Serious fun in Montreal December 04, 2019

By (Accounting, French Language & Literature, University of Maine - Orono) - abroad from 01/01/2018 to 05/31/2019 with

University of Maine: Canada - Killam Fellowships Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
From my experience abroad, I learned that: - I have a good amount of sticktoitiveness. - That I can rise to the occasion - I speak French very well. - I do well in new situations and environments. - There is so much opportunity in this world and that it is important to be perceptive and receptive to it.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The UdeM has a great program for exchange students. I was able to sign up for a "Buddy to Buddy" program which really helped me adjust to UdeM's academic environment. In addition, they do a lot for exchange students. They had a couple international student gatherings that included a pub crawl, etc.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived off campus - which is common for UdeM students.

* Food:

I lived off campus - which is common for UdeM students.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt extremely integrated with the local culture. My roommate was great and really took me under his wing. In addition, the UdeM has a great program for exchange students. I even signed up for a "Buddy to Buddy" program which really helped me adjust to UdeM's academic environment.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't undergo any health issues during my time abroad luckily.

* Safety:

Montreal is a very safe city, I didn't feel any different concerns about my safety in Montreal than I did/do in Bangor, Maine.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The overall exchange program was lovely. I experienced a whole new academic setting with the Killam Program and had the intense French immersion program that I so hoped for at the Universite de Montreal - it was like a dream come true. The host institution was extremely helpful and held many activities for international students.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 70 CAD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan ahead so that you can splurge on fun Montreal experiences.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

All of my classes were in French except for the British literature course.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 400-level literature courses.
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? The only way to practice language is to use language. It can be discouraging at first when people try to be kind to you and speak English, but you must be persistent and speak the language to practice.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The freedom
  • The 3hr lecture style of teaching
  • The amount of interaction I had with Killam Fellows and international exchange students
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Get organized as early as possible so that you don't have to worry about any surprises. I planned far ahead in advance, and I only wish that I had looked more into Quebec's foreign exchange requirements earlier, because it seemed as though I was working against a deadline in order to get my certificate to study within the province.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!