New Study Abroad program heads to Montreal

Mural at Main and Les Autres Streets, Montreal. Photo courtesy Anne Seitzinger.

Mural at Main and Les Autres Streets, Montreal. Photo courtesy Anne Seitzinger.

The NIU Study Abroad Office, in partnership with the NIU University Honors Program, will launch “Discovering Montreal, Canada,” a short-term Study Abroad program and a Vision 2020 initiative.

Undergraduates from any major who currently hold freshman or sophomore status at NIU and are members of the University Honors Program are welcome to participate.

Knowledge of French is not necessary.

This study abroad experience, scheduled from Sunday, May 26, through Saturday, June 1, will introduce participants to five areas of Montreal life as a city:

  • art and architecture;
  • government and politics (with attention to history and culture);
  • health care;
  • business community; and
  • video game industry.

Vice Provost Anne L. Birberick will direct the program. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Birberick speaks French fluently and is very familiar with the cultural diversity of Montreal, Canada.

Montreal is the second largest city in Canada, the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is Canada’s center for French language film, television, radio, theater and print publishing.

Bonsecours, Montreal. Photo courtesy Anne Seitzinger.

Bonsecours, Montreal. Photo courtesy Anne Seitzinger.

With its world class museums, tradition of producing jazz and rock music, many festivals, professional sports, great restaurants, diverse peoples and neighborhoods, and other attractions, Montreal has been labeled “Canada’s Cultural Capital.”

In addition, Montreal is a major center of commerce, finance, industry and global affairs. The city possesses the world’s largest inland port and is headquarters to a number of large companies and international organizations.

The program will include daily afternoon excursions, each of which reflects that morning’s lecture topic.

Students will visit the Notre Dame Basilica, the Old Port, McCord Museum of Canadian History, explore the art of the Montreal metro stops as well as learn how to use the metro system, and sample dishes specific to the region. Evening cultural outings will also be available.

Students who study abroad develop critical, creative and reflective thinking skills. They are able to understand and interact with cultural differences and consider issues from diverse perspectives. These skills are valuable both personally and professionally.

Money concerns? The short-term nature of the program makes study abroad a more affordable and manageable endeavor. Students can participate in this program and return in time for a summer job or course work. Students are able to use financial aid, including grants, loans and scholarships to pay for any study abroad program. Currently, Honors students are eligible to apply for the Honors Provost Travel Grant for Study Abroad.

Any questions about the program or the application to this program can be directed to the NIU Study Abroad Office at (815) 753-0700 or niuabroad@niu.edu. For more information, email Birberick at annie@niu.edu or Chris Jones, associate vice provost for honors, at cmjones@niu.edu.

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