Quebec is somewhat of an anomaly among North American cities. One of the oldest cities on the continent, it was settled at the dawn of the 17th century by a French explorer and has held closely to its Francophile heritage ever since. Though most locals understand English today, French is far and away still the most popularly spoken language in the city. If you are looking for a beautiful city with a unique culture in North America, than high school programs in Quebec might be the perfect options for you.
High School Programs in Quebec
Many high school programs in Quebec are focused around French language study. Students of all levels will benefit greatly from daily language lessons, in conjunction with outside practice communicating with locals every day. Quebecois greatly appreciate any effort foreigners make to communicate with them in French, and undoubtedly there are many interesting conversations to be had with natives of Quebec.
High school programs in Quebec are not limited to language learning, however. Additionally, courses in subject areas such as history, art, and literature, are common in high school study abroad programs in Quebec. Alternatively, there are adventure programs available, which are sometimes not at all academically oriented, that focus on fun culturally immersive experiences and adventurous activities. These cultural exploration focused programs tend to be shorter but do not frequently offer academic credit, but students are sure to find this type of program to be both interesting and fun.
While most high school programs in Quebec run during the summer (typically lasting between two and eight weeks), students can also attend high school programs in Quebec for as long as a semester or full year, usually by enrolling as an exchange student. This route is a bit more difficult to configure with high schools abroad, but studying full time at a boarding school in Quebec will undoubtedly be an incredible cross-cultural experience.
Life in Quebec
Even though it is quite well known, Quebec is not even one of Canada’s ten largest cities; just over 500,000 people live in Quebec City, which sits in the southeastern reaches of the country. As the capital of the greater Quebec Province, it is a major center for government and administration, in addition to its infamous status as Canada’s center of Francophile culture.
Quebec is an infrastructurally advanced city with many elements of the old and the new on display. An impressive skyline and sleek modern buildings overlook the historic city center, where the oldest fortress ramparts remaining north of Mexico remind citizens of its earliest days as a settlement. Public transportation is a breeze, and world class museums such as the Museum of Civilization and National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec will ensure that you never run out of cultural stimulation.
If you are studying French in Quebec, try to speak French as much as possible while out and about. Locals are often willing to communicate in English, but the whole point of attending a high school program in Quebec is to immerse yourself in another culture! By speaking French regularly your language abilities will soar and you will be able to enter yourself more authentically into the city life.
Scholarships & Costs
Quebec is actually a fairly affordable place to attend high school programs abroad, compared to many other North American cities. You always want to be careful with your budget when traveling abroad, but at least on-the-ground expenses need not be too daunting a concern in Quebec.
High school program fees, which tend to include most housing, food, and transportation costs, can be a different story. Since high school programs in Quebec can be expensive, it is a good idea to take advantage of all the fundraising and scholarship opportunities out there to help lessen the costs!
Accommodation & Visas
Many high school students choose to live in a homestay during their high school program in Quebec, which can be a great opportunity to immerse more intimately into the local culture and a good outlet to practice French continuously. Some high school programs in Quebec also make on-campus dormitories available for students, which can be a fun experience and prepare students for college life. Either way parents need not worry, Quebec is a safe city and students will be under consistent supervision!
Whether or not you will need a visa to attend a high school program in Quebec depends on your home country and how long you are staying. For more information regarding the specifics of your situation you can check out GoAbroad’s Canadian Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Francophiles Wanted. If you take an interest in the French culture or are learning the language, high school programs in Quebec will be truly fascinating. One of the most heavily influenced cities by France outside the country itself, it certainly is a distinct city within the North American context.
Quaint City Life. Quebec is a fairly big city, but nonetheless manages to lose none of its historical charm. High school students who have never lived in a city before will find Quebec an easily accessible introduction to the urban life.
Master the Language. The best way to get better at speaking a language is to go somewhere that you can practice everyday. In the streets of Quebec, your French will improve by leaps and bounds!