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Winter Orientation

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Student Employee

on 23 December 2013

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Transcript of Winter Orientation

International Student

We're here for you!
ISS supports the growth, progress, and success of international students at McGill, and aims to ease their transition to a new school, a new home and a new country.
McGill is home to more than 8,500 international students, who make up over 20% of our student population.
International Student Services (ISS)
Some of the ways ISS supports you:
Immigration Information
International Health Insurance
Socio-cultural programs & special events
CAQs, Study Permits, Visas, Student Work Permits
Buddy Program, International Student Leadership Program, i-Week
to other services & resources on campus
Where can you find us?
Brown Student Services Building
4th floor (west wing), suite 4400
All the information you need is here!
Updates are posted here:
Still have questions?
Buddy Program: 514-398-2260
General: 514-398-4349
Really need some extra help?
Meet with an International Student Advisor
Orientation, in-term workshops & updates
Before you come:
Consult the ISS website
Do your research
Bring your documents
It is illegal* to study without:
Study Permit
* Exception:
1-term exchange students
Bright Idea!
Scan/photocopy & save copies of all important documents
Put reminders in your calendar
months ahead of document expiry
Keep originals in a safe place
an activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned, or that competes
directly with activities of Canadian citizens
or permanent residents in the Canadian
labour market.
On-Campus Work
No work permit needed
Part-time (max. 20 hrs/week).
Must have valid Study Permit
Must be registered full-time
Off-Campus Work
Eligible after 6 months full-time study
Must be in satisfactory academic standing
Can work max 20 hrs/week while registered
Full-time during scheduled breaks
Apply online through MyCIC
internship must be a requirement of program
obtain letter from internship/co-op office
Apply at least 3 months prior to work term
Apply online through MyCIC
International Student
Health Insurance
Mandatory for international students*

citizens + residents of Denmark, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Belgium or Greece

holders of a diplomatic visa in Canada

dependents of an employee of an international organization under the umbrella of the United Nations
Examples (see full list on ISS website):
Request your exemption on Minerva by
January 31
What's covered?

basic health care:
Travel for leisure or to home country:
emergencies only
up to $2,000 CAD per day
physician visits, diagnostic testing, surgery, etc.

prescription drugs, physiotherapy, 1 vision test, etc.
emergency hospital visits
hospitalisation (cost = $4K/night)
How do I make a claim?
Campus Clinics
Off-Campus Clinics
all services covered 100%
McGill bills Blue Cross directly
all public in Quebec
emergency & hospitalization covered 100%*
hospitals bill Blue Cross directly

public or private
can charge higher rates
pay up front & keep receipt
partial refund by Blue Cross
covers drugs available by prescription only
pay up front & keep receipt
can get refund from
Payment Express*
or by mailing in original receipts

Canadians coming from abroad
Blue Cross International Health Insurance:
NOT mandatory & NOT automatic
You can OPT IN (if you need health insurance)
Opt in on ISS website before January 31st
for Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada
Bright Idea!
Carry your health insurance card with you at all times & keep a copy at home
Call 911 for emergencies (24 hrs/day)
Call 811 to speak to a nurse (24 hrs/day)
Stay healthy, stay safe, and seek help when needed from:
McGill Student Health Service
McGill Mental Health Service
McGill Counselling Service
Montreal safety tips
Montreal very safe, but you still have to be careful!
Avoid walking alone late at night (contact McGill WalkSafe)

Stay on well-lit & well-traveled streets (see night route map)

Campus Security: 514-398-3000 (Mac campus: -7777)

Don't leave valuables unattended in libraries or cafés - register valuable electronics, bikes & equipment with McGill S.T.O.P.

