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Montreal

About

  • Following Paris, Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in the world, and is the official language spoken by a majority (49.8%) of the population, followed by English at 22.8% and other languages by 18.3 %.
  • Montreal has been voted the 4th best student city in the world, by the QS 2018 World Best Student Cities ranking, following London, Tokyo and Melbourne.
  • Montreal was the first City in North America to be entitled UNESCO City of Design in 2006, by the Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity.
  • Montreal has an Underground City called ‘RÉSO, an interconnected network of tunnels that runs for 32kms beneath the city. The underground city consists of office buildings, hotels, universiities, residential buildings, shopping malls, performing arts venues, 7 metro stations, banks, museums and restaurants !
  • The city of Montreal is renowned for their maple syrup production, with 85% of the world's maple syrup coming from Quebec, with specialities like maple butter, maple candy, and maple cookies.
  • Montreal is the number one city in North America for hosting International events, including the home of the famous Cirque du Soleil, host of the 1967 Summer Olympics, and the 1967 international and Universal Exposition, titled “Expo 67'', the most successful fair of the 20th century.
  • The city is a world leader in the video game industry, employing close to 7500 people.

Demography

The 2016 Canadian census has estimated that a total of 1.7 million residents live in the city, and the wider metropolitan area, known as “Greater Montreal” has a total of 4.1 million.

Culture

Montreal is referred to as “ The city of festivals” due to the vast and diverse number of local and international events held in the city, annually. This includes the Montreal International Jazz festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Just for Laughs comedy festival ( World's largest international comedy festival), The International Arts Film Festival, Montreal Fireworks Festival and Canadian Grand Prix, to name a few.

The city is renowned for its multicultural diversity, laidback lifestyle, café culture, eclectic art, creative industries, nightlife and live performances. Montreal is also Canada's hub for French- Language radio, theatre, television, film, multimedia and print publications. Montreal is also known for its production of jazz and rock music and is home to one of the world's leading orochestra's “ The Montreal Symphony Orchestra”. Montreal has a great number of churches, and thus gained the nickname “ The city of a hundred steeples” ( Towers).

Climate

Montreal experiences a continental climate, with extremely cold winters and warm summers.

  • Winter ( Mid November – Mid March): very cold, with avergae temepratures of -10 degrees celcius and frequent snowfall or occassional snowstorm. Cold waves are sometimes accompanied by blizzards.
  • Spring: (Mid-March to May): is quite unstable, with temeperature fluctuations and snowfall and frost in March which advances to warmer weather in April.
  • Summer ( June – August): very warm, but has the occassional cool and cloudy day, where thunderstorms are common during afternoons. The average temperature lies between 20 degrees celsius and 32 degrees celcius.
  • Autumn (September to mid-November) : has several sunny days and is pleasant for the most part, with temepratures that exceed 25 degrees celsius.

University Education

  • Montreal is known as the ‘University Capital' of Canada, with an annual enrolment of over 200,000 students in its universities.
  • Montreal has several university hospitals and specialist research centres.
  • Montreal welcomes more than 32,000 international students from over 150 countries each year to its university Institutions. Four of the universities have been listed as “World - Class” including Mc Gill University, Concordia University, University of Montreal and UQAM.
  • About 25% of International graduates end up staying back in Montreal after graduation and seeking permanent residence options.
  • The city of Montreal has the lowest university tuition fees in all of Canada.
  • It is beneficial to the city of Montreal to encourage students to stay after graduation, as sectors like IT and Life Sciences have shortage of skill workers, which could be filled by International graduates.
  • Montreal has several federal and provincial programs that are aimed at assisting International students. They even try to encourage students to use accessible resources to learn French, and organize information sessions, aimed at educating students about immigration law, as well as network events to help International students to widen and build their professional networks

Top Universities in Montreal

Finding Work

For International student in Canada, work conditions are as follows:

  • Part time work – Upto 20 hours per week during the semester
  • Full time – 40 hours per week during semester break/holidays

Work on-campus

To be eligible to work on-campus without a work permit, a student needs to have:

  • Valid study permit
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Registered full-time at a college, University of CEGEP ( publicly funded pre-University/Technical college in Quebec)

On campus work could include working for the school, a faculty member, student organization, private business located within campus or a private contractor who provides services to the school.

Work off-campus

Eligibility requirements to work Off - Campus:

  • Full-time student with a valid Canadian study permit, which states that you “may accept employment in Canada and a letter issued by IRCC, confirming that you are authorized to work off campus.
  • Resumed studies and is in good academic standing with the University
  • In Quebec, you must be enrolled in a vocational programme, that ends in a degree, diploma or certificate
  • Get a social insurance number (SIN), a nine-digit number – required for work, access to national programs and other benefits

To apply for a SIN, you would need to provide a document that proves your identity and legal status in Canada. This could include one of the following:

  • A work permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
  • A study permit issued by IRCC, indicating that you may accept employment in Canada or a study permit and a ‘confirmation to work off campus' letter. If you can't get either one, then you would need to contact IRCC to ensure that you are eligible to apply for an amended study permit.
  • A diplomatic identity card and work authorization issued by Global Affairs Canada
  • Visitor record issued by IRCC, that shows you are authorized to work in Canada
  • You will receive a confirmation letter once a SIN has been issued.

Steps to find work in Canada

  • Get a social insurance number (SIN)
  • Check online: Go through job specific websites
  • Take part in volunteer work: It will help to become familiar with the language and culture as well as develop required skills
  • Join a professional or student committee
  • Use LinkedIn to build a strong business contact network

Popular jobs for International students

  • Bookkeeper: $25 per hour
  • Educational interpreter ( providing communication access to deaf or hard of hearing students): $13 per hour
  • Customer service assistant: $11 per hour
  • Aquarium interpreter ( Creating fun and unique experiences for visitors to the aquarium): $13 per hour
  • Sales assistant: $12 per hour
  • Cook: $13 per hour
  • Office assistant: $ 13 – 15 per hour
  • Human resources assistant: $13 per hour
  • Lifeguard: $12 per hour

Summer/ holiday jobs for International students

  • Painter: $13 per hour
  • Festival coordinator: $10 per hour
  • Camp counsellor: $12 per hour
  • Program facilitator: $13 per hour
  • Recreation facilitator: $15 per hour
  • Entertainment activities coordinator: $15 per hour
  • Baker: $11 – 22 per hour

Useful tips:

  • Painter: $13 per hour
  • It is important to be specific in the experience, knowledge and skills listed on the job application. It is also necessary to include atleast 2 referees in the CV.
  • When choosing a summer job, it is advised to choose wisely, and as closely related to the field of study, as this will determine the type of job the student will get upon completion of studies.
  • After graduation, a student can apply for a post graduation work permit which will allow them to stay in Canada and work for upto 3 years. When applying it is important to have a valid study permit and apply within 90 days of receving final university grades.
  • In specific cases, a partner or spouse of a full -time international student may be eligible to get an open work permit ( not job-specific). This could be obtained if the partner has an LMIA and proof that an employer has extended an offer of employment.

Pathway to Permanent Residency

In order to become a permanent resident of Quebec, you would need to obtain a Québec selection certificate (CSQ) from the Ministry of Immigration (MIDI) of Quebec. If all relevant criteria have been met, the Quebec experience program (PEQ) would allow you to obtain the CSQ within a month. If you are not eligible for the PEQ, then you would need to check your eligibility for the ‘Foreign Student in Quebec' (PRTQ) program.