If you are planning a trip to Quebec City, the capital city in the French-speaking province of Canada, chances are you will be encountering French-speakers that have very limited knowledge of English. And with its creative cuisines, remarkable history, and the thrilling adventure, a visit to Quebec City is too tempting to pass. However, few knows Quebec city is also a perfect place to start French immersion program. Its European heritage, French speaking environment and helpful locals will aid you into quick progress in your French language skills.
I have studied French at school for four months before arriving in Canada, and have self-learnt BBC Ma France before my first trip to Montreal. To my surprise, I could barely understand a word of French when communicating with Quebecois. My language barrier became a disaster when I was on a French group tour on Mt Royal (I am not going to review the process of how I joined the French group tour). The whole afternoon I had to rely completely on a kind-hearted lady I met at the bus station to translate the information from the guides and pull out the significant details of Mt Royal for me. I felt pretty miserable because I did not know what my tour guide was talking about. From that on, I determined to improve my French.
After talking with my roommates and my Brazilian friends about French immersion program, I registered one week immersion program at BLI Quebec City and paid $395 for one week immersion class that is nearly four hours class each day. I was in level-7 with three Brazilians and one American student. The school also offers private tutorials with a higher price.
The morning class focuses on grammar and writing, but it also offers me chances to speak up and make lots of mistakes. Everyday the class started with a question and we have answered it in French. With every day’s practice, we are not afraid of communicating with Quebecois in French on a daily basis.
In the afternoons, we had one hour conversational French class, and each class revolves around a useful topic. I efficiently learned how to describe a person, to report an injury, to compare and contrast and so forth. The second last day of my class, my classmate and I walked around Quebec City for nearly an hour to search the original poutine place Frite Alors, and it was definitely the best poutine I have ever had – the fries was served in a classic European cone and with multiple sauce and toppings. On several afternoons my American classmates and I walked around the winding and narrow streets of the old town to embrace the European flair. She stayed in Quebec City longer than I am and she introduced me to many places and interesting facts this city has to offer. I finished the day with a great joy of learning more French, and happiness of getting to know more of this city everyday.
My French immersion experience has also changed the way I travel. Instead of traveling for travel’s sake, I came to realize that taking class and volunteering is one of the best ways to get to know a new destination. The language immersion program opens myself up to so many people and so many places in Quebec City. I had fun everyday and enjoyed it every second. I cannot wait for my return trip to Quebec City in winter to see the other side of the city.
For more information about French Immersion program in BLI, check out http://international.blicanada.net