Arrival by Plane, Bus, Train, or Car
McGill is easily accessible by all forms of transportation:
Sign up for Accueil Plus (Welcome Plus), an airport reception service, to take advantage of:
- Streamlined procedures with the Canada Border Services Agency, for expedited Study Permit processing.
- The Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion of Quebec's (MIDI's) reception service, where government officials will provide you with useful information for your stay.
- The reception booth for international students in the Arrivals Hall, staffed by local students who will be waiting there to provide information and guidance (including a phone call home to let your family know you've arrived!).
There are several options to get to the downtown campus:
- The STM 747 bus is the cheapest option at a $10 fare. If you're paying on the bus, you'll need exact cash (in coins only). You can buy a ticket at the automated STM machine inside the airport using debit/credit.
- Taxi service from the airport is at a fixed rate of $40. It is customary to also give a 10-15% tip ($4-$6).
To get to the Macdonald campus, the best option is a taxi ride (which should cost under $40).
Amtrak provides service from Montreal to the United States.
This is not recommended for American students first arriving in Canada and hoping to pick up their Study Permits at the border upon entry. If you plan to travel by train, you may want to apply for - and receive - your Study Permit before you travel.
Origins include: Boston - New York - Philadelphia - Washington, DC-Albany
Driving across the border is also an option. If you are a US citizen (or US Greencard holder) and you have your:
- A valid Passport
- Letter of Acceptance from McGill
- Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ) - see Applying for immigration documents
- Proof of funds (to pay for 1 year of tuition + living expenses)
- $150 application fee
you can apply for your Study Permit at the border. If you are NOT a US citizen or US Greencard holder, you must apply before travelling to Canada - see Applying for immigration documents.
When driving across the border, please note that:
- Road signs will be in French.
- Speed limits are in km not mph.
- On the island of Montreal you are not permitted to turn right on a red light.
- Be aware of no parking signs, they can be a bit complicated.
- Seatbelts are mandatory even in back seats.
- It is obligatory to stop when a school bus is stopping, regardless of the direction in which you are driving.
- On a few major streets, bus lanes are marked with a large white diamond shape and you should not use and absolutely must not stop or park in these lanes within the hours noted on the accompanying signs.
- Buses always have the right of way.
- Left turn lanes are uncommon, busy intersections may have a flashing green (also called a protected green) which means the cars in the opposite direction do not have a green.
Helpful driving vocabulary:
- Nord: North
- Sud: South
- Est: East
- Ouest: West
- Ferme: Closed
- Travail: Work