Page 1

view fullscreen

Online advising for new students is now available! 9am - 5pm from June 1 - August 27

Welcome! Bienvenue! Arts Undergraduate Society of McGill University

view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

This is an interactive document. Use the menu above to navigate through this guide. Additionally, clicking on any text that appears in BLUE will take you to the requested information.

CO NT E NTS THE “AUS”....................................................................................................................4 WHAT TO BRING:......................................................................................................... 7 IMPORTANT ACADEMIC DATES............................................................................... 10 WHAT WE WISH WE HAD KNOWN........................................................................... 11 FRESHMAN VOCABULARY....................................................................................... 12 BUILDINGS AT MCGILL............................................................................................. 18 STUDENT RESOURCES............................................................................................. 22 CLUBS AND SERVICES.............................................................................................. 23 FINANCIAL AID.......................................................................................................... 25 CHOOSING YOUR CLASSES
.....................................................................................26 USING MINERVA........................................................................................................ 28 THE FIRST FEW DAYS................................................................................................ 30 NIGHTLIFE.................................................................................................................. 32 HOT SPOTS................................................................................................................ 32 GETTING AROUND MONTRÉAL............................................................................... 38 TRAVEL....................................................................................................................... 40

©MMX Arts Undergraduate Society of McGill University. Neither this document nor any part herein may be reproduced without express written permission from the Office of the President of the Arts Undergraduate Society. All rights reserved. Thanks to the Freshman Events and Representative Committee (FEARC) of the AUS 2009-10 for their work that has assisted in the production of this document. Portions of this document, including images contained herein, have been obtained from sources outside of the Arts Undergraduate Society and/or McGill University. Where possible, content has been credited and used with permission.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Welcome to the Arts Undergraduate Society’s


When you get to McGill in late August, you’ll be inundated with information from student leaders, your peers and the administration. It’s hard to come away from that week remembering a lot about McGill and the incredible city of Montréal. We thought we’d send the essentials your way – the things that we wished we had known before coming to McGill, and the stuff we wished we had remembered after frosh week. As a new McGillian, you’ll quickly become accustomed to our mode de vivre, but some hints will certainly help!

So what is the Arts Undergraduate Society? And it is only for First Years?

Those are great questions, and they’re a perfect place to begin.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society


The Arts Undergraduate Society (“AUS”) is the student association of all McGillians pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Arts & Science (B.A. & Sc.) degree. Founded to represent the interests of Arts students to McGill’s administration, the AUS now provides many student resources to aid you in your studies and extracurricular life at McGill. A peer tutoring service, summer telephone and online academic advising program, two lounges, a 24-hour computer lab, a student employment fund and numerous department-level student councils and projects are all run year-round by the AUS with the assistance of student fees. As an arts student, you are automatically a member of the AUS and pay student fees accordingly. To expand on the short list provided above, here are some of the many services provided by the AUS:

Arts Lounge A great place to study or play a game of pool. The AUS lounge, located in the basement of the Leacock Building, is a spacious area filled with desks, couches and computers that provides a great atmosphere to work. Board rooms in the lounge are provided for meetings and group work, and the AUS design suite makes doing creative work, such as poster or journal production, a breeze. The lounge itself can be booked online for student events. Ferrier Computer Lab Located on the 3rd floor of the Ferrier Building, the AUS provides you with a 24-hour computer lab. Black & white and colour printing is also made available and is charged to your student account.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

24-Hour Lounge & Courtyard

The AUS provides you with 24-hour study space on the 2nd floor of the Ferrier Building. Food, soft drink and coffee/tea vending machines also ensure that you’ve got what you need to study for long periods of time! When the weather begins to cooperate (in September and in late April) a courtyard accessible from the 2nd floor of the Ferrier Building also provides great outside chill and study space. Peer Tutoring

The AUS operates a free peer tutoring in some of our most popular courses. In the Winter semester of 2010, peer tutoring was available in 150 courses spanning 31 disciplines. Language tutoring is also available, as is skill tutoring in areas such as subject area-specific essay writing and how to write multiple choice exams. For more information, contact Jade Calver (VP Academic) at

Graduate Schools

Each year, the AUS plays host to graduate schools and programmes from around the globe. All Arts students are invited to find out about their options for pursuing graduate studies and to make contact with admissions personnel from a variety of schools. This year, the Graduate Schools Fair is taking place on October 20. For more information, contact Todd Plummer (VP External) at

Work Your B.A.

Ever wondered what your B.A. degree will be useful for? We do – every day. That’s why the AUS runs a week-long set of speeches and seminars on how to use your B.A. degree effectively. Hosted by prominent graduates of McGill’s Faculty of Arts, “Work your B.A.” is a great opportunity to find out exactly how these two letters add to your resumé.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society


From Frosh to the world-renowned Carnival, the AUS holds a variety of social and professional events throughout the academic year. You’ll get a taste of exactly what the AUS does during Frosh. In your Frosh kit, you’ll also get a copy of the AUS handbook with all of the dates of our great events premarked in the calendar so you don’t miss anything! For more information, contact Nampande Londe (VP Events) at


Once you decide on an honours/major/minor (or any combination thereof) you’ll also become a member of a departmental association. Operating under the AUS, these departments also hold events, provide student services relating to your academic curriculum, and other cool stuff (such as departmental clothing – who doesn’t want to buy a “McGill Political Science” sweatshirt?). For more information on departments, contact Jason Leung (VP Internal) at! Also make sure you take a look at the AUS Handbook to find out more about our various departmental organizations - a digital copy is included on this USB drive, and you’ll receive a hard copy of the Handbook and Agenda during Frosh!

There’s plenty more!

That’s just a handful of what the AUS has to offer. If you have any questions about specific services, please feel free to email the executive committee member listed under that activity. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact Dave Marshall (President) at!


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

WHAT TO BRING: Before you decide to pack along your entire house, try to remember that room and storage space is limited once you come to university! If you do forget something essential, you can always fall back on FedEx, trips back home, or one of Montréal’s convenient shopping destinations.

Clothing Bring three weeks of clothing, including at least one nice outfit. You won’t want to be doing a lot of laundry, but at the same time you won’t be able to fit your entire wardrobe into a rez room closet. You’ll need a fair bit of warm-weather clothing as well as the usual staples: jeans and t-shirts. Montréal winters also get quite cold, so you’ll want to make sure you also have: Weather-proof jacket to protect against wind and rain (fall/spring)
 Winter coat for snowstorms (winter)
 Winter boots (make sure they’re waterproof!)
 Every day clothes (jeans, sweatpants, t-shirts, etc.) Long underwear (wool socks also recommended)
 Gloves, scarves, toques Shoes for running, inside, hot weather and cold weather

 Remember that you don’t need to bring all of this at once: if you plan to head home at least once a semester, you can swap out clothes each season to save some space in your rez room. Laundry Every once in a while, you’ll have to do laundry. You may also want to wait until you get to Montréal to pick these items up in bulk from Costco: Laundry detergent Dryer sheets Clothes hangers Laundry basket (or collapsible hamper to save space) A dryer rack Iron Mini ironing board


