Parties & Poutine: Pros of Studying In Quebec

by Valerie Bordelon

Studying abroad in Quebec offers more than world-class academics. As one of the most beautiful cities in Canada, Quebec’s capital city has a lot to offer international students. Here are some of the things that people love when they’re spending a year, summer, or semester studying abroad in Quebec City.

Poutine, a famous dish originating from Quebec.
Poutine alone is worth the plane fare to Quebec. Photo by Eileen Loh

Fun, Fun And More Fun!

Quebec City is a very lively place to study abroad in Canada. They have celebrations and festivals year-round. Some of the more vibrant festivals include the summer and winter festivals. Festival d’été is the summer festival. It headlines hundreds of musical shows in various indoor and outdoor venues throughout the city, as well as other wacky and wonderful performances that captivate crowds.

Carnaval de Quebec is the winter festival. Usually held in February, this follows the Catholic tradition of feasting for a week or two up until Mardi Gras and before the 40-day Lenten season. The most famous attractions are the nighttime and daytime parades, where the participants wind through the upper city through lights and ice sculptures. Dance at the Ice Palace, watch the night parade, or sluice down a snow slide here. Other events include the 400-participant Masquerade Ball at the Château Frontenac, snowboarding, ice canoeing, hockey, dog-sledding, free public banquets, and snow sculpture contests. It’s a huge party set in the middle of a winter wonderland.

Although there are a lot of fun events to do inside the city, anyone studying abroad in Quebec will want to spend time exploring the majestic outskirts. Parks, wildlife reserves, and scenic attractions are just minutes away from the city center. Students who love mountain sports or winter sports will find some fun here: biking, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, hiking, paragliding, dog sledding, golfing, treetop adventure courses, and more.

Lake in Montreal, Quebec

Lake in Montreal, Quebec

Sentir Délices

Quebecois cuisine is as rich and diverse as its surrounding environment. The contemporary cuisine of the region consists of all things native to the land, crafted into culinary delights influenced mainly by French culture and cuisine, but also from other regional traditions. Eating here is a seductive treat for all the senses. The top dishes you should try when studying abroad in Quebec City are:

Poutine. This just might be Quebec’s signature food and the most amazing late-night munchy food ever. A combination of fries, gravy and cheese curds, this messy dish is a delight to the eyes, as well as the stomach! Just don’t run a marathon after eating a bowl …

Tire sur la Neige, a.k.a. Tire d’erable. This region of the Canadian country is known for all things maple, and this delight is very intriguing. Hot, boiled maple sap poured directly onto fresh snow creates this tantalizing traffy, a treat that is to be eaten immediately.

Cheese Lover Lane. For the cheese-obsessed travelers out there, Quebec’s artisanal cheese scene is so incredible that there is an entire route des fromages! If you enjoy a soft, young, raw-milk cheese, and other dairy delights, then get here yesterday.

Tourtière. This is a traditional Quebec meat pie. Ingredients vary depending on the region, but they’re usually filled with minced pork, beef, or wild game. If you are interested in trying the classic Quebecois meat pie, visit Aux Anciens Canadiens restaurant, where they also serve other traditional dishes of Quebec.

Desserts. Traditional meal-enders in Quebec include dumplings in maple syrup (Grand-Pères), and molasses treats including tire Ste-Catherine, which warm the heart and body during the frigid winters.