I had the privilege of being part of the “What I Wish I’d Known When I Started Grad School” panel for the incoming 2018 graduate students in late August along with GradLife editor-in-chief, Saima. The panel, as the name implies, was to provide new graduate students with information as well as tips and tricks about life at McGill. One of the questions brought up was about the resources that we, as panelists, wish we had known at McGill when we first started. There, I presented attendees with a lengthy list of resources which I had accumulated over my years at McGill and it seemed to be appreciated by the participants. I am sharing this so others that were not able to attend the session can also take advantage.
Enjoy my list of McGill life hacks:
- Get used to construction!!!
- Check out “Cheap Sheet” from student aid’s website
- Get to know Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS):
- Get to know Skillsets as they offer many free useful courses
- Take advantage of McGill Writing Centre – Graphos courses are worth checking out
- Health insurance is different for international and Canadian students
- Learn and take advantage as a lot of stuff are covered
- Join SSMU student clubs; they are not just for undergraduates
- Minicourses, offered by SSMU, are awesome! They are inexpensive, practical, courses offered through SSMU and include classes from dancing to computer programming
- McGill clinic is convenient but you have to go super early, take a number, and wait for your turn to get an appointment
- Facebook groups: “Free and For Sale McGill”, “Free Food on Campus and in Montreal”, and “Samosa Search”
- Discover inexpensive food options around campus: ex. Vua + Super sandwich
- Midnight Kitchen offers free healthy food when SSMU building opens
- No plate? Borrow one from the plates club
- Grocery delivery is available at most grocery stores around campus for a small fee
- Athletics – free gym access (semester fee for weight room), classes, Sports Medical Clinic
- Eduroam WIFI network allows you internet access at universities throughout North America
- Discover different library branches (Schulich, Birks, Islamic studies, Law, etc.)
- Carrels and lockers (free for the year/semester)
- EndNote and other research courses
- You can get any book from the library, if they do not have it, they will find it for you
- Get familiar with different citation tools (Remember Endnote is only free while you are a student)
- Walksafe, Drivesafe, and Nightline are there to help you stay safe; take advantage.
- O-SVRSE (Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education), know it!
- OSD (Office for Students with Disabilities) is there to support you, if you need it
- Mac Campus shuttle (visit the Centennial Centre) – Free, just use student ID
- While student, free Microsoft Office upgrade + OneDrive (free terabyte of cloud storage space)
- Visit Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E) for free highlighters
- Mingle and exchange ideas at Grad Connect Café events with other graduates
- McGill swag at bookstore – Buy close to Christmas when they are on sale
Peymon Montazeri is third year PhD in Information studies.
He is a member of the Internal Affairs Committee at PGSS. This is the team that organizes all the fun events!