Given its large student body, McGill is surprisingly safe. There is a lighted pathway through campus to make night travel as safe as possible. There are, of course, a few thefts.As for the area surrounding McGill, it is also fairly safe for a city, but that safety is dependent on the street smarts of the students. Montréal is considered one of the safest cities in North America, but that does not mean that you do not have to take normal precautions. Do not walk alone after midnight. Avoid walking outside of Métro stations, as that is where most muggings occur. Every year, there is usually a stint of muggings in the area surrounding McGill. The best one can do is to be alert and cautious. There are also often incidences of flashers or voyeurs around the girls' dorms, but rarely a sexual assault. McGill is not in its own bubble; it is open to both the good and the bad that a large city like Montréal brings.
Student Health Services at McGill follow the Canadian model of universal health care. All international students must prescribe to McGill insurance to ensure health coverage. The coverage that students get, however, is pretty mediocre, at least compared to many private plans. Getting an appointment at the clinic can take two weeks, so if you have anything that needs to be dealt with right away, you have to wait in line for an hour or so. The doctors are overworked and can be less than friendly with their patients. For prescriptions, students pay up front and are reimbursed later, which can be a hassle. Student Health Services try, but they are just too understaffed to serve the needs of 20-plus thousand students.