Northeastern university’s Ruggles station was crowded last Saturday early in the morning. After months of expectation the date finally arrived: international students were going to know for the first time the city of Montreal in Canada.
The International Students and Scholar Institute of Northeastern University has a full agenda for the international students this semester. As part of the international orientation activities, ISSI organizes trips to many destinations within the geographical limits of U.S. But the trip students had hoped for a few months was the trip to Montreal and it was finally taking place.
The group of 30 students from more than 15 different countries, departed at 6 a.m. from Ruggles station in a bus and arrived to Montreal at 12 p.m.
The first destination was Mont Royale, a mountain which serves as the most significant green area of the city, although green was replaced by red, yellow and orange, the colors that take over the mountain during fall. Students went to the top of the mountain where they enjoyed the amazing sight of the city.
The group was guided by Scott Quint, Director of the ISSI. He explained some facts that characterize the “union between Europe and North America” essence of Montreal. Quint said that “People from the province of Quebec are very proud of their roots, just like French people. They implemented a law in Quebec, through which people are obligated to speak first in French. They used to have signs in both languages, but they decided to eliminate the signs in English and now they only have signs in French”.
And during their stay in Montreal, students verified this: every sign is in French, people will always say first “Bonjour” and many people can hardly speak English, which could be considered strange since they are Canadians.
The hotel was located in Old Montreal, one of the most visited areas by tourists. Old Montreal’s architecture is mainly antique; many of the buildings are from the 18th century. One of their most renowned places is the Notre Dame Basilica. Its construction began in 1842 and it was not until five years later that it was complete.
The second day in Montreal the international students got to know another fascinating building representing a different style of Montreal’s architecture: the Olympic stadium. The stadium is located in downtown Montreal, almost half an hour away from Old Montreal. It has the biggest inclined tower in the world and has an observatory which hosts thousands of visitors every day.
Even though students were enjoying the view of the city in a beautiful sunny day and had more activities planned for the rest of the day, they decided to head back to Boston. There was something more important than learning about a different culture: The Red Sox’s game was on that night and even international students can’t avoid becoming a Red Sox fan in Boston.
And although the Red Sox lost the game latter that night, Rauno Peet , one of the international students from Estonia said “Coming back to see the Red Sox was definitely worth it”.
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