Study abroad in Montreal this summer and prepare for college with engaging courses on the campus of McGill University, often referred to as the “Harvard of the North”. This pre-college summer program for high school students is designed to balance academic enrichment and personal growth with fun group excursions, new experiences and free time to explore one of the top student cities in the world! Students will enjoy the independence and freedom that they desire, balanced with the structure, guidance and staff supervision that parents expect. What better way to spend the summer than making new friends, getting a taste of college life, and immersing yourself in the vibrant city of Montreal?
This is the 14-day version of this high school summer program on the McGill campus. Longer 21-day and 28-day versions are available.
About This Program
What It’s Like
Experience college life with the balance of engaging courses, group excursions, and free time.
Certificate of Completion
Receive a certificate of completion for your courses. Letters of recommendation are also available.
All classes are private to Westcoast Connection students only.
Courses taught by experienced university-level faculty, instructors, and local professionals.
McGill University residence.
Unlimited access to the world-class facilities at McGill.
Includes breakfast and dinner daily. Enjoy a variety of options at the dining hall, residence café and local restaurants.
Discover all the fun, festivals, culture and green spaces that summer in Montreal has to offer.
Public transportation and occasional private motor coach.
Limited spots are available for students in the area who don't require accommodations. Contact us for details.
• Get a taste of college life on the McGill University campus.
• Explore your interests with a variety of engaging courses.
• Live in Montreal, one of the top student cities in the world.
• Explore Montreal highlights during Student’s Choice.
• Stay active at McGill's incredible fitness facility.
• Experience Montreal's amazing summer festivals.
• Enjoy jet boating, Six Flags Amusement Park, and more.
• Meet and make new friends living in residence.
Enjoy strolling around McGill University's campus in the very heart of Montreal. The school's campus sits at the foot of Mount Royal, tucked in between downtown Montreal on one side and leafy-green woods and trails on the other.
New Residence Hall, McGill University
Your summer residence is New Residence Hall commonly referred to as “New Rez”, one of the most popular residences at McGill University. You are steps away from chic cafés and restaurants, boutiques and parks. Each room has individual twin beds, AC, private bathroom, cable TV, a refrigerator and Wi-Fi. The residence provides 24-hour security, a laundry room, on-site dining hall.
Stay active with complimentary access to McGill University’s athletic facilities featuring free weights, strength training, cardio machine workout area, Olympic-size pool, basketball courts, tennis courts, indoor jogging track, racquetball and squash courts.
Organized sports & games
Our sports coordinator organizes games of all kinds including basketball, volleyball and ultimate Frisbee.
Positive Social Experience
This program is designed to give you a taste of the excitement and independence you will experience in college. Just like in college, you will be part of a large group of students, live in a residence, and have your choice of classes. And like in college, you will enjoy a warm, family environment within your residence where you enjoy many opportunities to socialize with other students.
This course provides students with an overview of business for professional sports including finance, marketing and technology. Learn about professional sports entities that make billions of dollars entertaining people around the world. Through lectures, case studies and guest speakers, explore topics such as producing live events, broadcasting rights, athlete marketing, sponsorship, the fan experience, and sports law.
Stock Market & Investment AnalysisMorning
Before you invest in the stock market, it’s important you understand the basics of finance, the components of an investment portfolio and the underlying mechanics of the markets. This course gives you a detailed overview of investing in the stock market and offers you many tools and techniques needed to invest. Practice by investing in a simulated stock market competition.
Community Service: Montreal Morning
You can make a real difference to local communities in Montreal. Projects may include working with youth and families, sorting through donations for families in need, as well as serving meals to the homeless. A letter of completion recognizing 16 hours of service and detailing the projects accomplished will be issued after the summer. Westcoast Connection is a Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
Montreal Culture: Behind the ScenesAfternoon
A “field trip” around Montreal to learn about the French-Canadian culture that makes this city so unique. Explore the “Place des Festivals”, the historic Old Montreal with its 17th century cobblestone streets, and the city’s Mount Royal Park which was designed by the same designer as New York’s Central Park. Uncover multiple museums and artistic venues. Discover Montreal’s unique culinary experience and indulge in their famous poutine and smoked meat.
Emotional Intelligence & Professional Communication SkillsMorning
What better way to prepare you for college and a future career than to improve your interpersonal and professional communication skills? This course allows you to develop those skills and increase your performance. Case studies include conflict management, nonverbal communication and effective listening through experiential exercises and discussions. Increase your understanding of emotional intelligence and use this ability to guide your thinking and behavior. Learn how to define personal goals and how to leverage your skills, knowledge and experience to create success in new situations.