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society


 Bath towels Wash cloth Shower shoes/flip flops Shampoo/soap Shower caddy (you’ll need something to carry all of your stuff to the shower) Cosmetics/toiletries Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, face wash...)
 Nail scissors/clippers
 Small first-aid kit Basic medication (Advil, Tylenol, Pepto-bismol, Gravol, etc.)
 Prescription medication Contact lens supplies and glasses
 Facial tissue

 Beds and mattresses are included with all residence rooms. Sheets, pillow and bedding (only RVC provides these)
. Consider bringing 2 sets of sheets in case one gets dirty. Desk chair pad/pillow Dry-erase/bulletin board Posters and other room decorations (watch out for the poster sale at the beginning of the year!) CDs, DVDs
 (Hulu isn’t available in Canada, and buying shows on iTunes can get expensive!) Extra lighting (consider a bright, standing lamp) Large mirror Small fan Technology Laptop Laptop lock Printer Printer paper Power bar/extension cord Alarm clock Cell phone (and charger) with a good long-distance plan if necessary Digital camera


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Cooking Gear:

 Ensure you check your residence information package to find out what cooking amenities, such as a mini-fridge, are included in your residence. Unless you’re living in one of the MORE houses, your rez has cafeteria facilities. However, all residences have kitchens of some sort, and cooking can be a great way to get to know people! Dish cloth and hand towel
 Dish detergent
 Mug, plate, and bowl (microwave-safe)
 A pot Frying pan Miscellaneous Heath card Drivers License (or other form of ID) Passport Textbooks Calculator Agenda (the AUS will provide you with one during frosh!) Tool kit Mini sewing kit Notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, etc. can be picked up after your arrival in Montréal.

Always remember that Montréal is one of the largest cities in North America. You can find literally anything here. If you’ve already got it at home and can haul it to McGill, do it – perhaps buying a second set of everything is a waste of money. That said, don’t worry about not being able to find anything in the city!


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society


June 9, 2010: Class registration open for students who have completed a CEGEP program in Quebec June 15, 2010: Deadline for residence selection July 28, 2010: Class registration open for all students entering U1 (those who have completed AP, IB, French Baccalauerate or other advanced standing programs) July 29, 2010: Class registration open for all students August 21-22, 2010: Residences move-in days (your move-in date is based on your surname: information is available in your residence information package) August 24, 2010: Discover McGill information session. Location and time to be confirmed - hear more about it when you arrive at McGill September 1 - December 3, 2010: Fall classes in session. September 1 - 14, 2010: Course change period. September 6, 2010: Labour day (no classes) October 11, 2010: Canadian Thanksgiving (no classes) December 6-21, 2010: Fall semester final exams January 4 - April 8, 2011: Winter classes in session February 21 - 25, 2011: Reading week April 11 - 28, 2011: Winter semester exams April 22, 2011: Good friday (no exams) April 25, 2011: Easter monday (no exams)


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society


Not all of life’s lessons must be learnt through your own personal experience. Here are a few of the things that we’ve learnt the hard way—so that you might not have to:

Some Feedback We’ve Gotten

“I wish I had created a budget before frosh. I managed to blow an absurd amount of money those first few weeks. If I had set myself a limit, I wouldn’t have been scrambling for cash for the rest of the school year. “ “I wish someone had told me that college isn’t like it is on TV. There’s work involved - lots of it. Especially at McGill.”  
“I wish I hadn’t opted for the phone service in residence. I ended up using my cell phone a whole lot more for a whole lot less, especially with the great deals I got from my providers.” 

 “I am an international student and I wish that I had gotten the phone service in residence. While Rogers, for example, charges 30 cents/minute for international calls, residence phone will only charge you 5 cents/minute.”

 “I wish I had sent more back with my parents after moving in! Living in residence, especially in a space that is shared with a roommate, has really taught me the difference between necessity and something that you aimlessly have lying around. Be honest with yourself when moving into residence, and only keep the things that definitely use.”

 “I wish I knew that McGill had a free one-hour tutoring service that’s offered to all freshmen. That could have really helped me for my finals!”  “I wish I’d visited residence BEFORE coming to McGill. Try and get a tour of a lot of the residences if you come to visit; you can see how big the rooms are, what facilities the residences offer, and how close they are relative to the other campus amenities.”


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society


Coming to university requires learning almost an entirely new language--and most of the words in this new language are acronyms. Here’s a comprehensive guide to what we think might help you most:

