Exchange Student – one semester at McGill University, Montreal


Hannah George, Politics

Why I got involved

It was a good opportunity to go abroad for a semester, to meet new people, and to do something to add to my CV.

Why did you choose your specific destination?

Canada is somewhere I have always wanted to visit, and there were two universities available to me. When I looked into it, I saw McGill University has a really good reputation and was very high up on the world rankings. It was also very close to Montreal.

Most enjoyable aspect

The lecturers were great and I really enjoyed the course. My living situation was amazing. I lived in a house with ten other people - all international students - and it was really nice to meet people from all over the world. There is a big international community at McGill and socially it is very well organised. I wrote for McGill’s school newspaper, which I’ve never tried before, and I also sang in the student choir.

What was the most challenging aspect?

The quantity of work. It is far greater than Newcastle. I had to do double the number of modules and a dissertation. I struggled for a little while but once I got my head around it I was okay. The grading system is quite good as you get marks for participation, and in the end I came back with better grades than I had previously achieved at Newcastle.

How do you feel it helped to enhance your degree?

One of the major ways I benefitted is my work ethic. Having such a great deal of work to do made me study harder. It has also given me more confidence to speak to people I’ve never met, and especially to speak up and be more forthcoming in class (even if it is daunting to begin with).

How I've benefited personally?

Going abroad on your own shows a great level of independence and shows you have experience that other people may not have, particularly going somewhere prestigious like McGill. I’ve thrown myself into a situation where I knew nobody and managed to cope well with a different workload and a differently structured course.

Find out more about Student Exchange Programmes.