What is the post-exchange syndrome?

Going abroad for studies or internships is a challenging and exciting experience; however, it is harder to come back home.

It’s obvious that when you are going abroad you are nervous and excited at the same time. As I have experienced, once you meet new people, explore new places, and get more responsibilities you become more independent. This independence gives you happiness and an incredible exchange or how it is worldwide well known, an unforgettable exchange experience.

What happens when you come back home and you feel like you already experienced a whole new life in the place where you studied abroad? It was your dreamed life so once you are back you start to feel sad, uncomfortable with your environment in your home country, and these could be symptoms of depression. Sometimes these symptoms can disappear in one or two months but if they don’t disappear, there can be serious consequences; you can be suffering of the post-exchange syndrome.

How do you know you are experiencing the post-exchange syndrome?

  1. You feel like an alien in your home country, your old school, with your old friends.
  2. You prefer to be chatting on Whatsapp and Facebook with the friends you left behind instead of enjoying being with your old friends.
  3. You feel like you are living an ordinary life.
  4. You want to keep traveling like you used to do it.
  5. You are not interested in anything new because you are only focused in desiring that things were just like before.

This is serious and if you feel like this, you should keep in mind that you are missing one part of your life that you already experienced. You need to establish new goals and adapt to your life in your home country. It can be the same school and same friends, but you can try new activities like swimming, dancing, meeting more people, etc.

If you feel like this is getting out of your hands, it is better to find some help with a professional. This syndrome is completely normal.


What is to be a homestay family?

Karla and me, Yesica, came to Montreal in 2008 to study English and French and lived with a local Homestay Family for six months. We can say that we lived the most incredible experience an international student could ever live!  We did not only meet a Canadian family but we met OUR Family as we are still in touch with them and we meet them a few times per month. After 11 years, they are always present for us!  We MS Homestays because we want to help more students to live the same experience we lived by offering personalized accommodation options according to their preferences.

Today, we want to introduce you to Sandra Roux. She has been part of our Homestay Families for many years. We can say she is an excellent host and she has also been a great mom to all the international students she has hosted. You can have the whole cultural experience of living in Canada with her. She speaks English, French, Italian, Norwegian and Creole.

Here is a brief message she wrote for all the students who are thinking about staying in her home:

“I am a kind and fun single mom and I have a very beautiful house in Montreal 15 min away from downtown and right beside all services, including bus in front of the house. My son and I love having fun and enjoying outdoor activities. I am a great entertainer and I would love to to make you discover Quebec and more on weekends. We would be happy to welcome you in a big furnished bedroom with all included: heat, TV, cable, Wi-Fi, desk, etc. In the house you will have unlimited access to kitchen, bathroom, laundry and swimming pool. The neighborhood is very calm with a lot of families and the riverside is to a 3 min walk distance where you can go relax by the water, bicycle or jog. I do A LOT of cooking! I cook everyday and I have a “one moth plan”. It means that I cook a different dish everyday and you won’t eat twice the same in one month.  I am very careful to cook balanced food, that is very important in our family. I will also give you several snacks a day in case you are a little hungry during the day. Living in our family is more than living in a homestay. It is having a full Canadian experience and really get in touch with the country, the culture and the life here.”

During the last semester Nasato Magani, a Japanese exchange student attending McGill University, stayed with Sandra and her son for six months. They had a great time hanging out in Montreal and its surroundings.

Hi Karla! I already arrived at Japan. I had a good staying in Montreal. Thanks to you, thank you for supporting me!!

We are so happy that other student had an amazing experience with his homestay during his exchange program in Montreal. If you are interested in living the Homestay Family experience and if you are looking for accommodation in Montreal or Toronto, contact us directly through our website. You can also find us on Facebook or Instagram as mshomestays.


Why to live in one of the best neighborhoods of Montreal, The Plateau Mont-Royal?

The Plateau Mont-Royal is the perfect combination between the wealth of a working-class from the past, the entrepreneurial start-up spirit, and the bohemian-chic tendencies of its many resident artists. This is what makes Plateau the perfect neighborhood for students and young people.

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If you have seen pictures or have walked by this colorful neighborhood, you have realized that the heritage architecture is unique and beautiful, its narrow streets shaded by tall trees, and its legendary Victorian colorful houses. More than half of these houses were built before 1946, so by living and wandering around the neighborhood, you can really appreciate one important part of Montreal’s history.

However, if you are not a history fanatic, you should consider the diverse activities you can practice in the neighborhood and simply admire all of the area’s beauty. You should know that the Plateau has the highest population density of all Montreal’s neighborhoods with roughly 100,000 residents, and all of them are bilingual and multicultural. Even if French is one of the most used languages, you can also speak in English. Also, the neighbors have a Facebook group to stay connected and share the activities or cultural events in the neighborhood and its surroundings. Check it out here.

Check below you some local landmarks you can’t miss and activities that can be enjoyed by residents:

  1. Enjoy outdoor activities or sports at Mont Royal Park or have a picnic at La Fontaine Park.
  2. Visit local restaurants, coffee shops or bakeries. We recommend you Schwatz’s sandwiches and Saint Viateur bagels. Also, you can try out some molecular gastronomy.
  3. Enjoy live music concerts at the Metropolis, Casa del Popolo and Divan Orange.
  4. Go shopping on Saint-Denis Street, Saint Laurent Boulevard and Mont-Royal Avenue.

The Plateau is an accessible place from Downtown Montreal by bus or metro. The closest metro stations you can find are Mont-Royal, Sherbrooke, and Laurier.  There are also several bus stops. Check them out here.

If you need more information about apartments in this iconic neighborhood, contact us directly in the section of our website. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram as mshomestays. The apartments are fully equipped, accessible, and with all services you need. You can book a videocall to see the apartment.