Mastering Public SpeakingMorning
This hands-on course of workshops helps students become comfortable, confident and masterful presenters. The principles presented apply to business settings as well as other activities in daily life. Learn to focus, prepare and deliver a presentation. Students make brief presentations, receive constructive feedback and personal coaching to help them overcome emotional and mental blocks.
Psychology of Human BehaviorMorning
This course introduces basic concepts in psychology including behavioral, cognitive and clinical psychology. Through the use of discussion, film and in-class activities, explore topics such as how to improve emotional intelligence, limitations in perception, cognitive distortions and how to improve memory. Other topics included are mental illness, stereotyping and prejudice.
Cooking with Ateliers & SaveursMorning
From learning basic knife skills to creating succulent dishes, if you are a foodie, this course is for you! Whether gourmet entrees or delicious desserts, expert chefs in a beautiful, professional kitchen will inspire and help you develop skills in a hands-on culinary experience. You even get a book full of mouth watering recipes you have helped prepare!
* A supplementary fee of $195 applies.
Introduction to Modern ArtAfternoon
Modern artists studied are known for a spirit of political revolt and artistic experimentation and include van Gogh, Picasso, Dalí and Warhol. Students visit the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art and a number of modern galleries.
Digital Photography: Montreal Afternoon
This in-the-field course is for all levels, all you need is an interest in photography. Learn about shutter speed, aperture, ISO, camera modes and the basics of composition (lighting, exposure, framing, focus and blur) through workshops and assignments in different areas of the city. Capture the city of Montreal from behind the lens. Creativity mixes with practical skills and culminates in an individual photography project completed by the end of the course.
* A DSLR or bridge camera with manual functions having at least a 12.0 megapixel sensor is required.
English as a Second Language (ESL)Morning
This program is designed to increase your overall fluency through real experiences with American culture. Improve your vocabulary and pronunciation, review proper grammatical structures, and practice your writing skills. Beyond the classroom, guided field trips provide you many opportunities to practice your English in the real world. If attending a university in the USA is one of your future goals, then this is the program for you!
Did you know Montreal is the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the world after Paris? Separate course levels from beginner to advanced are offered. Attention is given to grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing with the primary goal of enhancing your verbal skills. You will have many opportunities to practice French in this incredible city.
* A supplementary fee of $195 applies.
This course is designed for non-native English-speaking students interested in attending an English-speaking college or university. It prepares you for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Thousands of schools worldwide rely on TOEFL scores to assist in admission decisions. Imagine the possibilities this test opens up to you as it demonstrates you have the English language skills necessary for an academic classroom. Our instructors guide you and offer you test-taking strategies, help you familiarize yourself with the test, and allow you to practice all sections of the exam.
Health & WellnessAfternoon
This course combines theory and practical sessions on nutrition, anatomy, mindfulness and yoga to help you live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Learn to be active and listen to your body. Harness your personal power and handle the challenges that come your way with more ease and confidence.
Plan your workout regimen including weight training and cardio to help meet your fitness goals.
Workshop 1: Choosing the Right School and College Application Process
Choosing the right college for your academic and personal interests is the first step in the application process. It requires careful research and self-evaluation. This interactive workshop provides you with tools and resources to help you develop a list of criteria integral in choosing appropriate colleges. Explore the basic elements of the college application and learn the ins and outs of the Common Application. Develop your academic/co-curricular profile, learn how to craft a high caliber application and set up your timeline for completion of applications, supplements and essays.
Workshop 2: College Essay Writing
Explore different essay topics and strategies to write a proper admission essay that distinguishes you. As one of the top qualitative measures in the admissions process, your personal essay is an integral part of your application. As a critical aspect of your first impression to an admissions officer, the essay is an opportunity for you to share your stories, adding greater depth and dimension to your application. This workshop includes an overview of fundamental writing skills using real examples of college essays. The focus is on practical tips for writing a great college essay, including finding your voice, brainstorming essay ideas, understanding the prompts, focusing on a theme and the importance of editing and proofreading.
Founded in 1821, McGill has developed a renowned international reputation for academic excellence. This tour shows you around the main downtown campus.
International Jazz Festival
A summer in Montreal is not complete without taking in this premiere event, featuring thousands of artists and hundreds of free outdoor performances. Join the rest of the city (and the world) in the celebration.
Explore the charming cobblestone streets and unique European flare of the city’s most famous landmark: the Old Port. From street performers and beautiful architecture to local cafes in hidden alleys, you will discover something new every visit.
La Ronde – Six Flags Amusement Park
Enjoy thrilling roller coasters and other exciting rides, including La Ronde’s famous Monster, the world’s tallest wooden double roller coaster. In the evening, you will delight in a breathtaking firework display.
