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September 2013 issue

Contents
News
News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agency Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus

Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
Regional Focus 1
Regional Focus 2
Market Analysis
Grapevine


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Québécoise charm

Thrilling winter sports atop breath-taking mountains await just outside vibrant and verdant city centres with warm, inviting communities. The Canadian province of Québec seems to have everything a study traveller could possibly want, as Freddie Hendry discovers.


The province of Québec is unique, says Kerstin Petersson of River Echo Language School in Wakefield, QC, thanks to its combination of French and American influences. Petersson cites its “multicultural and multilingual character” as creating “an openness and tolerance” that is much less common in unilingual areas. Fanny Michaud of YMCA Langues in Montréal, QC, characterises this as “the American way of life, but with a European link”. While Maria Egorova, Activities Coordinator at Geos Montréal, also picks out Québec’s dual cultures as a prominent feature of the area, noting the prevalence of “small European cafés and bakeries, but in bigger, more Americanised sizes”. She also highlights the sense of community the area offers. “Montréal is absolutely multicultural,” she says. “You can meet people of different origins and religions living together and there is no place for discrimination.”

Québec City exemplifies the sense of friendliness and community typical of the Québec region. Stephen Pigeon, Director of Instructional Services at the Central Québec School Board, comments on the “‘joie de vivre’ of the locals”, who are “generally very open and greet visitors with open arms”. Pigeon adds, “The city of Québec boasts all major services that are standard in any world-class city. We have a major university, colleges, sports facilities [and] public transit.” Sites not to miss in the city include Old Québec, a Unesco World Heritage Site, and Ile d’Orléans – an island in the Saint Lawrence River which was one of the first parts of the province to be colonised by the French and famed for its fertile soil. The Ile d’Orléans has a growing reputation for agritourism and visitors can buy locally produced wine, fruit, vegetables, honey, maple products, dairy products and chicken that have their seal of authenticity called the Savoir-faire île d’Orléans.

Those willing to venture further afield will be rewarded when they arrive at the Saguenay area, which promises “breath-taking fjords and whale-watching,” says Pigeon. The mouth of the Saguenay River, 2.5 hours’ drive away from Québec City, is one of the best and most easily accessible places in the world to watch whales, with 13 different species of whale – including the blue whale and the beluga whale – frequenting the area. Québec City is also an excellent base for the budding skier. Pigeon reports that “major downhill ski centres offer world-class skiing within 30 minutes of downtown”. He adds, “A number of world-class competitions are held there every year in such activities as snowboarding, mountain-biking [and] acrobatic skiing.”

Elsewhere, Petersson describes Wakefield, the location of River Echo Language School, as “one of those little gems you don’t often come across”. Again the community of the area is a big factor in the way of life and even the way students learn. “Our school has great teachers,” says Petersson, “but really, it’s the whole community that teaches our students.” The town is populated by “artists, musicians and other interesting people”, who are “engaged in the community and...easily accessible”. The result is a great variety of activities on offer: “students can participate in Open Stage Nights at the local bar, help cut hiking trails, volunteer at the new and funky community centre [and can also] get involved with the local festivals,” which include “Canada Day and the winter carnival, of course, but also festivals for documentary film, theatre and arts”.

For a small place, it has plenty of things to do, she continues. “Just across the road from our school you can launch a canoe in the Gatineau River – or just dive in for a refreshing swim.” Also recommended is “the fearless jump from the covered bridge into the rapids”. Petersson enthuses, “It’s quite a rush.” Those red-blooded enough to have braved the leap can find further thrills just four kilometres away, atop The Rock, where they will find Canada’s highest bungee jump, which is only for the fearless. “Meanwhile, Gatineau Park offers extensive hiking trails. Our students always love joining in with the local hiking group,” she says.

Montréal is another city teeming with multiculturalism, says Michaud, where it “can be experienced through the art, architecture, languages, food, festivals, parks and many activities [there]”. She describes the city as “very safe, vibrant and exciting” and singles out its many parks as places “where you can easily have a picnic on the grass, take a walk, go jogging, or even go bike riding”. As the weather turns wintry, these parks “transform into ideal spots for cross-country skiing [and] ice skating”, she continues.

