The Immersion Program

Université Sainte-Anne is very well known for its French language immersion program. Each year people of all ages come here to learn to speak French. When students arrive, they sign a contract promising not to speak English for the duration of the program. There is a strict “Three strikes and you’re out” policy for those who don’t keep their promise. The program has multiple levels of instruction from beginner to advanced, as well as programs tailored specifically for teachers.

Immersion programs offer a combination of classroom time and workshop activities. Students in the P’tit Bois workshop practice their French while doing valuable volunteer work maintaining the university’s trails.

As part of their studies, students of the Immersion program can volunteer to participate in the P’tit Bois Workshop. Along with two instructors, they do all the maintenance needed for the trails, bridges and beach in the Petit Bois. They also plant and care for the flowerbeds on campus. You can recognize the student volunteers by their distinctive yellow Atélier du P’tit Bois t-shirts.

Zone markers
Le Petit Bois is divided into 19 districts. Green and yellow place name signs along the trails mark those 19 zones and help the student workers to find their way around the trails. (Photograph: Angel Flanagan)

You will see painted beach stones throughout Le Petit Bois. These were painted by grade-school students, ages 10 and up, from throughout Nova Scotia who attend Université Sainte-Anne’s Mini-Camp, a yearly one-week French language program.

The Gazebo
Climb the long stairway up to the Gazebo for a better view of the bay and the marsh. (Photograph: Angel Flanagan)

It was Jean-Douglas Comeau, the Dean of the Immersion Studies program, who decided to build a gazebo near the freshwater marsh. It is a beautiful open-air structure that is often used for music, theatre, yoga and exercise classes.  The gazebo is very photogenic, especially with the church and campus buildings in the distance. The lofty raised deck affords a sweeping panorama of Baie Sainte-Marie and the adjoining marsh. It is an excellent spot to enjoy beautiful sunsets and spectacular views of the night sky.

Guided daytime and night sky tours of Le Petit Bois are now available. Ask for details at the Visitor Information Centre in the Rendez-vous de la Baie or follow the link below for more information.

Guided Walks

For those interested in learning French as a second language, view the Université Sainte-Anne Immersion Program webpage:

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