The Explore Program

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By Mary Clements

As I mentioned earlier this week, I am currently relocated up north for a special guest teaching opportunity at Rosseau Lake College. During one of our classes this week, a grade 9 student asked me if I knew of any other opportunities for them to practice French. This led me to telling them about an awesome program that I recommend to all my high school/ university students that are currently Canadian citizens or permanent residents, The Explore Program!

“Explore an intensive French-immersion program offered during the spring and summer that is for students who are interested in learning or improving French and traveling to a new part of Canada”. For participants 16 and older, Explore offer spring and summer sessions, which last between 31 and 33 days. For 13- to 15-year-olds, three-week summer sessions are available. The deadline for application is February 15th every year. (So mark in your agendas for next year! 🙂 Also note that this program is covered by the government of Canada and also provides you with a French credit!

During my third year at McMaster University I participated in the Explore program and it was an amazing experience. I traveled to Rivière-du-Loup, Québec and stayed with a family for 6-weeks who could not speak English! Each day we participated in French classes and very fun cultural activities where we learnt more about the region and history. This trip made my 14 years of French learning up until this point really come alive and it greatly affirmed my efforts since I didn’t have any challenges in communicating and getting around. I felt very proud of myself and it gave me fuel to want to continue!

From classrooms to being in the field, language learning is a long road with many different stages and steps along the way. It’s very satisfying to know that everyday our work helps our students to prepare for these life enriching opportunities!

My Québec “Parents” who took care of me and 3 other students for 6 weeks.
A famous Rivière-du-Loup sunset!