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6 reasons to study in Quebec as an international student

Situated in Canada’s east and right next door to Ontario, Quebec is one of Canada’s most prized provinces. For tourists and international students alike, Quebec is always worth getting to know. This corner of Canada is famous for its French-speaking locals, European feel, amazing food, and vibrant culture. In terms of city life, Montreal and Quebec City are the province’s biggest.  

Quebec City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers cobblestone walkways and beautiful architecture. Montreal is full of life, parties, and fun bars and restaurants. Quebec is also great because of its mountains, lakes, scenic outdoor space, and famous St. Lawrence River. If you’re an international student hoping to attend university in Quebec, your experience will be an incredible one.  

Here are six reasons why it may be the best place to study in Canada. 

1. It’s one of Canada’s most culturally unique spots 

Quebec offers an incredible mix of cultures. For anyone new to the province, the French, European and Indigenous roots are apparent.  

Walkt-hrough many neighborhoods in Quebec, and you’ll feel like you’re in Europe. This is because of the European influence on things like architecture, style, and cuisine. The language of Quebec is French though many locals are fluent in both French and English (especially in the big cities). This is why international students will see signs, menus, and packaging in French.  

In other words, living and studying in Quebec is an excellent opportunity to learn the language. Do note that because of the difference in geography and dialect, Canadian French is quite different from the French spoken in France.  

2. It’s more affordable than many places in Canada

If you want to study in a place that offers good value for money, Quebec is a good option. Montreal in particular has a reputation for being one of Canada’s most affordable cities. A look at data from 2021 might best give context to how Montreal compares to other major university cities in Canada. looked at major Canadian cities and listed the average one-bedroom Montreal apartment as costing (CAD) $1,463. That compared to $1,981 in Vancouver, $1,833 in Toronto and $1,634 in Waterloo.  

That said, The Montreal Gazette looked more specifically into Montreal sectors and listed average rent prices in more affordable neighborhoods as slightly more than $1,100.  

Find out more about the cost of living in Canada.  

3. The universities are among the best in the country 

The province of Quebec has some of the best-known universities in the country. Some of its most famous colleges and universities include McGill University, Concordia, Laval University, and the Montreal College of Information Technology.  

Each of these universities accepts PTE scores, so PTE can be a key step in your journey to studying in Quebec.  

Another thing that students should know about is the Quebec Experience Program. This allows international students to fast-track their way to gain permanent residency in Quebec. To qualify, students must complete a master’s, bachelor’s, college program, or doctorate from government-approved institutions in Quebec.  

Other rules apply, too. For example, the student must have lived in Quebec for half of the duration of their program. They must also work full-time in the province for a period of time after completing their program. They must also have an intermediate-advanced level of French.  

4. It’s arguably Canada’s culinary capital 

Many international students might be confused as to why Canadians don’t have many typical traditional foods. The one true Canadian dish that all can agree on though is the poutine. This is a French-Canadian food of fries, cheese, gravy and optional toppings like bacon or steak. It’s perfect for a) cold winter nights in Quebec or b) after a study session with friends. 


In terms of traditional cuisine, that’s not all Quebec offers. There are many dishes that include Canada’s iconic maple syrup in this province. Other items to look for on menus include Montreal smoked meat, Montreal-style bagels, sugar pie, tourtiere, ice wine, and baked beans in maple sauce. All of which pull inspiration from Quebec’s background and cultural diversity. In general, the restaurants in Quebec are also world-class. Expect creative menus, talented chefs, and meals you’ll remember.  

5. With its sights, festivals, and attractions, Quebec is an international student’s dream 

There’s always so much to do in Quebec regardless of the time of year. Osheaga is a popular music festival taking place in the summer. If museums and galleries are your styles, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art is a place to put on the list. For the student who loves history, a walk through Quebec City’s UNESCO-designated Old Town will be a great way to spend an afternoon.  

Quebec is also home to many light festivals like Montreal en Lumière which is one of the biggest winter festivals in the world. Despite cold temperatures, you can see sculptures, art installations, and elaborate lights throughout the streets of Montreal.  

Speaking of winter festivals, Quebec City’s Winter Carnival is one of the province’s most famous events. There, participate in outdoor sports, see ice sculptures and try traditional foods and maple syrup treats.  

6. Quebec’s outdoor recreation provides an authentic Canadian experience 

For the student who loves an active lifestyle and the outdoors, Quebec is a great place to settle. The French province offers plenty of outdoor activities like trekking, cycling, paddling, canoe camping, ice climbing, skiing, sea kayaking, and camping. For the avid skier, the quaint town of Mont Tremblant is Quebec’s most popular.  

Those who like the tranquil feeling of hiking and camping in nature will appreciate the tall Montmorency Falls or Vallée Bras-du-Nord. For the really adventurous students, those are also great places to try ice climbing. When in Canada, why not try some winter sports, right? 

Secure your place in Quebec with PTE 

There’s no doubt that Quebec has a lot to offer in the way of education, culture and leisure. PTE can help secure your place in a Quebec university. The English test is accepted by many educational institutions in Quebec and has testing centers in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Burnaby, and Calgary.  

Discover all the institutions in Quebec that accept PTE.