» Some of the friendships I made there will probably stay with me for the rest of my life. «
Student vor einem Gebäude der University of California in Berkeley

Experience report by Philipp

Polytechnique Montreal in Canada, 2022

The preparation for the semester abroad mainly consisted of finding an apartment. I wanted to do this from Germany so that I didn't have to deal with it on site. The housing market in Montreal turned out to be very competitive and it took me some time to find a suitable shared flat. It was within walking distance of the university, which was very convenient.

At the end of August, I started my semester abroad by entering Canada, but I didn't need a visa because I was planning to stay in Canada for less than 6 months. I was randomly selected for a Covid PCR test, which was negative.

At the beginning of the semester, there was an introductory week with lots of events to get to know the other students and the university. The lectures started the following week.My chosen courses were: Software Architecture, Software Quality, Human Centered Programming and Advanced Concepts of Cloud Computing. I quickly realized that the courses were at a much lower level in terms of theory than at TUM. The focus was more on practical work and there were a lot of individual and group tasks in each subject. The final exam only counted for 20-30% of the overall grade, while the rest of the grade consisted mainly of assignments.

I haven't received the grades yet. However, based on the grades I received during the semester, I should have passed all subjects with good or very good grades. In addition to the subject-related aspects, it was particularly important for me to make lots of social contacts and get to know the country.That's why I went on a few trips with other exchange students to the countryside in Quebec, Quebec City, a camping trip in the north-east of the USA and a city trip to New York and Washington. I definitely got a good impression of the Montreal area and met lots of nice people.

Both French and English are spoken in Montreal. I therefore tried to speak as much French as possible in everyday life, as this is preferred by many people in Montreal. However, because the courses at university were in English and not all exchange students spoke French, I mainly spoke English with my fellow students. My French had been a bit rusty since school and improved noticeably during my stay.My English was already very good before and therefore didn't improve that much.

Shortly before Christmas (22.12.) the semester was finally over and I flew back to Munich to spend Christmas at home. To sum up, I can say that this semester abroad was one of the best times of my life so far! Some of the friendships I made there will probably stay with me for the rest of my life. I got to know and love the city of Montreal as well as the surrounding area and gained a great insight into life in Eastern Canada.