Reasons to Study in Montréal, Canada’s “Culture Capital”


So you’ve determined you want to study in Canada. What next? Well, you have to narrow down your options even more and select the Canadian city you want to study in. While there are many wonderful cities both small and large in the country, there’s one that seems to be a regular contender for not only the best city in Canada, but in the world: Montréal.

Montréal, Québec, also referred to as Canada’s “culture capital”, may not have been your first guess! The city has topped both London and Paris in a 2017 ranking of best cities to live in the world. Though it’s no longer 2017, Montréal continues to be in the top four rankings by QS Best Student Cities. These rankings are based entirely off six factors: student view, university rankings, desirability, affordability, employer activity, and student mix.


If this hasn’t encouraged you, here are a few more good reasons to study in Montréal!


Vibrant Student Life

Friends having fun on rooftop

Montréal blends all the good things in North America with the beauty and culture found in Europe. It’s known for its laid back yet vibrant lifestyle, unique and creative industries, nightlife and café culture. Students can choose to stroll down narrow cobblestone roads in Old Montréal, or explore modern, high-tech buildings in the downtown core. Montréal draws inspiration from many things making it a very eclectic city. All of these factors combined with the friendliness and diversity of the city make Montréal very attractive to not only international students, but also Canadian students. As a result, Montréal has one of the largest student populations in the world. What fun!


Affordable Housing

Montreal houses

Accommodations can be tricky. Finding a place to live in your own city can be a challenge, let alone in a foreign one. You’re likely unsure of what the standard cost is, what locations are best, what is included, the list goes on. One thing to note is, student accommodations in Montréal are very affordable. In fact, the city is one of the most affordable to live in all of Canada; a key reason students enjoy it so much. Similar to most cases, the further you live from the downtown core, the cheaper your accommodations will be. However it is possible to find affordable housing near your host school. Oftentimes, schools are affiliated with housing companies and help students find a home or housemates. If you plan to search the web, here are a few guidelines to help you with your house hunt.


Stress-free Transportation

BIXI bikes

International students already have enough to consider, why stress about something else such as transportation? While large, urban cities have efficient transportation systems, they can be a challenge to adjust to. Montréal, being a medium-sized city with just enough urban space to balance out the green space, has a simple transportation system. The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is the local network of trains and buses that take students anywhere they need to go in the city. Even if you do come across a challenge, locals are very friendly and are always happy to help. Naturally, students think about the cost of transportation and worry about overspending. What’s nice about Montréal is due to its high number of students, the STM offers a lower monthly fee to students under the age of 25. If you prefer an athletic route, Montréal has many bike lanes and BIXI, a bike sharing system, to fill them! For a quicker commute, students are welcome to use local taxis as they are very safe and also affordable in comparison to other cities.


Top-Rated Education

The biggest reason you chose to study abroad, education! In addition to everything Montréal has to offer, it’s home to some of the best educational institutions. According to a 2018 study conducted by the Quacquarelli Symonds Institute that assessed 100 international cities, Montréal placed top of the list in North American cities in which to study. It’s known to deliver a positive university experience to both local and international students, and with Canada’s desirability as a destination, Montréal is a primary competitor. What’s so incredibly unique about the student city is it’s bilingual options. While Montréal is the second largest French-speaking country in the world (after France, of course), offering courses in the native language, students also have the option to study in English. Alternatively, students can choose a mix of courses featuring both international languages.


Read our next blog, How international education helps foster a global outlook, here!

Are you interested in studying in Montréal or another Canadian city? Start planning your experience abroad and let ApplyBoard help!

Already a student in Canada and seeking guidance for work permit or residency applications? ApplyBoard can help with that too. Contact us here!


Adrianna Dyczkowsky, Public Relations Specialist at ApplyBoard