Explore in Gaspé is ready summer of 2024
July 2 to August 2, 2024
We are waiting for you!
WHAT IS EXPLORE?
The EXPLORE program, in partnership with the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles, is designed to provide 16 and 17 year olds from Canada and abroad with a unique experience that combines outdoor activities in a natural setting with the development of oral communication skills, so that learning French becomes exciting and involving.
Groups of approximately 15 students each are formed according to oral proficiency level, based on the results of placement tests. Our program offers up to 3 levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.
La Cité universitaire francophone is proud to present our Explore Program in Gaspé, and is equally proud of all our participants. Thank you for taking the time to discover what our program could offer you.
Is this program for me?
To find out if you would be a good fit for the program please go through the following:
I have a genuine interest in learning and socializing with my peers in French.
I will be 16-17 years old during the program and am prepared to take on the responsibilities of living away from home for five weeks. (Doing my own laundry, getting and / or cooking my own food on the weekends when the kitchen is closed, cleaning, managing my time to make it to classes / activities, abiding to rules, etc.)
I am able to commit to the program from July 2, 2024 to August 2, 2024.
Due to the immersive nature of Explore, we are unable to accommodate late arrivals, early departures, or other program interruptions.
I am prepared to share apartment living spaces and potentially have a roommate (there are double and single rooms allocated at random.)
I understand that to get around town there are limited transportation options.
Our program will arrange for transportation on group outings, but during free-time and weekends, getting around means non-vehicle transportation. (This is standard for small towns, but can be an adjustment if you’re used to the transportation options that big cities offer.)
With the help of my parent or guardian, I can arrange my transportation to and from Gaspé. (If you’re traveling to Gaspé by plane we plan to arrange a group rate for a flight from Montreal to Gaspé through a partnered airline. Our staff is not responsible for any flight changes, delays or other travel interruptions that might occur. Please refer directly to the airline in the event of an issue.)
I want to try new experiences and enjoy nature / outdoor activities!
WHAT TO EXPECT?
So you've read through our check list and decided this program is for you. Explore takes course over 5 weeks. During this time you will be expected to speak in French and abide by the rules.
Lodging is through Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles : Gaspé Campus. Virtual tours can be found on their website listed below:
(Note: Washers and dryers are available at a cost of $1.50 per use with change available on location.
1. The participant will be living in residence and will be responsible for his/her/their room key. Should the key be lost, the participant will have to pay a fee of $50 to replace it.
2. Keep apartment common area entryway doors locked at all times. No one outside of the Explore program is permitted in the apartments or resident areas.
3. When hosting guests (other Explore participants) in your room, you place a guest door hanger up, with the guest(s) name(s) written clearly in the allocated spaces. All roommates need to be informed and agree on who is hosted in their room beforehand. You are permitted to host guests during free time up until half an hour before curfew, at which time you are expected to be in your own apartment area.
4. Zero tolerance possession / consumption policy for cannabis and / or alcohol. Not abiding to this rule might result in expulsion from the program!
5. You must be in your apartment half an hour before curfew / and in your bed at Curfew. Curfew is at 10:30 p.m. From Sunday to Thursday and 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday: Curfew means you must be in your room.
6. Quiet Hours are from 10:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 11:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday. During this time limit conversations and loud noises (such as hairdryers, speakers, etc.)
7. To enjoy Gaspé’s beautiful sunrise, the earliest you are permitted to leave your apartment is 4:30 a.m. and you must inform a staff member the night before. This privilege can be revoked.
8. You are expected to clean up after yourself. A cleaning schedule for general cleaning will be made upon arrival.
Here’s a sneak peak at what a typical week might look like for you. Everything except the optional activities is included in our programming.
*Subject to change
Language classes run in the mornings while the afternoons are dedicated to workshops and cultural activities. Breakfast, lunch and diner are provided on weekdays.
All meals are made on-site by our contracted chef, Monday to Friday (with the exception of the camping trip). Dietary restrictions or considerations are communicated with La Cité once registration fees are paid. Meals are not provided on weekends, but we allocate $25 per day to each participant to help with grocery costs, and / or ordering food. You’ll get to decide how to budget your funds.
Learning another language is hard, there’s no sugar coating that fact. This program is designed as an intensive immersion experience over the course of 5 weeks. Please note that the first few weeks can be especially hard for beginners, but it gets easier!
