Explore Program | French Second Language (FSL) | May

Spring journée

Target audience

18 years and up
Canadian citizen or permanent resident *

*You might be eligible for the funded program or participate in the program at your own expense, depending on the situation.

More details in the admission requirements.

Levels available

All levels

Course type

Maximum of 12 to 16 participants


May 21 to June 21, 2024


150 hours
5 weeks

Teaching materials

Practical and interactive exercices

Explore program, is a Cross-Canadian program funded by Heritage Canada and coordinated by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC). Every year, university students across Canada are given the opportunity to participate in a five (5) week spring or summer Explore subsidy program, be it English or French as a second language, dispensed by accredited establishments, as the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).  

Explore program at UQAM | French Second Language (FSL)

FSL immersion at UQAM through this program is a truly enjoyable experience. Participants learn the French language, while discovering the warmth and culture of Quebec. They also take part in various educational activities designed to boost and strengthen language skills. Homework, although part of the Explore adventure, feels much less like work, when you also get to go on excursions to discover the heart and soul of Quebec’s cities. Our key strength lies in the excellence of our teaching team!  

What makes UQAM’s program special and unique? 

  • Theatre workshops 
  • Outdoor activities in two Montreal parks 
  • Exploration of Quebec’s French historical sites on the banks of the St. Lawrence River 
  • Pronunciation workshops 
  • Themed workshops focused on conversation 
  • Group outings in parks and public markets, which are conducive to spontaneous French conversation 

UQAM Explore program description

  • Explore program at UQAM is a five (5) week spring program lasting 150 hours.
  • Most activities take place during the day, Monday to Friday, with optional activities offered during weekends time slots.
  • Some compulsory activities might take place on weekends.
  • Most evenings are left to participants' discretion to enjoy Montreal festive environment.
  • Each cohort of students is made up of around 15 people.
  • Classes take place at UQAM’s main campus located in downtown Montreal.

French as a second language instruction in the morning  

Students take actively part in various activities and exercises designed to boost and strengthen their language skills, both written and oral, in real-life situations.  

The four (4) language skills used are:

  • Reading 
  • Writing 
  • Listening  
  • Speaking  

The emphasis is however placed on oral communication and the program focuses on an integrated global approach whereby all the language aspects are considered: 

  • Vocabulary 
  • Grammar 
  • Language functions  
  • Pronunciation 

By the end of this program, the participants have a better understanding and mastery of their language skills.  

They also gain a deeper understanding and knowledge of Montreal as well as Quebec and Canadian  societies as a whole.  

The teaching material is provided by UQAM. 

Communication workshops and educational outings in the afternoon  

Communication workshops are scheduled in class at the university or at different sites throughout the city.  

In addition to the educational activities, there are optional activities for which Explore participants (including unsubsidized participants) may register.  

Researches and assignments for the duration of the program 

Over the course of this program, participants are asked to do some assignments and researches. 


Although no credit is granted to the Explore program (both participants with or without governmental subsidy receive a certificate of participation and evaluation upon completion of this program.  


It is up to the participants to check with their home university whether or not the latter will acknowledge the UQAM Explore program. If so, a credit equivalence may apply.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for the program funded by Canadian Heritage and coordinated by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), you need :

  • To be 18 years of age on the first day of the program. 
  • To be a Canadian citizen or to have a permanent resident status in Canada. 
  • Have been a full-time student at a Canadian university for at least one (1) semester during the current academic year or have participated in the Odyssey program within the last two years.

You don't meet the CMEC admission requirements?

Please note that if you do not meet the eligibility criteria herein abovementioned, it is possible to sign up for this program and this, at your own expense.

Please see "Steps to sign up".

Steps to sign up

To register for the Explore program, participants have to complete the registration form directly on the Explore program website.  

Participants are selected through an impartial drawing lots done by the CMEC (not by the UQAM Non-Credit Language Courses).  More details.  

What to expect if selected by CMEC 

If you have been selected by the CMEC to participate in the Explore program at UQAM, the UQAM Explore program team will contact you by e-mail, officially confirming the governmental subsidy.

You will have 48 hours to respond to the UQAM Explore program team’s e-mail to accept or refuse the said subsidy.  

What to expect if you accept the subsidy   

If the candidate does accept the subsidy, the UQAM Explore program team will send him/her all the documents to complete and return to the UQAM Explore program team within 48 hours.  

The candidate will also have to provide his/her credit card information (Visa or MasterCard) to cover the $275 (taxes included) registration fee. This fee will not be reimbursed

In the event of a refusal or if the UQAM Explore program team does not hear from you within those 48 hours, your governmental subsidy will automatically be allotted to another applicant. 

Placement test 

Once the registration fees are paid, an online placement test will be sent to you by email before your arrival at UQAM.

Thereafter you will be streamed into one (1) of the six (6) instruction levels (from beginner to advanced level); the whole in accordance with your test results.

Details on the grant-funded program   

The governmental subsidy includes:

  • The tuition fees 
  • The learning material 
  • Various pre-paid cultural outings 

Additional expenses to be expected

  • Participants should budget approximately CAD $150 for optional weekend activities. It is strongly recommended to get some pocket money.
  • Bus/metro tickets are not included in the program. 

You don't meet the CMEC admission requirements?

You could enroll in the Explore program, without a government funding allowance.

Cost of the program without government allowance: CAD$3130 (subject to change)

Accomodation and meals at UQAM

This type of housing gives the opportunity to enjoy having a private bedroom within a shared-apartment (from 3 to 8 roommates) furnished and equipped.

Only Explore participants are grouped together in a same shared-apartment.

