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My French Immersion Experience in Quebec City

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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 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

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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My French immersion experience in Quebec City and why you shiould add this activitiy on your list of things to do when visit there.

 

Julie Cao
 

Julie is the creator of Always On The Way. She lived in Hawaii and has made her way to Toronto Canada. In 2017, she went on an overland trip from Bogota Colombia to Puerto Williams, the southernmost city in the world. She believes travel is not only about visiting tourist attractions but more about getting to know the culture, people and the place.

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