14 pt. periods – An efficient way to flesh out an otherwise 12 pt. font term paper. ex: “.” Arts Legacy - Legacy is an integrated, cross-cultural curriculum that is taught by professors, lecturers and senior graduate students drawn from various disciplines in the Faculty of Arts. It consists of weekly lectures, discussions in small seminars, and tutorial work. There are biweekly essays and a major research project. One of the unique features is the performance component of the program, which affords students the opportunity to engage in a creative manner with the cultural traditions about which you learn by staging a cultural event. As an undergraduate freshman (U0 student), you have the option of taking this your first year instead of the more traditional program. (You get the same number of credits). AUS - Arts Undergraduate Society. All Arts students are members of the AUS. The AUS is in charge of representing students to the university, the government, and other organizations. The AUS maintains a student lounge in the basement of the Leacock building, and runs events year round like Arts Frosh and Pub Nights. The AUS funds and supports a number of endeavors including lounges, a 24hour computer lab, the Fine Arts Council and the Freshman Events and Representative Council. Brown Building (aka Shatner) - Home of student services including C.A.P.S. (the Career Planning Service), Student Aid, International Students Office, Student Heath Center, and the Shag Shop. CGPA - This is your cumulative GPA and includes ALL of your marked classes. (A GPA is only your term GPA and includes classes taken that semester.)  Conference- Most large first and second year courses will include a weekly conference session. These are small classes with 20-30 students, and are led by TAs who help to break down lectures and go over readings. Conferences offer a chance to debate and ask questions about the material. They also offer participation and attendance marks--so don’t skip them!       Cover Charge - The price you must pay for general admission to a club. This generally ranges from $5.00-$15.00+. Many clubs don’t charge cover if you show up before a certain it’s well worth checking it out! Daily, the - One of our school newspapers. No, it does not come out daily (it’s an irony thing) rather, it is printed on Mondays and Thursdays. They cover a lot of the activism in Montréal and McGill and have a fascinating Features section. Their office is found in the basement of Shatner behind Gerts bar. If you are interested in writing, don’t hesitate  to get involved.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Deferral - A request to postpone your acceptance of your Offer of Admission for one year. This is usually done to take advantage of a year of youth to go traveling or make some money.
 Délit, Le - Our weekly French newspaper. They are part of the Daily Publications Society and share their office with The Daily. They print on Thursdays. Their office is in the basement of Shatner behind Gerts bar. Dep - Depanneur or corner store. Most of the deps around McGill stock your standard corner store fare (snacks, pop/soda, household items). In Quebec, you can also pickup beer at your neighbourhood dep. Discipline –  (1) A level of categorisation more specific than faculty (arts) but more general than program (e.g. film studies). Examples of disciplines include: humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, etc.  (2) An undesirable consequence for compromising your academic integrity. Make sure to read the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures in the Green Book to know exactly what McGill expects of you, and how you can avoid such measures as academic probation, suspension, or expulsion.  Double Major – Can’t pick just one major? Take two. A double major consists of 36 credits in one department and 36 in another. It means fewer electives, but your degree will at least have a longer name (ex. Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science)  Dr. T – The online Q&A persona of Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier, Director of Student Health Services. Also described as the Anne Sanders of “personal” health. Check it out!  Exams – A three week period when McGill shuts down, the library stays open for 24 hours and few students tear themselves away from their cramming activities. This is the time to study, study, study. (Don’t forget the gym though--this is prime time for the freshman fifteen to accumulate) FEARC - Freshman Events Academic Representative Committee. As an AUS Committee, FEARC works closely with AUS’ VP Academic to represent first year students’ interests to McGill’s administration. They also handle your concerns, and help to integrate first years into McGill. If you have any questions about FEARC or how to get involved, please contact Jade Calver, the AUS VP Academic, at Fish Bowl - Computer lab in McLennan Library Flip Cup - A drinking game that involves chugging beer as part of a team relay. Floor Fellow - Your go-to person on your residence floor. Your floor fellow is responsible for your general safety, well-being, and happiness. He or she is also a great person to talk to for academic, social, or emotional advice. In addition, they help plan social events within your floor. These can range from midnight floor breakfasts to full-scale Montréal outings.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Freshman Error - Done something that you regret? Call it a “freshman error” and resolve (at least some of) your guilt.   Freshman Fifteen - A universal phenomenon causing students to gain considerable weight during their first year (i.e. fifteen pounds) Don’t stress, if you do gain weight it is just because your mind is EXPANDING with knowledge!
 Frosh - A momentous week of drinking, singing, and more drinking, where faculties compete in who has the most fun and can be the most obscene. Warning: You will be awkward for the first few minutes, you will make fake friends very fast just so you don’t look alone, and you will never drink Boreal beer for the rest of your life (or at least until your next campus event). That being said, it may be the best week of your life. Ever.
It’s also a great time to get to know McGill and the greater Montréal community! FYC - First Year Council. SSMU’s version of FEARC, FYC is intended to assist first years in all things McGill. FYO - First Year Office:  Home of the First Year orientation centre. Located in the Brown Student Services Building.  GPA - Grade Point Average: The average of all your course grades taken so far, expressed on a scale out of 4.0. It’s definitely important, but don’t get too caught up with it your first year. Do remember, though, that certain academic programs, like study abroad, require a minimum GPA. Honours – A high degree of specialization in one area of study. It’s like a major, but you complete more credits (60) in your department and there are more required courses, in particular upper year seminar and research courses. You’ll need a GPA of 3.0 to get into most honours programs, though some departments might require higher.
 Hook-up -  This term can hold many different meanings ranging from a kiss to sex and everything in between. Be aware of how you use this word, since different people may have different interpretations, which could get you in some tricky situations. IRC - Inter-Residence Council. Comprised of student representatives from each residence, the IRC looks out for your well being in residence. They throw wild parties and represent your interests to McGill’s administration. ISIC - International Student Identification Card: You’ll need this to get most student discounts. You can pick up your card at most travel agencies and at most train stations. On campus, the ISIC card is available at Travel Cuts in the Shatner building on the first floor.
It will cost you $16 a year, but you will save so much more. Junior - Another name for students in third year of university


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Joint Honours - Similar to a double major curriculum (36 credits in each honour major) but with both taken at the honours level. Graduating joint honours isn’t that common, which means grad schools are impressed by it. However, it’s a very rigorous program and there are specific GPA and course requirements for the joint honours component of each major. Check it out in the course calendar if you’re interested. Kings - A drinking game Lecture - A 1-3 hour time slot of you listening to a professor talk. Some classes videotape/record lecture and post them on WebCT, so if you happen to miss class do not stress. Ideally, you make it to every single one of your lectures and sit front row. Realistically, you may realize you can cram all the material 5 days before finals and never get up in time to go. Whatever works for you! Although professors do not take attendance, keep in mind that some classes factor in your participation in lecture as part of your grade. 

 Major – Your primary area of study. A major consists of 36 credits from one department, including a certain number of required and complementary courses. When your grandma asks you what you’re studying at McGill, this is what you tell her.   Martlet (meal plan) - The brand name of your mandatory meal plan while in residence. Martlet meal plans offer a fair bit of flexibility - based on a declining balance, you are able to eat almost anywhere on campus using only your student card as proof of payment. For more information, check out the Food and Dining Services website at Martlet (school mascot pertaining to female athletes) - a mythical bird without legs thus in perpetual flight symbolizing McGill’s eternal quest for knowledge and learning. For the male version, see “Redmen.” McGill Bubble - Literally, this refers to the McGill campus and surrounding neighbourhoods. The term is used to refer to the traditional sighs and sounds every McGillian is exposed to during their every day lives. We recommend that you use frosh week to get out of the bubble - visit some lesserseen places on the island of Montréal, dine in the old city, or just hop on a metro car with a couple of friends and explore. Montréal is a fantastic city, and you don’t see enough of it when you’re spending late October nights in the library. McLennan Library — 7  stories tall making it McGill’s largest library; offers endless book stacks, countless study nooks, numerous computers, several conference rooms and an information desk McLennan Cafeteria - Houses the Redpath Oasis Café and TIM HORTONS! (supports all the Martlet Meal Plans) Midterm – A test given during the most hectic week mid way through the semester to test everything from day one of the term. Typically professors schedule midterms for the same week (it is not uncommon, nor considered conflicting to have multiple midterms in one day).                  


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Minerva - The daughter of Jupiter and Metis, Minerva is considered to be the virgin goddess of Wisdom, Poetry, Medicine, Warriors, Commerce, Crafts, and the Inventor of Music. To McGill Scholars, however, her name is synonymous to ‘anger’ and ‘frustration.’ Minerva is the online program for students in which you register for classes, pay your e-bill, access your unofficial transcript, and a whole lot more. It is accessible through your MyMcGill web portal. More information is available on page 28.
 Minor – Your secondary area of study. It consists of 18 credits from a department different from that of your major. Exception: if you do two minors, one is allowed to be from the same department as your major. 
 My Courses - A link found within your MyMcGill account, also accessible from the McGill website. This is a one-stop shop for all of your course information. Check here for slides from the class you missed the other day, the course syllabus, online readings and mark updates!
 MWF - Monday/Wednesday/Friday. Classes are often offered “MWF” and usually involve a one-hour lecture on each of these days of the week. Also see “TR.” Placement Exam – For all language classes you are required to take this test at the start of the year to determine your level of proficiency and the class you should take.   Procrastination – definition coming soon. The act of putting things off until the last minute, commonly disguised with excessive cleaning, eating, dancing, showering, talking…etc. Quiz – a short exam worth approximately 10% of your semester grade. Caution: there are many fewer marks in university courses than points in high school classes! So, don’t take ‘em quizzes lightly! Reading Week – McGill’s version of ‘Spring Break’ takes place near the end of February each year. The one week off from class gives you the time to catch up on coursework (a really good idea) or laze in the sun in some tropical destination.     Redman (school mascot pertaining to male athletes) - Fitting for a university in the middle of a French city to appoint gender appropriate mascots, eh? The Redman is a male who is red. For the female version, see “Martlet.” Reduced Course Load - Something worth looking into, especially for first semester; a 12-credit term. Useful in helping you adjust to the university lifestyle.  
 Rez Fest - In the first few days in residence, you get to experience Rez Fest. There will be a lot of bonding with your floor and with your residence through games, sports, movies, and just hanging out. Useful orientation and info sessions also occur during Rez Fest so try not to miss them! Semester -  Half the school year. The duration of which the majority of your classes will last. Senior - Another name for students in fourth year of university