View the Montreal skyline from your cruise along the St. Lawrence River – and get soaked! This exhilarating ride through the Lachine Rapids is more exciting than you could imagine.
Montreal bagels, smoked meat and their famous poutine! Understand for yourself what all the fuss is about. Everything else is just an imitation.
Saint-Laurent & Sainte-Catherine
Each with its own personality, discover what makes these streets famous Montreal destinations. From one-of-a-kind shops and funky cafes with streetside terraces to multilevel street art murals, there’s something for everyone!
The heart and pride of Montreal, Mount Royal comes alive during the summer with the weekly “Tam-Tams”, hiking and biking trails, street vendors and food trucks. Choose to sunbathe, enjoy a picnic lunch or join a beach volleyball game.
International Fireworks Competition
The Montreal skyline is ablaze throughout the summer as teams from around the world contend for the top prize in the largest pyrotechnics competition of its kind. The “pyromusical” shows are some of the city’s most attended events.
Located 90 minutes from Montreal, in the Laurentian Mountains, the modern, picturesque Mont-Tremblant village is the sister of its West Coast affiliate, Whistler Blackcomb, and offers shops, luxury accommodations and amazing restaurants. No wonder it has been voted Best Ski Resort in eastern North America by Ski Magazine for 12 years running. Make sure to sample a delicious crepe and a Canadian “BeaverTail”.
Other activities include: Luge ride, International Blues Festival and beach club.
Typical Weekday Schedule
Choose one morning and one afternoon course. Your personal schedule and lunch time may vary based on your course choices.
Flight to Montreal, Canada
As a participant on our Pre-College Enrichment: Montreal program, you may fly to Montreal and be greeted upon arrival and enjoy complimentary transfer (for flights in designated times) from the airport to our downtown residence. We are happy to assist you with arranging flights to and from the program upon request. If you prefer, you may be dropped off directly at our McGill residence and meet your staff there. If you are driving to Montreal, it is approximately 5 hours from Boston and 6.5 hours from New York City.
Return Flight Home from Montreal, Canada
For the 14-day program return from Montreal for flights in designated times, we provide airport transfer and our leaders help you to check in and remain in the airport until flights have departed. You may also arrange to be picked up at the McGill residence if you prefer.
Food & Meals
A big part of your Pre-College Enrichment program’s success depends on how well you eat. We are proud of the fact that year after year we are complimented for our quality, quantity and choice of food! Enjoy a delicious breakfast with a healthy variety of hot and cold choices. For lunch, you enjoy the choice of eating in smaller groups and choosing from local cafés and small restaurants. For dinner, either the whole group goes to the same restaurant or we divide into smaller groups with staff to sample quainter places with a variety of cuisines. Food options are varied and plentiful. Montreal is known for its diverse and trendy food scene. Get ready to indulge from famous Montreal smoked meat and bagels to poutine and BeaverTail pastries.
We have satisfied the choosiest of eaters and gladly accommodate most special dietary requests including vegetarian, anaphylactic food allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, and kosher style. We welcome discussing your individual requirements with you and have extensive experience in this area.
You will only need one week’s worth of clothing as outlined in the packing list that will be sent to you prior to departure. You will have the opportunity to do laundry at your convenience by either dropping off your laundry at a local wash and fold service and then pick it up clean, folded and ready to go or you may do laundry in your residence hall.
Included in your program tuition is all lodging, breakfast and dinner daily, recreation & entertainment listed, day and weekend excursions, application fee, use of McGill athletic facilities, Wi-Fi in residence, campus identification fee, courses (supplementary fees may apply for some) airport transfers in designated times, gratuities & taxes.
Not included is transportation to and from the program, lunches, snacks, personal spending money for souvenirs, and laundry. We also make available optional travel insurance that is not included, but highly recommended.
Please contact us with any questions. We are happy to hear from you!
Limited spots are available for students in the area who don’t require accommodations. Commuter students join for class days. Actual schedule varies depending on the week and is listed below. Commuter students arrive on campus in time for the start of their 10:00 AM morning class and depart campus after their afternoon course, generally between 4:00 – 4:30 PM. They will join any out-of-class site visits or field trips that are part of their course. In addition, we welcome commuter students to join our optional college admissions workshops.
Commuter Tuition – $1,599
Week 1: July 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 Week 2: July 12 and 13
College Admissions Workshops are Sunday, July 10 and Saturday, July 18 from 10:00 – 11:30 AM
Note: Commuter students will have limited access to McGill’s recreational facilities. Supplementary course fees may apply on select courses. Meals not included.