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 city affords all the advantages of a large urban centre without being cold and impersonal? Montreal, of course! The city continues to be an ideal choice for students who appreciate its charm and the harmonious marriage of North American and European influences. Now, add to the mix a stimulating cultural life, several sporting activities, splendid green spaces and a welcoming bilingual population!

Montreal is one of the Top 10 best cities for students, according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) 2022 rankings. In 2018, an estimated 35,500 international students attended Montreal-area universities.

Internationally, Montréal’s position remains steady at the top of the list of world cities in which to study, placing fourth after London (1st), Tokyo (2nd) and Melbourne (3rd). The city places 5th for diversity of student populations, thanks to its inclusive and tolerant character, as well as its high proportion of international students.

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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.