It wasn’t our in our plans to check out universities in Montreal. It was just going to be a girl’s getaway, celebrating the beginning of Carlee’s gap year with little four day side trip from our visit with my family in Ontario. A few days of shopping, cafés, sushi and a show or two. But since her dad went to McGill University, we thought we would book a tour for fun. When my cousin Karen said, “If Carlee went to McGill she could live with me!” it got us thinking…..
I seriously underestimated my girl. I knew she would be delighted to experience the cultural aspects of Montreal, but I figured she would be turned off with the crowds and hustle and bustle of city living. I am a big city girl who raised small town kids. Carlee’s a country girl, loves her horses and quiet living. Isn’t she? I have never known her to desire to live in a big city. I also thought she would be completely overwhelmed with McGill. Not at all! When I asked her what she thought about McGill she thoughtfully replied, “Big and intimidating and awesome!” Huh? She liked it? She could see herself possibly going there? She liked the old buildings, the academic energy, the diversity amongst the crowds, and the challenge of the competitive admission standards. Sooooo…..
We thought we might as well check out Concordia University as well. We booked a tour which we thought would be an hour and it ended up being 3 hours long! We had the sweetest tour guide, a second year fine arts student. It was only Carlee and I, so we had her undivided attention. The campus is very different from McGill. It is spread out in buildings throughout the heart of downtown Montreal. It is all connected underground so in the winter you do not even have to go outside. The buildings are 13 stories tall! This university had its own appeal; definitely strong in the arts with programs such as Creative Writing, Journalism, Studio Art and Design, to name a few. Our guide took us to her favourite study areas, one being the greenhouse on the 7th floor. This lovely hideaway is full of greenery (cared for by students) little water fountains, tables to sit and study, or, if you just want a little time out you can fix yourself a herbal tea at the tea station. Another favourite spot to study was on a floor which had couches overlooking a view of the skyline.
We opted to take a 20 minute bus to the other campus, Loyala, which offers the Humanities program and the Science & Arts programs. It has a completely different feel to it with its beautiful historic buildings and out of the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Overall, both universities held an appeal for Carlee. We found Montreal as a possibility that we would have never considered had we not decided to take this little impromptu side trip to visit cousin, Karen! Some thought and prayer will be on the agenda in the days to come 🙂