Spontaneous music festivals, rushing waterfalls and bi-lingual donut stops: these were just a few of the highlights from Emily’s trip to Québec with ACIS Visit Canada! Learn more about her favorite moments and the reflections that traveling to a new country inspired.
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Emily Roberts. I attended High School in Wisconsin, where I studied AP French 5. I’m going to Emerson College in Boston for a degree in journalism and political communication in the fall.
2. When and where did you travel with ACIS?
I traveled to Canada, more specifically Montréal and Québec, in June of 2017. For me, it was the summer before my senior year of high school.
3.What made you interested in going on the trip?
After being enrolled in French class since middle school, I found myself eager to get out of the country and practice speaking with natives. Of course, France is still on my list of places to visit. That being said, I loved my experience in Canada. ACIS offers a cheaper, closer to home, yet still extremely enjoyable and enlightening French-speaking experience.
4. Looking back, what were your favorite or most memorable parts of your experience?
Luckily, my travel group found ourselves blocks away from the FrancoFolies music festival in Montréal. I will never forget being able to dance around with my friends to French and Québecois music while drinking ‘limonade’. Another favorite part of the trip revolves around the beauty of Montmorency Falls in Québec. Being able to get so close to a huge waterfall (so close that you get drenched from head to toe) is ingrained in my memory. There are so many minor experiences that I will never be able to forget, like using my French to order Tim Hortons, seeing an olympic synchronized swimming team practice, and even spotting a capybara in person at the Biodome.
Of course, being followed around by a professional film crew made us all feel like movie stars. It amazes me that there is an official video of our trip forever on the internet for prospective travelers to watch.
I have to give a shoutout to our Québec tour guide, Mister Simon Fortin. Simon made the last few days of our trip less bittersweet due to his sense of humor, pop-culture references, and general willingness to get to know us.
5. Did that trip change your perspective on the world, and if so, how?
My ACIS trip definitely changed my perspective on the world. Travel forces you to reach outside of your comfort zone. You might not always know a word on a menu or what a native dish is… and you might not always have internet to search the internet for help. Still, you learn and become a better, more well-rounded person because of it.
The United States has fierce patriotism, which I ignorantly thought was unmatched by any other country. That being said, I learned that the Québecois take strong pride in their values and traditions. I’ll never forget being told that they do not like being called Canadian. Experiences like that cause you to recognize that life isn’t always so black and white. There are variations.
6. Did that trip affect your interests or choices for what you hope to study when you get to college, and if so, how?
I have known I want to study journalism in college for years. However, my trip caused me to consider possibly minoring or even double-majoring in international relations. My trip also solidified that I want to continue on with French in the future. No matter where my future takes me, I am never going to leave my French in the dust.
7. Do you have a sense of what you hope to do in your career?
Ideally, I want to be a reporter and editor for a major publication in the future. I love piecing together the truth behind any event or person and exposing things as what they are. Journalism allows me to do exactly that. Hopefully a career in journalism will allow me to travel!
8. What message would you share with younger students who may or may not be considering pursuing traveling outside the US?
I strongly recommend traveling. With ACIS, family, friends…It doesn’t matter. Hopping around the United States is not the same as leaving the country. Other cultures cause you to examine your own life and what makes you tick as a person, which I find extremely valuable.