Being a student can be really expensive. Living in a city, spending time on a campus...not to mention paying your tuition, your rent, and for textbooks. So, we have compiled a tip sheet for help finding jobs, or any sort of paid gig, as well as some informational resources on saving/making money. In creating this guide, we hope to make campus increasingly financially accessible, therefore promoting increased equity amongst students and therefore, heightened safety for all. Access to certain resources can help keep students safe, but if those resources are too expensive then some students won’t be able to take advantage of them. Check out our Toolkit’s maps for information on finding food for cheap or free on campus.
The McGill Scholarships and Student Aid office (SSAO) offer advice relating to budgeting and debt management as well as offering funding options for students. This includes a scholarship and financial aid program, help with government funding and a program for working on campus. Their other funding page is also useful for students whose specific identities may mean that they are more vulnerable financially. Check their page to find out about the workshops that they hold that are meant to help you manage your money.
CaPS also has a database of external scholarships on their website.
Check out QPIRG’s School Shmool handbook, which has sections dedicated to ideas on how to save money/spend less!
Jobs on Campus
Finding a job can be particularly difficult if you are not bilingual in Montreal. McGill has many jobs that do require you to be bilingual, but also has many that do not, such as research positions, library positions, and more.
Here is a list compiled by Campus Life and Engagement of employment support services on campus.
McGill’s work study listings page can seem daunting and out of date. Some people do not get approved for work study (if you think you need it, be sure to apply through Minerva).
However, check out the job postings page and apply to whatever you can if you are approved: http://www.is.mcgill.ca/studentaid/workstudy/postings/index.htm
To find out how to apply to find out if you are eligible for work study, to see the accepted list, and other information about the program: https://www.mcgill.ca/studentaid/work-study/students
The McGill Career Planning Services has counsellors you can meet with for a variety of steps in the process of looking for a job, and can direct you toward resources. Their office has a huge library with resources for finding jobs in any field.
This page on their website lists many part time jobs, which can be more accessible to full time students, and you can see pretty quickly whether or not it requires you to be bilingual. They provide extremely useful comprehensive guides and a list of resources for job searching. However, you can also make an appointment with a CAPS advisor to get more direct support including information about finding jobs, interview practice and CV and cover letter editing.
Sign into their portal called myfuture using your McGill id and password in order to access job listings in Montreal and worldwide!
You can also inquire (or guess) to what extent you have to know French; sometimes (particularly in mainly English speaking neighborhoods such as Westmount) you can get away with using little French.
The labor union at McGill for all casual or temporary employees at McGill has job postings on this site. They are doing incredible work to support the working rights of people who are employed by McGill. If you are employed by McGill, it is important to get to know your union and your labor rights! You can do so here on their website.
Other methods of making money as an English speaker:
All year long research studies at McGill seek participants.
Resources Outside of McGill
“As a non-for-profit organization, YES enriches the community by providing English-language support services to help Quebecers find employment and start and grow businesses.”
They offer free counselling services as well as an internship program for English-speaking graduates wishing to integrate into the job market.
Here are some online databases for finding community building work in Montreal:
Sustainable development and urban economy jobs
Tips on Saving and Making Money
Here are some tips to help you save money as a student as well as links to a downloadable excel sheet that can help you manage and calculate your monthly and yearly budget. This guide helps you understand how to use the different excel sheets that they provide for you. Finally, here is a list of cheap resources around Montreal.
Textbooks and books or coursepacks needed for class are expensive. If they haven't already offered, ask your professor if you can borrow a copy of the necessary readings from their office and make copies to a USB (McLennan Library has copy machines besides uprint that make copying books easier). Classmates may also lend you their coursepacks or books to make copies of. Or, if you have a class with a roommate, buy one for the household and split the cost!
We know that cheap meals are especially difficult to find on campus so we have created a map of places that offer meals for less than $5 on and around campus, which can be accessed here.
Additionally, always remember that there is bound to be a samosa sale happening somewhere on campus on any given day. Find out where by checking this Facebook group.
These Facebook groups are also useful for finding food on campus:
Keep on the lookout for different departmental events will often offer food, as well as host wine and cheese events that are open for anyone to attend!
The cheapest option is to bring your own food:
Here is a map of the microwaves and eating spaces on campus.
This article also has a pretty comprehensive list of the cheapest supermarkets in Montreal.
Studying late on campus? Here are some tips for fueling yourself cheaply on campus into the late hours:
Locate the orange icons on our map in order to find places that are open late near campus
There is a vending machine in the basement of the Redpath building that provides hot water and coffee!
If you are also looking for cheap or free food when you’re not on campus or downtown, check out this amazing list of resources compiled by Midnight Kitchen. It also details which spaces are wheelchair accessible and which places ask for identification.
McGill groups for cheaper living:
These communities are very useful but don’t forget to look at resources for the broader montreal community, such as Kijiji or Craigslist!
If you are a parent and a student check out this page for support! You can also contact the family resource coordinator directly at this email: firstname.lastname@example.org.