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Life outside your classes

You don’t have to spend very long on campus to discover that McGill students want more than academics. They want to meet new people, try new things, get involved, and experience the diversity that makes McGill and Montreal such special places. Whether you are looking for social opportunities, cultural, political, intellectual and physical challenges, or a taste of fun and excitement, you can find it all here!

Athletics and recreation: New faces are always welcome on McGill's 29 varsity and 14 competitive club teams as well as in our thriving intramural program. Work up a sweat in any one of over 100 fitness, recreation, aquatic and dance non-credit courses. Play a game of basketball, hockey, tennis, squash, soccer, volleyball or badminton during any of the many drop-in recreation times. Take advantage of indoor and outdoor tennis courts, squash courts, weight rooms, indoor and outdoor tracks, two outdoor playing fields with artificial turf, gymnasia, arena, swimming pool and fitness centre. For information, visit Athletics and Recreation.

If you are a Macdonald Campus student, visit Macdonald Athletics and Recreation for more information on the many fitness and recreational opportunities available.


Students’ societies of McGill University: All undergraduate students on the downtown campus automatically become members of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU). SSMU represents students to the McGill administration and federal and provincial governments and concerns itself with a range of issues affecting the daily life of McGill students. SSMU manages the University Centre, the Player’s Theatre, the SSMU Student Lounge, and offices for clubs and services.

If you have been admitted to a program on the Macdonald Campus, you will automatically become members of the Macdonald Campus Students’ Society (MCSS).

SSMU and MCSS support more than 130 specialized clubs representing the performing arts, cultural interests, religious organizations, political groups and recreational activities.

Another way to get involved is to volunteer. It’s a rewarding way to give back to the McGill community. Visit www.mcgill.ca/engage/ to see how you can get involved.


Consider a student exchange: Find out more about student exchange and study abroad opportunities. Make a point of attending the Study Abroad Fair which will be held in early October (date to be confirmed).

International exchanges help students develop the life skills they need to adapt to the rapid pace of change in the global environment. McGill students can study on exchange while paying McGill tuition and earning credits towards their McGill degree. Participating in an exchange program is easier than you think.

Improve your French: The French Language Centre in the Faculty of Arts offers credit courses to students registered in any academic program. Its team of highly qualified specialists teaches sequenced courses in French as a Second Language. The Arts Multimedia Language Facility, a 100-station language lab, provides students with the latest in computer-assisted language learning. Interactive software offers a range of teaching possibilities, including immediate and automatic feedback for oral and written training and practice, and is especially helpful in improving pronunciation.

or English: The language of instruction at McGill is English. If English is not your first language, you may want to use the summer term to improve your language skills with a three-credit course (CESL 299 Academic English seminar) for newly admitted non-anglophone students.

The course has limited enrolment, so register early! The registration deadline is August 6 – on a first-come, first-served basis. You must register using Minerva. First, confirm that you are coming to McGill. Give us two or three days to update your file, and then register for the course on Minerva. You will need to get your student ID card at the Service Point in time for the first day of classes.

For more information, visit www.mcgill.ca/mwc/.


Start planning your career:  McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS) offers career and education advice on matters such as writing a good c.v., applying to grad schools, putting your degree to work, finding a part-time or summer job and more. There is even a special program for first-year students called PACE to help you decide which career path is right for you. CaPS can also match you with a McGill alumnus as part of the McGill Mentor Program. For information on all their programs, visit their website www.mcgill.ca/caps/.

All students have access to the myFuture job search and career tool suite. Use it as an efficient way to search for full-time, part-time and summer jobs and internships during your studies and after you graduate. It is also where you register for all career-related events on campus (ie. workshops, career fairs, info sessions). Go to: https://csm-caps.mcgill.ca/students/.

Note that while CaPS serves all students at McGill, the faculties of Engineering, Management, Medicine and Law have their own career centres for more specialized support.

Check out our Guide to planning your future.


Look for a student internship: McGill offers many opportunities for internships during your academic career. Internships are an ideal way to translate classroom learning into real-world experience and gain valuable insight related to your field of study. They allow you to build contacts for future education and employment opportunities, learn job-seeking skills, and experience the dynamics of working with others. Visit the Internship Offices Network for more information.


Get Support from McGill Alumni: The McGill Alumni Association is proud to support a wide range of student initiatives. Join the Mentor Program and pair up with an alumnus in the field that interests you. Looking for extra funding for a campus project? Apply to the Student Sponsorship Program. Visit the McGill Alumni Association for a complete list of programs that help students achieve their goals.


Staying safe: Montreal is one of the safest cities in North America, but we still take safety seriously. The campus has its own 24-hour uniformed security service and clearly marked emergency phones with a direct line to the security office are placed at key locations all over campus.

Students have set up their own services to make the campus a friendlier place for those worried about being alone at night. Walksafe teams, easily identified by their emblazoned jackets and radios, will walk with you anywhere in Montreal, free of charge. They’ll even go with you on the metro, bus or in a taxi. And if you want to volunteer to be a member, Walksafe is always looking for new recruits!

Drivesafe, also created by SSMU, provides students participating in major school events with a safe and convenient ride home anywhere on the Island of Montreal, as well as the South Shore and Laval.