Institut de Français, UBC à Québec

Join UBC Faculty of Education for a 19-day non-credit French summer institute in Quebec City.

The program is designed to meet the needs of all French second language teachers, both experienced teachers and those entering the profession, and is open to all levels of French second language speakers, from beginner to advanced.

Registration for the 2022 Institute is now full. Sign up for the waitlist!

A three-week immersion program for French language teachers in the heart of Quebec City!

Joignez-vous à nous pour explorer la vieille ville avec des enseignant·es de français de partout au Canada!

A unique French language immersion program situated in the historic setting of les Plaines d’Abraham in the heart of Quebec City!


Join UBC Faculty of Education in a non-credit immersion program in the heart of Quebec City. The program is designed to respond to the needs of all French second language teachers, both experienced teachers and those just entering the profession. The institute welcomes all levels of French speakers, from beginner to advanced.

This program is intended for school teachers and administrators interested in further developing their knowledge and teaching of French language and culture within a francophone setting.

Morning classes, additional afternoon workshops, and cultural activities are geared toward improving teachers’ ability to converse in French and model how to translate the authentic experiences with Quebec culture into engaging and usable teaching resources. Communicative-based methods and differentiated instruction are used to encourage active student participation. Taking part in visits and activities within the community are an integral part of the program.

As the program is delivered entirely in French, participants are encouraged to arrive with some basic understanding of the language and to make every effort to interact with others during the program’s daily activities inside and outside of class.

Participants are expected to have a reasonable level of fitness as the Institute includes numerous field trips into the City of Quebec and surrounding areas.


Scheduled Classes and Workshops:

    • Differentiated learning centered around content and language integrated approaches
    • Indigenous perspectives and ways of learning
    • La francophonie and intercultural learning
    • Workshops with local facilitators
    • Museum expositions, excursions, and historical walks

The program is offered during the Quebec City Summer Festival featuring street musicians, concerts, plays, and many other cultural activities.

BURSARY for BC Teachers

BC teachers who speak French as an additional language are eligible for a Canadian Heritage bursary.


The Quebec City Summer Festival, the first of its kind in North America, has put on hundreds of varied shows and concerts, making it Canada’s biggest outdoor artistic event. The festival offers more than 300 shows playing on five different stages during its 11 day run. Festival wrist bands offer admission to all the outdoor shows and concerts can be purchased on the Internet. If you are interested in attending the festival during your stay in Quebec be sure to get your ticket well in advance.

For more information, visit:

In 2016 the Institut de Français, UBC à Québec celebrated its 25th anniversary in Quebec City. It was also the 40th anniversary of the Institute which started as an initiative of the BC Ministry of Education in 1976.

The first six Institutes were run by small groups of teachers who received block funding. At that time, UBC was offering its own non-funded summer program for teachers in collaboration with Université de Montréal. Participants spent one week at UBC before going to l’Université de Montréal for three weeks. The program was successful and, when proposed as a possible model for the Institute, received the enthusiastic support of the Ministry.

The first Institut de Français, UBC à Montréal took place in 1984 and offered three different streams: for Core-French teachers, for French Immersion teachers, and for Programme-Cadre teachers (today Conseil Scolaire Francophone). That year, 145 BC teachers participated in the program. The Institute consisted of equal numbers of UBC instructors and Université de Montréal instructors. The Institute ran successfully for a number of years, and was then reduced to three weeks (without a stay at UBC).

The program moved to Quebec City in 1990, where it was first hosted at the CÉGEP of Cap-Rouge and the following year in a community centre in Vieux Québec in Quebec’s historic centre.

In the fall of 1991, the Institute was relocated to the Collège Mérici which, at the time, was run by a religious congregation and teaching local students. UBC had finally found a home for its Institute in Quebec City in close proximity to the historic sights of la vieille ville.

After many years under the direction of UBC’s Continuing Studies, the Institute is now under the supervision of the Department Language and Literacy Education and administered by the Department of Professional Development and Community Engagement in UBC’s Faculty of Education. The program has recently undergone considerable revision to align with new curricular priorities in British Columbia, including intercultural learning, a focus on interdisciplinary, project-based and place-based teaching approaches, and the integration of Indigenous perspectives and ways of learning through consultation with Indigenous educators.

The Institut de Français, UBC à Québec demonstrates UBC’s commitment to promote professional development for French second language teachers by supporting their continued language and cultural development with an emphasis on pedagogy and instructional practices. The long-standing history of the Institut de Français, UBC à Québec clearly shows that a successful program can last well over a quarter century without losing its vibrancy. The hundreds of teachers who have attended the Institute can attest to the continuing welcome at College Mérici and the care and enthusiasm of the UBC instructors who offer such an exceptional program.


