McGill: something for (almost) everyone, in and out of the bubble

SMUS-University-Counselling

Over the past four graduating classes, we have had an average of 47 students apply to McGill University each year (that’s a little less than one third of each grad class!). There are usually at least 16 students per class who decide to attend, which means that currently at McGill,there are probably 60 SMUS grads at any one time doing undergraduate studies. I had the opportunity to tour the campus and meet with two current SMUS students who are studying there, Victor (Management) and Tom (Arts).

As a large institution, McGill has no shortage of programmes to choose from in their Faculties of Arts, Science, Management, Education, Engineering, Agriculture & Environmental Studies, Religious Studies, and their School of Music. In fact, they offer most everything, with the exception of visual arts. The buildings sprawl over numerous city blocks right in the heart of downtown Montreal, yet there still is a definite campus feel to it thanks to stone walls and green spaces.

First year classes are large and that was a whole new experience for our grads! For example, an introductory psychology class was simultaneously in 2 lecture halls, each with 600 students, one with the live prof, one with a video feed. Students report that academics can be intense and, in the School of Management, there is a competitive spirit among the students. It is definitely a place where you would want to be self-sufficient and assertive in order to make your way among the throngs of students and courses.

The buildings themselves are a mix of old and new. We didn’t get to see inside a residence, but the students I met reported that some have been recently renovated, while others are still waiting for their makeover. Both boys reported that it was easy to stay in the “McGill bubble”, even for all four years, but that if you were adventurous, you could find your way out. Tom had met some Quebeckers and had experienced some of “real” life, while Victor was quite content to try and stay warm in the bubble for the time being. Both of them are involved in things beyond their main area of study, Tom as a local DJ and VP of the Arts Undergraduate Society, Victor through his percussion playing in two ensembles on campus. The well rounded student is alive and well at McGill!

If you want to hear more about our recent trip to McGill and Montreal, please come see me, Ms Casey, or Ms Laughlin!

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Alison McCallum
Alison McCallum is Head of University Counselling at SMUS and one of the Academic Advisors.

1 COMMENT

  1. It’s great to hear about my Alma Mater. I have just realized that it is now 45 years since I graduated with my first degree and 49 years since I stood outside the Currie Gym to register for my first year classes. (In those days it was all done by hand and in one place…) I hope that the students who are going to McGill this year have the same feelings of excitement and anticipation I had then and that they have as great an experience.

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