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Essentials

Cell phone providers

Before purchasing a cell phone, check out the McGill Classifieds, as students are often looking to sell their old cell phones or transfer their contracts. This can help you both find an inexpensive phone and avoid costly activation charges.

Daycare

Most Quebec daycares are subsidized by the government and only cost $7 per day. Space is limited however, and applicants for subsidized childcare are often placed on waiting lists, so be sure to make daycare inquiries as soon as possible.

Post offices

Feeling homesick? Prefer pen and paper to e-mail? If you'd like to write home the old-fashioned way, visit Canada Post's website to find the post office nearest you.

Sending a letter within Canada costs $0.57, letters to the U.S.A. cost $1.00, and regular mail to other countries costs $1.70.

Restaurants

Montreal is renowned for its culinary treats, and features a restaurant to suit nearly every taste. From Afghan to Tibetan, from its famous smoked meat to its celebrated bagels and poutine, Montreal offers an eclectic array of reasonably priced foods that are not to be missed.

Banking

Once you arrive in Montreal, you may want to set up a local bank account near either the Downtown or Macdonald campus, to facilitate the handling of your expenses and other financial affairs. Most banks offer student accounts, but make sure to do your research. Take the time to ask bank representatives any questions or concerns you may have regarding service fees, transaction quotas, free services (i.e.

Grocery stores

Finding a grocery store in downtown Montreal can be tough. Keep this list handy when you set off in search of food.

Services

A future student peruses the wares in the Children's section of the McGill University Bookstore.

Find an apartment, a bank, and more

Moving to a new city involves more than just hunting down a place to live — you may need to find a bank, a daycare service or even your neighbourhood post office. Our mini-guide can't possibly list the thousands of service providers that dot the city, but it's a good place to start.

Lockers

You may want to consider getting a locker in your Faculty building, as you may find it handy to a have a secure spot to leave your books, coat, boots, etc. Lockers are available on both the Downtown and Macdonald campuses.

Safety and security

DriveSafe

Drivesafe was created by the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) to help decrease drunk driving among students. Event organizers must register for this service, which provides rides home anywhere on the Island of Montreal, the South Shore and Laval.

Books and bookstores

Your course books are an integral part of your university learning experience and can form the start of your academic library. It is important to have them for your courses so you can do the required readings and get the most out of your courses. Professors typically give a list of required texts on the first day of class. There is also an index available in the basement of the McGill Bookstore that lists the required books for each course.

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