Happy 400th Anniversary, Quebec City!

Quebec City is 400 years old! Quebec City was founded by French explorer Samuel de Champlain on July 3, 1608, making it one of the earliest established settlements in North America.

Some of you may know that I adore all things Quebec. The language, the food, the landscape. It’s just a great place. When or if David & I decide to leave France, Quebec is at the top of my list of places I want to live in. It’s a perfect combination of France and North America for me – it has all of the things I love about both.

I studied at Université Laval in Quebec City during the summer of 2003 in a special program for French as a Foreign Language. In fact, it somewhat served as my study abroad even though it was not technically “abroad” and I actually drove there from Flint. My best friend, Bradley, went with me and I mostly remember us just taking random funny photos all over campus and getting lost in the suburbs of Quebec City at midnight after hopping on the wrong bus. And we attended French classes everyday, of course!  Well, I did, at least…

Tunnels connect the various buildings on campus so you don’t have to walk outside in the winter. Or so you can play around with your camera after classes in the summer…

Most of the tunnels have beautiful murals painted on the walls, all done by university students.

On the St. Lawrence, the most recognizable building in Quebec City is the Château Frontenac, which is actually a hotel and not a real castle. It sure is pretty at night though, eh?

There seemed to be a new festival every weekend during the summer, so there was always something to do. And the ramparts around Old Quebec are still standing, so you can walk on top of them around the city. It’s also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Another reason to love Quebec City is the extremely low crime rate. NO murders were reported in 2007. As an American from the 3rd most dangerous city in the US, I find that amazing.

And just FYI, the Fête nationale du Québec, a.k.a. la St-Jean, is June 24 and not July 1st, which is the Fête nationale du Canada. There is a huge difference between the two!

More Changes in France as of July 1

France takes over the European Union Presidency until December 31. Public transportation gets slightly more expensive. SNCF tickets increase by 10 cents, while subway tickets in Paris now cost 1.60 € for a single ride or 11.40 € for a booklet of ten tickets. The monthly Carte Orange-Navigo also increases: Zones 1-2: 55.10 €; Zones […]

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Reminder for all drivers in France

As of tomorrow, July 1, it will be law to have a bright yellow vest and red triangle in your car at all times to use in case of emergencies. And remember to NOT keep the yellow vest in your trunk because you need to put it on before getting out of the car. The […]

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Adventures in Germany

I just returned from a wonderful week in Germany. Last Friday, I traveled through Switzerland on my way to Freiburg for the EWCA conference. Because the Euro Cup is being hosted in Switzerland & Austria, I saw many, many flags and soccer signs all over the place. My favorite was the huge soccer ball above […]

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From Annecy to Freiburg and back

The weather is Annecy is finally summer-like and I have to leave! I’m off to Freiburg, Germany, tomorrow (via Geneva and Basel) because I’m co-presenting at the European Writing Centers Association conference. I’ll be dazzling the audience with my knowledge on tutoring ESL students and explaining the different kinds of tutoring that goes on at […]

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Centre Hospitalier de la Région d’Annecy

The new hospital in Annecy, with the ridiculously long name of Centre Hospitalier de la Région d’Annecy, opened about two months ago. It’s located in the commune of Metz-Tessy, next to the airport, just north of Carrefour and the northern limit of Annecy. A few bus lines were re-routed to serve it, but for those […]

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Grammar Check – Subjunctive with espérer?

This was the top story on lefigaro.fr this afternoon: Les Bleus à quitte ou double contre l’Italie Pour éviter l’élimination, la France devra battre les Italiens, mardi soir, et espérer que la Roumanie ne fasse pas de même contre les Pays-Bas. Years of French grammar classes have drilled into my head that you should never […]

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Operation Escargot & Bac Philo

Truck drivers across France have been participating in “operation escargot” – driving very very slowly on highways and causing major traffic problems to protest against the high price of gasoline and diesel. Today the operation did not start until 9 AM because the drivers didn’t want to disturb the thousands of students (615,625!!) who were […]

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Learning French Slang

If you really want to become fluent in French, and be able to communicate easily with anyone, you need to learn slang. You don’t necessarily have to use it, but you must be able to understand it. Before I arrived in France, I had never studied French slang. I had only studied textbook French – […]

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PACSing and the right to a Carte de Séjour in France

I get a lot of e-mails about PACSing and Carte de Séjours in France, so I wanted to clear up some things. These two are completely separate from one another – the Tribunal d’Instance takes care of PACSing and the Préfecture takes care of the carte de séjour. If you ask the Tribunal about the […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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