Does the idea of pursuing your studies in Montreal inspire you? Well, you’re not alone, and we understand the attraction! Each year, Montreal ranks among the world’s top student cities. In fact, in 2023, it was named the best city to study in Canada—for the seventh consecutive year!
Several of Montreal’s traits make it a fantastic place to live and a worthwhile student destination. Curious to know more? Discover the top 7 reasons why Montreal is a highly coveted student city.
1. Cost of living
The cost of studying is lower in Montreal than in several other cities of a similar scale. Tuition is more affordable, and students enjoy discounts on a wide variety of activities and services.
Wondering why Montreal offers all these amazing advantages to students? We were too, so we looked into it. What we found out is that Montreal’s vibrant student community contributes to its international reputation. It’s one of the main things that gives visibility to its creators, its technological innovations, and its culture.
Yes, the “City of a Hundred Steeples” has every interest in offering students a welcoming and supportive environment. And it’s doing a terrific job of it, if all the hype is true!
2. Quality of education
The quality of education in Montreal’s universities is unquestionable. Once again, many reasons explain this. Everyone seems to agree that the following factors make the quality of Montreal’s education indisputable:
- Access to education for everyone
Education is a top priority in Quebec. Governments pride themselves on offering all students fair access to an education, regardless of their socioeconomic status or background. Throughout the province’s network of universities and colleges, most of which are in Montreal, measures are put in place to support students with difficulties and help them succeed in school.
- Academic excellence
Montreal is home to renowned higher education institutions, including McGill University, Concordia University, and Université de Montréal. These universities attract professors and researchers from all over the world, which continuously raises education standards at the local level.
- Investments in research and innovation
Thanks to its rich networks and partnerships, Montreal is a dynamic hub of research, development, and innovation. Not surprisingly, higher education institutions benefit from this by gaining innovative teaching practices and technologies.
3. Student community
Whether you come from near or far, you’ll be welcomed with open arms when you’re a student in Montréal. An entire community will invite you to join in the action, share, and connect. Regardless of your interests—sports, arts, outdoor activities, the nightlife, fine food, technologies, name it!—you’ll easily find your people and thrive in your student life.
It’s worth mentioning that some student residences in Montreal, such as Le Within, focus specifically on fostering a sense of community. Activities are offered on-site, and you also have access to common spaces (multimedia studio, study rooms, etc.).
4. Urban charisma
Montreal has a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that makes it uniquely attractive. Are you moved by the stature of a glass skyscraper, but also charmed by the timeless appeal of cobblestone streets? You’ll be in your element in Montreal. Some say it wonderfully combines elegant urban aesthetics and the picturesque atmosphere of old European neighborhoods.
Montreal’s architectural signature is expressed through its old, Victorian-style buildings, which coexist in harmony with its modern constructions. Stroll the city’s streets to learn more about its vibrant history, marked by the currents and trends of the 17th century. From one epigraph to the next, you’ll be won over by Montreal’s irresistible personality.
5. One city, four seasons
Are chilly Canadian winters the first thing you’ve heard about Montreal? Know that they only account for one of the four magnificent seasons you’ll discover in our province.
Studying in Montreal is indeed a four-season experience. In fact, some places are known for the unique atmosphere they offer during a particular season. Mount Royal shows off its flamboyant colours in the fall. Old Montreal is decked out in sparkling lights during the holidays. Spring is in full bloom on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, and, last but not least, the Quartier des spectacles is buzzing with action all summer long. All of these fabulous attractions are sure to energize you after a busy week of classes.
6. A cultural mecca
Montreal owes its dynamic and diverse culture to its cosmopolitan nature. Offering a rich cultural mosaic, with influences from all over the globe, the city stands out as one of the most multicultural metropolises in North America.
Regardless of where you are coming from as a student, you’ll probably find ways to reconnect with the cuisine, activities, or cultural customs of your homeland in Montreal. Language-wise, French and English are predominant in this insular metropolis.
7. World-renowned gastronomy
Montreal’s culinary scene is highly regarded for its excellence. The city is full of world-class restaurants serving everything from French, Syrian, Italian, Mexican, and Asian cuisine, to name only a few. Students take advantage of their free time to enjoy mouth-watering meals or share drinks with friends on lively terraces.
Aside from its outstanding restaurants, Montreal also boasts several open-air and specialty markets, such as the Atwater, Jean-Talon, and Maisonneuve markets. Throughout the year, they offer a wide variety of specialties from all over the globe (Morrocan, Asian, Italian, and more).
8. Innovation and development
Montreal is known throughout the world as a dynamic technological hub fostering innovation and development. Currently, the city’s reputation is particularly strong in the field of artificial intelligence, owing to its impressive pool of seasoned researchers. Montreal also stands out for its advances in sectors such as information technology, life sciences, energy, and sustainable development.
This urban vitality has a positive influence on students, whether they come from here or abroad. Many of them discover excellent business opportunities after completing their studies. This explains why Montreal has become a leading incubator for technology and communications startups over the last few years. In sum, the city not only offers high-quality education, but also a wide range of career development opportunities!
Thinking of studying in Montréal? Check out our guide to find the best student residence in the city.