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed at first. To help adjust, we have a mental health professional on-site. Stick with the program and keep trying your best, you may find yourself wishing it wasn’t over by the end of the 5 weeks! Maybe you’ll even be dreaming in French by that point!
That said, the immersion aspect of the program falls apart when program facilitators take on the role of “language policing” – we cannot stress this enough: we don't want to be language policing! Participants must be as committed to talking in French as we are, even – and perhaps especially if it’s hard to do so.
Naturally there are instances in which speaking English would be appropriate:
Communicating with your friends and loved ones back home during free time / breaks.
Note: New friends made during the program don’t count. Fellow participants are reading the same document as you. Don’t be that person who switches to English the moment Explore staff are out of earshot – that person can end up being sent home – but more than that, it also defeats the purpose of going to Quebec in the first place. If you want to socialize in English during your summer there are plenty of other great summer programs that allow you to do so. Please do not ruin the immersion experience for others.
Expressing concerns (such as mental health, personal, learning difficulties, etc.) to a program facilitator.
Speaking with our mental health professional.
And of course whenever you don’t know how to say something in French you’re welcome to say “Comment dit-on __[insert english word or saying you don’t know in french yet here]__” – and don’t worry if you don’t even know how to say that yet! It’s one of our first lessons for our beginner classes!
The primary goal of our immersion program is to provide an environment where students actively enhance their French language skills. It is important to emphasize your active role in your own learning experience. The quality of your learning experience is directly related to the continued effort you choose to make and your willingness to speak French at all times.
You will be expected to communicate only in French throughout the five weeks. It is imperative that students who wish to hear French and practice speaking it at all times have the opportunity to do so. If you speak in a language other than French, this hinders other students’ progress as well as your own.
The Cégep also has a training facility Pavillon des sports Marcel-Bujold. Our partnership allows participants to have free access to their training room and pool (when surveillance is available)! Some of our activities will also be located in their gymnasium.
Gaspé offers unique scenery and is the perfect destination for any outdoor enthusiast. Our Explore program takes advantage of this unique landscape and we incorporate outdoor activities whenever possible. We expect students to participate to the best of their ability.
Behind the Cégep, there are hiking trails, lookout points, etc. An outdoor community running track is also only a short ways away.
What is the cost?
The bursary does not include:
Registration fee of $300 (non-refundable and payable only if you receive a bursary)
Reminder to Explore participants receiving a $2,800 bursary:
These funds go directly toward covering tuition fees for the courses, instructional materials, meals, accommodations, workshops, and other programming activities. We ensure that the funding for this unique learning opportunity is going toward students who genuinely want to learn and improve their French. In other words, students who will get the most out of what the Explore program offers. So please consider the amount of commitment and dedication involved before confirming your application.
Program fees of $2,800 (Covers: Tuition fees, textbooks, room and board and participation in all compulsory activities)
Registration fee of $300 (non-refundable)
Participants are divided into three class groups based on their placement test to ensure each student gets an educational experience tailored to their skill level. Beginners will be mastering basics while intermediate and more advanced level students can build on the knowledge they already have.
That’s not to say you’ll be stuck in the same classroom all day. Classes will merge for certain group projects, or a lesson will take place at a library or outside!
Cultural Activities (Activités culturelles)
Cultural activities is an umbrella term we use for social outings and activities. Everything from capture the flag, friendship bracelet making, an evening at the beach, trivia night, movie screenings, walking to the local ice cream shop, and so much more are on the table! Participants are encouraged to offer suggestions to plan these outings according to their interests.
CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE!
We have several optional activities available at an additional cost that are incorporated into our program. These activities are optional, though we encourage you to participate in all you can.
Come live the Mi'gmaq experience in Gaspé! Located on a promontory on the north shore of Gaspé Bay, backed by the mountain and a stone's throw from the forest, the Micmac Interpretation Site of Gespeg will help you discover our Nation from yesterday to today, its occupation of the Gaspé territory, its history and culture. You will understand to what extent our traditional and even contemporary way of life is intimately linked to water. People of the sea, the Micmac Nation has been alive for a thousand years!
Explore the Mi'gmaq universe through the interpretation center and its souvenir store as well as the faithful reconstruction of a traditional village and its summer camp as found in the 17th century. Rain or shine, live a unique experience on Mi'gmaq land in the presence of guides-interpreters and craftsmen members of the Nation. You will be able to appreciate our ancestral know-how as well as our contribution to the Gaspesian community.
