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I've received admits from University of British Columbia, Vancouver and McGill University, Montreal.
Both these are funded masters programs.

I'm unable to choose between the two!
I like the McGill research topic better. The stipend value is also greater here. Plus Montreal is much more cheaper than Vancouver.
However, Vancouver is an amazing city to be in and I wouldn't want to miss it(?). Also, not being a francophone might hurt me in Montreal.

Any inputs from seniors would be appreciated.

For UBC: MASc in Mechanical Engineering
For McGill: MEngg (thesis) in Biological and Biomedical Engineering

My research interest is along the lines of microfluidics.
I am someone who wishes to join the academia, and would be looking into PhD opportunities post this masters.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not an engineer but have lived in both cities (currently live in Vancouver).

Vancouver is definitely more expensive than Montreal but commuting is easier if you live further away (generally good transit and--more importantly--milder weather, if you are ok with rain). There are ways to cut your COL like cooking at home, commuting by bus or bike, etc. Heat is typically included in most rents, and hydro is fairly cheap (but it's also cheap in Quebec). Good choice for outdoorsy people, bad choice if you are big into clubbing and bar hopping.

Montreal rents were cheaper but weather was much more extreme. When we lived there, it was either -20C or 35C (with humidex). I didn't mind the snow but the heat was unbearable. Great clubs and bars, great nightlife in general, but we aren't nightlife people and so it wasn't super attractive to us. We were able to make it ok in Montreal but as an anglophone, I had a very difficult time finding a job while my partner did his Master's, and we whittled through our savings during this time. Things were much cheaper in Montrela, including and especially alcohol! Moving west was much better for our bank account. I felt very sad and isolated in Montreal, but that was due to a variety of reasons; some people just do better in one place over another.

We had an ok time in Montreal, and we'd do it again if it were only for 1-2 years. We prefer Vancouver. Obviously it's much easier for anglos to find work, the weather is less extreme, and we prefer the outdoor spaces here. I usually go for walks along the beach, and in the summers especially we like to hang out near the water and BBQ and just spend time with friends/family. I couldn't tolerate the heat in Montreal so we spent most of our time indoors.

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