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A question about Canadian Universities

  1. Nov 10, 2004 #1

    I am currently enrolled in a community college, however I plan to transfer at the end of this year. I've been looking mostly at schools in the states, but would be very interested in going to McGill in Montreal.

    One concern that my educational consultant had expressed was that a degree from Canada would not be as valuable as one from an American university when I go for a job. I might not get a job quickly enough or at high enough of a salary. My plan is to major in Chemical Engineering.

    Do you think there is any validity to this argument for my not going to Canada?

    Thank you for any insight.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2004 #2
    Trust me.

    McGill has a far better reputation than any community college.

    It's below Harvard, Yale, etc... but it's still far better than a community college.

    In fact, why do you think you'll be able to get in? What's your GPA?
  4. Nov 10, 2004 #3


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    Azrioch, I did my bachelor and master at mcgill and I lived montreal. If you have any questions, do not be shy, I will gladly answer them.

    A McGill has good international reputation and some prof are excellent and have great expertise. It is sometimes called Harvard of the North and last year it made the top 10 of the hottest spot to study in an American schoold guy. Several Americains are also studying at McGill.
  5. Nov 10, 2004 #4


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    Coming from a community college and transferring into one of Canada's best Universities?

    I highly doubt it.

    What you've taken at CC is most likely worthless and if by the grace of god you get into a good university here, you'll have to start first year all over again.
  6. Nov 10, 2004 #5
    Erm. I am well aware that it McGill better than any community college. I am only at one because of financial reasons. I basically spent my college money by going to a high school abroad for two years.

    I was accepted into a bunch of good universities, but I decided to go to a community college because freshman engineering classes tend to be standard across the board and it is much cheaper here. Because of the increasing tuition rates, a lot of students are going to community colleges for either one or two years then transfering out to 4-year schools. Depending on the reputation of the community college, it can serve as a good spring board into very good universities. Of course, you still need to have unique characteristics and exhibit the ambition/drive etc to get into these schools. Chemical Engineering, luckly, isn't the most popular major either. My school transfers into the Ivy League every year. We are in the richest county of America so, as you can imagine, we are well financed by the businesses around here. Don't worry, though. I know what I am doing.

    I know a bit about it. I was curious about salary statistics for Chemical Engineers, but their enginering department doesn't respond to my emails, atleast they havn't yet.

    About French, is it necessary to know the language to get around in Montreal? I would like to learn it and don't think that it would be too hard as I already am fairly proficient in Spanish and more so in Italian.

    It is an insular school where everyone is reclusive or is there a lot of community feeling and activity there?

    My largest concern was that their degree wouldn't be as valuable as one from, say, Columbia University. It seems that their admission requirements are more leniant than any of the schools I am thinking of transfering to. An essay isn't required and admission seems to be based solely on grades. My educational consultant said that for those reasons, it will not look as good. She said that the education here, atleast in the top tier schools, is one where you are taught how to think for yourself and devise things from what you have whereas the education in Canada is typically just where you are handed an equation and told how to use it without any expansive more "timeless" education. *shrugs*

    Since you went there, perhaps you could tell me some of their educational methodology. She has never attended a Canadian school, so I doubt her words on this, though she has decades of knowledge in college placement, so I am not sure really what to think.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2004
  7. Nov 10, 2004 #6
    It's true that I might not get all the credits, but you can doubt all you want - it really does not matter to me. That is not what I am here to discuss.
  8. Nov 10, 2004 #7
    I know two people who went to a CC. One of them went to CMU for CS and the other to Harvard. Most of their courses were accepted since they were lower level courses.
  9. Nov 10, 2004 #8
    In this case you should look for a new educational consultant... I am sure top tier canadian institutions are on par with ours. And with knowing how to plug in numbers into an equation you are not going to get far anywhere in the world....
  10. Nov 10, 2004 #9


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    I don't know what CMU is so I'll assume it's American.

    American Community College education is virtually worthless in Canada. I'm not saying anything about the US.
  11. Nov 10, 2004 #10


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    You do not need to known french to live in montreal. I knew a girl from spain and lived in montreal for 5 years an barely could speak or understand french. It will also depend in which part of town you will live in. The east in mostly inhabited by french speakers whereas the west island part is mostly english speaker. In the west island, have seen people that were over 65 and lived in montreal all their live and did not understand and speak french.

    As far as learning the language, it will depend on you. You have a good starting point but it will depend if you make the effort to speak french. Also keep in mind that Quebec french is not the standard french you learn in school.

    From my experience, the social live in montreal is exceptional. Frosh week at mcgill is a must and regular social activity planned by the student counsil and union are offered regularly.

    As far as sport activity goes, mcgill had a good intramural sports selection and it was well organized.

    The admission requirement seen more leniant but it is not the case. First you have to keep in mind that people entering university have already two years of general college done and that a value, called r value, is give to student based on his grade and the average of the class. The higher the difference between you and the class average, the higher the r value is. For example, a student with 92 has better rating if the average is 72 rather than 90.

    For an american, you SAT will be taken into consideration if i remember correctly. You might also have to do the freshman year. This is usually required for student coming out of the province of Quebec.

    The teach methodology will depend on prof teaching the class. Some prof will show you how to use the formula whereas other will try to make you understand the class. Some proff will also ask you to memorize the material and to "vomit" it on the exam.
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