Dubbed “Canada’s Cultural Capital” by Monocle, and “Best Travel in 2013” by Lonely Planet, Montreal provides an intriguing blend of cultures. Originally a base for French exploration in North America, Montreal’s history and culture has heavy French influences, at home and in business. Any student who chooses Montreal will experience the charming culture in more ways than one, and it’s a perfect place to learn the language of love and explore a unique piece of Canada’s history.
Food & Culture
Studying abroad in Montreal includes tasting your way around the world, as the culinary landscape of Montreal is so diverse and exciting. Ranked among the top cities in the world with the most restaurants, Montreal has a wide variety of ethnic foods to choose from, and is famous for regional favorites, like poutine (fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy), or the Montreal hot dog (loaded with hot peppers, pickles, or tomatoes). Ethnic communities throughout the city have influenced the amalgamation of restaurants in Montreal, including many centered around Italian, Jewish, Lebanese, and Greek cuisines. There are also many chains that are styled after the melting pot of culinary trends in Montreal. These include Moishes Steakhouse, Dagwoods, Dic Ann’s Hamburgers, and Lafleur Restaurants. Be sure to also try the world-renowned Montreal style bagel and Montreal smoked-meat sandwiches.
Things to Do
As the second-largest city in Canada, Montreal has no shortage of activities. The city offers a myriad of museums, restaurants, bars, and parks to fill your days with fun. It’s an island surrounded by the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, and only a short boat ride away from many other exciting excursions. You might take a day trip to La Ronde, Quebec’s largest amusement park, or have a picnic in Parc du Mont Royal, a beautiful park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (who also designed NYC’s Central Park). For a more relaxing getaway, spend the day at Ovarium, a renowned day spa, or lay by the pool at the Complexe Aquatique de L’ile Ste-Helene, a state-of-the-art swimming pool complex rebuilt for the 2005 World Aquatic Championships. If you get the urge to get out of the city, hop on a boat for a whale-watching excursion, or kayak the Lachine Rapids. Whatever your fancy, Montreal has something to offer.
Studying in Montreal
Second only to Paris as the largest French-speaking city in the world, Montreal is the perfect place for French immersion programs, and is also known as an important hub for design, art, tourism, film, world affairs, and aerospace. Many of French language programs allow students to study both the French language and culture. For example, Languages Abroad offers French immersion courses that include language classes daily in the heart of downtown Montreal. Cultural and social activities are built into the program to help students apply their language skills in fun, interesting real-life situations. Alternatively, students may take courses at one of Montreal’s top universities or colleges while attending language classes in conjunction.