One of the most popular parks, according to Yaffa Tegegne, Managing Director of Pals of Canada, is Park Mont-Royal or Mount Royal, “a huge mountain and beautiful park in the heart of downtown Montréal”, and the origin of the city’s name. The park is one of the city’s largest green spaces and also plays host to “an outdoor craft market...with beautiful people selling handmade crafts, playing sports, doing acrobatics and soaking up the sun”.

Chikako Kobayashi of College Platon in Montréal names Mont-Royal as “the best place to relax, walk, jog or have a picnic”, also noting that “from the observatory at the top of the mountain, you can view the whole city of Montréal”.

Tegegne also talks about the city’s many and varied festivals, stating that it “is known for hosting some of the biggest free outdoor festivals in the world”, including the Grand Prix racing, the Just for Laughs Comedy Fest, the Festival Nuits d’Afriques, Igloo Fest and the International Jazz festival – which Kobayashi describes as “the most famous festival in Montréal, attracting first-class world talent.”

Daniel Lefort, Director of ILSC-Montréal and Marie-Hélène Langlois, the company’s French Program Director, highlight the fact that in Québec you can be at one of Montréal’s many festivals on one day, while the next you may find yourself “hiking in the Laurentian mountains”, such is the variety of the region’s geography. As with Montréal’s parks, the mountains that surround the city undergo a transformation in the winter. Lefort and Langlois suggest Mont Tremblant and Mont St Bruno as nearby destinations for a spot of skiing. As for the city’s musical attractions, they speak particularly highly of Piknik Electronik. Taking place every Sunday, they bill it as “a great place to listen to electronic music while soaking up the sun and having...a picnic”! Another noteworthy musical attraction comes in the form of the Sunday Tam Tam sessions, which “attract thousands of drummers to Mont-Royal park to play together”. The two also emphasise the city’s architecture and history as appealing elements. “From Notre-Dame Basilica to the Olympic stadium, students studying at ILSC-Montréal can experience history just by walking around town.”

Elisa Gazzola, Centre Director at EC Montréal, finds that despite its size as the second largest city in Canada, Montréal manages to retain “a small town feel”, which she attributes “to the fact that all the attractions are centralised” and linked by “one of the best transportation systems in the world”. She identifies St-Laurent Boulevard as an important part of the city. The boulevard “divides the city between east and west”. The east, she says, “is generally more French and the west more English”. As such the boulevard has become a place “that showcases the different ethnic cultures represented in Montréal”.

Egorova stresses the Old Port of Montréal as an attraction worthy of special mention. She describes it as “the historical heart of [the city] and the place where it all started”. She explains how it started in the 17th century when the Notre-Dame Basilica was built by the river of Ville Marie. Slowly, “religion and education started to develop” and “the city grew around it”. These days, she continues, “Old Port offers a lot of entertainment to everyone.” The streets are lined with restaurants, cafés and street performers. In the summer, the beach and its water sports beckon, supplanted later by “ice skating, skiing and snowshoeing in winter”.

Another of Egorova’s favoured parts of Montréal is The Plateau. “This part of the city is very French and has a lot of European character,” she notes. “You can listen to French folk music and enjoy traditional Québécoise poutine [French fries with gravy and cheese], or … a smoked meat sandwich at the famous Schwartz Delikatesen.” In summary, she says, “It is difficult to choose just a few places to visit. There is so much to see and to experience that the only thing that has to be said is – ‘come to Montréal and you will have the best time of your life.’”
.

Agent viewpoint

“Students find the experience of living in bilingual surroundings exciting and enriching. Many of the persons who contact us about going to Canada need to attend a French course, but would prefer one in English. We tell them that when they attend classes in one language in the Montréal or Wakefield area, they will still learn the other language, and this without any extra costs. They just pick it up because it is all around them. Students going to the French-speaking areas of Canada are positively surprised by the joie de vivre in life there. People in Québec are easily enthused by things that are new or innovative. ‘Super’ and ‘superb’ are words often heard in the local vocabulary, and this attitude tends to rub off on the visiting students, making for a very positive experience.”
Mary Mckay Vilén, Spracherlebnis Agentur, Switzerland