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Sexiled –when your roommate, looking to engage in sexual activities, sends you into “exile” to avoid voyeurism… for your best interest, leave for the night and deal it out in the morning. “Johnny, why are you sleeping in the study room?” “Dude, I’ve been sexiled by my roomie” SSMU - Students Society of McGill University. You’re a part of this, too. Those in charge of it run a big part of your lives on campus. SSMU is in charge of the Shatner building, a textbook exchange, Gerts bar, campus-wide events (including SSMU frosh and SnoAP). SSMU represents you to the administration, and various levels of government. Sophomore - Another name for students in second year of university Sophomore Twenty - And you thought the freshman fifteen was bad...

 S/U Option -  Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option (also known as Pass/Fail), in lieu of letter grades: useful for protecting a GPA from a predictable blow. Unfortunately, this option is only available for non-prerequisite courses and may be employed a limited number of times. Think about using it for interest courses or languages. Remember that this option MUST be selected by the end of add-drop (even for full year courses) and that only a certain number of courses you take can be from the S/U option. Additionally, none of your required program courses can be done under the S/U option: make sure you check out all of the conditions if this interests you. ( plan/s-u/) Term Paper – Regurgitation of the course lectures in written form, often in the form of a creative argument. Don’t underestimate the power of punctuation. (see 14 point periods) Trib, the (aka The McGill Tribune) - One of our school newspapers. It covers news, arts and entertainment, sports and often has great content on student life (thanks for the recipes). It comes out every Tuesday. The Trib’s office can be found on the first floor of Shatner. If you’re interested in writing don’t hesitate to get involved. TR - Tuesday/Thursday. Classes are often offered “TR” and usually involve a ninety-minute lecture on each of these days of the week. Some classes are also offered “R” (Thursday) only. U0 – Your first year (also called your “freshman” year). U1 – Your second year (or first year if you enter with Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or French Baccalaureate credit) Walk of Shame - The journey back home after a night out...and an unexpected sleep-over. The Giveaway:  evening clothes seen worn around town at 10:30 am Web CT - This is what MyCourses used to be called. In fact, the two are synonymous.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society


The AUS knows that the McGill campus can seem intimidating from time to time, and we also know that it has a lot more to offer than most students ever make use of. We want you to know where to get free ice cream for when you fail a quiz. We want you to know the best places to nap on campus. We want you to know how to capably navigate through McGill’s underground tunnel system. A full, searchable map is available online and is a great thing to use on-the-go using an iPhone or Blackberry:

We’ve also come up with a quick shortlist of important buildings:

Adams Auditorium One of the larger lecture halls, you may find that many of your midterms are held in the Adams Auditorium.   Architecture Café  Located on the lower level of the Macdonald-Harrington Building in Room G6, the space is also used for a weekly pub, which brings together students from undergraduate and graduate programs in informal conversation with faculty and the public. It operates a pub on Friday evenings where live music is provided by talented architecture students and others on a regular basis. The student group that operates the café and pub also, on occasion, dedicates designated evenings as fund-raisers for programs such as Habitat for Humanity. 

Arts Building           The symbol of the Arts Student, the Arts building is as gorgeous as it is recognizable (see the AUS logo if you want more proof). The building is connected to Leacock and the McLennan Library via underground tunnel, and we challenge you to find the indoor shortcut on the third floor to the 24-hour computer labs in Ferrier. Need a study break? Try the Subway Sandwiches franchise in the basement of the Arts building. The line may be long, but it’s great stuff!


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

The Beach We’re not talking about the sandy type... The upper part of lower field is commonly referred to as the beach; it’s a type of mini-hill where students like to sun themselves on in the early days of fall term. Bookstore & Computer Shop            The Campus bookstore is a great place to get your textbooks, school supplies, and McGill merchandise. However, if finances are a concern, we suggest that you consider other venues, like Paragraphe, The Word, or the McGill classifieds. The McGill computer store is on the second floor of the bookstore, and is a great place to get discounted software and equipment.

Bronfman & Cafeteria The Money (i.e. Management) Building has a fantastic cafeteria where you can find delicious toasted sandwiches, a salad and stir-fry bar, and Starbucks coffee!

Brown Building The Brown Student Services building is home to many student services including C.A.P.S. (the Career Planning Service), Student Aid, International Students Office, Student Heath Services, and the famous Shag Shop. Ferrier Building  This is the security building as well as the location of the 24-hour Arts Computer Lab & Lounge. It’s the place to go if you want to get your cards punched to put on a lanyard, or get a STOP security plate put on your laptop ( Also, the computer lab is one of the nicest on campus and the only one that’s open 24 hours all year, so head over there to get some studying done.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

The Hill Montréal is one big mountain, but “The Hill” refers to the stretch of University Street from Sherbrooke to the end of the street in Upper Rez (McConnell, Gardner, Molson, and Douglas). It usually takes a student 20-25 minutes to walk it from top to bottom. Make sure your winter boots have good tread, as the city of Montréal doesn’t often plow the sidewalks, for some strange reason. It’s a miniature workout.

Leacock This building is the 10-storey home of Arts students and also plays home to the Arts Lounge located in the basement. The lounge is the perfect place to hang out with a few friends, shoot a game of pool, or catch up on some work. For more information on the Arts Lounge, see page 4 or drop by!

Lower Field Your Frosh Destination! Also the location of choice for Carnival and winter hockey. When events aren’t being run on this central field, it’s great for a friendly game of Frisbee, football, soccer or tag. Watch out for the skating rink that comes out during winter!

MACES (McGill Association of Continuing Education Students) Café Delicious sandwich place behind Bronfman with a big screen TV and comfy chairs. One of the hidden gems on campus.

McLennan Cafeteria The Redpath Oasis Café supports the Martlet Meal Plans and serves Tim Horton’s, Pizza Pizza, grilled sandwiches, and Shawarma. It’s open 24 hours during exam time for that late cup of coffee, but has rather limited evening hours throughout the rest of the year.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

McLennan Library Also known as the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, McLennan library is seven stories tall, making it McGill’s largest library. It offers endless book stacks, countless study nooks, numerous computers, several conference rooms and an information desk.

SSMU Lounge Located on the first floor of the SSMU building (“University Centre” or colloquially the “Shatner Building”), this room easily has the comfiest sofas. In fact, most people go here not to study, but to catch up on sleep! Nab a couch early though - this place fills fast (you’re not the only one who’s sleep deprived!) Tomlinson Fieldhouse The indoor track and field complex of the Athletics Centre- a great place to come show your school spirit and cheer for McGill during track and field events! You may also write exams here or elsewhere in the McGill Gym complex.