It was a wonderful three weeks. Very well organized and educational. Amazing outings. An all around unforgettable experience with wonderful staff, including the kitchen and office staff at Mérici. We were so warmly welcomed, everything was so well organized. The location of Mérici was fabulous for accessing downtown and festival d’été.  All around I would highly recommend this program and would like to come back sometime. I have participated in several other teacher summer programs, and this was by far the best. Merci !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

- Sharon Kirk, Winnipeg


This summer I had two goals: travel to an exciting city and attend a French language institute. I googled “French camp for teachers” to see where other Canadian FSL teachers go to polish their language skills. I noticed a three-week institute in Quebec City offered through the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) French Centre. This institute invites teachers from BC, across Canada and the United States, to meet in this historical and unforgettable city to improve language skills and immerse in a Francophone community! I decided to attend their institute so I could meet other teachers from across Canada and learn in a city I love!

What made UBC’s institute truly unique was its location. Housed for the last 25 years at Mérici College (located next to The Battlefields Park and the Plains of Abraham), this location puts participants in the heart of Quebec City. Surrounding the college is a thriving community of professionals, families and small businesses. My daily routine to get groceries or a morning coffee gave me a chance to meet local residents, immerse quickly in my new surroundings, and start communicating entirely in French. What an adventure!

The program was outstanding. The teaching staff provided an excellent curriculum and schedule of events that included a blend of classroom instruction, cultural lessons, songs, dance, improvisation, outings, celebrations, and French film. Not limited to the classroom, we were transported to Quebec’s most beautiful scenic/historical areas. We visited Quebec’s oldest churches; toured a provincial museum housing Quebec’s best artists; celebrated the maple syrup trade and traditions of the Quebecois; took in Montmorency Falls; and, completed a treasure hunt through Quebec’s oldest business districts. There was never a dull moment. We were promised an immersion of the language and culture and we got it.

On a personal note, it was also nice to find some time on my own after a long school year. During down time, many participants took in the 10-day summer music festival (Festival d’été du Québec – FÉQ). It was surreal to have attended so many concerts including Sheryl Crow, Sting/Peter Gabriel, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Duran Duran, and Francophone bands like Coeur de Pirate! No one could be found in their apartments in the evenings: you were out or enjoying the “5 à 7” hosted outside the dorms by participants and program teachers. It was magical.

In the end, I returned home with a number of new approaches and fun activities for FSL teachers in my school. Having a chance to meet and live with teachers from all over the country was unique and special. This program did more than meet my professional interests and goals - it re-energized and re-ignited my love of French language and culture. I left feeling on top of the world!

Now that’s great summer PD.

- Lori Thompson, Fredericton High School


La Joie de vivre et d’étudier au Québec!

Comments from previous participants of the UBC Institut de Francais.


I just wanted to let you know how much I thoroughly enjoyed, and profited from, my attendance at the Institute. I have attended a lot of training courses and language classes over the years, and I thought your team was made up of some of the best instructors I’ve ever had. Not only were they extremely patient and knowledgeable, but the creativity they demonstrated in the lesson plans was remarkable. I spent most of my class time with Stephanie and Myriam, both of whom are extraordinary instructors. I also benefitted from classes with Marie and Carl, equally gifted instructors. In addition, the organization and exuberance Johanne contributed made this a wonderful three-week experience.

The staff, teachers + participants were great. It surpassed my expectations, and this experience will be one that I won’t forget. I was impressed by how well organized everything was. The classes were fun + the teachers were so helpful. The excursions were fun. I feel like I learned a lot by participating in them. I was also impressed by the variety of activities, as well as the free time given to us to explore + immerse ourselves in the beautiful Quebec culture!

Having the opportunity to connect with colleagues was one of the strengths of the program. The “free” time was often the most valuable time to share ideas. The caliber of the participants and their patience and willingness to help and correct was amazing… The enthusiasm of the instructors was also great, did they ever rest? I liked how they mingled with the students no matter the level.

Coming into the program, my main goal was oral comprehension. I really wanted to be more at ease and more confident with understanding when others spoke French. Although I still have a long way to go, I am comfortable and confident and eager to use my newly acquired skills.

The combination of class and the many cultural activities (such as traditional dance, food and music) made the experience extremely valuable. It gave us a passion for “all things French” that we can pass on to our students.

I was expecting classes but not all the extra activities: meals, films, tours, etc. This was a fantastic experience. I felt as much a tourist as a student. The music festival allowed me to go to some incredible concerts. I kept pinching myself to make sure I was really there – to be mindful of and grateful for this wonderful experience.

