For the last few posts I’ve talked about all the amazing opportunities that Montreal has to offer. Though now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about the course work. Now, it’s important to take into account that I am taking a full course load in French at UQAM, which is quite different to the language courses here or the management ones at McGill. Your mileage may vary.
Hours of class per week:
Let’s start with the basics. At UQAM, each course that you enroll in will usually entail one class per week. They are 3 hours long and for the more complicated courses, there is the option of doing extra labs on the side. For someone taking a full course-load (5 classes per semester), that means you’ll be in class for at least 15 hours each week.
There are certain classes that focalise on problem solving or meet every fortnight, but these are the exception rather than the rule.
As a rule of thumb, the university recommends 2 hours of individual work for every hour in class. Personally, I found that to be a bit over the top. If you match each hour in class with an hour of your own time you will be fully prepared and top marks will be within your grasp. Through my own experience here, I’ve found that classes focus on stuffing your tiny brain full of concepts, letting you iron out the details at home. There is definitely more material to get through as you’re taking more courses, but that does mean more knowledge and a better understanding of the subject.
Coursework and Assignments:
Be prepared to be marked, a lot. Several of my courses require work to be submitted every fortnight, with class tests on the off weeks. This isn’t too big of a deal as the weighting of all of this relatively low, but it does mean that if you’re aiming for an A+ there is no downtime. In addition to this, UQAM also follows the traditional mid-term/final recipe to keep things ticking over.
Oh, and one last thing. I hope you enjoy group work because every single class has a mandatory group assignment that counts for at least 30% of your mark. I’m not sure if all of UQAM has this standard, but the management school (ESG) also requires both individual evaluation (solo tests etc.) and group work to be over a 55% average. This means that if you fail your group work, you fail the course. My word of advice is just to find some hardworking people and get started early (assignments are typically between 15 and 30 pages long).
I know it’s all a little daunting but I promise that it’s all worth it! Montreal is a truly vibrant city with so much to offer 😉
For any questions about Montreal or exchange in general, feel free to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bye for now,