Taking advantage of opportunities in Montréal during COVID-19
Our daily student life has been disrupted by the pandemic for close to a year now. Though this period has been difficult for Québec students, it may be even more so for international students, who are alone, far from their families back home.
However, there are opportunities in every crisis! And believe me, there are many ways to break out of the isolation and take advantage of this time to grow in Montréal.
If there is something that helped me during the pandemic is having become involved in many activities in order to stay active – in my living room, no less! Although most companies put a freeze on hiring when the pandemic started, they have now adapted to the reality of working from home and the possibility of hiring people by training new hires remotely.
For my part, I found a part-time internship last fall. I have been alternating between my classes and my internship, both from home, and I can tell you that it’s helped me a lot. Time went by more quickly and my weekly schedule was well paced with a variety of activities. I met new colleagues, which enabled me to feel less isolated by talking to different people during the week.
But now you’re going to say that you have no idea in what field you could work. I have a great solution for you: LinkedIn! To find the field I would like to work in, I looked for people on LinkedIn in companies that I liked. I asked if they would meet with me virtually just to talk about their career path so I could see if it was something I would be interested in. This was an excellent opportunity during the pandemic because people are usually available since they don’t need to travel anywhere.
Because a lot of companies are looking for junior talent, this is the right time to look for a job. The website of the I choose Montréal initiative, developed by Montréal International, regularly updates job offers for international students. So go check it out!
Doing volunteer work
If there’s a field that needs people, it’s volunteer work. Many organizations in Greater Montréal offer volunteer opportunities, especially during these trying times. In addition to filling up your days and providing you with something different to do, volunteering allows you to meet new people of any age, culture and from all walks of life. In addition to giving back to your community and feeling good about yourself, doing volunteer work may be an ideal way to make new contacts and friends.
Find out about opportunities for volunteer work here.
A great way to add some variety to your days is to spend some time in the great outdoors. The City of Montréal has a ton of outdoor activities which you can do alone while listening to music or with friends while maintaining social distancing.
Tobogganing, playing hockey, skating, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, winter biking, just to name a few. Believe me, you don’t need to get out of the city to find things to do!
We’re all in this together!
If being isolated is starting to take a toll on you, remember that Montréal has several resources to help you get through these tough times.
First, I would recommend that you contact your university’s resources. Most universities provide various services to students, including psychological or financial counselling, among others.
So don’t hesitate to send an email to get advice and support from people who are there to help you.
There are also other resources and places you can call free of charge if you need help.
Now that you are well informed, it’s time to take action and fill your days with stimulating activities. School, a job, volunteer work, outdoor activities… The days will fly by and before you know it, summer will be here!
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Montréal International.