April 7, 2010

End of the semester...exams and summer plans (Summer Immersion at Université Sainte-Anne)

There comes a time in University where life is hectic and you don't have a lot of time to sit down and write about it. That time happens to be late March and early April. Last class is Friday and exams begin on Monday. Just about now it's hard to find free room at the library and there aren't many parties (even on south side). By now housing for next year has been decided: leases have been signed, rooms have been chosen and now there is one less excuse to procrastinate studying for finals. The weather has improved...although today its overcast and drizzling...in a way that reminds me of living on the West coast.

I'll leave you with advantage of being Canadian: government subsidies. By virtue of going to University and sending in an application, I've been offered (and have accepted) a bursary for a 5-week French immersion program at Université Sainte-Anne in Pointe-de-l'Église/Church Point, Nova Scotia. The University is the only French language University in the province, and one of two in the Maritimes (the other being Université de Moncton). If you've taken Maritime History you might know that Saint-Anne was created to educate Acadians and  that Church Point, Louisiana, in the heart Cajun country was named after Pointe-de-l'Église by Acadians who were violently deported from Nova Scotia during the Great Expulsion (Canadian history isn't all rainbows and lollipops) who eventually made it to that part of North America.

What is now the Explore Program was created after the passage of the Official Languages Act to promote student knowledge of both French and English. In effect, the government pays Universities and families throughout the country to help students learn the other official language. The details so a''re are provided below. If you're also going feel free to comment below or join the Facebook group.

University students and adults who wish to perfect their French can benefit from our 5-week French immersion session in the spring. The schedule is very similar to the summer session. Students from across Canada, the United States and overseas, come to study and have fun during our summer session.

A well trained professional staff of teachers and counsellors ensure that your stay is a pleasant one. Activities range from theme nights, excursions and whale-watching expeditions, to canoeing and golf—all in French of course. Students attend 6 credit-hour courses in the morning, have a workshop in the afternoon, and activities are planned for the remainder of the day and the weekend.

There is no time for boredom, and fun is guaranteed to be had by all who participate. Students must be at least 15 years of age to enrol in this program. Many adults participate in this program and are housed in separate residences.

What will my day look like
Mornings are devoted to two formal classes.
A mandatory workshop is held in the afternoon (workshop choices include outdoors activities, choir, dance, video, art, etc.). After the workshops, sports activities are organised for the residences.
There is a different social activity organised each night, ranging from musical groups performing on campus for our students to casino night, from the “Café théâtre" to our own special version of popular game shows.
During the weekends, various trips to the beach, whale watching, canoeing and trekking are organised.

French only rule
At the official opening of the session, you are asked to sign a pledge agreeing to speak French at all times during the program. As soon as the pledge is signed, the use of French is mandatory at all times. If a student is caught speaking English they will receive a warning. The third warning results in expulsion from the program.

All students live in residence on campus and take their meals at the University cafeteria. A room will automatically be reserved for you in residence. If you wish to arrive a day earlier than specified, you must let us know so we can ensure that your room will be ready.

Note: Students are placed in residence according to their age.

Placement tests
The program curriculum provides instruction at 8 levels of linguistic competence.
The appropriate level is determined by an oral and written test given on the first Monday of each session.

The 8 levels of linguistic competence:

Beginner 1
Beginner 2 Intermediate 1
Intermediate 2
Intermediate 3 Advanced 1
Advanced 2
Very Advanced

Students may transfer credits for courses successfully completed to other universities or high schools.
These credit transfers, however, depend on the individual institution and the choice of programs.

Students who successfully complete the 5-week spring or summer sessions will receive a certificate indicating their completed level of competency in French in addition to their transcript of marks.