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