Des intérieurs sociaux dans l’ombre des gratte-ciels : (co)habitation d’étudiants internationaux au centre-ville de Montréal


  • Amel Gherbi-Rahal Institut national de la recherche scientifique (Centre Urbanisation Culture Société)


International students, Student accommodation, (co)housing, Downtown, Montréal


This paper examines the socialization of international students through their residential environment during their stay in Montréal. It provides a contextualization of the spatial and social environment in the dense and relatively heterogeneous downtown area of Quebec’s metropolis. It then delves more deeply into the (co)housing conditions of international students through an exploration of the qualities and dynamics of three types of accommodation : traditional university residences (RUT), private residences for internationally mobile individuals (RPI) and traditional private rental housing (LPT). On the basis of a mixed method study using a combination of statistical sources and in-depth interviews, the socio-political conditions and relationships of international students are empirically documented. Supporting the academic literature, we show that their residential conditions and practices tend to generate limited spatial and social experiences that challenge the socializing qualities of their vertically ascending residential habitats. The findings open up the reflection on the design of social interiors that take on the characteristics of “refuge”, “haven” or even fragmentation.