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Free 5-week French or English immersion course for Canadian full-time students

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  • Apr 6th, 2012 12:10 am
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[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
May 7, 2007
75 posts
32 upvotes
Toronto

Free 5-week French or English immersion course for Canadian full-time students

Check this out guys. If you are a full-time student and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you qualify to take part in this 5-week French or English summer immersion program which includes food and lodging.

It's called the Explore program and has been around since the seventies but not many people seem know about it. Free to apply. The selection is run like a lottery and people can apply every year as long as they are still a full-time student for at least one semester of the school year.

Could be very interesting for students who want to beef up their second language skills and do something constructive during the summer.

Below is the official blurb in English and French from the program and the link to the Web site. Oh yeah...deadline to apply in February 28th, so get crackin' :D .

Are you looking for a spring or summer program to learn French? Do you want to discover another region of Canada while meeting new people? Go Explore!

Explore is a five-week intensive language-immersion course. You can take the course in the spring or summer, whichever you prefer. Participants in Explore receive a $2,000 bursary (taxable income) that covers tuition fees for the courses, instructional materials, meals and accommodations, workshops, and other mandatory activities.

Visit myexplore.ca for details. Hurry, the deadline to apply is February 28, 2012.
Click here now to apply!


Tu es à la recherche d’un programme de printemps ou d’été pour apprendre l’anglais? Tu veux découvrir une autre région du Canada tout en rencontrant de nouvelles personnes? Explore!

Explore est un cours d’immersion linguistique intensif d’une durée de cinq semaines. Tu peux y participer au printemps ou en été, selon ta préférence.

Les personnes qui participent à Explore reçoivent une bourse de 2000 $ (montant imposable) qui couvre les droits de scolarité pour les cours, le matériel didactique, les repas et l’hébergement, les ateliers et autres activités obligatoires.

Visite jexplore.ca pour plus d’information. Dépêche-toi, la date limite pour faire une demande est le 28 février, 2012. Clique ici pour faire ta demande!
13 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 14, 2008
1108 posts
120 upvotes
Ottawa
Sounds very interesting, thanks. Anyone know when this runs in the summer? Might conflict with my summer semester :( . Also, I hope they offer complete beginner French, the only thing I can say is "Bonjour!"
Jr. Member
Aug 31, 2010
183 posts
165 upvotes
Gunnerheadboy wrote:
Feb 5th, 2012 2:50 am
Sounds very interesting, thanks. Anyone know when this runs in the summer? Might conflict with my summer semester :( . Also, I hope they offer complete beginner French, the only thing I can say is "Bonjour!"
Check the website yourself that OP gave... there are different timelines for different institutions. Granted, you probably will have checked it out for yourself by the time you see this.
danielbonning wrote:
Feb 3rd, 2012 5:38 pm
Check this out guys. If you are a full-time student and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you qualify to take part in this 5-week French or English summer immersion program which includes food and lodging.

It's called the Explore program and has been around since the seventies but not many people seem know about it. Free to apply. The selection is run like a lottery and people can apply every year as long as they are still a full-time student for at least one semester of the school year.

Could be very interesting for students who want to beef up their second language skills and do something constructive during the summer.

Below is the official blurb in English and French from the program and the link to the Web site. Oh yeah...deadline to apply in February 28th, so get crackin' :D .

Are you looking for a spring or summer program to learn French? Do you want to discover another region of Canada while meeting new people? Go Explore!

Explore is a five-week intensive language-immersion course. You can take the course in the spring or summer, whichever you prefer. Participants in Explore receive a $2,000 bursary (taxable income) that covers tuition fees for the courses, instructional materials, meals and accommodations, workshops, and other mandatory activities.

Visit myexplore.ca for details. Hurry, the deadline to apply is February 28, 2012.
Click here now to apply!




Hahaha trust me, there are tons of people who are in the know of this program. Word spreads quickly, especially in urban centres like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and southern Ontario's Golden Horseshoe region, and this correlates directly with there being an unimaginably low chance of you being accepted into Explore.
Consider my personal experience: I applied to go on Explore in 2010 along with 4 others from my high school. None of us were accepted to participate in the program, let alone go to any of our preferred universities. Yes, we are from Toronto. Discouraged by this discovery, I did some research on student forums, and discovered the same situation for many other applicants.
The program guidelines promise that first timers will be accommodated as best as possible. Well, out of us 5, three of us were hopeful first-timers, including me.

