Nathan Parkerson

Upon arriving at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières you first go through the check in process where you get your room and apartment keys, read and sign that you acknowledge the ÉIF program rules.  You also get your weekly allowance check for your meals. There are some reception activities before you are required by the program rules to speak in French at all times for the duration of the program. You are given a placement test to see your level of French knowledge and to determine what class you will be in. The class meets every day from about 8:00 – 9:00 in the morning and lasts until noon. Twice a week, you have 2 ateliers following the class. Ateliers are workshops. The ateliers I had were Théâtre and Conversation.

On Wednesdays of each week, you have a mandatory meeting to inform you of the options you have for mandatory weekend trips outside UQTR. The first weekend we went to Centreville in Trois-Rivières and visited Moulin Seigneurial De Pointe-Du-Lac, which was a museum. The second weekend we visited Centreville in Québec City. The Centreville of both Trois-Rivières and Québec City resemble the experience of being in France. There are numerous cafés connected side-by-side on both sides of the street. Québec City was bigger and had really steep hill with several flights of stairs. The scenery in Québec City Centreville was amazing. The view of the river was like being in a luxury vacation spot. Downtown there were horses with carriages going by. After that we visited Le Park de la Chute-Montmorency, which is a waterfall park. I also, went kayaking in the second week. On Fridays of each week there are different themed parties. The first week the party was themed to be a beach party. The second week the party was themed to be Casino Night. These were just the themes of the parties. We didn't actually go to a beach or a casino. They were held on campus. At the Casino Night party we played various games.

The school cafeteria was opened for lunch and only on Monday – Friday. For breakfast you went to the café. For supper and weekends you had to get groceries from downtown and eat at cafés or restaurants during your off campus trips. There were opportunities to participate in athletics. That was optional, and it was sort of like going to the recreational center. I only went there once and played volleyball. They had other athletic sports you could play on curtain days.

On Sundays you could see French films being played in a room on campus. It was one movie a week. Since I was in the three-week program I only saw two of them.

Overall I enjoyed my time at UQTR. The only thing I didn't like was that dorm apartments didn't have the air conditioning units turned on. Believe it or not as far north as it is up there it still gets plenty of sun and is hot in summer. The U.V. index is high up there so be sure to get sunscreen. Other adjustments include the fact that the time zone there is an hour ahead of us here and they use military time.