So I have been in Montreal for nearly 2 weeks, and I have only just about figured out what I am doing here. It has been such an emotional roller-coaster, and certainly not the dream experience of moving to a new city, country, and university.
I had no accommodation when I moved here so I had to start flat-hunting as soon as I arrived. No time for jet-lag or being home sick, I was homeless, and very aware that if I didn’t find somewhere quickly then, well, I wouldn’t. I was extremely lucky with the place that I am in now; I took a risk by not agreeing to a flat that would have been great in all aspects other than the location. It was so far away from my campus and any sort of social scene, which really put me off. But it was a room and at that point I was faced with spending the year in a hostel, or I could take the “far-away flat”. I had previously got in touch, however, with someone about a room in a much better location and I had set up an appointment to have a look around. But I needed to accept the room in the first flat before I would go and look at the second if I had a chance of securing the room. So, I took a gamble to go and look at the second flat and hope that the first one would still be available if the second one was something from a nightmare. Luckily for me, the gamble paid off and I moved into the flat one day after viewing it. Phew!
The thing I found most difficult about my first week in Montreal was having to do all of my “admin”- so health insurance, setting up a bank account, getting a local SIM card, finding accommodation- whilst trying to go to orientation events at McGill and Fresher events (here called Frosh), and find enough time to eat and sleep so I didn’t end up in hospital, and knowing my luck probably before I had time to set up any insurance so I would have a nice big bill at the end of it. Not a very enticing concept. How I stayed afloat I honestly could not tell you. I felt like I was failing in pretty much every aspect