Returning to McGill

Many of our Broadening Horizons trips are full of firsts; indeed our latest trip to Montreal included Project Rousseau’s first visit to the MacDonald campus, our first Amtrak train across the border and a first postcard written by one of our students. There was, however, one key difference: the majority of the Seniors on the trip had visited (and in fact fallen in love with) McGill University before. The purpose of this trip was a final visit for our McGill applicants of 2016 to meet the fantastic McGill administration one last time to find out the answers to their last few queries about the city. This was a short but very successful visit and all of our students left Montreal with a renewed enthusiasm for the city and a continued desire to return! 

One highlight of this trip included staying in a MORE House at McGill, a large Victorian residence that included a communal kitchen. The students loved the independence this allowed the group and whilst they did take over an hour to organize themselves to make sandwiches for the following day’s lunch it was an all round fantastic opportunity to live like a “real McGill student” and introduce some of the skills a college student is likely to need when moving away from home. 

This trip also included a visit to the Macdonald Campus of McGill located just outside of Montreal. Our students quickly adapted to the slower and more tranquil setting and many are now keen to apply here as well as to the main Downtown campus. Macdonald specializes in the life sciences and our students enjoyed hearing about courses, such as food sciences, which they hadn’t considered before. Meeting Dr Alice Cherestes, Director of the Freshman Program, also eased any concerns the students had about adjusting to life at McGill and all were captivated by the supportive setting the campus provides particularly to Freshmen. The campus also has a working farm onsite and Farm Manager Paul Meldrum was kind enough to give us an extremely interesting tour of the dairy sheds. 

We then returned back to the Downtown Campus where we had a question and answer session with Allison Duffy from the Welcome Center. Allison, as ever, was extremely eager to answer each and every student’s questions and we are extremely grateful for her handwork in helping put this trip together. 

A long, but scenic, train ride both ways was put to great use by all students with Questbridge essays written, SAT prep completed and homework assignments finished! Let’s hope this is the first of many NY to Montreal journeys this group makes as they now begin the process of applying to McGill.