Why not study abroad in a stylish town full of energy, French heritage and 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 abroad in Quebec is a fabulous option. With the backdrop of the Lawrence River, cozy inns, incredibly delicious cuisine, fair prices, and historical character, there is a lot to love about Quebec City.
Geography & Demographics
Quebec City is divided up into multiple sections: Lower Town (Basse Ville), Upper Town (Haute Ville), Old Town (Vieux Quebec), and Old Lower Town. 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.
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.
Things to Do
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.
Pretty much the whole city of Quebec is something to see. Virtually every building within the area has some historic and architectural interest. If you are staying during the winter months, don’t miss the Winter Carnival. This 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 - September, make sure to observe the Fêtes de la Nouvelle, a re-enactment of the last days of the French occupation.
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.
Studying in Quebec City
Universite Laval, in Quebec City, is one of the oldest universities in all of North America. It is located on the edge of town next to the Lawrence River and attracts more than 2,500 international students per year. Homestays with private homes can offer foreign students in Quebec an intense language immersion experience that will quickly speed up their mastery of French.
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 trained on one amazing sight after another.