Living and studying in Montréal

As Québec’s metropolis and the second-largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris, Montréal distinguishes itself for being multicultural and cosmopolitan.

With more than 180,000 university students, Montréal has one of the highest concentrations of graduate students of all the cities in North America. The students are unanimous: Montréal is one of the nicest places to live and study in the world.


Which is the best student city in the world? It’s not Paris or London or Boston, it’s right here, in Montreal! In an analysis of 100 world cities, Montreal has taken top honours in the 2017 edition of the QS Best Student Cities, compiled by the Quacquarelli Symonds Institute.
The British institute’s researchers posed a series of questions to students and graduates around the globe. The conclusion: those who were polled identified the Montréal’s multicultural character, bilingualism, student-centredness, identifying the city as the “cultural capital” of Canada.
Montreal can be proud of its reputation as one of the world’s most prestigious cities, and with good reason. Some large urban centres have lost their appeal for youth by seeming impersonal. Montreal has retained its conviviality while providing all the advantages of a big city, combining North American and European influences. The cultural life of the city is stimulating, offering a number of sporting activities, sumptuous green spaces, and a welcoming, bilingual population to attract more than 20,000 international students each year coming from 150 countries.

For more information: /


Despite the high occupancy level in Montréal, the possibilities for housing are numerous and Poly students are able to find a place to live very quickly, no matter the neighbourhood. In order to help you with your search, the institute has set up a housing database reserved for Polytechnique students. This tool will help you find your dream apartment or roommate!

For more information: (in French only)

Polytechnique students can also rent a studio at the Université de Montréal Residences, which is located a few minutes’ walk away from Polytechnique. The number of rooms, however, is limited.

For more information: (in French only)


The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) (local public transport authority) serves the entire island of Montréal with a metro and a bus network. Students under the age of 25 can benefit from a reduced monthly fee on the purchase of a card and it allows them unlimited travel throughout the entire network.

The city also has a large network of bike lanes and is the creator of the famous BIXI, a public bike sharing system. Its pedestrian network – indoor and outdoor – and its suburban trains also facilitate travel.

Taking a taxi in Montréal is very safe and also quite affordable. It’s in fact a means of transportation used a lot by students returning home at the early hours of the morning after the metro closes.

When it comes to cars, a student that has a valid study permit can drive using their country’s driver’s licence if it’s in French or in English. Otherwise, it’s recommended to get a translation or to get an international driver’s licence. For more information on foreign drivers’ licences, please consult the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec.


With more than 8,200 students, Polytechnique is part of, along with HEC Montréal, the Université de Montréal campus who welcomes more than 66,500 students.

Located at the heart of Mont Royal, in a cosmopolitan neighbourhood near downtown, the campus is bordered by the chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges where you can find many businesses and services (restaurants, cafés, grocery stores, shops, medical clinics). Access to the campus is as easy by foot, by bicycle, by subway, by bus or by car. Whether you enjoy nature or downtown’s neon lights, you will not be disappointed... Prepare yourself to live a real campus life!

Legend: 01/ Main building – Polytechnique Montréal 02/ Lassonde Buildings – Polytechnique Montréal 03/ J-A Bombardier Building – Polytechnique Montréal 04/ University Housing 05/ Université de Montréal Physical Education and Sports Centre (CEPSUM) 06/ Université de Montréal Metro Station 07/ Main Building – Université de Montréal 08/ André-Aisenstadt Building – Université de Montréal.

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Living and studying in Montreal
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