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Current Students - Why do you like/dislike McGill?

tkdkidtkdkid Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
edited May 2011 in McGill University
I'm applying to McGill this year, and I was hoping some current students or friends of current students could share some positive and negative experiences.

What has been your best experience at McGill? Your worst?
Are there many work opportunities for undergraduates in Montreal?
How is the course load?
How are the study abroad programs?
Anything you wish you knew when you were applying as a freshman?
Post edited by tkdkid on
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Replies to: Current Students - Why do you like/dislike McGill?

  • FreedayFFFreedayFF Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    what I hate about McGill: students party all night, get drunk, smoke weed, many of them are actually brainless. Don't get me wrong, I come to an university to take classes and hopefully learn something. And I'm currently very disappointed with students here, especially the ones living in dorms. At least they won't disturb you if you don't want to, but not exactly a motivation to study.

    That being said, the city looks gorgeous and living costs are cheap. Professors are really friendly and helpful. Some courses are really difficult and you won't get around easily with academics here. So yeah, a good GPA in McGill might open doors to prestigious grad schools.
  • tkdkidtkdkid Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    Are you in any clubs/organizations? Or maybe you intern somewhere?

    I feel like that drinking/partying will be happening at most schools, but the opportunities might be different. Do find you made friends really easily or is it difficult because most kids party?
  • FreedayFFFreedayFF Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    I'm a first year student so no internships yet. But one of my buddies doing intern in RIM (the blackberry company) said that the economics here is picking up rather fast. So yeah, opportunities are abundant.

    I find clubs/organizations in McGill are rather boring and uninvolved compared to my high school. But that's just my opinion. People here, however, are very friendly and out-going; you won't have problems getting friends here, only the "kind" of people you want to friend with matters.
  • tkdkidtkdkid Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    Ah ok, that actually helps a lot, thank you. The only club/organization I've tried to find out about in McGill is McMUN, which from the looks of the website seems pretty ok. I'm not sure if the team competes internationally. I was trying to find out about their debate opportunities, which also seem limited to Canada.

    From my research so far, I find that most universities outside of the United States don't have very involved campuses as compared to most American universities. Difference in culture?

    I hope you enjoy McGill this coming year. =]
  • quaker123quaker123 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    McGill administration is awful and class sizes are huge. Most students however ignore this because they are happy to be living on their own in montreal and partying every night. If you are not the type of person who enjoys drinking themselves silly, I'm afraid you'll find options rather limited. (I know I sound like an old hag but from the stance of someone who is allergic to alcohol, there wasnt much to do or any other ways to meet people).

    If you come from any other major city (NY, London etc), Montreal will seem pretty small and grey.
  • econgradecongrad Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    mcgill university is in rapid decline.

    The students are not that smart. Academic wise, the school is in shambles. You will meet a lot of dumb students. Which is unsurprising considering the whole culture is one about drinking and bar hopping so if you don't want to do that 4 days a week then you are on the outs.

    The administration does nothing to help, it is limited by its very small funding. Almost everything is run down because there is not enough money. Admission standards are too loose, and the opportunities aren't great. For business majors, if you want to work at elite bulge bracket firms that is almost out of the question. McGill is considered third or 4th tier.

    But most people don't care too much because they are drunk.
  • tomofbostontomofboston Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    econgrad, why don't you transfer if you are so unhappy and dissatisfied?

    To others who read this: If you look at econgrad's posting history, you will see that he takes every chance to denigrate McGill, its students and faculty. He seems to have made a bad choice by coming to McGill but instead of transferring to a "better' school, he lurks on CC for any opportunity to blame his wrong choice on McGill.

    He also considers any criticism of him to be a personal attack.
  • sheheryar93sheheryar93 Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    econgrad,

    1) then how come mcgill is said to be the most competitive school in canada?

    2) everyone knows their business program isnt the best, but NOT 3rd tier. people even say that it is first tier.