“Our students from Korea overwhelmingly choose to study in Montréal. They find Montréal to be a very safe and clean city offering a choice of educational programmes, schools, and a chance to learn both English and French. Korean parents want the best for their children and realise that learning a third language will definitely be an advantage for [them]. Another advantage in choosing Montréal is that it is the least expensive city to live in, and offers an excellent quality education with low tuition fee. When our students arrive in Montréal they are impressed at how friendly and helpful everyone is. They also like the historical sites and all the different international cultures that make up Montréal.”
Minsik Kim, Hanca Education, Korea

“Québec’s higher education establishments offer high quality teaching and internationally recognised qualifications. There is a wide choice of courses available in both French and English. Tuition fees are relatively affordable. The cost of living in Québec is one of the lowest in Canada. [It offers] a culturally stimulating environment. [Students can] visit museums, lakes, falls, mountains and know more about Québec’s culture.”
Alvaro Benevides, Ready for You, Malta

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company

Country

Telephone

Email


ACCOMMODATION
Generation Estates  

ASSOCIATION/GROUPS
ALTO  
CAPS-I (The Canadian Association of Public Schools – International)  
Quality English  

BELGIUM
CERAN Lingua International  

BRAZIL
FAAP - Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado  
IH Sao Paulo  

CANADA
Abbotsford School District Business Company  
Algoma University  
Avon Maitland District School Board  
Bow Valley College   
Calgary Board of Education  
Camosun College  
CAPS-I (The Canadian Association of Public Schools – International)  
Centennial College of Appplied Arts and Technology  
College of New Caledonia  
COMOX valley - School District 71  
Eastern Townships School Board  
Edmonton Public Schools  
English Montreal School Board  
Georgian College  
Grande Prairie Public School District  
Greater Victoria School District #61  
Halton Catholic District School Board  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Langley School District #35  
Louis Riel School Division  
Niagara Academy of Sports  
Nova Scotia International Student Program  
Peace Wapiti School Division  
Pembina Trails School Division  
Pickering College  
Qualicum School District #69  
St James - Assiniboia School Division  
Study Manitoba School Divisions  
Surrey School District  
Waterloo Catholic District SB  
West Vancouver School District #45  

ENGLAND
Churchill House/English Home Tuition Scheme  
GSM (Greenwich School of Management)  
Kaplan International Colleges  
London School of Business & Finance  
PGL  
Quality English  
Queen's College  
St Giles International  
University Campus Suffolk  

EVENTS
Alphe Conferences  
SR Events  

EXAM BOARD
Cambridge Esol  

HONG KONG
English For Asia  

IRELAND
ISI Dublin  

ITALY
Comitato Linguistico  
IH Palermo  
Italian in Tuscany  
Studioitalia  

JAPAN
Akamonkai Japanese Language School  

SPAIN
International House Sevilla CLIC  

SWITZERLAND
EF International Language Centers  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism Authority  

USA
Besant Hill School  
Educatius  
ELS Language Centers  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Fork Union Military Academy  
Glenholme School  
IH Pacific (Vancouver, Whistler, San Diego)  
Meritas LLC  
Montverde Academy  
Rutgers Preparatory School  
Zoni Language Centers  

AGENTS
Boa Lingua  
ESL Ecole Suisse de Langues  
Idealist Education Consultancy  
Insight Lingua  
World Study Head Office  

AUSTRALIA
English Australia  

CANADA
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Sol Schools International  

ENGLAND
British Study Centres  
Cambridge Education Group  
Churchill House/English Home Tuition Scheme  
International House World Organisation  
InTuition Languages  
St Giles International  
Twin Group  
University Campus Suffolk  

FRANCE
Accent Francais  
France Langue  
French in Normandy  

GERMANY
BWS Germanlingua  
F+U Academy of Languages  
GLS Sprachenzentrum  

IRELAND
ISI Dublin  

INSURANCE
Dr. Walter GmbH  
Guard. Me  
International Student Insurance.com  

ITALY
Accademia Italiana  
Babilonia  
Scuola Leonardo Da Vinci  
Studioitalia  

JAPAN
Genki Japanese and Culture School  
Kai Japanese Language School  

NEW ZEALAND
Academic Colleges Group  
Languages International  
New Zealand Language Centres - Auckland  

PORTUGAL
CIAL - Centro de Linguas  

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies  

SPAIN
International House Sevilla CLIC  
Escuela de Idiomas Nerja  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  

USA
Rennert International  
TLA The Language Academy  

WORK EXPERIENCE
INTERNeX  
Tellus Group   




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