I think my personal goal to improve my comprehension + oral skills has been exceeded. The immersion in French culture + language has me thinking and dreaming in French! The transition back to English is strange.

We were taught as we would teach our own classes. I just wish it was such a small class size at my own school.

This program exceeded my expectations! I was thoroughly impressed by the teachers’ level of skills while teaching and the care they took to assist everyone. I was never bored or too overwhelmed. I can’t say enough about how well the program was organized and that the activities were varied and balanced. Merci beaucoup!

Based on previous experiences, the course was quite different from others I have taken. I appreciated interactive and communicative classes. It took me a while to recognize and appreciate this approach.

Teachers were disciplined, passionate and focused. At the same time they were welcoming, supportive, encouraging and fun. Their love of the French language and their dedication to teaching was always apparent.

UBC has an incredibly dynamic teaching team that appears to work seamlessly in teaching French. I found the team approach to be refreshing (as opposed to a single teacher approach), and the change of focus and personalities seemed to revitalize the class every day.

The friendliness and professionalism of staff, profs, classmates + the Quebecois. It was such a privilege to participate in this program… I came for my students but ended up enjoying / profiting for myself.

Multi-level Language Teaching

During the program, participants undergo an initial language assessment to be placed into one of several group levels according to their language expertise. Language classes have participants of varying skills and levels which work to everyone’s advantage and is a more authentic representation of real-world language use. All levels are either taught by individual instructors or team-taught (with one instructor teaching 1 level in the morning and the other level in the afternoon). Our instructors approach language teaching using differentiated/multi-level instruction to address the range of language abilities and needs in each class.

The language classes are designed to improve participant’s language and intercultural competencies while maintaining an orientation on teaching strategies. This allows participants to develop their language expertise while learning how to apply this new knowledge in their own classrooms.

Morning classes concentrate on developing comprehension and speaking skills, as instructors model various aspects of communicative language teaching. Authentic activities are presented to encourage active student participation through the use of media, multi-modal texts, role-playing and interaction with guest speakers. Afternoon classes include workshops on a specialized topic or other cultural activities while evening and weekend excursions offer memorable cultural opportunities and a great way of connecting with colleagues and establishing long-term friendships.

The program is offered during the Quebec City Summer Festival and participants can enjoy the Festival’s many cultural activities, from street musicians, concerts and plays to parades and fireworks on the St. Lawrence River.

Our Instructors

Our instructors are experienced language educators who are there to support and interact with participants both inside and outside of classtime, during mealtimes and cultural activities, making this a truly immersive language experience.


The Institut is located near les Plaines d’Abraham, and is within easy walking distance of all Quebec City attractions.


Participants should arrive by Sunday evening, prior to the first of the day of the program and are expected to attend the Welcome event on Monday and orientation on Tuesday morning beginning at 9:00 am at the Residences de l’Université du Québec.

Arrival and Program Times for 2022:

  • Arrival: Sunday, July 3rd, 2022
  • Program Start: Tuesday, July 5th at 8:30 am
  • Program End: Friday, July 22th at 3:00 pm.

Participants are highly encouraged to take advantage of their stay in Quebec City by arriving several days earlier or adding a few extra days after the end of the program in Quebec City.

To inquire about other accommodation options at the Résidences before or after the Institut de Français, please see the “Travel and Accommodation” Tab.


Single occupancy accommodation at  the Residences de l’Université du Québec. for 19 nights (July 3-22, departing July 22) is included in the cost of the program.

Spouses and children cannot be accommodated during the program but are welcome to join participants before or after the program in shared accommodation at the Collège.

Other Accommodation in Québec

Please note: Participants must arrive on Sunday, July 3rd. Classes will begin on Tuesday morning, July 5th. Classes on the last day of the program, Friday July 22nd, will end in the early afternoon. Participants should not book return flights before Friday evening.

If you wish to arrive earlier in Quebec or stay after the Institute is finished, you are responsible for your own accommodations in Québec City. The Résidences offer accommodation outside the institute dates. Participants are responsible for booking any other accommodation on their own. Once you have registered in the program you will have an opportunity to book extra nights directly with the Résidences or elsewhere.


Lunches and morning snacks are provided on weekdays, while breakfasts and dinners are the participant’s responsibility. Dinners are available for purchase for take-out. Efforts will be made to accommodate dietary allergies and restrictions. Participants with multiple dietary restrictions may need to supplement meals as required.

Travel & Transportation

Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation to Quebec and to the Résidences upon arrival.


