Mc Gill or Edinburgh University for Philosophy

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Nebb371
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Hello. I received offers to study philosophy at Edinburgh and arts at McGill and I’m wondering which I should choose. Here are the pros and cons in my perspective, so if you have any experience in either or both, please leave a comment!

University of Edinburgh
Pros:
• I’ve come to like the philosophy modules a lot after taking a look into each module’s reading list and assignments. I like how you get to read the ancient Greeks from first year. I also like the English Literature, Mathematics, and Architectural History modules that I’m hoping to take as an outside subject in my sub-honors years
• It’s in Edinburgh. I think I can learn a lot from the cultural sites and art museums because I am interested in aesthetics, connection between literature and philosophy, Foucault, existentialism, and generally the creative side of humanities. I’ve also always wanted to be in the UK. I’m an Asian international student btw, and I’m hoping to travel around Europe when I have the time
• I’m looking forward to taking some free language courses in French and German, Russian (although it disappeared from the available list?) etc.
Cons:
• It’s pricier than McGill for me
• There doesn’t seem to be any/ more than one philosophy professor interested in aesthetics or continental philosophy. But then again, I’m interested in Hume, Marx, Leibniz, and all kinds of philosophy. I can’t really say because I haven’t properly studied it yet.
• 6 courses a year (typically for arts) doesn’t feel like enough when I am also interested in the sciences probably because I was on the STEM course at high school. Is it difficult to ask for the extra 40 credits?

McGill
Pros:
• I get to take a breath of courses from the humanities to the sciences in first year
• There also seems to be more flexibility with choosing joint honors as long as both subjects are in the arts.
• It’s cheaper. Could be the biggest pro. Edinburgh Uni is affordable for my family but I feel bad for choosing a pricier Uni when McGill is just as well-rated from general perspective.
• Can someone tell me if you can do a joint honors in physics and philosophy at McGill if you meet the requirements? It’s not on the list of available joint honors, but I found a pdf file requesting it so...? Who can I ask?
• It might be easier to learn French in Montreal
• It allows for more courses per year which means more contact time. I don’t know if this is a pro or con though. I also heard its easy to go over the 120 credit load (30 per year).
Neutral:
• I heard it’s easier to get a work permit in Canada, but I don’t know if this applies to me because I probably want to go to the UK or Europe someday, perhaps for a graduate degree, unless I get a really really good job in New York or something
• McGill announced that they will have almost completely in person teaching from September, but I don’t know if I can take their word on this. Could be PR to admitted students? The wording was a little vague and I don’t know if it means I’ll get more contact time than in Edinburgh Uni as an arts student.
Cons:
• the philosophy courses don’t really appeal to me. I like the late modern philosophy course, but I don’t feel like the reading lists are as comprehensive as Edinburgh when it comes to other courses. There also seems to be a lot of group work and participation points, while I prefer the (more British/ Scottish?) style with more essays and exams
• the language courses only seem to have English and French. I haven’t been able to access any information on other languages, but does anyone here have experience?
• I can’t really imagine myself in Montreal. Maybe I haven’t looked into it properly. I’ve never been to the UK or Canada btw.

I’m sorry it’s long. It would really help if you could give some advice.
Last edited by Nebb371; 4 weeks ago
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runningman001
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when you say McGill, are you referring to the university in Canada?
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Nebb371
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(Original post by runningman001)
when you say McGill, are you referring to the university in Canada?
Yes
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auser77
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• I can’t really imagine myself in Montreal. Maybe I haven’t looked into it properly. I’ve never been to the UK or Canada btw.

Curious - if you haven’t been to either UK or Canada, where are you from? McGill and Edinburgh are similar in that they are both located in the heart of beautiful historically significant cities. Neither city enjoys a sublime climate but Montreal offers absolutely killer winters. Days and days of -10° and lower.... the city has acres of underground tunnels for people to walk around. Above ground it is harshly cold and often snow covered. Be prepared for cabin fever and dark!
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Nebb371
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(Original post by auser77)
• I can’t really imagine myself in Montreal. Maybe I haven’t looked into it properly. I’ve never been to the UK or Canada btw.

