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. A longer 21-day version is 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 letter certifying the completion of 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.
Available for students 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.
Residence La Citadelle – McGill University
Say hello to La Citadelle, your hotel-like summer residence in the heart of downtown Montreal, steps away from chic cafés, boutiques, and parks. All rooms feature individual twin beds, air conditioning, private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, housekeeping services and personal work desks. The residence is a short walking distance to class, and offers a laundry room and group common areas.
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.
Sports Management: McGillAfternoon
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.
Business Entrepreneurship: McGillMorning
Have you ever thought about starting your own business? You will learn the fundamental tools and techniques necessary to launch your own company. After you review all the steps to create and maintain your own business venture, you have the opportunity to try your new skills and will develop and present a professional business plan.
Stock Market & Investment Analysis: McGillMorning
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.
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 Skills: McGillAfternoon
Tom Peters, leadership author of ‘’In Search of Excellence’’ and nicknamed the ‘’Red Bull’’ of management thinking, wrote ‘’Success in business today is 15% technology and 85% Emotional Intelligence.” If this is true, what better way is there to prepare you for college and a future career than to improve your Emotional Intelligence skills? This course has been designed to increase your understanding of emotional intelligence and will empower you to use E.I. to increase your self-confidence, and guide your thinking and behavior. Using experiential exercises, discussions and group collaboration you will learn how to define personal goals and how to leverage your skills, knowledge and experience to create success in new situations both personally and professionally.
Psychology of Human Behavior: McGillMorning
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.
Contemporary World Issues & Global AffairsAfternoon
As the world continues to grow more connected than ever, future leaders require both an understanding of the global environment and leadership skills that can be applied on a transnational scale. This course will expose you to today’s most pressing global affairs and will help develop your critical thinking and writing abilities all while introducing you to diverse perspectives through debates and research.
Social Justice & Human Rights ForumMorning
Climate change, bans on religious freedoms, racial injustice, gender-based violence… the list of human rights violations, and social and ecological injustices are seemingly endless in the world around us. Join this forum on social justice and human rights where we will explore a number of topics through a systems-thinking lens to examine why and how unequal distributions of rights and freedoms manifest. We will also consider our personal identities, positions and power within these systems challenging our ideas of how to make positive social change in the world in which we live. This forum will involve participant discussion.
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.
Digital Journalism & Creative WritingMorning
In a shifting landscape of journalism, find out how to adapt and prepare news to be broadcast in print and through digital outlets. Journalism abides by professional standards for gathering, processing, and disseminating information. Learn about these standards as you analyze selected pieces of news and apply strategies to write powerful stories that capture an audience. Hone your online and interviewing skills, sharpen your ability to write effectively, and deliver messages in your stories that will resonate with your readers.
Community Service: Montreal Afternoon
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 the 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.
# of Hours
Cooking with Ateliers & SaveursMorningAfternoon
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 $220 applies.
Digital Photography: MontrealMorning
There are few better places to master the art of photography than in the vibrant city of Montreal. With your smartphone or digital camera in hand, this photography course will teach various digital photography techniques including imaging scanning, color digital printing, printing digital negatives, basic darkroom techniques and Adobe Photoshop. Creativity mixes with practical skills and culminates in an individual final photography project completed by the end of the course.
Intro to Modern ArtAfternoon
Explore the vibrant city of Montreal through its art scene! 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.
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 $220 applies.
TOEFL Prep: McGillAfternoon
This course is designed for non-native English-speaking students interested in attending an English-speaking college or university and to help prepare 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.
* A supplementary fee may apply.
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!
Plan your workout regimen including weight training and cardio to help meet your fitness goals.
Yoga, Health, & WellnessAfternoon
This course combines theory and practical sessions on nutrition, anatomy, mindfulness and yoga to help you live in healthy balance. Learn to be active and to listen to your body. Harness your personal power, and handle the challenges that come your way with more ease and confidence.
Crime Scene Investigation: CSI MontrealAfternoon
Experience the world of forensic science through hands-on training exercises and theoretical lessons. Examine CSI procedures along with forensic anthropology, biology and bloodstain pattern analysis. A scenario is staged and you work in investigative teams to identify, collect and interpret the evidence before you act as a forensic expert witness and testify in a mock-court setting.
Exploring the World of STEMFull Day
In our increasingly complex world, gaining literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is more crucial than ever. Through engaging theoretical lectures, hands-on lab sessions, and exciting industry visits, this full-day intensive course will introduce students to a wide range of fields and careers within the STEM disciplines. Topics include: Astronomy, Physics, Artificial Intelligence, Neuroscience, Biotechnology, and more! Learn more about Exploring the World of STEM.
* A supplementary fee of $395 applies.
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!
Available for students 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 4, 5, 6, & 7 Week 2: July 11, 12, & 13
College Admissions Workshops are on Saturday, July 8 and Saturday, July 15 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will attending one of your programs help me get into college?
Attending a summer program is an incredible opportunity to learn and grow into a more well-rounded, mature individual. No matter what type of program you choose, the personal development and experience gained over the course of the summer are valuable resources that could help you with your college essays and applications. If your goal for the summer is to get a head start on college prep, a Career Experience or Pre-College Enrichment program could be just what you need. So while attending any particular summer program will not necessarily get you into your choice school, what you get from it can make a difference!
Who are the staff and what are their qualifications?
Our staff are educators, guidance counselors, coaches, college and university students, former camp counselors, residence life coordinators, community volunteers, world travelers, and other leaders with diverse backgrounds. Many are former participants themselves who couldn’t get enough of the Westcoast experience! Learn more about our summer leaders.
When do I choose my courses?
For fall enrollments, we will send you a course choice preference form around February 15. You will be able to select your first, second and third course preferences. Your course choices will be confirmed in the spring.
For enrollments after February 15, we will send you a course choice preference form upon receipt of your application for enrollment. Your course choices will be confirmed in the spring.