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 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.
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.
Poutine tour at Frite Alors: Poutine is a popular Canadian dish and it originates from Quebec. One of BLI-Quebec activities is to try 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.
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.
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.
Quebec City Travel 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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