European sophistication meets Canadian friendliness in Montréal, the largest French-speaking city in the world outside of Paris. This metropolis of 3.6 million offers culture around the clock in both English, and French, and most Montréalers speak both official Canadian languages. If you’re passionate about the arts, film, food and fashion, you’ll fall in love with the city as soon as you arrive. Old world architecture and new world chic, stylish shopping districts and lush green parks abound in a city whose unique character was shaped by the French, the English, and two centuries of immigrants from more than 80 countries.
The ILSC-Montréal campus is set in the heart of Old Montréal, close to the Old Port, and near public transport, parks and more. ILSC students will love Montréal’s amazing natural setting and its sizzling urban scene, from live music and dancing to theatre and endless restaurant choices.
Experience the City Year Round
Spring brings warmer temperatures and the city is in bloom by April. Spring is still a great time to ski, snowboard or toboggan, though, because the snow will stay on the mountains until well into April and sometimes even as late as May! March to April is also the high-season for visiting a “cabane a sucre” or Sugar Shack. Discover how maple syrup is made and enjoy traditional Québécois food, music and dance. In late March, get a taste of this chic city’s “haute couture” at Montréal fashion week – for students studying French, this is the perfect time to sign up for ILSC’s “Le francais par la mode et le design” class (French through Fashion and Design). Spring starts off cold, and warms up quickly, so be prepared for any kind of weather.
Summer is full of music, film, arts, cultural and sports festivals. Enjoy the island heat in Jean Drapeau Parc, explore the Lachine Canal on bicycle or hike in the Laurentians. In late June- early July, the famous Festival International de Jazz de Montréal enlivens the city with performances by amazing musicians from around the world, and many of the music events are free! Then in July, check out the Circus Arts Festival – the famous Circque du Soleil was started in Montréal, so this festival is sure to amaze and astound. The city’s balmy comfortable summer temperatures are best enjoyed outdoors, and Montréal offers everything under the sun to keep you occupied in your free time.
In fall, the city comes alive with colour as the foliage changes from green to stunning yellow, gold and red. Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a leisurely walk, or a bike ride through the city’s parks and local markets. Dip into the potent night life of Montréal’s café society, clubs, theatres and music venues that fill the vibrant downtown streets. In October, hockey season starts, so make sure to catch a Montréal Canadiens game – Quebecers are passionate about their NHL team whose popular nickname, “the Habs” is short for “Les Habitants,” the French settlers who originally farmed the land along the St. Lawrence River. From September to October, temperatures are still comfortable, but from November to December, you’ll definitely need a few warm layers.
Winter offers endless choices for outdoor activities, from snowboarding at Mont Tremblant to snowshoeing, tobogganing or even dog-sledding at Jean Drapeau Park during the Fete des neiges de Montréal (Festival of snow). Lace up your skates and glide around with friends at Beaver Pond on Mont Royal, or indoors at the Atrium. If you want to warm up inside, do some shopping in Montréal’s vast underground pedestrian network of department stores and shopping centres. Of course, Montréal’s energetic nightlife can be enjoyed any time of the year. Bring warm clothes and be prepared for the cold, but don’t let it dampen your spirits, Montréal stays lively no matter what the season!
All ILSC schools in Canada offer free Internet access outside of class hours (during regular school hours) in selected computer labs.
The inviting student lounges at all ILSC campuses provide access to filtered water, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, fridges and microwaves. Campuses also have several bulletin boards providing information about travel, housing, employment, upcoming local events, etc.
All ILSC schools in Canada have a borrowing library and a listening laboratory available for all students. Practice your English or French speaking skills with conversation tapes and audio books on tape. The libraries are available during regular school hours.
All ILSC campuses in Canada and most classrooms and facilities are wheelchair accessible.