Jay-walking: common, but dangerous and illegal

Keep in touch with ISS
Immigration requirement
Similar to Quebec medicare (RAMQ)
* For planned surgery, you need to obtain
from Blue Cross

First come, first served - so arrive early
*550 Sherbrooke St. W, across from the McGill School of Music
Phone lines open: 9am - 12pm & 1:30pm - 5pm
The Basics
Off-Campus Housing
- apartment listings
- neighborhoods & average prices
- understanding Montreal leases
- tenants' rights
- other related information
McGill's Off-Campus Housing Office
Campus Residences
There may still be rooms available:
Teresa Anania
Residence Admissions Office
3473 University Street
Tel: 514-398-6368
Knowledgeable about the university & the city
Organize different events in their respective neighborhoods
Great resource & point of contact off campus
Off Campus Fellows (students)
Student's Guide to Finding an Apartment
(by TVMcGill)
Making Contact
Cell Phones etc.
Service Point
Some offer “bundles”:
phone+internet or phone+internet+cable
(e.g. Videotron, Bell, Rogers)
Some companies offer cell only
(e.g. Public, Virgin Mobile, Chat’r, Koodo)
Tips on
Cell Phone Plans
Shop around
Compare prices
Ask questions
Check McGill Classifieds for 2nd-hand phones
Consider month-to-month or "Pay As You Go"
Caution: International phone call = $$$
Free calls: Skype, gmail phone, IM programs

• Banks in Canada are all highly regulated (= safe)

• Many banks to choose from, consider:
- Student plans/rates offered
- Services included (e.g. # withdrawals, cheques)
- Convenience (e.g. distance from home/classes)

• Most banks will require
2 pieces of ID
- Passport and Study Permit
- Proof of Residence
- Proof of Registration
N.B. You do
need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to open a bank account
(514) 398-7878
Need more information?
Service Point

(corner McTavish & Sherbrooke)
Monday, January 6, 2014
The hub for all key student administrative services at McGill
Get your
Student ID Card

Get your International Student
Health Insurance Card
& Blue Cross Handbook

Drop off copies of your
Immigration Documents
(CAQ, Study Permit)
corner Sherbrooke & McTavish
Brunch Time
Let's eat!
Request it by
January 6
to avoid interest charges
Separate from Blue Cross
Offered by McGill Student Societies
automatically provided in January
Degree students may "opt in"
Dental benefits
Dates covered (with )
Degree students:
1-term exchange
valid until
August 31st
, 2014
valid until
April 30th
, 2014
Your coverage starts on the latest dates below:
December 15
date you register for classes
date you arrive in Canada

Avg: -1.2 (°C)
Max: 2.4 (°C)
Min: -4.8 (°C)
Average: -8.9 (°C)
Daily max: -5.4 (°C)
Daily min: -12.4 (°C)
Avg: -7.2 (°C)
Max: -3.7 (°C)
Min: -10.6 (°C)
Average Daily Temperatures
Beware of the wind-chill factor!
Avg total:
cm (18")
Avg # days w/snowfall:

Avg total:
cm (18.5")
Avg # days w/snowfall:

Monthly totals:
cm (14.6")
Avg # days w/snowfall:

Let it snow!
"Winter 101"
Keeping warm

Length of stay
Purpose (sport/city)
Get geared up!
How to Buy Boots:
Things to consider:
fur or felt-lined (insulated)
thick rubber soles
comfortable for walking
Cost: approx. $75 - $200
A few good brands:
Sorel - Kamik - Pajar - Merrell
Should be tight, but not restrictive
cotton, polyester blends, merino wool, silk
look for "midweight" or heavyweight"
"Long Johns" and Thermals
= long underwear worn underneath regular clothing
Have fun in the snow for hours!
Expect to spend around
$15-$20 per piece
(more for merino wool & silk)

When buying a tuque/hat:
Make sure ears are covered
Material is soft, not itchy
Avoid cotton & acrylic (not warm)
Approx. $10-$30

Don't let your fingers freeze!
mittens are warmer than gloves
waterproof material vs. knit
Approx. $10-$30

A warm scarf is essential
Helps protect from winds
Can be used to cover face & head
Approx. $10-$30