Full campus maps are available online at:


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

STUDENT RESOURCES McGill University is just full of these. Here’s a short list you might want to commit to your cell phone:

 Academic Advising and Information: Athletics/Gym: 514-398-7000 Drivesafe: 514-398-1716

 Information Technology Help Desk: 514-398-3398 Minerva Hotline: 514 398 7878, Nightline: 514-398-MAIN Ask them any question – literally anything – from 6pm to 3am during the regular school year! Ombudsperson: 514-398-7059 Queer McGill: 514-398-6822, Sexual Assault Centre of McGill Students Society (SACOMSS): 514-398-8500, McGill Security: 514-398-3000 Student Health Services: 514-398-6017 Student Services: Montréal Télésanté: 311 A great place to get your health questions answered when you can’t access a doctor (available 24/7) Walksafe: 514-398-2498


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

CLUBS AND SERVICES The importance of getting involved in the McGill community is well worth repeating. Dedicating a few hours per week to a club or sport will have little—if any—negative effect on your grades (rather, involvement has been shown to improve student performance) and the overall satisfaction you experience at McGill will increase substantially. 

University-wide clubs and services are administered by the SSMU (see the dictionary on page 17). Here is a list of the various clubs at McGill: Abhilasha African Students Society, Ahmaddiya Students’ Assocation Amnesty International Animal Liberties Anime Club Anti-Racist Coalition (MARC) Arab Students’ Association Armenian Students Association, McGill Art of Living Club Ashraya Initiative for Children Baha’i Studies Association (ABS) Bangladeshi Students’ Association Best Buddies, McGill Students Borderless World Volunteers Bridge Club Buddhist Discussion and Meditation Group Burma Solidarity Collective Campus for Christ Cancer Society McGill Caribbean Students’ Society Challah for Hunger, Montréal China Care Chinese Students and Scholars Association Chinese Students’ Society, McGill Choral Society, McGill Christian Fellowship, McGill Classical Music Club CNSA McGill Chapter Compassion United Conservative Society of McGill University Cricket Club Daraja Debating Union Dignitas Youth Club Dragon Boat Club Dream Corps Canada Egyptian Students’ Association Effusion Acappella Engineers Without Borders Epilogue Ex-Yugoslav Society Fantasia

Financial Markets Group Fine Arts Club Flintknappers Club Free the Children (Youth in Action) Fridge Door Club Friends’ of MSF at McGill Gamers’ Guild Global Aids Coalition, McGill Greenpeace Green Party Habitat for Humanity Healthy Minds Hellenic Students’ Associaton Hillel Jewish Student Society, McGill Hong Kong Students Network I*Create I.C.O.N. St. Cyril Coptic Orthodox Association Improv, McGill Indian Students’ Association Indonesian Students’ Association Indo-Pak Student Association (MIPSA) Inertia Modern Dance Collective Iranian Students’ Association Ismaili Students’ Association Italian Students’ Association Japanese Student Association Jewish Experience Journalists for Human Rights Junior Hong Kong Canada Business Association Karate Club Korean Students’ Society Korle-Bu Neuroscience Club Lebanese Students’ Association Liberal McGill Making Waves Malaysian and Singaporean Students’ Association (MASSA) MANABA Mauritian Students’ Association McGill Freestyle Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Med-Specs


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Montréal Children’s’ Hospital Alliance at McGill Mosaica Musicians’ and Performing Artists’ Network Muslim Students’ Association National Society of Black Engineers New Democratic Party of McGill New Earth Voices Newman Students’ Society North Korea Freedom Network Orthodox Christian Fellowship Our House Music Society (OHM) Outdoors Club, McGill OXFAM Pakistani Students’ Association Peace by PEACE Pearson House Photography Society, McGill Undergrad(MUPS) Plate Club PLQ Youth Polish Students’ Association Political Issues Club Red Herring, The Redpath Museum Club Right to Play Rotaract Students’ Club of McGill University SLASA Salseros Santropol Roulant, McGill Students’ Save A Child’s Heart Scottish Highland Dance Society

Simply Sweetly Choir Ski Team Snowboard Club Soka Gakkai International Student Club (SGI) Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) Soulstice Acapella South Asian Women’s Aid Speed Dating Club Students’ Association of Cognitive Science Students for Literacy, McGill Students Offering Support (SOS) Swiss Club Symphonic Band Syrian Students’ Association Taiwanese Students Association Theatre De La Grenoville Think Pink Tonal Ecstasy Trivia Club Turkish Students’ Society of McGill University UNICEF Urban Groove Hip Hop Dance Ensemble V-Day War Child Water Polo Club WaterCan White Ribbon Club WUSC (World University Service of Canada) Youth Action International

A full list of clubs and activities offered at McGill is available at clubs/. If one sparks your interest, summertime is the perfect way to find out more about that particular club and make contact with one of the members on it! Otherwise, we encourage you to attend Clubs Night, which will be held in early September. This evening is a great opportunity to get a feel for all that is available, and get more information about anything you are really interested in. September is also a great time to find out about the services offered by the various departmental groups within the Faculty of Arts and administered by the AUS. Even if you haven’t selected a major yet, Arts Night at 6:30 pm on September 29th in the AUS Lounge, is a great opportunity find out about the various events and resources provided by each department! Whether you’re interested in finding about more about a Political Science major, or want to find out what services are available to students who want to studying German, make sure you drop by the AUS Lounge on Arts Night!


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

FINANCIAL AID Not all McGill students have their expenses paid for by their parents. In fact, many of us have to go it alone or contribute to the cost. Paying for an education can be one of the most daunting and challenging tasks that a student can face. Trying to maintain a GPA, a part-time job, a social life and other extracurricular commitments, all while trying to balance your budget can be overwhelming. McGill Student Aid is an accessible and understanding office at McGill. They are there for you when you are in financial trouble. If some emergency arises (like a sudden flight home or emergency dental work) and you don’t have anywhere to turn, don’t be afraid to visit the Student Aid Office. They also take care of approving you for work-study (done the same way you apply for financial aid) and giving out scholarships. Before you go, you must fill out an application form on Minerva. DO THIS. Even if you aren’t sure you’ll be asking for funding but maybe could use some budgeting advice, be sure to fill out the online application. It will take some time and requires a lot of detail but don’t be intimidated. Be as detailed and as accurate as you can. The time you put into this will be worth it, and by the end of it, you’ll have a functional budget (which is never a bad thing).


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

CHOOSING YOUR CLASSES The classes in which you decide to enroll can have a major influence on your university experience. There are many things to consider when making your choices, and while this information is by no means a substitution for a face-to-face meeting with a McGill Academic Advisor, we still think that it is more than valuable enough to share.

