Why not study abroad in a stylish town full of energy, French heritage, history, and fantastic food? Quebec City is known for its gorgeous European flair, coupled with unimaginable natural beauty. If you love French-European culture, cuisine, and language, but don’t want to hop the pond to France, studying in Quebec City is a fabulous option. With the backdrop of the Lawrence River, cozy inns, incredibly delicious cuisine, fair prices, and historical character, you’ll discover everything there is to love when you study abroad in Quebec City.
Popular Ways to Study in Quebec
While Quebec City offers a range of courses, you’ll definitely want to consider taking French-language courses here. The classes offer opportunities for you to explore the city and surrounding area on excursions as well as speaking with the locals and helping the community.
Popular subjects to study. The programs in Quebec City revolve mainly around liberal arts subjects, such as foreign languages, humanities, and arts. The majority of the programs offer French, as you can immerse yourself in the language here among the locals. Homestays with private homes can offer foreign students in Quebec an intense language immersion experience that will quickly speed up their mastery of French.
Short term and summer vs. long term programs. You could choose to take language camps or short-term courses in the summer to get a taste of French (or brush up on it) as well as earn a few extra credits. You could also choose to take seasonal (fall, spring) or full academic year courses to become more fluent in French and gain a better understanding of Quebec’s culture and the French Canadian identity.
Attending universities vs. other program types. Students have several options when it comes to their study abroad provider: They could study abroad in Quebec through their own university, through the University Laval or other Canadian higher institutions, or they could take courses through an outside program provider. It’s recommended to consult advisors in your university’s international education center to help you determine which program offers the course options and resources that best suit your needs.
Student Life in Quebec City
Part of Quebec City sits atop the cliffs of Cap Diamant (Cape Diamond) and part lies below, offering stunning scenery to wake up to every morning. One of the most notable city icons is the dominating presence of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac hotel. Dating back to its beginning in 1892, the hotel resembles a castle and remains one of the most visited hotels in Quebec.
The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and once you arrive, you’ll immediately see why. Each storefront, cobblestone, and street is a page in the book of French Canada’s struggle for survival. In fact, the old part of Quebec is the only walled city in the U.S.A. and Canada.
One of the most amazing real-life “winter wonderland” scenes is the Quebec Ice Hotel or Hotel de Glace, about half an hour from Quebec City. Everything is on ice — from the bed to the fireplace to the pen used to sign the room contract. Some 350 tons of ice are used to create the perishable hotel, which is only available for the winter months.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Before you decide when to study in Quebec City, you might want to keep in mind the weather. The summers tend to be hot and humid while the winters tend to be cold and snowy. Fall and spring are short, but they offer pleasant weather, fewer tourists, and beautiful foliage. You can experience it all though if you choose to study abroad here for an entire year!
If you’re studying in Quebec City during the winter months, don’t miss the Winter Carnival. This colorful and famous annual event is home to parades, ice sculptures, snow slides, boat races, dances, music, and more during the first half of February. If you are studying during the summer months, July to September, make sure to observe the Fêtes de la Nouvelle, a re-enactment of the last days of the French occupation.
The best way to get around the city is walking, riding the Métrobus, or riding the funicular (a steeply sloping railway). Just keep in mind that nearly 95% of Quebec City speaks French, so it’s recommended to learn a few phrases in French before you go to help you navigate the city and ask for directions.
You’ll always have something to see while studying in Quebec City. To become familiar with this busy city, climb 31 floors to the top of Observatoire de la Capitale to get a great view of the whole city. The province of Quebec is an open book for photographers or photography students. With waterfalls and canyons, art and history museums, charming European streets, and magnificent French architecture, your camera lens is going to be focused on one amazing sight after another when you study abroad in Quebec City.
Read our comprehensive guide on studying in Canada too.