Welcome to your new life at McGill
August is almost over. If you are about to fly to Montreal, make sure you sign up for the welcome service at the Montreal Trudeau Airport. This will shorten the time at customs for those students obtaining a Study Permit upon their arrival. If you are already in Montreal, here are some tips regarding daily life in Montreal and at McGill.
Make sure you go through the Welcome Center, located on the corner of Sherbrooke and McTavish St. Our welcome staff will provide you with all the information you need for your first visit. Get acquainted with the campus, its facilities, reference points, etc. If you will be studying at the MacDonald Campus, make sure you visit the Centennial Center for all the information you need.
We strongly suggest you visit the Service Point to pick up your Welcome Kit, McGill ID Card and International Health Insurance Card. In order to do so, you must be registered for at least one course. If you are participating in Discover Montreal 2011 (Aug 24-26), you will be taken to this place during the event.
If your parents are coming with you, they can ask all their questions at the Parents Tent, happening from Aug 26 to Aug 29. The tent will be located in the lower field, of the downtown campus (just inside the Roddick Gates).
If you are staying on campus, you should have obtained all the information you needed for a successful move-in day. If you are not staying in residence, the off-campus housing office has tons of information to help you in your housing hunt.
Remember that there will be countless activities from now until the end of August so don’t be afraid to discover McGill on your own, or with the help of the Student Services Units. You can review our FALL 2011 newsletter for a complete list of the orientation events happening on both campuses. The ISS team is here to guide and support you. So come and visit our office!
Once you take care of the McGill business, get to know your neighborhood. McGill’s main campus is located in Downtown Montreal. The commercial downtown area is full of modern buildings, underground shopping malls, victorian houses and of course St-Catherine street. There is also the McGill Ghetto, which is the area surrounding the McGill downtown campus. It is known for its countless cafe shops, student houses, depanneurs (convenience stores), restaurants, and biking paths.
Indeed, downtown Montreal is accessible through the main public transportation means. You can take the subway (called Metro) and get off at the Place des Arts, McGill, or Peel metro stations. You could also take the bus; you can take lines 24, 144, 107, etc.depending on where you are coming from.
The other way to get to classes is by bike or bixi. Montrealers share the road and biking paths on a daily basis so biking-in to class might be a smart option. Just make sure you wear a helmet if this is the first time you commute this way. You will notice that, despite the colder days we will have, some people will be biking all year long. Yes! some people exercise outdoors even in winter!!
Soon enough, you will realize that weather is a key factor in your Canadian experience so get used to checking the weather forecast at least once a week, if not more. We will be back with more details about where to shop for cloths, food, furniture, etc.
Ahh, and don’t forget to always check your McGill e-mail since it is the university’s official means of communication with the student.