SSU’s Québec Summer Program
By Cristina Urquhart, French student
The five week study abroad trip to Quebec sponsored by Salem State is something which people should take advantage of. Students attend the oldest university in Canada, Université Laval, located in Quebec City. While at Laval, they are enrolled in three classes entirely in French. This forces them to completely devote themselves to learning French.
At Université Laval students live in the residence halls on campus. Living in the halls provides a chance to get acquainted with one another. Living with other students also allows for people to converse frequently in French with both classmates and locals.
The University is located in the new part of Quebec City; just down the street from the school are a series of large mall complexes, a grocery store and restaurants. However, it is only a short bus ride from Old Quebec where there are many historic places to visit.
Students are placed in different classes based on their knowledge of French. There are levels for beginners as well as more advanced French speakers. Along with taking three classes per day, the program requires that students take two workshops each week. The first workshop is a mandatory conversation workshop which meets once a week. Students converse with one another in French and are corrected by Quebecois Université Laval students. The second workshop is the choice of art, dancing, music, film or board games. These workshops differ for varying interests.
Aside from the classes and workshops, Laval sponsors many excursions each day. Students are offered to go to places such as Cabin au Sucre, where they can see how maple syrup is made and have a meal of all maple products. Other excursions include water parks, hikes, restaurants at discounted prices, and whale watching. The last week of the program a boat cruise is held for the students. The cruise offers dinner, dancing and a chance to be together a last time before leaving the university.
Studying at Laval for the summer provides the opportunity to complete some or all of the required language credits, as well as learn the culture of Quebec. The culture of Quebec differs greatly from the Anglophone areas of Canada, which are the places most Americans are familiar with. Studying abroad for the summer is a fun way to pick up a second language and experience a different culture.