MicMac workshop might be held at the CÉGEP.
Discover Gaspé’s beautiful trails on a bike! A fun afternoon to explore the region and enjoy nature. We will take easy trails so don’t worry! It will be accessible to everyone.
Water activities and sailing
This is one of our main activities and definitely a must to have the full Gaspé experience.
We have a great partnership with École de Voile le Cormoran. They offer our participants a unique 4-session program over the course of Explore. Students start by building on basic skills through canoeing and paddling before taking on the more technical skills required for sailing.
Sail boats, paddle boards, rabaska, drascombe and dinghies will be available. Everything you need to have fun in the water! Facilitators will be there to help you and show you how to use everything.
Camping – Forillon Park
It wouldn’t be a summer camp without a camping trip!
It will be a two-night/ three day camping trip that’s beginner friendly. If you’ve never pitched a tent don’t worry – we’re happy to teach you. If you’re an experienced camper, your skills will be appreciated by your peers. Our group campsite is in a field clearing at Aube Sur Mer. While not a wooded camping spot, the proximity to the ocean and low light pollution at night make it a memorable occasion.
We will provide everything you need for camping so don’t worry!
Sea kayaking will be available for the most adventurous!
- Participants build on basic manoeuvers
- This activity is during the 3-day camping trip
- Opportunity to visit seal colonies
Departure from magnificent Cap-aux-os
Musée de la Gaspésie
Everything you need to know about the history of this region! Guided tour and free time after to enjoy the museum at your own pace. VR headsets for a mind-blowing experience will be provided!
Cruise and Rocher Percé
A must! This trip includes 1-hour cruise, wildlife spotting and a walk on the Bonaventure island*.
*When conditions allow, cruises make a drop-off stop at Bonaventure Island National Park wharf.
The island offers several hiking trails and lookout spots, not to mention it is also home to the largest northern gannet colony in North America! Return trips to the mainland take approx. 15 mins and are offered periodically throughout the day.
Canyoning, Griffon Aventure’s signature summer activity offers you an unparalleled experience in Gaspésie. It’s like an outdoor waterpark designed by nature over thousands of years of natural erosion. Our guides will show you our exceptional site with emerald green pools, natural water slides, stunning waterfalls and much more! Discover a truly magical oasis in Gaspésie that you’ll never forget!
While you’re in Gaspé, there are other activities that you can partake in that are outside of our scheduled programming.
Local Restaurants & Cafés
Brise-Bise is a local restaurant that former students have enjoyed visiting. With varying menu options, you can try the catch of the day, a burger, salads, and more!
Another local gem to try is Paquebot Café. With specialty coffees, a unique spin on a London Fog (known as a Gaspé Fog!) as well as meal options available, this trendy café is a great place to visit.
If you’ve never been to an authentic boulangerie, you are in for a real treat! Fresh specialty breads are made in-store, with side options of soup and drinks!
& So Much More!
This list is far from all inclusive! You’ll have the chance to explore your own favourite places.
HOW DO I APPLY
We offer a limited number of spots. Only 45 students aged 16-17 years old will be able to participate. We want to ensure smaller class sizes to make it easier to form friendships and network with other learners. All applications are made through the The OLP (Explore, Destination Clic, and Odyssey) website:
Create your account and go through the application. You will be prompted to list your “top three locations”. Be sure to list our program La Cité universitaire francophone (Gaspé) among your top picks. Placing it as your number one pick will increase the likelihood of being one of the 45 participants selected for our program.
What happens once I’m accepted?
La Cité will contact you with the next steps. But here’s a brief overview of what to expect:
In late March to early April: you will be able to pay your Registration fees ($300) as well as fees for any optional activities you wish to partake in.
In early April: we will have information for transportation arrangements so you can coordinate your arrival and departure and potentially benefit our group discounts for flight bookings. Please note that La Cité only arranges group discounts and is not responsible for any flight changes or cancellations. In the event of travel issues, please contact the airline directly.
In early May: we will have a telephone interview (known as our “pre-test”)
Throughout June and July: La Cité will be in contact with you with any additional information you may need to know.
July: get packing! Explore starts July 2nd!
Explore runs July 2nd to August 2nd.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How many scholarship recipients are in the program?
45 scholarship recipients
How are the groups formed?
Based on the results of the pre-tests: the pre-test is conducted first by means of a telephone interview held in early May.
Are students housed in single or double rooms (shared with another student)?