    3) whats wrong with u?
  • singerssingers Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    I can only really echo what the two previous posters have said. There are many highly successful McGill grads who have taken the opportunities afforded to them and made it to "elite bulge bracket firms" and other great companies.

    Perhaps a positive attitude and a 'can do' mentality had something to do with this.
  • onebluegoldfishonebluegoldfish Registered User Posts: 176 Junior Member
    all i know is, my family is canadian and some of the smartest of my parents' friends' children have gone to mcgill. it is not easy to get into, and its basically the best school in canada, so you're likely to meet a lot of really smart kids. my family friend graduated from mcgill, was accepted with a scholarship to duke law school, and is likely to be extremely successful. and a mcgill education is getting her at least halfway there. maybe im biased because of the positive experience my family and friends have had with the university, but can you really argue with success?

    for the record, i live in connecticut and was raised in the usa (born in toronto).
  • mattfishcamattfishca Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    McGill is currently ranked 19th in the world by QS...
    I think it is certainly a world class, first tier school. It outranks, all but the most prestigious Ivy League Schools in the United States, which is certainly saying something.
  • IAmPOSIAmPOS - Posts: 328 Member
    Rankings are based on research output and not undergrad education (i.e. they only matter to graduates, who actually care more about their specific department, so essentially they're useless).

    Please don't be so naive as to think that McGill is better than an Ivy League school. McGill is an amazing university, but it simply can't compete with the elite American schools because of its funding and size. Ignore rankings. U of T and UBC are actually surpassing McGill now, and smaller schools like Queen's and Western offer wonderful undergraduate educations.

    I'm not bashing McGill; I applied and was accepted. But just don't read too much into rankings (QS is the worst of the bunch). Americans seem to think McGill is our only university for some reason.
  • tomofbostontomofboston Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    Ignore rankings. U of T and UBC are actually surpassing McGill now

    You say to ignore rankings but you cite UofT and UBC as surpassing McGill. That is only in one of the rankings (Thomson Reuters) you just told us to ignore.
  • IAmPOSIAmPOS - Posts: 328 Member
    ARWU and Thomson Reuters, arguably the two biggest publishers of world rankings, both put U of T and UBC above McGill, actually. And the only reason McGill is first in Macleans is because U of T and UBC have boycotted their rankings, which forces them to use old data. And U of T was first for like a decade before that, so you know it's not sour grapes.
    U of T and UBC have much better funding than McGill which allows them to improve their facilities and faculty.

    I meant that he shouldn't pay attention to McGill being ranked above an Ivy because obviously that's ridiculous (it is for any Canadian school). And I mentioned U of T and UBC because they're often overlooked by Americans when they're at least as good as McGill.
  • econgradecongrad Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    IamPos is completely right on this.

    mcgill's slipping reputation is because of financial reasons. We are BROKE! So broke that we are running a budget deficit.

    How did we get this broke? Well, the socialist Quebec government imposes a tuition freeze of $2500 a year! That doesn't make any sense. If you are looking at $2500 a year, that is community college. So obviously being located in Quebec is huge detriment to the reputation of the university. It makes mcgill a great party school though.

    Now with no money how can mcgill compete in hiring good profs? award brilliant students with generous scholarships? It can't. So apart from the 60% quota of Quebecois, it accepts almost everybody that is international so they can charge international tuition.

    That is why if you look at the brilliance of mcgill pop, ontario and bc folks are generally the smartest bunch. Everyone else brings down the average.

    Americans, don't fool yourself in coming to mcgill expecting a great education and be hopelessly disappointed. It is really comparable to around 60 or 70 in the world.

    ---
    I do sympathize with the mcgill administration because they are doing everything right and they are not the problem. The problem ultimately is the government fault. In a socialist province, mcgill was never meant to be great, it is suppose to be mediocre or "egalitarian". Nothing elite whatsoever about mcgill at all.
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