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38 years old, from China

Fei Gao

I was born in Shanghai and educated in China and Paris. Afterwards, I returned to China where I worked at the Consulate General of France and the Québec Government Office in Shanghai. This is where I learned about the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ  ̶  Québec experience program) which facilitates the steps towards obtaining permanent residency for foreign students completing a study program in Québec. The job also led to me taking 3 business trips to Québec during which I grew fond of Greater Montréal. So, when my husband and I decided it would be best to leave China, I enrolled for a master’s degree in international relations at a Montréal university. This was 4 years ago.

Here we enjoy a good quality of life. Shanghai is overpopulated: there, people live on top of one another and life is very restricted. Here, I feel like I can slow down my pace. I feel free to do whatever I want.

What also impresses me here is the democratic nature of the work environment  ̶  in China, it's extremely hierarchical. I work for an organization in the  performance arts industry where everyone can speak freely. The boss truly listens to us and everyone jokes around with him. It's a very relaxed environment!

My 3 favorite places in Greater Montréal

The Grande Bibliothèque - This is where I wrote most of my master's thesis and where I still enjoy going because of the friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

Place des Arts - I am a big fan of performance arts, so I often go there to attend concerts and dance shows. Its halls are very exquisite and its programming is incredibly vast.

Parc Jean-Drapeau - Whenever relatives come to visit, we take them to this park to enjoy its green spaces and the abundance of flowers.  

Grande Bibliothèque

475 boulevard De Maisonneuve Est, Montréal, QC, H2L 5C4

Photo credit : Mourial