Today on 3rd September, I’ve reached three milestones:
- Finishing the 1st week of classes at HEC Montréal.
- Reached the end of the 2nd week since arriving in Montréal.
- It’s been exactly one month since landing in Canada.
Tip #1: Don’t let the weather get in the way of your plans
When I first arrived in Vancouver, the BC forest fires were still ablaze, so the blue skies were nowhere to be seen and while I walked around Stanley Island in Downtown Vancouver, you could just see the outlines of the mountains surrounding the city. However, just because the weather isn’t clear skies, it doesn’t mean you should postpone your trip completely. There are many locations to see besides the skylines, many restaurants and cafes to eat poutine, and so many historical buildings to take photos of that the weather won’t matter. So many Canadians wanted to see the Canadian Rockies this summer but didn’t because they were afraid the haze from the BC fires would ruin the view, and they sorely missed out on the BEST views ever (see all the pics in this blogpost)!
Tip #2: DEFINITELY travel around Canada during Summer
While I’m excited about seeing the snow, ice-skating, skiing and watching the Montréal Canadiens play ice hockey, I really loved travelling in Summer when the weather reached 30 degrees Celsius. It’s a great time to wear your shorts and t-shirts while you can, and the views of the natural landscapes on the walking trails are breathtaking! You’ll also get to see some wildlife while you’re walking around (I’ve seen deer, bighorn sheep, and countless squirrels, chipmunks, pikas, Canadian geese and hairy marmots). I’d recommend going to popular tourist destinations such as Lake Louise and Mont Royal either before 8am or after 6pm, you’ll deal with less tourists getting in the way of your selfies and you’ll get to relax more.
Tip #3: Arrive at your host university city before the start of semester
After my 3-week trip visiting countless mountain ranges, lakes and glaciers (yes, I said glaciers), spanning Vancouver, Whistler, Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise, Kelowna, Toronto and Niagara Falls, I hopped on the plane to Montréal, arriving there one week before semester started. I’d strongly advise this, as it gives you time to settle into the city. I joined the HEChange Welcome Week, and I LOVED it! The HEChange committee members did a fantastic job creating this hectic but adventurous schedule around Montréal, and I’ve met many new friends from countries such as Belgium, France, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Germany, China, Mexico, Chile and Australia (there are 10+ Aussies here). I’d have never thought I’d do jet boating on the Lachine Rapids! I’d absolutely recommend joining up for this package.
As I reflect on my experience so far, I can honestly say that going on exchange to HEC Montréal is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life, and you should definitely take the opportunity to study here!
Bonne journée !
Claire Lindsay (12745788)
Bachelor of Business
HEC Montréal, Canada