQ community in Montreal, the current obstacles the community faces, and LGBTQ empowerment. Continue reading →
Adam van Sertima has been a professor at Champlain’s Montreal campus for five years and is, in his own words, a “Dad, philosopher, art historian and Games Studies specialist.” I sat down with him to talk about his expansive professional background, his passion for teaching, and his interests in film and video games.
Megan Hoins: Where did you go to college and what was your major?
Adam van Sertima: I went to Concordia University here in Montreal and I double majored in Communication Studies with a focus on Film Production and Philosophy, so I graduated in 1994.
Stacey speaking to a group of prospective game devs at Meltdown Esports Bar.
It started with a Facebook reminder: A career soiree was going on that night, giving me only a couple hours to get ready. “It’s not like I’m doing anything else,” I thought.
Five minutes before the event, and I’m wandering down St. Denis trying to find the venue, counting down the addresses. I’d expected it to be held in some office or conference room somewhere, but no: it was in an arcade bar—the Meltdown Esports Bar to be exact.
It was already crowded; the event hardly looked like an event, and I began to wonder just what the hell I’d signed up for. I stumbled to the bar, ordered a shot of bright red something, and that’s when it happened—