Actually, my mom and I got in touch with the Ontario coordinator of the program at the time, Valerie Wesselius, to clarify that I was a first-time applicant and that I was still not accepted. She promised that I'd be accepted the next year. Well, the same result happened in 2011. Well, this time, the explanation was "the whole selection process is computerized." Okay, shift the blame entirely from human intervention, and you have loose threads that can only be left unanswered.

It's just too good to be true - pay just $150 in application fees (well, that was the amount back then at least) and get a good part of your summer taken care of, and learn French in a Francophone environment. Of course there are going to be droves of people who are interested in this steal of a deal. Slim pickings though.

My best advice to you is: prepare to not be accepted, and have other plans prepared for the summer. If all 5 of us were rejected in 2010, I expect the applicant rate of rejection to have increased exponentially since then.
Accordingly, Don't waste too much looking through each university's offerings for their Explore program when you're trying to decide on your three choices - if you don't make it, the research will all be for naught. From a first-person point of view here :facepalm:

Well, to those of you who haven't yet been discouraged from my experience, best of luck! I myself won't be wasting time all over again for the 2012 edition :)
[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
May 7, 2007
75 posts
32 upvotes
Toronto
Jennifer416 wrote:
Feb 5th, 2012 5:38 pm
Check the website yourself that OP gave... there are different timelines for different institutions. Granted, you probably will have checked it out for yourself by the time you see this.



Hahaha trust me, there are tons of people who are in the know of this program. Word spreads quickly, especially in urban centres like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and southern Ontario's Golden Horseshoe region, and this correlates directly with there being an unimaginably low chance of you being accepted into Explore.
Consider my personal experience: I applied to go on Explore in 2010 along with 4 others from my high school. None of us were accepted to participate in the program, let alone go to any of our preferred universities. Yes, we are from Toronto. Discouraged by this discovery, I did some research on student forums, and discovered the same situation for many other applicants.
The program guidelines promise that first timers will be accommodated as best as possible. Well, out of us 5, three of us were hopeful first-timers, including me.

Actually, my mom and I got in touch with the Ontario coordinator of the program at the time, Valerie Wesselius, to clarify that I was a first-time applicant and that I was still not accepted. She promised that I'd be accepted the next year. Well, the same result happened in 2011. Well, this time, the explanation was "the whole selection process is computerized." Okay, shift the blame entirely from human intervention, and you have loose threads that can only be left unanswered.

It's just too good to be true - pay just $150 in application fees (well, that was the amount back then at least) and get a good part of your summer taken care of, and learn French in a Francophone environment. Of course there are going to be droves of people who are interested in this steal of a deal. Slim pickings though.

My best advice to you is: prepare to not be accepted, and have other plans prepared for the summer. If all 5 of us were rejected in 2010, I expect the applicant rate of rejection to have increased exponentially since then.
Accordingly, Don't waste too much looking through each university's offerings for their Explore program when you're trying to decide on your three choices - if you don't make it, the research will all be for naught. From a first-person point of view here :facepalm:

Well, to those of you who haven't yet been discouraged from my experience, best of luck! I myself won't be wasting time all over again for the 2012 edition :)

Just to chime in and provide some clarification...

First - One thing that is not evident from the Web site but that people should remember is that a great deal of your chances of getting in depend on which courses you choose. Their lottery works according to supply and demand, so if everybody only picks a course in a big urban center, then of course you are competing with a ton of other people and your chances of getting in will be lower than those picking more remote courses as their first and second choice, etc.

Second - It is free, although the poster is right about the registration fee. That only applies IF you are selected to participate AND choose to do so. Now if they paid for your travel too, then THAT would be too good to be true :D .

Third - Last year, there were nearly 8000 participants who got in for both English and French. This is out of around 15000 eligible candidates, so do the math. The poster is of course right about not planning your summer around the program. It is after all a lottery but it only costs a stamp to send in your application. The thing about the student forums is that you are likely getting mostly people venting about not getting in. I know that some first-timers get missed because they are too limited in their choices or only qualify for a handful of courses if they are between 16 and 17 and consequently have lower chances but that shouldn't discourage anyone IMO. It seems that 2 of the poster's 4 friends did actually get in once before before, so why not give it a chance?

Fourth - Waste of time? I see tons of people filling out contests on RFD every day (I'm guilty :o ). For a potential $2000 bursary, I wouldn't say that you are wasting your time taking maybe 15 minutes to fill out application and then getting it signed by your school. The program is sponsored by Canadian Heritage in Ottawa, so it's not a fly-by-night operation.

