The post-secondary education system in the Province de Québec is quite different from that in the rest of Canada and in many other countries throughout the world. The introduction of a 2-year Collèges d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) program in 1967 has led to a reduction in the number of years that Quebec students have to spend in both high school and at university. The CEGEP program combines the last year of high school with the first year of a traditional 4-year university program meaning that students living in Quebec must do a 3-year undergraduate degree at the universities, while all other students must do a 4-year degree. Moreover, since almost 50 % of 27 000 undergraduate students at McGill come from other parts of Canada and internationally, this has led to enrolments of about 1000 students in the basic science courses. We present here an overview of how the introductory General Chemistry courses at McGill University are currently being handled so that the students have a meaningful first-year experience.