Montreal is a spectacular city and is home to 4 major universities including: McGill University and Concordia University. Perhaps choosing McGill or Concordia is as much a decision to study in Montreal than institution. There is something very special about Montreal.
Montreal has recently been ranked the number 1 student city in the World and according to the Intelligent Community Forum, the city is the World's smartest. At first glance Montreal is not aesthetically as clinical as other major cities in North America but that's purely because of its European influence; the french influence is noticeable. I have described Montreal as the girl next door - it needs no makeup. It is what it is and Montrealers take great pride in making their city a great place to live, work and study.
Montreal is a great city, especially for students. Every corner you turn you see something, whether it's someone playing a musical instrument, a food truck serving up something new for your taste buds or someone involved in some form of craft activities that you’ve never seen before. There is something for everyone in Montreal. You also get a sense that Montrealers are incredibly talented people. At the top of Mont Royal a piano waits for pianist to play music to the locals and tourists looking out on the spectacular Montreal skyline. If I were a student I'd do all my reading at the top of Mont Royal.
The city on its own is a great sell. So which university is for you?
I describe McGill as the brains of the city but Concordia University is the heart. Concordia sits in the heart of Downtown and McGill sits slightly north of the city near Mont Royal. They are two very distinctively different universities. McGill is perhaps better recognised for its emphasis on research founded on tradition but Concordia is more geared towards experiential learning supported by a drive toward academic excellence and has a modern feel.
McGill University is one of Canada's best-known institutions of higher learning and one of the leading universities in the world. McGill is made up of 10 faculties and 12 schools. Whilst I was on campus I found out the following: McGill was founded in 1821, offers over 300 study programs, the student population is 25% international, and over 180 countries are connected to McGill through their alumni network! There are two campuses, 10 faculties with over 40,000 students! You get a sense of an international feel on campus - a staggering 150 countries are represented today on campus.
With over 300 programmes on offer you can find the perfect degree for you. They have everything from Accounting to World Religions!
The moment you step onto campus and meet members of staff you get a sense of pride, not just in achievement, but pride in the direction in which they are going. There is an appreciation of tradition underpinned by a foundation of success! A staggering 12 nobel prize winners are connected to McGill University including Ernest Rutherford who was awarded the prize for his contributions to Chemistry in 1908.
For more information on McGill please visit here. You have to check out McGill! There is also a scholarship for students from the UK which will be released in a separate blog post that you should explore.
Concordia University however is just as special.
When you visit the campus you will notice that it is quite large and is home to over 46,000 students, but there seems to be a focus on keeping class sizes really small and a true offer of flexibility across all programmes. Concordia has an impressive 27 to one student to professor ratio! Concordia is a young university that champions innovation and looks towards the future, and is ranked among the top 100 universities founded within the last 50 years, worldwide (Times Higher Education).
Concordia has something for everyone. Their Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD programs are based in four Faculties including: Arts and Science, Engineering and Computer Science, Fine Arts and the John Molson School of Business (JMSB). According to QS World University Rankings by Subject, Concordia received top marks for their undergraduate programs for English language and literature; education; civil and structural engineering; communication and media studies; linguistics; accounting and finance; and psychology, ranking them in the 94th percentile or higher. You can explore undergraduate study options here.
Concordia proclaim to champion innovation and have both eyes on the future. You can see that throughout their programmes which offer students the freedom and the flexibility to pick and choose their courses and gain real world experience.
Throughout my experience at Concordia I could tell the University were proud of the following accolades:
- Among the “Top 200 Most International” universities in the world; ranked 131st (Times Higher Education, 2016)
- Tenth in a field of 15 Canadian comprehensive universities (Maclean’s University Rankings, 2015)
- Among the top 500 universities world-wide (QS World University Rankings, 2015-2016)
- Among Canada’s top 25 research universities (Research Infosource, 2015)
- Among the “Top 100 Under 50” universities in the world (universities founded within the past 50 years, Times Higher Education, 2015)
- MBA program 24th internationally; fifth in Canada (Bloomberg Businessweek, 2015)
Each and every member of staff as well as students wanted to impart the impact Concordia had on their own lives and the lives of others. Students who I met had an abundance of experience to talk about including extensive exposure to Co-op programmes (work based learning experience) and student experience e.g. volunteering in the community.
Below is a picture of the International Counsellors group I travelled with.