Time slot for arrival 

The Monday before the first day of the program (check-in 4:00 PM) 

Time slot for departure 

The Friday after the last day of the program (check-out 12:00 PM — noon) 

Extra nights accommodation  

Shall you wish to book extra nights before or after the Explore program, you must file your request personally to UQAM university residences on the following e-mail address: uqam-residence-rl@uqam.ca or uqam-residence-rs@uqam.ca.

Please ensure that the mention "Explore participant" is part of your reference on your application.

Private room furnishings:   

  • a desk 
  • a closet 
  • linens and towels. Linens are changed weekly. 

Furnishings in a shared apartment:  

  • a kitchen with a stove and one (1) or two (2) refrigerator(s) 
  • one or two bathrooms 
  • one or two toilets 
  • a large living area 

Also provided 

  • pans and cooking utensils
  • dishes and cutlery sets

Participants are responsible for keeping the area clean and tidy. Maid service is not available.

Additional services  

  • an access to laundry room at a minimal cost (at the participants'expenses) 
  • front desk reception and video surveillance 24 hours / 7 days 
  • Wi-Fi connection included 


All students receive a lump sum as a food allowance for the stay. Said amount will be handed in to students by cheque in the second week of the program. 

Students have the opportunity to cook in the residence and to visit many cafés and restaurants situated near the university and its residences. The cooking option is, of course, much more affordable! 

"Eating well made easy" website may help to cook creatively and healthy!  

Special needs 

  • Students having special needs (e.g. disability, severe food allergy, specific medical care) have to inform the host institution of their needs as soon as possible;
  • The institution will therefore do its best to accommodate him/her.

In this case, the student must specify his/her needs and, if applicable, provide supporting documents.

If the said institution is unable to provide the appropriate necessities, the Explore Provincial Coordinator will mandate another institution to best suit the applicants' special needs.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  1. Do I have to pay travel expenses to the educational institution? 

Yes. Students are required to pay and plan their travel to and from their host institution. Students have to take account of travel costs when applying. Any ticket needed to get around during free time, including a monthly bus pass, need to be paid for personally. 

  1. Are the activities, offered as part of the Explore program, free/included? 

Compulsory activities included in the program are free. A fee may be charged for optional weekend activities organized by the Explore host institution. 

  1. What does “learning materials are provided” mean? 

The learning materials including course textbooks, posters, audiovisual equipment, and exercise booklets used in class are provided (sometimes on loan) by the establishment. Students will need to provide items like pens, notebooks, folders and paper. It is recommended to have an English/French dictionary available at all times during the program. 

  1. If, for some reason, I do not complete the entire five-weeks program (withdrawal or dismissal), will I still receive a tax form? 

Yes as long as you are present at the begining of the program. The subsidy is deemed taxable income whether or not the candidate actually complete the full five-weeks program. 

  1. How can I inform the host educational institution of my special needs? 

A student with special needs (e.g. disability, severe food allergy, specific medical care) must inform the host institution of his/her needs as soon as possible; the institution will therefore do its best to accommodate him/her. In this case, he/she must specify his/her needs and, if applicable, provide supporting documents.

(e.g. medical certificate, description of the specific limitations resulting from the participant state of health). Please send an e-mail to explore@uqam.ca or call us at +1 514 987 3000, extension 5621.

If the said institution is unable to provide the appropriate necessities, the Explore Provincial Coordinator will mandate another institution to best suit your special needs.

  1. What are “special needs”? 

These are medical requirements or functional disabilities, not personal choices. For example, a strict dietary regimen due to illness (supported by a medical certificate) would be a special need, whereas declining to eat certain foods for religious, social, ecological, ethical or other reasons would be considered a personal choice.

  1. The Explore subsidy covers meals during my stay. What can I expect? 

Some institutions, as UQAM, provide a food budget to be spent by participants as they like. Said amount will be handed in to students by cheque in the program's second week. Participants also have the opportunity to cook in the residence and to visit many cafés and restaurants situated near the university and its residences. Without a doubt, the home cooking option is much more affordable!

All food expenses exceeding the allocated budget must be borne individually. 

8. What are the main informations to know about residences?

It is required that all students live together in the residences for the whole program to provide a more cohesive and immersive experience. About a week before the program starts, all students will receive an email stating which residence building they have been assigned to (Saint Urbain or René Lévesque). Rooms will be available for check-in from 4:00 PM on Monday May 20th (the check-out will be on June 21th).

9. What type of appartment could I have?

Residences apartments are gender mixed and range from 3 to 8 bedrooms. Rooms (randomly assigned) are private and lockable. The spaces to share are the living room, the kitchen and the bathroom(s). For any specific request for residences (gender mixed common spaces, specific accomodation etc.), please send an email to explore@uqam.ca.

10. Is there a language policy? 

Yes. All educational institutions participating in the Explore program apply a policy that has been approved by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) regarding the target language use during the whole program. Students are informed of that policy in writing before the program begins. If a student fails to respect the policy, he or she may be dismissed from the program.

As the main objective of the Explore governmental subsidy is to encourage participants across Canada to discover, improve and learn both Canada’s two official languages, all participants hosted at UQAM must speak french at all times. To achieve this specific goal, there is no other way than to move, smile, laugh, live and really enjoy a whole 5-week French-speaking life!

11. Further information 

For more information regarding the Explore program offered at UQAM Non-Credit Language Courses, do not hesitate to contact us. 

More information 
+1 514 987-3000, extension 5621 

If you meet all of CMEC's admission requirements, you must register on the Official Languages Programs | Explore website.

You don't meet the CMEC admission requirements?

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