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For art students longing to pursue their studies in Paris, but finding themselves stymied by mode or means, Montreal is not only a close neighbor, but also a city rich with Old World charm and modern amenities. The second largest French speaking city after Paris, Montreal also radiates a joie de vivre that is evident in practically every aspect of the city (except, maybe, the traffic). Montreal is an island built around Mount Real (hence, the name) and boasts countless museums, an intricate system of underground pedestrian crossings known as the “Underground City”, Olympic Park, numerous bike paths, fantastic and diverse cuisine, and more churches than Starbucks. It is also known as the City of Festivals as it is host to over 90 festivals a year. Primarily held in the city’s cultural epicenter, the Places des Arts, events such as the International Jazz Festival, the Just For Laughs Festival, and the Montreal Fireworks Festival are just a few of the featured festivals that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors into the city each year. In addition to those events, the Places des Arts is also home to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Opera de Montreal, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and, of course, Montreal’s most prestigious museum dedicated to modern art, Musée d'art contemporain. Less mainstream events that also attract an enormity of visitors include increasingly popular rave festivals, with the Black and Blue Festival and the Bal en Blanc serving as the highlights. As is to be expected from a sister city of Paris, Montreal is also home to glorious museums, many of which can be found along the Golden Square Mile. Most notably, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the McCord Museum, and the Canadian Center for Architecture are all situated on or around this strip that runs from Mount Royal to the city’s downtown. Other points of interest along this corridor include Marie Reine du Monde Cathedral, Mount Royal Park, Dorchester Square, as well as innumerable boutiques and galleries. Finally, art students attending Concordia University or McGill University will enjoy exceptional art programs that not only take advantage of the vast array of Montreal culture, but also seek to contribute to it.