Moving to a new city is a major adjustment, even more so in the case of Montreal. But once you embrace the vibe of this beautiful island, you’ll definitely fall in love with it. Especially as a student, you could not have picked a better city to spend your best years at. Home to 11 universities – McGill, Université de Montréal and Concordia to name a few – and 180,000 students coupled with a never-ending nightlife, socializing is easy here.
We know you’re overwhelmed by the concept of moving to a whole new city, but do not worry because we have you covered with our list of things you NEED to know before moving here.
1. Montreal is bilingual. Kinda.
The first thing you will probably notice when you move here is French. Montreal is an extremely bilingual city so expect to meet people who speak both French and English or just one of the two. It’s not much of a problem if you don’t know the language of love but does get used to using the basics like Bonjour (hello), Merci (thank you) and a personal favorite, une autre bière s’il vous plaît (another beer, please). Although you can get by knowing just English, some of the neighborhoods are more French than others so doing your due diligence is advised.
2. The Nightlife
Montreal’s nightlife will definitely make you forget those parties you used to have back home. Looking for a memorable Friday night? Don’t worry, it’ll find you. The last call is 2 45 am and you can’t stay past 3 am (depends on how comfortable they are with you so being nice will go a long way). From the fancy bars to the hipster's joints, Montreal has something happening every night.
3. Get used to One-way streets
The exotic and European style of the streets might be alluring in the beginning, but driving in Montreal quickly becomes a hassle due to its one-way streets. A GPS will surely prove to be a worthy companion for your travels in this city laced with its confusing street directions.
4. 5 à 7 – a lifestyle
Montreal’s take on happy hour, most establishments offer 5 7 deals on weekdays. You will find bars and restaurants jam-packed with Montrealers enjoying a drink or a meal after work. Being new to the city, it’s a great way to meet new people. Most spots are flexible on the timings and will offer deals as early as 4 pm and as late as 8 pm too.
5. Montreal Canadiens – The Habs
Living in Montreal and not becoming a Habs fan is almost near impossible no matter who you are. Montrealers are very serious and dedicated when it comes to their hockey team the Montreal Canadiens or the Habs for short. If you don’t wanna feel left out in social situations, you’d better have some Canadiens knowledge which also makes for a great conversation starter.