Winter is very different as you could imagine in comparison to a winter season in Australia. Before I arrived in Montréal I spent two days in Toronto to visit some family and get a taste of the cold Canadian air. My cousins were my personal guides, showing off Yonge Street and some popular fast food restaurants whilst also giving me basic advice about Montréal. I went shopping with them for essential outerwear (snow boots and jacket, heat-tech shirts, scarves) and the shoes I wore all day that were brought from Australia fell apart. They were tested against the Canadian elements and failed miserably after two days.
I was so nervous to catch a train from Toronto to Montréal on my own. I was wondering whose bright idea it was to study abroad in a province where I could not understand the native language. When I arrived at the interstate train terminal, there were signs in every direction, the food court, the information desk were all in French and I had to navigate my way to my accommodation whilst lugging my heavy bags onto a connecting train, a bus and through a fierce snowstorm. Welcome to Montréal!
During the first week of at HEC Montréal, all of the exchange students were invited to an array of introductions, information sessions and events throughout the week to get to know everyone. Previous hesitations and worries were gone and I was instantly welcomed by university coordinators and found some new mates. Complementary food and drinks were also helpful.
We can fast-track to a couple of months after settling into Montréal, and I still think Montréal is freezing. I could easily wear two pair of pants, two long-sleeved shirts, my snow jacket, gloves and a thick scarf and still be shivering from the wind.
Every day is new. I’m constantly finding the next brunch spot, a beautiful historical churches, and taking advantage of the many winter activities available within Montréal and interstate. There have been plenty of ice skating, the occasional trip to go snowboarding and almost everywhere you go there’s an opportunity to have a snowball fight. There is a popular winter music festival called Igloofest. If you love a bit of electronic music then this is the event to go to where you can dance to warm up. I’m yet to go to an ice hockey game to support the Montréal Canadiens! I’ve visited other cities over a couple of weekends like Toronto (again), Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Québec City with many more adventures to follow.
Bachelor of Management in Events and Leisure