Prime Questions to be Asking Yourself:

 a) Does it meet my freshman (if you’re a U0 student) or program (if you’re a U1 student) requirements? (see

 b) Am I interested in the class? You are far more inclined to do well if you enjoy what you are studying. There is a good chance that you will find yourself procrastinating a lot less and having a much better sense of intuition when it comes time for the exam.

 c) Does the professor have a good reputation among students?
 McGill University prides itself on the quality of its professors, however it is well worth your time to visit to get a better sense of the specific teaching style that you are signing up for. Better yet, check out the “Mercury Course Evaluation Menu,” within the “Registration Menu” of Minerva (login instructions on page 28). Here, you can access reviews of classes and professors that previous students have submitted.

 d) How does it fit into my schedule?
                Your first priority when scheduling classes should be to avoid direct conflicts (in other words, overlapping classes). Although Minerva will let you know about any such conflict, it will not prevent you from signing up. A ten minute gap between classes is usually sufficient to get from one lecture hall to another (possible exception being an Otto Maas/Stewart Bio combination). Two classes back to back is manageable; three is all right. Watch out for four classes in a row, though, because for most of us, that is roughly the equivalent of a 70 km mental marathon. Do not underestimate the value of an hour or two between classes to prep for the next lecture, eat some lunch, or have a midday nap.
                 One final note: although it might seem nice to fit in all your classes on MWF to take TR off, theoretically, this could leave you with all of your midterms, presentations, and papers due all in one day. (Rough!)
 e) How balanced is my course load?
                 Diversity in the McGill lecture theatres comes not only through the subject matter that differs from course to course, but also through teaching styles that each professor employs and the evaluative


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

tools that he or she uses. Note that although some courses are reading intensive, others call for multiple choice exams, and others yet involve regular essay and report writing. The McLennan Library offers fantastic workshops that can help you excel in whatever learning style that you are expected to adopt Something else to consider: first semester generally takes some adjusting to—socially, academically, athletically, and otherwise. If it is an option, you might want to think about choosing a slightly lighter course load (i.e. four courses instead of five) to start off with: this way, you will be revved up by your success and ready to tackle second semester with a bit of a GPA safety net (all while remaining a “full time student”). See “Reduced Course Load” in the dictionary of terms on page 16. f) Think outside of the box
            There are a few students who have outlined their future goals and action plans by age twelve, and still feel confident that their pre-pubescent life choices were the right ones. This type of commitment and persistence is admirable. There is another, significantly larger population of McGill students, however, who have not yet found their direction and are hoping to keep as many doors open as possible until they are ready to sort out their plans. Regardless of which group you fit into, please consider taking a few courses unrelated to your concentration. You will broaden the scope of your intellect, and may discover that your true calling is something you had never previously even considered! Many students change their field of study multiple times through their four years. It is all right to make mistakes. Take time to ensure that your formal education—and life thereafter—is everything you want it to be!

Once you’ve assembled a short-list of classes to take, head over to page 36 of this guide. It’s a good idea to become accustomed to MINERVA, McGill’s online course registration system, way before you actually have to register. That way, when your course selection date finally arrives, you can login, enter your CRNs into the Quick Add worksheet, and finish your registration in under 5 minutes. All of these terms will be explained - just flip the page!


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society


Selecting what courses to take (“CHOOSING YOUR CLASSES”) is only half the battle. Once you’ve decided what to take, you have to let the University know. To do that, you use the course selection utility within McGill’s “MINERVA” online system. 1. Navigate to 2. Login using your McGill Username and Password (if it’s your first time logging in, you have to use your Student Number and the temporary PIN that comes with your acceptance package). 3. Once you’ve logged in, find the “Student” tab at the top. Then click on the second link that reads “Registration Menu.” 4. It’s a good idea to find out what year you’re in and to check if there’s anything prohibiting you from registering (e.g. unpaid fees). Click on the “Step 1: Check your Registration Eligibility...” link. Select “Fall 2010” when prompted as the semester. 5. If everything is in order, you’ll see a message like this:

If your year is “Year 0,” it means that you’re a freshman (“U0” student). This is the most likely case if you’re entering McGill from high school. If your year is “Year 1,” you’re a “U1” student. This is the most likely case if you did the IB, AP or French Bac in high school, or attended a CEGEP in Quebec. 6. Click on your browser’s “Back” button to return to the main registration menu. 7. Click on the “Step 2: Search Class Schedule...” button to find out what classes are available. You can search by Subject and by Faculty. For full course descriptions, as well as a list of the courses that are required for your program, check out the course calendar at 8. It’s a good idea to write down the “CRN”s (Course Registration Numbers) of each of the courses you’re interested in on a separate sheet of paper. It’ll make registration a lot easier than repeatedly adding and dropping courses.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

9. Once you’ve ensured that your courses don’t conflict with each other, make sure you’ve got a list of the CRNs for the courses you want to register for when your registration date comes around. Take a careful look at any restrictions associated with the courses you want to get into, so that you aren’t unpleasantly surprised on course registration day!

Watch out for restrictions!

10. When it’s your time to register, logon to Minerva and navigate back to the Student Registration menu. Click on “Quick Add or Drop Courses.” 11. At the bottom of the page that loads, you’ll see something called a “Quick Add Worksheet.” It looks like this:

All you have to do to register is enter the CRNs you’ve previously compiled, and hit the “Submit Changes” button. You’ll be informed if there were any issues with your registration choices.

Why use CRNs? They’re a very quick way to register. At 8am on registration day, thousands of students will be trying to log on to Minerva. It’s likely that you’ll be temporarily denied access to the system due to the volume of users, or that you won’t be able to get into all of the courses you want to if you don’t act fast. Planning ahead is the best way to avoid disappointment, and by using your CRNs (and ensuring ahead of time that there are no restrictions to you registering for those courses), you can login at 8:01 and be done by 8:04!


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

THE FIRST FEW DAYS Don’t forget to:

- Get your ID card right away You’ll need your ID to buy food, and if you live in Upper Rez, New Rez or Carrefour, to get into your residence building. The ID card office is open on move-in weekend. Something to consider: punching a hole in the top of your ID card (you can do this at the Ferrier building or at Bishop Mountain Hall) and attaching the card to a lanyard reduces the chance that you’ll lose it and have to incur a $20 replacement fee! - Have your ID card validated for your meal plan If you’re on one – depends on your residence. Validation stations, if required, will be located in the lobby of your building or cafeteria. - Make sure McGill has all the paperwork it needs from you This means: the Permanent Code Data Form if you’re an out-of-province student, Proof of Canadian Citizenship if you’re a Canadian student, or a Study Permit if you’re international. - Set up your internet and/or phone. This can be done online or at Burnside Hall. See for details. - Visit the Orientation Centre Run by the First Year Office in the Brown Student Services Building if you have any questions! - Attend the Rezfest BBQ - Attend Discover McGill A great way to meet the executive of the AUS, find out important information about McGill and meet your fellow Arts students! - Register and confirm your time-table via Minerva Ideally you’ve already done this over summer, but regardless of when you do this, we recommend that you follow the hints on “USING MINERVA.” You may also want to try out “Smart Minerva” at


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

- Open a bank account (for International students or those who do not already have one) Something to keep in mind: there are RBC bank machines all over campus and Scotiabank ATMs in the SSMU Building. - Figure out your phone plan 

 - Organize your residence room/apartment
      If you are living with a roommate, make sure to have a chat about the way you generally carry out your day-to-day life. Review things such as schedules, and discuss other important issues like music-playing rules and guest protocol. Covering topics like these from the start will make for a much smoother year for both of you!

