How to Find A Community Outside the McGill Bubble

CommunityEveryone knows how difficult it is to find a community as a student but it can be even more difficult here in Montreal if you do not speak French. On-campus communities are an incredible opportunity to join but often don’t allow for exploration of the city. I was lucky enough to find a community as well as a job last year during my first term at McGill outside of our neighborhood and this has lent itself to some wonderful opportunities.

I identify as a Unitarian Universalist and felt strongly about being able to attend a congregation when I moved from Atlanta to Montreal. I also wanted to find some sort of paid work but as I do not qualify for work-study, my initial search for a job on-campus became difficult. After searching for several months, I stumbled upon the Unitarian Church of Montreal which was searching for a preschool Religious Education teacher. Getting paid to go to church? What could be much better than that!

Working at this congregation has allowed me to find a community of people, young and old, anglophone and francophone, from all different walks of life and neighborhoods, who care about me and want me to succeed. This has been an invaluable experience. It also forces me to, at least once a week, venture outside of the McGill bubble for a few hours. I have found an entire part of town in which I would have otherwise never discovered.

Finding a community outside of McGill is a great way to help yourself decompress from the stress of school. Since many of us are far from home, being able to create a family-like group of caring people can be extremely beneficial to mental health and overall well-being. While it can be a bit nerve-wracking to have to introduce oneself to a group of new people but the benefits are endless.

Here are just a few of hundreds of community, religious, and cultural centres in Montreal that help build communities and make a positive impact on individuals:

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