Students took 5-week course in Quebec

Bailey Ayres, Sports Editor

This was the first summer that a group of Madison College students went to Quebec for a five-week course studying French. The trip to Centre Linguistique du Collège de Jonquière in the Quebec province was led by French instructor Eric Baxter.

“(It’s) five weeks and you get credit for a full semester of French, one through five,” Beth Towey, a French Instructor here at Madison College informs, “If a student wanted to study abroad this would be an option.”

“Students stay with families, we will stay with families as well. They have their own room, are provided breakfast and dinner by family,” Baxter informs.

“Everybody just gets adopted by their families. The home life was the best part about it. One thing the students did (was) immediately start referring to their host parents as Jonquière Papa and Jonquière Maman (mom). I had a Jonquière les cousins (cousins)!” said Baxter, adding that living with a family was one of his favorite parts of the trip.

The students would spend all day in class along with cultural activities and other fun opportunities, all while trying to speak a new language.

“If they don’t use French they will be in hot water. Because they receive these warnings,” Baxter says, “they signed a contract that is saying that they will speak French all the time. They where policing each other.”

Communicating was hard for some students at first.

“(It) was quite a challenge, and made the first week very difficult. After an adjustment period, however, it became easier” Craig Kunkel says, who is Madison College student who traveled to Quebec. “Overcoming the challenge was, to me, the most satisfying part, and I feel like I did. In that sense, I would say ‘yes,’ I enjoyed speaking French almost exclusively.”

“By around week two we didn’t know how to speak English or French.” Allison Althof, another Madison College student from the trip, said. “The running joke was that we were very fluent in Fran-glish, but the whole trip really changed me as a person and I would give anything to go back.”

After some practice they got so good at speaking French, it was suddenly hard to get back to speaking English.

“I would think in French for weeks,” Baxter, recalls when he got back home. ”Yeah [I would speak French to] my daughter, my wife less so, the dog, I did a number of times with our dog. That happens with a lot of students.”

“I would catch myself thinking in French and talking to my cat, mostly because I didn’t have a chance to speak French with anyone else,” says Althof.

Not only can you become fluent in another language, gain unforgettable life experiences, you can also earn credit for doing towards the Global Studies certificate.

“Which is a really cool certificate, which I think is 15 credits. Different kind of certain kinds literature, certain kinds history and language courses go towards it,” Baxter adds in. “It’s open to anyone to go.”

“So, yes, I would highly recommend it. They’re very likely to have an amazing time,” Kunkel highly recommends.

“At the end of the trip, we were all so ready to go home and see our families, but we also did not want to leave. I am still in touch with all my classmates that are still in Canada and my Jonquière-sœur [sister]. I recommend this program to anyone interested,” says Althof.

If you’re interested in going, the dates for next year are mid May through mid June 2017. Towey will be the 2017 summer faculty lead. The application due date is Jan. 30, 2017. Also if you have any questions feel free contacting the Center for International Education at their email: [email protected]