Most students are housed in a single room. There are rooms that have to be shared by two people, which will be assigned randomly by the program coordinator. Each room includes a bed (single or double), a wardrobe and a desk. Bedding and two bath towels are provided.
Do students have access to a wireless Internet network in the residences?
Yes, there is a wireless network in the residence and the CÉGEP.
What is a typical week?
What is class schedule? There are 3.5 hours of class time each morning.
Over 5 weeks, what is the amount of time dedicated to excursions? Excursions are organized on weekends (see the document on optional activities).
How long are the excursions? The excursions are full days, except camping that is 3 full days.
Are there additional costs to participate in the excursions? Yes (see the document on optional activities).
How much free time do students have? Students have 2 hours of free time per days including some evenings that have been identified as free time.
How flexible is the free time? Can we leave the campus? Yes, it is possible to leave campus after lunch, before dinner, and before workshops and cultural activities, but not after 9 p.m. except on weekends. It is important to notify the person in charge before leaving campus.
What happens on weekends?
On weekends, free and fee-based activities are organized. Students may choose to participate or not. Note that all students must notify program leaders of their movements or plans for the day. Curfew (10:30 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday) remains in effect.
How important are outdoor activities in the program?
Gaspé is a town surrounded by nature, making it an ideal spot for outdoor activities. The program includes, among other things, an optional paid hours of sailing instruction and a camping weekend.
Students who choose the Explore program in Gaspé should be prepared for outdoor activities, no matter what the weather conditions. It is the student’s responsibility to bring clothing appropriate for variable temperatures as well as summer conditions: because of the proximity to the ocean, the weather can change quickly and it is sometimes cool (between 10°C and 30°C).
Do all students have access to a physical training room?
All students receive an access card for the college’s sports complex, which offers a variety of facilities including a pool, gym, training room, tennis court, etc. Although students can rent bicycles, they are invited to bring their own bike, skateboard or inline skates.
How do students get around in town?
The town of Gaspé is not very large. Downtown Gaspé is easily reached on foot.
Information on the Explore Bursary
Participants in Explore receive a $2,800 bursary that covers tuition fees for the courses, instructional materials, meals and accommodations, workshops, and other compulsory activities. Bursaries are awarded by random draw. The educational institution you will be attending will receive the bursary directly.
Click here to apply for a bursary or for a detailed outline of the registration requirements and application deadlines.
The bursary does not cover:
- Registration fee of $300 (non-refundable and payable only if you receive a bursary)
- Travel expenses
- Optional activities
- Personal expenses
- Program fees of $2,800 (Covers: Tuition fees, textbooks, room and board and participation in all compulsory activities)
- Registration fee of $300 (non-refundable)
- Travel expenses
- Optional activities
- Personal expenses
Transportation, Arrival & Departure
All students (both bursary and non-bursary) are responsible for their own travel expenses.
How to get to Gaspé:
- From your province to Montréal (choose your airline company)
- From Montréal to get to Gaspé we will plan to have a group discount rate availible. Information TBA
- Arrivals and departures everyday
Orlean Express (Quebec)
Greyhound (Ontario and Western Canada)
If you are coming from Western Canada or Ontario with Greyhound, you will automatically end your trip at Montréal. You need to purchase another ticket with Orlean Express to travel from Montreal to Gaspé. Orlean Express is the only bus company that offers the transit between those two cities.
Arrival and Departure
Participants should plan to arrive in Gaspé for July 2nd. Staff will be on hand to welcome you at the airport and at the residence.
The program ends on August 2nd at noon. You are required to participate in all compulsory program activities until the end of the program.
The residence is right on the Gaspé Campus. Residence housing is located near all services, including banks, pharmacies, supermarkets, cinema, convenience stores, shopping centres, etc. All students will stay at the residence. Most students will be accommodated in single rooms, while other students will be accommodated in twin-bedded rooms. The rooms are assigned randomly.
Students have their three meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) in the Cégep cafeteria. The cafeteria staff makes every effort (within reasonable limits) to accommodate special dietary needs or allergies, but you must provide this information in your registration form. If you require a particular food item, you may want to bring a supply with you.
On weekends, students receive $25 per day to purchase their meals or buy their own food to cook in the residence kitchen. All the facilities are there to cook great healthy meals.
Please see a list of optional activities above.
Proof of Vaccination
Proof of vaccination is not mandatory.
For more information, please contact:
La Cité Universitaire Francophone