People always say that a study abroad experience helps you better learn about yourself. They say it because it’s true. I have learned so much during my time in Montréal, and not just in the classroom. I learned from my peers here, I learned from my Québecois roommates, I learned from my internship, and from the people of Montréal. This is not to say I didn’t also learn in the classroom. The professors in Montréal are just as superb as they are in Burlington. My professor for International Business & Macroeconomics course works for Bombardier, an aerospace and transportation company. It’s always interesting having different inputs and perspectives from professors from different industries.
Studying abroad isn’t only for the studying aspect. Learning about a new culture while immersed in it is one of the best perks of studying abroad. While many students in Burlington think Montréal isn’t that foreign as it’s two hours away, it has so much to offer. The bilingual culture is something which has fascinated me all semester. Almost everyone here can switch between at least French and English flawlessly, if not a third language as well. I hope to someday be in the same boat, and I have definitely brushed up my French this semester. It’s probably noticeable in this blog that food is a huge part of the culture. There are not only the Montréal staples of poutine and smoked meat, but food from so many different ethnicities. I wish I had an endless budget to just eat my way through the city!
For many students, studying abroad will be the first time they live in an apartment. Living on your own can be intimidating for college students – learning to cook for yourself and keeping a clean domicile. Add that intimidation to living in a foreign country and some students might decide not to study abroad. However, Champlain Montréal still has the wonderful community feel found on the Burlington campus. The apartments are all in the same building, and many family meals were made. We all learn from each other and know we can knock on anyone’s apartment at any time. Plus it’s fun to finally be living like an adult!
Being put out of your comfort zone will happen – but that’s what allows growth and learning. Champlain College has recognized the importance of a global education and has given students from every major the opportunity to study abroad – an opportunity which every student should be taking advantage of! At first it’s hard to say goodbye to Burlington, but now it’s even more difficult to say au revoir to Montréal. But it’s not a goodbye forever, your friends will still be in Burlington in four months, it’s more of a see you again soon. The beauty of Montréal only being two hours away means you can share this wonderful city with friends from Burlington and can easily come back for a weekend.
So, Montréal, à bientôt!