Curious - if you haven’t been to either UK or Canada, where are you from? McGill and Edinburgh are similar in that they are both located in the heart of beautiful historically significant cities. Neither city enjoys a sublime climate but Montreal offers absolutely killer winters. Days and days of -10° and lower.... the city has acres of underground tunnels for people to walk around. Above ground it is harshly cold and often snow covered. Be prepared for cabin fever and dark!
Both do seem like wonderful and fun cities, don’t they. Yes, I’ve heard it gets really cold and pretty temperate in the summer in McGill. I didn’t know about underground tunnels though, cool, that sounds like Sapporo! I’m from East Japan btw.
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ohwell1996
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Not sure I understand what you mean about getting a 'really good job in New York' - as a non-American that'll be very difficult. Studying in Canada won't help you with that.

Anyway... both are great universities. I have a lot of friends who went to McGill and really loved it. Yes, the winters are difficult, but it's a really fun city and a great university. If it's cheaper for you, I'd definitely go there!
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Nebb371
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(Original post by ohwell1996)
Not sure I understand what you mean about getting a 'really good job in New York' - as a non-American that'll be very difficult. Studying in Canada won't help you with that.

Anyway... both are great universities. I have a lot of friends who went to McGill and really loved it. Yes, the winters are difficult, but it's a really fun city and a great university. If it's cheaper for you, I'd definitely go there!
That’s nice to hear. What subjects did you study and how were the undergrad research opportunities if you had any?
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ohwell1996
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(Original post by Nebb371)
That’s nice to hear. What subjects did you study and how were the undergrad research opportunities if you had any?
As I mentioned, I didn't study there, my friends did. My good friend studied Psychology and Neuroscience and had tons of undergrad research opportunities at the local lab and hospital. She now works as a full-time employee of the university's research lab.
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My son is in the same position for choosing between arts at Mcgill or Economics and IR with year abroad at Exeter (still waiting on Warwick ) . He would go in U1 at Mcgill as he is doing the french Bac with an international option. We are British but live in France. He varies from one day to the next as to which he will take. For us Mcgill is more expensive than the UK. We have many friends whose kids have gone to Mcgill and all love it . Most stay in Canada and all have been bi-lingual before they go. My advice to my son is go where you are keeping most doors open and go with your gut I too worry about the face to face teaching in Canada but it seems like their vaccination program is accelerating . I also like the term structures in that you start mid August and finish mid April . I am not trying to show my bias as I think he should go to Canada but he will still only be 17 and doesnt want to defer. I think you go with your gut as to which course suits you best. We are sitting down this weekend to try and look at exactly what courses he would take were he to go to Mcgill. We are going to pay the deposit anyway as it's refundable. As you can see it's not an easy decision for anyone
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Nebb371
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(Original post by Anonymous)
My son is in the same position for choosing between arts at Mcgill or Economics and IR with year abroad at Exeter (still waiting on Warwick ) . He would go in U1 at Mcgill as he is doing the french Bac with an international option. We are British but live in France. He varies from one day to the next as to which he will take. For us Mcgill is more expensive than the UK. We have many friends whose kids have gone to Mcgill and all love it . Most stay in Canada and all have been bi-lingual before they go. My advice to my son is go where you are keeping most doors open and go with your gut I too worry about the face to face teaching in Canada but it seems like their vaccination program is accelerating . I also like the term structures in that you start mid August and finish mid April . I am not trying to show my bias as I think he should go to Canada but he will still only be 17 and doesnt want to defer. I think you go with your gut as to which course suits you best. We are sitting down this weekend to try and look at exactly what courses he would take were he to go to Mcgill. We are going to pay the deposit anyway as it's refundable. As you can see it's not an easy decision for anyone
Thank you so much for this. It’s comforting to know that other people are going through a similar phase, and also, you’re such a supportive parent. I hope everything goes well for your son and that he enjoys his time at university.
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