From Jean Lesage Airport it’s 30 minutes by taxi, for a flat rate of $ 35 + tip.
From the Gare du Palais, calculate 5 minutes by taxi or 10 minutes by walk.
If you are in a car, take Charest East.

Address of Résidences:

Building Sainte-Hélène: 575, rue Sainte-Hélène, Québec City, G1K 9M4 – Apartment X

The total cost of the program is $4200 + GST which includes a non-refundable $300 registration fee.

Please note that the program is delivered entirely in French and it is therefore recommended that teacher-participants arrive with a basic understanding of the language. Interactions in French with other participants, the instructors, and locals are an integral component of the program and participants are expected to actively participate.


In 2022, BC K-12 teachers who speak French as an additional language are eligible for a Canadian Heritage bursary of $2400.

NOTE: Teachers who have previously attended this institute are not eligible for the bursary again for the following three years.

There are a limited number of bursaries so applying early is encouraged to avoid disappointment!

Bursaries for this program are administered by the University of British Columbia.

Applicants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis based on receipt of the registration form and payment of fees.


Registration for the 2022 Institut de Français is full!

Sign Up for the Waitlist!

Cancellations & Refunds

  • Reminder: BC teachers who do not complete the program are ineligible for the Canadian Heritage bursary and will be responsible for payment of the full cost of the program.

If you would like to cancel your registration, you must submit the request by email:

  • Cancellations received on or before May 1, 2022 are eligible for a full refund, less the non-refundable $300 registration fee.
  • There is no refund available for cancellations received after May 1st.

The non-refundable registration fee of $300 is required with your application form.

All programs are subject to minimum enrolment. If the Institute is cancelled due to low enrolment, your registration fee will be refunded in full.

Travel:  We recommend you do not finalize your travel arrangements until the Institute is confirmed to run.  You should receive notification by early May.

Admission generally opens  in early November.  Bursaries for BC teachers are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Do not wait too long or you may miss out on a bursary.

Please submit the application form and non-refundable $300 registration fee online.

No. We require the application form and registration fee to be submitted online.

The program lasts 19 days. If you do not have to return home right away, you should consider prolonging your stay in Quebec City.

Program fees, including the non-refundable registration fee of $300, covers tuition, 19 nights accommodation, lunches from Monday to Friday, and all scheduled activities. The fee does not cover transportation to Quebec City nor within Québec, nor does it include breakfasts, dinners or weekend lunches.  The non-refundable registration fee is included in the total fee.

The Canadian Heritage bursary will cover a portion of the total program cost. Teachers from other provinces must pay the full cost of the program themselves. Canadian teachers from other provinces or territories may qualify for their own province or territory’s bursary programs and should first check with their School Board or Provincial Coordinator.

UBC awards the Canadian Heritage bursaries to BC teachers for this Institute on behalf of the French Education Branch of the BC Ministry of Education. Funding comes from the Government of Canada. You do not have to apply for the bursary yourself.

Canadian teachers from other provinces or territories may qualify for their own province or territory’s bursary programs and should first check with their School Board or Provincial Coordinator.

We will still accept your application and put you on a waiting list. Your $300 registration fee will be returned to you if a bursary does not become available and you are unable to pay the full cost of the program yourself.

Unfortunately not. Only BC teachers and teacher candidates, French program coordinators, Vice-Principals and Principals who are or will be involved with a French program can receive a bursary.

The Institute is a non-credit program.  Some districts will recognize the time and effort you spent learning French in Quebec. The program is equivalent to a 3-credit university course.

Yes, you can, as learning and using an additional language is a life-long endeavour. However, three summers must pass after you have attended UBC’s Institute in Quebec City before you can apply for it again (i.e. if you took the institute in 2015, the next institute you can attend with a bursary is in 2019). You cannot receive more than three bursaries for UBC’s Institute in Quebec City. Please remember that UBC offers other programs where you can qualify for a bursary and have a different French learning experience.

Yes. You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements.

You should plan to arrive in the evening of the day prior to the first of the day of the program. You are expected to attend the Welcome event on Monday at the Résidences.

You can leave in the early afternoon on the last Friday after classes are finished.

Life in Quebec City is relatively inexpensive. You will be tempted to eat at restaurants that offer tables d’hôte at a good price. Most of the activities offered by the “Festival d’été” are free once you have purchased your macaron (passport to the Festival).

Unfortunately not. The Institute will take up 120% of your time and energy!

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Avec la participation du gouvernement du Canada et du ministère de l’Éducation de la Colombie-Britannique.
With the participation of the Government of Canada and the Ministry of Education of British Columbia.