Study Abroad offers trip to Quebec starting in 2020

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Glendale Community College’s French studies department has received college-level approval for their long-anticipated trip to Canada, happening in 2020.

Monica Casteñeda, GCC’s interim vice president of student affairs, and Leonar Carrasco, director of the international education program, signed off on the trip in an email Aug. 15.

The news comes as a sigh of relief for French professor and trip coordinator Dr. Belgica Quiros-Winemiller, who said there was originally a delay.

“Our administration wanted us to work in conjunction with the Mesa Community College Summer Study Abroad Program’s coordinator,” Quiros-Winemiller said. “Due to that, our administration and I decided to postpone the trip until 2020 to have more time to organize it and advertise.”

The proposal could have been denied this year, but Quiros-Winemiller said she was still “quite confident” about getting the necessary approvals.

The next step before the trip can happen is collecting the necessary approvals from the school at the district level, which is still in the works. Quiros-Winemiller said that the outcome is looking bright.

Quiros-Winemiller said she has been working with an experienced Canadian vendor, who has worked with professors in the U.S. for 20 years.

The educational excursion includes a 12-night stay in the Canadian province of Québec, where students will immerse themselves in the French-Canadian culture in Québec City and Montréal, applying their language skills against the backdrop of these two locations.

Students and faculty will also visit the Rue de Petit-Champlain, which, in 2014, won both the Grand Prize and People’s Choice Award as, “Canada’s Great Street, for its unique architecture and atmosphere,” according to Québec cité. Travelers can enjoy coffee at the famous Le Frontenac hotel, and even hope to see an underground city located in Montréal.

According to Quiros-Winemiller, Québec and Montréal are cheaper, cleaner, and much safer than Paris, yet offer the same opportunities for students to practice their French and still study abroad, bringing them one step closer to becoming global citizens.

When asked why she thought it was so necessary for her students to take this trip, Quiros-Winemiller cited a discussion piece regarding a 10-year study conducted on the 35 institutions within the University System of Georgia.

The results of the study showed students who studied in a foreign country performed better academically upon returning home and were found to have a higher graduation rate than students who never study internationally.

“When [the students] have a chance to travel abroad and practice the target language, they will learn linguistic survival skills that will highly increase their ability to speak,” Quiros-Winemiller said.

Quiros-Winemiller said that once this program gains more traction, it will be a catalyst for, “increasing awareness of foreign languages being taught in Arizona colleges.” Quiros-Winemiller said she wants to push students to further their language and culture studies through exciting study abroad opportunities.