Yes, you can enjoy Montréal even if you don’t speak French. Montréal is a bilingual city where people speak both English and French.
Temperatures in Montréal vary from season to season. Please visit the following website to learn more about our weather: http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/cities/can/pages/CAQC0363.htm
All buildings have central heating, so you will never be cold when you are indoors. On average, home temperatures are kept around 20°C.
Spring/Summer (March 21 to September 21)
Fall/Winter (September 21 to March 21)
Montréal is one of the least expensive cities in Canada.
Montréal is a very safe, cosmopolitan city but we always remind students to be cautious.
Most people can use their foreign cellphone by purchasing a mobile plan with their own service provider or a company in Montréal. However, it might be less expensive to buy a cellphone in Montréal. Here are some companies that have stores near the school: Bell, Vidéotron, Fido, Telus, Koodo and Rogers.
There are lots of different kinds of outdoor activities you can do in Montréal. In the warmer months, you can explore the city by bicycle along hundreds of miles of bike paths, visit our many parks, go swimming at one of our two beaches and walk around the city and Mount Royal. In the winter, you can play hockey or skate in the park or visit a nearby ski resort. With a vibrant culture and year-round festivals, you will undoubtedly find that Montréal’s quality of life is outstanding.
For a calendar of activities, visit www.tourisme-montreal.org.
Citizens of certain countries require a visa to travel to Canada. For a list of these countries, please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp. If you require a visa, read our Visa Information section for international students.
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), you do not need a student visa if you want to follow a short-term course or program (six months or less). However, citizens of certain countries need to apply for a temporary resident visa to visit Canada.
If you have a temporary resident visa, you must complete your course or program within the period authorized for your stay in Canada. For more information, visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/study-who.asp.
You can visit the website below to find a Canadian Visa Application Centre near you.
The acceptance letter sent by the school is the document you will have to submit to Immigration Canada when you apply for your visa. It proves you are registered at our School.
A CAQ is required by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion du Québec (MIDI) for any international student who visits Québec for more than six months (183 days). You can apply for a CAQ directly to the Ministry or use our services for an additional fee.
International students who require a visa will need an acceptance letter issued by the school. The YMCA International Language School will provide you with this letter once you have paid your registration fees.
You will need a work permit to work in Canada. Unless your country has a special agreement with Canada or Québec, you will have to apply for a work permit separately. Moreover, the student visa granted to international students taking a language course (ESL or FSL) does not include a work permit.
For more information, please visit www.cic.gc.ca.
Canada has its own currency, the Canadian dollar. For exchange rates, please visit www.tourisme-montreal.org.
Students with a study permit may open a bank account in Canada. Contact the bank of your choice directly to learn more about their services.
It’s always useful to have a little pocket money when you arrive to a new city in case you need to take a taxi or make a phone call. You can easily change money at a currency exchange office or withdraw cash from an ATM at the airport.
If you need to withdraw cash from your bank account, you can usually do so at one of the many ATMs all over the city of Montréal. There are ATMs in banks, hotels, restaurants, gas stations and shopping centres. Many ATMs accept both credit and debit cards, but some only accept debit cards. Look for the Maestro, Cirrus, Visa and MasterCard logos.
The advertised price is not what you actually pay. Taxes are added to your purchase at the checkout. There are two sales taxes in Québec: the provincial sales tax and the federal goods and services tax. With tax, the total of your purchase is about 15% more than the advertised price.
Tipping is an established custom that you should not ignore. When you go to a restaurant, get a haircut or take a taxi, you should leave an extra 15% of your final bill for service. For a quick calculation of the amount you should tip, look at the sales tax on your bill, which is around 15% of the bill.
The standard voltage in Canada and the United States is 110 to 115 volts and 60 Hz (in Europe, it is 220 volts and 50 Hz).
If you buy an electric or electronic device in Montréal, you will need to buy an adapter or converter to use it at home. North American plugs have two flat prongs. We recommend you bring an adapter with you. You should also make sure your devices will work on 110 or 220 volts.
You may stay with a French or English-speaking host family that we will select for you. We can also help you find a place in a student residence or a shared apartment.
For more information, visit our Accommodations page.
We choose our host families very carefully. All of our host families live near the YMCA (30 to 45 minutes by metro or bus). When you live with a host family, you will participate in their daily lives, including mealtimes and family activities.
The YMCA International Language School provides an airport pick-up and drop-off service for a fee. For more information, visit our Accommodations page.
Yes. You must have health insurance to study at the YMCA International Language School. You can purchase your own health insurance policy or purchase a policy through us (Guard Me). In Canada, healthcare costs for foreign tourists are very high (hospital fees are between CAN$1,000 and CAN$2,000 per day). You must present a health insurance card to be admitted to a hospital or clinic.
Yes. If you do not have health insurance coverage when you arrive in Montréal, we can provide you with this service. While you are not required to purchase health insurance through the school, you must have health insurance when you visit Canada. Guard Me has a preferential rate for our students.
Yes, you can learn English in Montréal. It is a bilingual city that brings together many different cultures and languages.
We have eight levels of English classes. Students may enroll in the course appropriate to their language level based on the results of their placement test.
We have six levels of French classes. Students may enroll in the course appropriate to their language level based on the results of their placement test.
On average, there are 10 students per class. Groups have 3 to 15 students.
Our students come from many different countries. Here is a chart of the nationalities of our students in 2015.
Our Beginner 1 students are familiar with the alphabet and know a few basic words. We can arrange private classes for students with no knowledge of English.
Our Beginner 1 students are familiar with the alphabet and know a few basic words. We can arrange private classes for students with no knowledge of French.
If you work hard, you will be ready for the next language level after taking a four-week or seven-week course.
We offer 12 four-week courses and 6 seven-week courses per year. Check out our schedule to find out their start dates.
If you are at the beginner level, you cannot jump into a course after it has begun. If you are at a higher level, you can register for classes after the session has begun, but we still recommend that you arrive at the start of the course.
If you will be in Canada in the week before your course begins, please call us to schedule your placement test.
If you arrive in Canada on the weekend before your course begins, you will have to report to the School at 8:00 am on the first day of class to take your placement test.
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you only have to pay the course fee. If you are an international student, you must pay a non-refundable registration fee of CAN$125.
We cannot grant you a discount because the gym membership is included free of charge in these programs.
Complete the application form.
Yes, we have activities during the week and on weekends. Please check out our Activities section for more information.