Tuques, Gloves & Scarves
rating (how far below zero can it go?)
length (to protect legs)
fit (leave room for layers)
Winter Coats & Jackets
Consider something that is:
puffy (real or synthetic down)
waterproof (or at least water resistant)
high "down count" (e.g. 500-700)
has a hood
$100-$500 for a quality coat

free, lightly used coats for newcomers to McGill
donated by McGill and Montréal community
The Winter Coat Project
Coat racks on
floor of Brown Building,
in the hallway across from our offices (ISS)
Organized by McGill's Office of
Religious & Spiritual Life

Ask about average cost per month

Régie du Logement (Gov. of Québec)
McGill's Off-Campus Housing Office

Hydro Quebec
= provider of electricity

Staying Warm at Home
Heating your apartment
The landlord is legally required to ensure that his tenant enjoys an adequate ambient temperature (minimum 21 degrees)
Tips for keeping your apartment warm & cozy:


ask permission
from your landlord before installing or modifying your apartment windows. (He/she may even pay for and make the installations for you!)


Get heavy drapes for your windows
Keep open during the day to let the heat in
Close at night to keep heat in & cold out


Seal any drafts
Fill in any gaps or cracks in windows & doors 
Use caulking or shrink-film plastic for windows
Both = easy to use & available at hardware stores
Door sweeps work well under doors

3. Don’t block your radiators
Keep your heating units clean
Don’t position furniture in front of them
Don’t let drapes cover them
Save Money!
(heating bills will be lower)
Staying Warm at Home
Brown & SSMU Buildings
Moyse Hall (Arts) & Leacock Bldg.
Leacock Bldg. & McLennan Library
Burnside & Otto Mass Bldgs.
McGill's Tunnels
Connections between:
Go building to building...
...without ever going outside!
32 km (20 miles) of tunnels
spread over more than 12 km2
120 exterior access points
Underground City
The largest underground complex in the world!
Inner-tubing & sledding

Winter fun on Mont Royal!
Skating on Beaver Lake
Cross-country skiing
on Mont Royal trails
Winter hiking
Montreal Canadiens (the "Habs")
Where they play:
The Bell Centre
Championships won:
24 (since 1909)
You like hockey, eh?
Montreal's most popular sport
Famous players?
Maurice "the Rocket" Richard
Guy Lafleur
Patrick Roy
Winter FUN!
en Lumière
free outdoor events, culinary delights & beautiful light shows and displays throughout the city
series of outdoor rave events attracting thousands of electronic music fans
des Neiges
Montreal's Parc Jean-Drapeau turns into a winter wonderland
Nuit Blanche
175 mostly free cultural, musical, culinary, & sports-oriented activities that go on
all night long
(8 pm through 6 am)
Montreal: City of FESTIVALS
3 to 15 major festivals every month!
(Montreal High Lights)
(Snow Festival)
A few fun
Winter Festivals:
Come late March / early April the snow will melt and you’ll be wishing it wasn’t over!
The Thaw
Use thick-soled, insulated, waterproof boots
McGill students mostly travel by BMW
(Bus, Metro & Walk)
no high heels!
Bus & Metro
Safe and convenient
Student rates (per trip, daily, weekly, monthly passes)
Monthly student pass: $45
Interactive map at www.stm.info
Enter origin & destination,
and bus/metro route is provided!
more expensive
better for short distances, or returning home late at night
Not recommend in winter!
Can bike comfortably between mid-April and mid-October on dedicated bike lanes throughout the city

General Orientation
-The Buddy Program
-The McGill International Student Network (MISN)
-The McGill International Student Caucus (Graduate)
-The McGill Exchange Student Association
-One of the many Student Clubs at McGill
Make new friends!
i-Week 2014:
McGill Without Borders
(February 17 - 21)
Downtown Campus:
Monday, January 6, 2014
5:00 to 6:30 pm
Moyse Hall, Arts Building

Macdonald Campus:
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
5:30-7:00 pm
Centennial Centre
For Undergrads
Wednesday, January 8, 2014

4:00-6:00 pm
Thomson House
For Graduate Students
(Masters & PhDs)
Student Services
Student Services is made up of a number of units, who all work together to promote and support student success and well-being during your time at McGill and beyond.

supplemental coverage:
Life Underground
Full transcript