My French Immersion Experience in Quebec City

Quebec City is one of the best places in Canada for French immersion. This capital city of Quebec has creative cuisine, remarkable history, European heritage, appealing architecture, and quaint streets. The locals are friendly and they prefer to speak with you in French if you are willing to make an effort. It is a perfect place if you would like to hone your French language skills, and get to know more of the French-Canadian culture.

French Immersion in Quebec City
Quebec City, Canada

French Immersion Program in Quebec City

I chose to take the French immersion program with BLI – Quebec near the old town Quebec City. BLI-Quebec is ten minutes walk from where I stayed, and it is close to the grocery stores, restaurants, shops and bus stations.

French immersion in Quebec City, Canada
Old Quebec, Quebec City, Canada

I signed up for a one-week immersion class for four hours of class each day. The materials were made by the instructors themselves and the material fee was included in the payment.  My class has a grand total of five people: three Brazilians, an American student, and me. The school also offers private tutorials at a higher price.

The morning class focuses on grammar and writing. My teacher taught us new grammar points and vocabulary daily, and asked us to have conversations by applying the grammar and new vocabulary. She encouraged us to speak and make lots of mistakes. Every day, the class started with a question and we answered it in French.

In the afternoons, we had a one-hour conversational French class with Emillie. She was always happy and made us laugh, and she used visuals and lots of body language to make the class easy to understand. Each class revolved around a useful topic. In just a few days, we covered topics on how to describe a person, to report an injury, and to compare and contrast.

There was an assignment everyday for morning class. As we practice speaking most times during the class, communicating in French was not something uncomfortable for us. We were not afraid to communicate with Quebecois on a daily basis.

Activities

Poutine tour at Frite Alors: Poutine is a popular Canadian dish and it originates from Quebec. One of BLI-Quebec activities is to try the local food, poutine. The poutine tour takes place during the second last day of my class and all of the 13 students decided to come along. We walked around Quebec City for an hour to search for the original poutine place Frite Alors.

The  poutine comes with Belgian fries and there were a variety of sauces and toppings to choose from. I tried the classic poutine La Vladimir and it is definitely the best poutine I have ever had. You can also add extra and different kind of cheese on your poutine.

French immersion in Quebec City
Poutine La Vladimir at Frite Alors, Quebec City
French immersion in Quebec City, Canada
Spotted an interesting sign on our way to Frite Alors

Potluck: BLI-Quebec has a tradition of having a potluck on the last day of each week. It is a mini-party allowing us to have fun, get to know new students, and saying goodbye to old students. The teachers give their best wishes to each student at the end of the potluck.

French immersion in Quebec City
Potluck at BLI-Quebec

 Accommodations

BLI-Quebec provides four types of accommodations. Among them, home stays are the most popular among students to have a fully immersive experience. As home stays involve a large placement fee, I chose to stay at the HI-Quebec -Auberge International De Quebec a four-star hostel in Old Quebec. The hotel provides breakfast (CAD $5 extra per day) and has a full – kitchen for travelers to make their own meals. Auberge International De Quebec has free tours daily to the old town and other parts of the city.

French Immersion in Quebec City, Canada
Guided tour to the Montmorency Falls, Quebec City, Canada

Tips

Quebec City is three hours away from Montreal, and VIA Rail runs daily from Montreal to Quebec City. If you take the flight, please note that there is no public transport available at Quebec airport. You either need an Uber or take a taxi to get to the bus station or your destination.

When choosing French immersion program in Quebec, keep a lookout for schools and be sure to check the review in advance. Even the same school in different cities has a huge difference in terms of the quality of class instruction and the student service. I went to the French immersion program in Montreal at the same school two years later and had a totally different experience.

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Julie Cao

Julie Cao is a travel blogger, travel writer, and global citizen currently living in Toronto Ontario.

17 thoughts on “My French Immersion Experience in Quebec City

  • May 21, 2017 at 3:32 pm
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    Hey, my hometown! I hope you liked your immersion 🙂 (Poutine is the best thing ever invented.)

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    • May 21, 2017 at 3:35 pm
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      Are you eating poutine for lunch now? 🙂 Absolutely loved my immersion experience and Quebec city. It is gorgeous! My only regret is that I did not stay longer. Poutine is really the best there!

      Reply
  • May 22, 2017 at 2:19 pm
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    Wow, this sounds like a great experience! I have always wanted to visit Quebec, and I have a love for French culture, so this sounds like the perfect place.
    courtneylivin.com

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    • May 23, 2017 at 3:37 pm
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      Quebec is the most European city in Canada and their French flair is very strong, especially in the old Quebec. Wish you will make it there!

      Reply
  • Pingback: A Failed Attempt of French Immersion in Montreal, Quebec

  • June 12, 2017 at 5:56 pm
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    I’ve never been to Quebec City, and my French is somewhat disastrous. But you had me at poutine! Honestly, I’m all for immersion language programs, and when you can incorporate real life tours, shopping and street interactions, all the better. Sounds like a terrific experience!

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    • June 13, 2017 at 3:45 am
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      i totally agree with you. Taking language immersion programs is one of the best ways to get to know the city and the culture. It is a wonderful experience to combine study and the tours.

      Reply
  • June 12, 2017 at 6:23 pm
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    I really loved the old town of Quebec but sadly did not try poutine. I spent a year in France as I studied the language at university but would love to go do something like this to learn Spanish. It’s definitely the best way to learn

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    • June 13, 2017 at 3:46 am
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      I am learning Spanish too and thinking about doing Spanish immersion in South America. Learning french in France is a great experience as well. Poutine in Quebec really is the best.

      Reply
  • June 12, 2017 at 7:57 pm
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    Oh I like that there were only 5 members in the class that way its highly focused learning experience. What a great city to learn and explore in

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    • June 13, 2017 at 3:47 am
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      I love my class too. Small and more individually focused, and we learned a lot more this way.

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  • June 12, 2017 at 10:02 pm
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    Oh I’d love to take this immersion course. I keep telling myself I want to improve my French but never do it. I like that you have both grammar and conversational classes. Conversations are what helps me the most.

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    • June 13, 2017 at 3:49 am
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      The conversation class is very helpful and there is a lot to cover in one class, but it is so fun and chill. I wish you could come to Quebec and spice up your French. It would be a great learning experience while exploring the city Sarah.

      Reply
  • June 13, 2017 at 1:19 am
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    This sounds like an absolutely amazing program! They really crammed a lot into a one-week course! I only spent one day in Quebec when I was road tripping in Canada, but it was absolutely stunning! When I go back this has to be a must for me. I do love poutine…

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    • June 13, 2017 at 3:50 am
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      Poutine is the best in Quebec. Hope you will come back to Quebec city again Paige!

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  • June 27, 2017 at 4:11 am
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    That poutine looked delicious! Sounds like a great experience. Am curious? What made you decide to take the immersion course?

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    • June 28, 2017 at 12:42 am
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      My friend back in school had this idea about taking French immersion in Quebec City and I think it would be a great idea to brush up our French so I went there and I was a great experience. The poutine there is really delicious. Have you tried any before?

      Reply

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