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Why Montreal?

With its wealth of cultural institutes, museums, theaters and clubs, Montreal is one of the cultural centers of North America and one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities in the world. Montreal consistently ranks among the top 25 cities in the world for quality of life according to research groups such as the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit and Mercer Consulting. The Lonely Planet’s Cities Book A Journey through the Best Cities in the World (2006) ranked the city at #20, placing us ahead of cities like Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Florence and Toronto. Indeed, a recent article in Travelers Digest named Montreal quite simply the “best city in the world in which to live.” One feature consistently cited in these rankings is Montreal’s cosmopolitan atmosphere, due in large part to the city’s unique linguistic history. This cosmopolitanism also makes Montreal an ideal setting in which to study languages. The simple fact that German scholars and students from so many different backgrounds come together in this city creates a situation in which German can function as an active language of communication between speakers with varying native tongues. We encourage both graduate and undergraduate students to take advantage of the cultural offerings in German provided by the city’s four universities and various cultural institutions such as the Goethe Institut, the Center for German and European Studies (Centre d’études allemandes et européennes) and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. The Montreal Goethe Institut is one of the most active in North America and works closely with the universities in organizing conferences, film series and other events. The Institute is located within walking distance from McGill University and provides students with further access to German materials and opportunities for speaking German on a daily basis.