Lastly - I personally know four people that got into the program during the last 5 years, one of which has done it twice. (To the poster - Picking a less popular course in a smaller town seems to work.) The chances of getting in are not unimaginably small. I know the program stats and two thirds of the people applying for French courses last year got in (a bit lower percentage-wise in Ontario but that's still damn good). This is info from the horse's mouth btw.

Anyway. Just thought it's a great opportunity. No harm in giving it a shot.

Cheers!
Newbie
May 8, 2008
98 posts
2 upvotes
I applied for spring 2010 for Vancouver which was my first choice and I must say that the experience was AMAZING !!!!!!!!!!
Well worth the try. All the monitors were friendly and cool not to mention all the students. So if you have the chance, don't let it go and apply!
Deal Addict
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Apr 15, 2007
1614 posts
71 upvotes
Applied for my first time in 2009 and got in. Many others were also first timers.

Some people just have better luck than others. Also, if you are picked but they cant accommodate you for your choices, they will offer you another school. They would not cross you off the list.
Newbie
Jan 15, 2012
5 posts
2 upvotes
TORONTO
I did this one with the UWO exchange to Trois Pistoles QC and was NOT surprised to find that a couple years after i did it someone sued UWO for the horrible conditions and food that were provided to students (http://gazette.uwo.ca/article.cfm?s ... cleID=1063) . The university ended up settling out of court- so.. let's leave it at that.
if you do this PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do a big city and not a small town!
flypretty wrote:
Feb 7th, 2012 8:53 am
Applied for my first time in 2009 and got in. Many others were also first timers.

Some people just have better luck than others. Also, if you are picked but they cant accommodate you for your choices, they will offer you another school. They would not cross you off the list.
Member
May 28, 2011
451 posts
298 upvotes
I applied for this, and I received an email yesterday, confirming that I've been selected for the program in Riviere du Loup, Quebec.

Oh, and I followed the advice of the guy who said to apply to the smaller town, which I did and I got in. (I live in Toronto,btw)

Thanks a lot OP, you made my summer a whole lot better !
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Apr 12, 2010
1723 posts
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Scarborough
Just received an email indicating that I got accepted to the Université de Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg. I'm new to this, so can someone please PM me some advice that I should know? I already read over the attachments and everything, but I can't seem to find anything about travelling fees. So I'm assuming I have to make my way there and back by myself, and I have to pay all the travel fees? Please answer this question, many thanks.
Member
May 28, 2011
451 posts
298 upvotes
The bursary does not cover your travelling fees, you have to handle to cost of getting there and coming back.
Also there is a $200 registration fee, and there might be an optional extra fee that you have to pay if you want to take part in any of the excursions offered, although I`m not sure which excursions are offered for you. I know I have whale watching + a 2 day Quebec city tour. =D
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Apr 12, 2010
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Pratzy wrote:
Apr 3rd, 2012 6:56 pm
The bursary does not cover your travelling fees, you have to handle to cost of getting there and coming back.
Also there is a $200 registration fee, and there might be an optional extra fee that you have to pay if you want to take part in any of the excursions offered, although I`m not sure which excursions are offered for you. I know I have whale watching + a 2 day Quebec city tour. =D

So what method of transportation are you taking? And do you know the estimated cost? I'm going to Winnipeg. And I think they mentioned an optional $125 extra fee for me. But it doesn't say optional, I think I have to pay that fee. And thanks for the information.
[OP]
Newbie
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May 7, 2007
75 posts
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Toronto
Pratzy wrote:
Apr 2nd, 2012 1:32 pm
I applied for this, and I received an email yesterday, confirming that I've been selected for the program in Riviere du Loup, Quebec.

Oh, and I followed the advice of the guy who said to apply to the smaller town, which I did and I got in. (I live in Toronto,btw)

Thanks a lot OP, you made my summer a whole lot better !

Awesome! That's great to hear :)
Member
May 28, 2011
451 posts
298 upvotes
Devotion wrote:
Apr 3rd, 2012 7:25 pm
So what method of transportation are you taking? And do you know the estimated cost? I'm going to Winnipeg. And I think they mentioned an optional $125 extra fee for me. But it doesn't say optional, I think I have to pay that fee. And thanks for the information.

VIA rail, probably will come up to $300 round trip. Might be a few hundred more if I wanted to take a flight, but I wont be in a hurry to reach, and I've never traveled through VIA rail before, so, train it is.

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