 - Attend the RezProject session for your floor or building Get involved in student government! It’s a great way to make a difference – this book and many of the student services provided by your student societies and the University began in the minds of interested students who were once first years like you! - Attend AUS & SSMU activities nights 
      Learn about the 150+ clubs and services to join

 - Explore Montréal
      Now is the perfect time to do all the tourist things that you’ll be “too cool for” come October. 

 - Be outgoing
      Meet as many people as you can. The first few hours of your residence life may be awkward, but try introduce yourself, regardless! Best friends aren’t made in fifteen seconds, but having an acquaintance during the madness of Frosh can be securing. 

 - Enjoy yourself!
      Come February, you’ll be dreaming about the September sun.   Welcome to McGill!


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society


Spanning roughly the hours between 10:30 pm - 4:30 am what we normally call “daytime” becomes “night.” With minimal natural lighting during these hours, Montréal brims with life illuminated from every direction by electric lights. It can be intimidating at first, but let’s guide you through it... Montréal is famous for its nightlife, and for good reason. On any given night, there’s tons of things to do. A (serious) word of caution: Although we like to believe that Montréal is a safe city and its citizens are mostly very good people, we urge you to practice street smarts. Go out in groups after dark, always keep an eye on your drink, and be careful where you end up! Also, commit these numbers to your phone:

McGill Walksafe:
 McGill Drivesafe: 514-398-1716

Both are free services run by McGill student volunteers. Walksafe ( provides a student patrol to walk you home so you’re not alone. Similarly, Drivesafe ( provides student patrols providing you with vehicular transportation. While provided by McGill, these services can be used by anyone, anywhere on the island of Montréal.


St. Laurent Boulevard, known around North America as “The Main,” is home to historic pubs, clubs and bars and is one of the most culturally-rich areas of Montréal. Currently very much a construction site, The Main has been undergoing heavy construction for a couple of years but hasn’t lost its appeal. Check it out here:


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Crescent A more upscale area of Montréal – think the Upper West Side of New York. A fantastic night-life strip, it’s home to great bars as well as luxurious clubs and retailers.

Ste Catherines If it’s in Montréal, you can find it along Ste. Catherines. The city’s major artery, this street is home to department stores, shopping malls and runs parallel to both the underground city and the metro’s Honoré-Beaugrand (green) line. Go far enough east (Beaudry Metro) and you’ll end up in the Village, Montréal’s bustling queer neighbourhood. During the summer, most of this road is closed making the village one of Montréal’s biggest pedestrian-only areas.

The Milton-Parc Community (Formerly the McGill Ghetto) Probably the most widely-used term you’ll hear at McGill as it pertains to living arrangements. The “McGill Ghetto” is immediately east of McGill’s campus, bounded on the east by Parc Ave, to the North at des Pins and to the South at Sherbrooke. Also known as the Milton-Parc Community, the Ghetto is actually located in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough, which is a good thing to remember for voting purposes and for garbage collection scheduling – when you’re out of rez, that is.

WHERE TO FIND... ... Live Music

Club Soda (p) 514-286-1010 1225 Blvd St Laurent; adult/student $5/3 9pm-3am

Club Soda is a popular destination for Carnival events, but during the “off-season,” it turns into a club that hosts established acts including jazz, avant-garde groups, heavy metal, and comedy acts. Call for a recorded schedule.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Upstairs (p) 514-931-6808 1254 Rue Mackay 6pm-2am; music from 9pm Mon-Sat This slick downtown bar (note the irony in the name) hosts quality jazz and blues acts nightly, including both local and touring talent. A cheaper, but probably more authentic alternative to the House of Jazz.  

House of Jazz (p) 514-842-8656 2060 Rue Aylmer 6pm-2am A beautiful - yet expensive and a tad touristy - place to come for an evening of live jazz and delicious food. Prepare to wait if you haven’t reserved.

Barfly (p) 514-993-5154 4026a Blvd St Laurent 3pm-3am Tue-Sat; 3pm-midnight Sun Cheep beer and the Sunday afternoon blues jam is legendary. Cafe Campus (p) 514-844-1010 57 Rue Prince Arthur Ouest 3pm-2am This popular student club has great live acts, most of which are French rock and live Quebecois bands. You can find music and extra-cheap beer all along rue Prince Arthur (happy hour is from 8:3010:30) and people walking in and out of cafés during the summertime.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society


Brutopia (p) 514-323-9277 1219 Rue Crescent Relaxed atmosphere with live music, booths and a shuffleboard. Pints here are $2.50 all night on Monday and until 8pm every other day of the week.

Les Trois Brasseurs (p) 514-845-1660 1660 Rue St Denis 11-1am (3am in summer) A nicer brewpub (expect higher ratio of locals to students) with sliding garage doors that let the cool night in during summer. Expect to go here on pub crawls.

...Pubs and Bars

Bar des Arts (p) 514-398-1993 Leacock Building B-12 Thursdays, 4pm – 8pm One of your AUS student services! Every Thursday, “BdA” provides $1 pints of beer as well as grilled cheese sandwiches to get the weekend off to a great early start.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Le St Sulpice (p) 514-844-9458 1680 Rue St Denis 11-3am (dancing from 10pm) One of the largest outdoor terraces (if not the largest) in Montréal is boasted here. A great place to go in the early days of fall, St Sulpice is spread over four levels in an old Victorian stone house, a cafe, several terraces, disco, and a sprawling back gaden.

McKibbin’s (p) 514-288-1580 1426 Rue Bishop 3515 St. Laurent Montréal, QC 10-3am Wed-Sat This is another surefire destination for pubcrawls. With its garage-sale furniture, McKibbin’s cultivates a homey atmosphere, and its live entertainment varies from Celtic, pop and punk music to informal drinking contests.

Peel Pub (p) 514-844-6769 1107 Rue St Catherine Ouest 8-3am A classic student pub. Cheap pitchers of beer, great deals on shooters, and delicious greasy-spoon food. The 30 big screen TVs are a big draw during any playoff season...but be prepared for a very sticky floor.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society


Club 737 (p) 514-397-0737 1 Place Ville Marie 5-7pm Wed; 5-10pm Thu; 5pm-3am Fri & Sat This is an exclusive, glamourous club set on the 43rd floor of an office building. The romantic skyline never disappoints. Good news: this is one of your AUS Frosh destinations!

Tokyo (p) 514-842-6838 3709 Blvd St Laurent 10pm-3am A big draw for first years: watch out for this club’s water-filled backlit bar, sunken circular sofas, and two dance floors. The rooftop bar livens up around midnight.

Jot down the names of any places you hear about during frosh and check them out during the year!


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society


The most common modes of transportation for McGill students are foot, bike, longboard, and rollerblade. When these options just won’t do, however, you’ll find that busses, cabs or the metro (subway) will generally get you where you need to go.

Bixi “Bixi Bikes” are a revolution in individualized transport (we’re big fans since they’re so green!) They’re rental bikes that belong to the city and that are available from around mid-April to mid-October. Subscriptions are available at any Bixi bike stand or online, and are available only with credit card. Subscription fees vary based on duration: $5 per day, $28 per month of $78 per year. Fun fact: the cities of London (UK), Boston and Melbourne have all signed contracts with the city of Montréal to use the Bixi concept in their cities.

