Before you settle in Montreal, Canada.

Few things that I would like to tell all the international students and immigrants coming to Montreal:

French is very important in Montreal

Montreal is predominantly a french speaking city, you will see many signboards, directional messages etc in French, but a the same time it is bilingual. Speaking and reading french would be a huge plus if you want to work part-time or settle down here after your studies. So the bottom line is to learn french before coming to Montreal.

Public transportation of Montreal is amazing

Montreal’s public transportation is truly amazing so don’t worry about transportation at all! All the major places are connected through the Metro(see timings) or Bus(24 hrs)! If you are a student below 25 years of age you can get your public transportation pass at $49(STM photo OPUS card), in general, the monthly pass costs $80(OPUS card)

Winter in Montreal is unpredictable

Don’t buy winter clothes if you are not from a cold region, normal winter clothes won’t work in Montreal’s winter which is very harsh! The temperature drops up to -23 celsius, the temperature today at the time of writing this post is -14. The winter is unpredictable at times and you can get good deals for clothes/boots during Thanksgiving(October 10)/Boxing day(December 26)/Black Friday(November 25). Which brands to buy? It depends upon your budget but if you want to have a decent winter jacket that is price sensitive, go for POINT ZERO. Budget winter boots could be purchased from stores like SEARS. There are tons of other stores like Canadian Tire, Winners and Wallmart, every store has good deals during Thanksgiving and Boxing day.

Downtown Montreal

Where to live if you are going to study in Concordia downtown campus and have some friends to share your apartment? The answer to this question is Downtown Montreal. Downtown is undoubtedly the best place to stay while you are in your first semester, everything is at a walking distance, right from Concordia’s downtown campus, grocery stores, shopping centers, health clubs like YMCA, tons of food joints. Everything you need is available here! You can easily use Airbnb to make online bookings alternatively if you want to live for few days for free, try Couchsurfing

Some personal tips: If you wear spectacles, do get 2-3 pairs of them because they are way costly here, even eye checkups($65-$80) are very costly and are not fully covered by your health insurance. International health insurance covers almost everything except your teeth and it covers partial eye checkups!

These are just a few things to know before you come here so that you can be prepared..

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