Oh, Canada

Nami Sung

Your parents are begging you to come home, but the thought of another week watching “Scrubs” reruns is a little too depressing. Fortunately, it’s not too late to abandon ship. Beat the intersession blues with a trip to Montreal and enjoy the city’s foreign cool, quirky accents, and friendly drinking age.

First, indulge your appetite at Les Chenets with classic Québécois poutine—fries, gravy, and juicy cheese curds. Mmm, heart disease.

Then head to St-Viateur for soft Montreal bagels and slab on some famous Montreal smoked meats from Schwartz Charcuterie. Never mind the fact that you gained some exam-induced pounds—now is the time to reward yourself for passing them (hopefully).

Wander the nocturnal Rue Crescent and admire the fashionable foreign students spilling out of Montreal’s hottest clubs like Electric Avenue and Karina. If you are feeling predatory, try Peel Pub, where beer, cheap shooters and McGill freshman vomit all flow freely.

Listen to some alternative rock and punk bands at Les Foufounes Electriques. Try not to notice that all of the students are back in class as you headbang to silence.

In a shocking twist of fate, the city did not choose to host its International Fireworks Competition, International Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs Festival, International Film Festival, and Grand Prix in late January. However, one of Montreal’s 90 organized festivals is on during intersession, the famed La Fête des Neiges. Go to Parc Jean-Drapeau to watch the dogsled races in honor of Balto! He’s so brave!

Before leaving the land of universal healthcare, stop at the magnificent Notre-Dame Basilica and pray for a change in Harvard’s calendar. Maybe next time you can drink with the rest of the city.