Buses Buses are a fantastic, above ground method of transportation that will bring you almost anywhere: just check the routes and schedule before planning your trip. Students not living close to campus might want to consider investing in a monthly pass: check out for more information. There is a student discount that reduces a single ticket from $2.75 to $1.75, and reduces the monthly fare from $65 to approximately $36. More information on a discount card is available at http://www.

Cab Sometimes, if there are enough of you sharing a cab, it can work out to be less expensive than purchasing separate bus/metro tickets. Just don’t forget to factor in the tip! Fifteen percent is customary.   Taxi Diamond - 514-273-6331 Atlas Taxi - 514-485-8585 Royal Taxi 514-274-3333    


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Metro The metro runs from 5:30 AM to 1:30 AM (the next morning) but be sure to check the schedule if you’re taking a late night/early morning ride. Students not living close to campus might want to consider investing in a monthly pass: check out for more information. There is a student discount that reduces a single ticket from $2.75 to $1.75, and reduces the monthly fare from $65 to approximately $36. You can also buy 6 tickets for $12.00 at any dep. 

Idea: Buy a student transport pass for a month and try to use it as much as you can, even if it’s just a random bus trip for no purpose. You’ll be amazed at how much of the city you see, and you can impress friends by knowing random street names outside of the McGill Bubble. In other words, you can become a Montréaler!


 Driving in Montréal is quite the experience. There are one-way streets everywhere (inform any cardriving visitors to plan their routes in advance) and no right turns on red traffic lights. Parking also tends to be an issue, though if you have a car with you, a pass can be purchased from the City of Montréal to street-park anywhere in your sector (French information available here). Passes are approximately $65, are available only to residents; not to guests, and last one year.

Interesting to note is that the TV show “Canada’s Worst Driver” held their final episode in Montréal’s downtown. We believe that no further comment is necessary.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

TRAVEL So, you’ve finally made it away from home. Some of you have been waiting for this moment since Jr. High, while others wouldn’t have minded to stay a bit longer in the comforts of home. Whether you like it or not though, there will come a time when you have to make use of some means of travel to come to McGill, visit home, get around the city, or fly away to the Alps to meet that beautiful Austrian pen pal of yours.

If this is your first time away from home, you might want to consider booking your first visit home after about three to four weeks into the year. Going home too soon can make it difficult to establish yourself in your new home, and if you tell yourself you’ll brave it out until winter, you might regret your decision when it’s a bit too late. Of course, each person’s visiting schedule depends on the particular situation of that person, and it’s always up to you!

There are several options to consider as means of travel:

By Plane:

- Recommended for all overseas or cross-country travel needs. - This can be an attractive choice for points (Air Miles etc) collectors. - Be sure to think book at least two weeks in advance, because it can save you chunks of cash. - The Montréal airport is the “Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport” (975 Romeo Vachon Street North), and its airport code is “YUL”.

The airport isn’t located downtown; you’ll have to take a bit of a trip to get there. Cabs offer a flat rate for getting to the airport, but you have to make sure you remind them about it before they start the trip. The cost is $35 and the duration of the ride is usually between 30 and 45 minutes. The best way to get to the airport on the cheap is the “747” shuttle offered by the STM (Service de Transports de Montréal – Montréal’s public transit service). For a $7 fare, you can take one of the many shuttles driving between Montréal’s Trudeau airport and the Berri-UQAM metro station in downtown Montréal. The shuttle service runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Note: $7 fare payable only in coins, not bills or other payment method.


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

By Train:

 Via Rail 6-pack
If you’re traveling from Montréal to another big city more than a couple times a year, the Via Rail 6-pack is perfect. If you buy your tickets in bulk, you can save lots of money that you can later spend at La Belle Province when you’re jonesing for some clogged arteries. You’ll need an ISIC card in order to get student rates. You can pick up your card at most travel agencies and most train stations. It will cost you $16 a year, but will save you much more. On campus the ISIC card is available at Travel Cuts in the University Centre (Shatner) building on the first floor.
If you can, make sure you get on an express train. It will cut the trip length considerably.

Getting to the Train Station The train station is located right on University, just south of René Levesque. If it’s a cold day - and let’s face it, you live in Montréal now - you can walk all the way there through the underground city. It’s about a 20-minute walk from campus, but it’ll take longer if you’re bringing home everything but the kitchen sink. Make sure you leave lots of time to get there early.

If you’re going to take a cab, it will take approximately 5-10 minutes and will cost about $7-$10 from Upper Rez or about 15$ from Solin. Again, make sure you leave ample time for a freak Montréal snow storm or a secessionist movement. Some cab numbers can be found on page 46.

If you do miss your train, it’s not the end of the world. Usually train tickets are refundable/exchangeable (check your ticket to make sure) and you can frequently make another train later that day or early the next.

By Bus:

Buses do not really deserve the bad reputation that they often get. They are reliable and cheap but they do take longer than planes or trains. Check out the Greyhound website at or Coach Canada at to find schedules, fares and specials.

If you are traveling from Montréal to another Canadian big city then the buses offered by Coach Canada run often and you do not need to purchase a bus ticket ahead of time. To get a student price, you must present your student ID card along with your ticket as you get on the bus. For travels to the US, you must purchase your bus ticket ahead of time. If you are really on the ball, buying a round trip


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

ticket more than 2 weeks in advance is often a better deal than the student discount, but you must know exactly which you will be traveling on. Remember that your ticket does not guarantee you a seat on the bus. Arrive early, especially on holiday weekends or expect a long wait for the next bus.

Megabus is another company which runs the Montréal - Toronto corridor and sometimes they have amazing seat sales. People have been known to find a trip to Toronto for as little as $1. Check out

Just a tip: Its never a good idea to go out drinking the night before an early bus ride, and even a hungover train ride or airplane trip is not advisable. This all applies EVEN if you are a experienced partier. Feeling nauseous on a packed vehicle with your neighbor eating take-out chinese food is not so much fun... You’ll thank us later!

Getting to the Bus Station Gare Centrale 505 Maisonneuve Est. The bus station is further from campus than the train station but easier to get to by metro. If you are taking a cab it will take about 10 minutes from Upper Rez and cost about $12. To get there by metro, make your way down to the McGill metro station and take the green line towards Honoré Beaugrand. Get off at the Berri-UQAM station and follow the directions to the Station Centrale. If you’re traveling without too much luggage, the bus station isn’t that bad of a walk.   By Car:
 Some popular car rental joints are listed below: Rent-a-Wreck: (514) 343-5500,
 Discount Rentals: (514) 286-1929,
 Enterprise Rent-a-car: (514) 844-9794,

 Note: Discount and Enterprise both allow individuals under the age of 25 rent cars, if you are a registered student at McGill. They also both provide a discount to McGill students. Due to ongoing construction in the city, the most up-to-date driving directions can be accessed online using your favourite directions site (Google Maps, Mapquest, etc.)


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

See you in MontrĂŠal!


view fullscreen

Arts Undergraduate Society

Where do I get more information? Arts Undergraduate Society | (514) 398-1993 Online advising for new students is now available! 9am - 5pm from June 1 - August 27


AUS New Student Info Guide  

Hints, tips and useful information for incoming McGillians, courtesty of your Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS).