A Frenchwoman’s dream to live the Montréal experience

May 25, 2022

The first time I really heard about Québec was the day my best friend announced that he was leaving for Québec for his studies. I was excited for him, but I felt a slight pinch watching him go so far away. I didn’t understand why he was so hyped about it until I went to visit him on vacation. And that’s when I “fell in love,” as they say. I only spent two weeks in Québec, visiting Sherbrooke, Montréal and Québec City, but it was like an epiphany.

A plan that took off

When I came home, I kept thinking about this plan. I continued to live my life and gain professional experience in my field, but the idea never left me. My desire to go on a Montréal adventure became stronger over the months.

I read up on Québec, and specifically Montréal. When I visited Montréal the first time, I enjoyed its warm, relaxed and dynamic atmosphere. It’s a big city full of charm and opportunities, but also full of things to discover. I come from the countryside, and yet, Montréal just had a great feeling about it.

After much consideration, I came up with a plan for my own adventure. I learned about a computer graphics program that interested me and perfectly complemented my marketing and communication training. I told myself that it would be a great skill to add to my résumé, plus I would enjoy a fulfilling experience in Québec. I therefore decided to gather my courage and fly off.

Imminent departure

After going through all the administrative paperwork and working out the logistics, it was time to leave, and I found myself on a plane headed to Montréal. Between the stress and the excitement, I was completely overwhelmed by this life change.

Going through customs to get the study permit and work permit went smoothly with a very short wait. I was relieved and ready to enjoy the city.

Upon my arrival, I was lucky enough to not find myself alone. My friend was waiting to drive me to my future home and help set me up. Being a good guide, he showed me a few places and that’s when I knew that I was in the right place, at the right time. That spark in my heart and pang in my stomach, the feeling of freedom and achieving a dream – that’s what I felt when I arrived in Montréal.

Change of course

I immediately adored life in Québec and Montréal. I felt a different energy than in France. People take it easy and take time for activities. Life is dynamic and people are out enjoying the shops, bars, restaurants, and all the outdoor spaces for family activities or fun among friends. You feel the constant pleasure of enjoying the good things here.

The open-mindedness and mentality are also different. You see lots of styles and people of all cultures, which make it a multicultural and non-conformist society. That’s what I liked the most the first time I came to Montréal. And I felt it again this time. You can feel that every person is free to choose their style, their life, their physical choices, that living in Montréal means an openness to these personal choices. A breath of fresh air for a life change.

The cultural life in Montréal and the surrounding areas is very dynamic. Cultural, musical and environmental events are everywhere and offer a slew of activities for everyone. You can go see a concert or enjoy a comedy show in a smaller venue. You can hang out in the streets of Montréal and meet so many street artists. You just need to take a stroll to discover beautiful murals and absolutely incredible street paintings. Or when you have the time, sit down at a patio to take in the lively city.

Just go for it!

Montréal offers a life change for those looking to start a new chapter in their life. Albeit the idea of leaving everything you know behind seems crazy, if you’re looking for new experiences, surroundings, opportunities and want to meet new people and new cultures, Montréal is the answer. If anyone is still hesitating, I urge you to go for it, because in life, you can only regret what you haven’t tried!

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Montréal International.