GMSCM Exchange-Learning Journey in McGill

PublishDate:23 Mar 2017  Click:1932

Four-month McGill exchange study life has been over, just like yesterday. It is a valuable experience for me, especially after working for several years, putting down everything to immerse myself into the study life.

Montreal is a magic city. Once you lived there, you would definitely be attracted.

Montreal, one of the world's largest bilingual cities, is located in the junction of Ottawa River and the St. Lawrence River. Diversity is the significant characteristic of Montreal, as you can see people in the streets from all over the world. Diversity is reflected not only in the geography, but also in the inclusiveness. The greatest feeling after coming here is freedom, respect for the individual and the kindness from general public. It can accept different types of people, also can make you feel more comfortable to reveal the real you. In the streets of Montreal, the historic buildings among modern architecture can be seen everywhere displayed a different kind of beauty, unlike other cities. Montreal is a place of coming-together: different languages and cultures, deep history and a visionary future.

McGill University, the oldest public research university in Canada, is regarded as "Canada Harvard", with a very high reputation in people minds. I am so proud to have the opportunity to study here. The Redpath Museum where I passed by almost every day, is the oldest museum building in Canada with collections of interest to ethnology, biology, paleontology, and geology. McGill Library is another place we often visited, whose appearance seems to be aged, but inside there are lots of advanced facilities. It’s also amazing for me to see large numbers of Chinese books in the library. These various styles of exhibits and books are the best education for students. In McGill University, you can not only gain knowledge, but also enjoy the benefit of the unique culture of McGill. Here, all the aspiring people with the pursuit of knowledge, willing to explore the unknown, can get equal respect and recognition.  

Royal Mountain

The Redpath Museum in McGill

When we just arrived at McGill, it was the most beautiful season of the year, with full of bright yellow leaves. Of course, we cannot miss natural landscape of the golden autumn, the campus landscape is beautiful everywhere. Surrounding the campus is the Royal Mountain. All the way up the stairs, we could meet lots of people who enjoy sports. From the Royal hilltop overlooking the whole campus, you may feel unlimited and bright future in the front. The beauty in McGill makes you feel comfortable, and time seems to be stopped. McGill's humanistic spirit is so strong that no wonder more than half of the most famous poets and writers of Canada are from this university.

In regard of my study life here, I could still clearly feel the exciting when I got the student ID after a long queue on the first day. In the first two or three weeks, we almost attended all MBA classes to decide the courses in this semester. Finally, I chose Applied Corporate Finance and Technology Entrepreneurship at the last minute of course selection period which really brought me lots of impressive things later. And I also selected another two or three courses just sitting there from the beginning to end of the semester, basically not skipped any classes. McGill respects all the students’ willing to decide the courses which they really interested in. At the beginning, I was confused with how to schedule the rest time, however, when entering mid-term, I deeply realized every week there was full of group discussion, case analysis, report writing. Group discussion on project and cases is throughout the whole semester. But I really love this atmosphere. The surrounding students are smart and hardworking, and professors are affinity and friendly, spared no effort to help us. Although my English is not good enough, I can always receive warm encouragement and great kindness from them. I like the MBA center in Bronfman building as lots of our group discussion ended here, where we met either in the early morning, or late at night. Preparing the presentation was filled with pain and happiness, challenge and accomplishment. The other place I like to mention is library, which is quite comfortable. First of all, the heating there is so good that I definitely take a nap inside at first. Secondly, you can feel the strong learning atmosphere here by surroundings with young students. In addition, I found the library has its own restaurant one day I was hanging around which really made me thrilled for a long time.

GMSCM Family

Presentation in Class

Paying attention to the function of leisure and recreation for public is the other prominent characteristic of Montreal, I think.

Those days of study is simple and fun, just a daily cup of coffee and simple lunch. When finishing the assignments, then I would hang back. Because we lived in the center of town, only 10 minutes away from McGill. When I was walking and always cannot stop to shopping in this prosperous St. Catherine, it could take me a few hours to go home with a pile of unneeded things. The catering here is convenient, too. On the first floor of Bronfman Building there is a restaurant offering different cuisines. Nearby, on the opposite of Sherbrook Street, there are several restaurants. French cuisine is very famous here, but is not merely limited to this. If you go west to Concordia, here are many restaurants offered cuisines from all around the world, especially Japanese and Korean cuisines. Or if you go south to Chinatown, I think it’s needless to say.

Compared with entertainment, there is no other place where restaurants and bars and small shops can be more beautiful than in Montreal. When night comes, you can see street arts everywhere, any object could be a musical instrument, performed by hitting or singing or dancing. We can go to Schulich School of Music to listen soul-stirring classical music. What impressed me a lot was that there was an old woman in front of me appearing so beautiful and elegant all the time. Maybe that’s the magic of classical music. Or you can go to the Bell Centre where thousands of concerns are held in a year. The luckiest thing for me was that catching up live concerts of Adele and Don Henley, since it is quite difficult to get one ticket. Moreover, many galleries and various museums make the city full of art where we can take a look after dinner. Later in the evening, I prefer to go to the nearest cinema. Its IMAX hall equipped with advance facilities is absolutely worthy to see. Only the films updating speed always cannot keep up with frequency of my visit. More lately, it is the essence of the real night life. So many Bars and Parties filled with people will last until mid-night. Here, Montreal's youth and vitality can be seen from its night scene.

Ugly Sweater Party

Jazz Bar

As for the sports, the most popular sport is hockey, known as "ice hockey" in most parts of the world. Occasionally, one of our team members organized all MBA classmates to watch the hockey game in Bell Centre. This was my first time to see hockey game, and quickly I became a big fan of “Montreal Canadiens”. You can feel that hundreds of people in the game field are similarly encouraged by the hockey game, and draw joy and optimism from here. The other sport I like best is skiing. As a "born-again" ski enthusiast I almost fell down from the top of mountain to the bottom on the first day. Three days skiing experience in ski resort Tremblant was full of joy and warm for me even though in minus 20 degree centigrade. When I got stuck in the middle of hill, luckily, I met a kind local couple to help me get down and to teach me how to ski. At the last day, I finally successfully skied down from the top.

Ski in Tremblant

Travel in Toronto

Niagara Falls

Quebec City

Labrador City

Memory is long, and time is fleeting. Canada is too vast for us to discover in the limited time. In these days, I have visited Toronto,Niagara Falls, Quebec City,Labrador City, and each city has its own unique character. However, if you ask me which city I like most in Canada, it is always Montreal. Montreal’s rich ethnic characteristics make the city beautiful, colorful, blooming charm. I can always feel the warm and kindness from this city. I really appreciated my classmates, professors, that couple, and all the people I met here in these days. These four months has become a great page of my life. Writing to the end, salute to my study life in Montreal.

                                           Zhu Lifang-GMSCM2015