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Frecker Programme - General Information

The Frecker Program is a one-semester immersion program in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. The program receives funding from the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador under the Federal-Provincial Agreement on Official Languages in Canada in the form of bursaries awarded to the program on behalf of accepted students. During the semester, students take a full university program of 5 MUN courses (15 credit hours) in French at the 2000 level and live with a French family. The program is supervised by a Director appointed by the Department of French and Spanish, and courses are taught by the Director and by the certified staff of the Francoforum a dedicated language training centre situated in the town of Saint-Pierre. Students who enjoy the Frecker Programme and who wish to return to Saint-Pierre may wish to consider the exchange program with the Lycée d'État. Memorial also has an agreement with the French Government whereby an assistant teaching position in the Lycée is offered to a student of Memorial University between January and June. The Lycée Exchange is of particular interest to those students who intend to teach in the immersion system.

Background

In 1973, Memorial University established the Institut Frecker in Saint-Pierre to provide a way for students of French to live in a French-speaking environment while furthering their French studies. The archdiocese of Saint-Pierre agreed to provide Memorial with the use of a small centrally-located building; the Institut, funded by the university and the federal government, operated there as part of Memorial's Department of French and Spanish until August 2000.

The Institut Frecker was named in honour of Dr. George Allen Frecker (1905-1979). Born in Saint-Pierre, he served as Minister of Education and of Intergovernmental Affairs, was a chancellor of Memorial and holder of many honorary doctoral degrees and other awards.

In August 2000, the building was returned to the archdiocese. An agreement was reached with the Conseil Général in Saint-Pierre to relocate our program, now known as the Programme Frecker, to the Francoforum, a modern building on the waterfront.

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The Francoforum

The Francoforum is a specialized language teaching facility owned and operated by the local government in Saint-Pierre, and provides a first-class setting for teaching and learning. It is staffed by professional French instructors overseen by a Director. The classrooms are bright and modern and the building itself is airy and spacious. Students in the Frecker Program have access to Internet connections, to a language laboratory, to a resource centre, and to study space. The building is made available during evenings and weekends to our students by arrangement with the Francoforum on a regular basis given sufficient demand.

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Location

A French overseas territory, the islands of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon lie approximately 25 km south of Fortune, off the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland. There is a daily ferry service from Fortune to Saint-Pierre from May until September; ferries run on an occasional or charter basis at other times of the year. Direct flights run three times weekly from St. John's and there are other regular flights from Halifax and Montréal. For more tourist information contact: Agence Régionale de Tourisme, BP 4274, 97500 Saint-Pierre & Miquelon (tel: 1-800-565-5118; tourisme@cheznoo.net ; www.st-pierre-et-miquelon.com ).

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Travel Arrangements

Travel arrangements for the Frecker Program are made by the Francoforum. Students reach the islands from St. John's on a direct 40-minute flight operated by Air Saint-Pierre.

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Accommodation

Accommodations for Frecker students are arranged by the Francoforum with French families in Saint-Pierre; normally two students share a room.

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Frequency and Duration of the Program

The program is currently offered in the Fall semester. Exams are written during the final week of classes but, as there is no mid-term break, students normally arrive back in St. John’s as on-campus students are starting to write final exams.

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The Courses

All courses offered are Memorial University Courses, taught by specialist teachers of French as a second language. The Director of the Frecker Programme, a member of the Department of French and Spanish, accompanies the group to Saint-Pierre and teaches two of the courses offered there.

The program includes the five courses from the department's 2000-level offerings: French 2100, 2101, 2300, 2601 or 2602 and 2900. This program is designed to give students the opportunity to progress at the fastest possible rate during their stay in Saint-Pierre.

After Frecker, students need only complete 3100 or 3101 to obtain a French Minor. French Majors need to complete French either 2601 or 2602, as well as third and fourth year courses.

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Other Program Activities

In addition to course work, the program includes a variety of other activities of the sort only possible in an immersion environment. In particular, there is an Atelier de chant with a local musician that allows students to explore both traditional and popular French song, and at the same time to improve their pronunciation and understanding of spoken French. French 2601 includes a theatre workshop which encourages students to immerse themselves in French texts and interpret them while improving their pronunciation and intonation.

Among other typical activities are excursions to l'île aux Marins, and to Miquelon-Langlade, cultural activities at the Centre Culturel, visits to local points of interest such as museums and workshops, films and visits by representatives of the various sectors of economic, cultural and administrative activity in Saint-Pierre and from other Francophone areas.

The Francoforum organizes regular sporting and socio-cultural activities, for example: "pétanque", "billiards", volleyball, handball, swimming, juggling, nature hikes, a Soirée bretonne "Crèpes et cidre" or a wine-tasting. Students are encouraged to participate in local activities. There are 2 gyms in Saint-Pierre, an excellent Karate Club and a step aerobics association. In previous years, students have played on local sports teams, including the basketball, team and formed their own team to compete in the local coed volleyball league. Other students with musical talents have performed in the local music scene.

If you have a particular talent or wish to volunteer, you should discuss this with the personnel of the Francoforum after arrival.

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Admission

The prerequisite for admission is successful completion of French 1502 with a minimum mark of 65% or permission of the Head of the Department, following written application. Selection for the program is on a competitive basis and takes into account both results in French courses and general university standing.

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Fees

The program’s operating costs are covered in part by funding from the Federal-Provincial Agreement on Official Languages in Canada and from Memorial University’s Faculty of Arts.

However, program participants are asked to contribute a program fee currently set at $2,000. The program fee, together with the government and university funding, covers all expenses except for spending money and individual extracurricular activities. Expenses covered include travel to and from Saint-Pierre, room and board, textbooks, cultural activities and excursions (other activities not related to the cultural program may be available at extra charge).

The program cost to each student is therefore the $2000 program fee plus tuition fees for 5 courses ($1275) for the full semester program. In addition, you will need to pay Student Union Fees and Student Insurance, but not the Recreation Fee.

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Use of French

All courses are taught in French. In order to derive the greatest possible benefit from the French-speaking milieu, students are encouraged to have as much social contact as possible with the people of Saint-Pierre. Students are required to use French at all times during their stay, and students who repeatedly violate this rule will be required to withdraw from the program. For more information see the Policies and Contract document (PDF).

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Benefits of a Three-month Stay in Saint-Pierre

Frecker accepts students from both the Core-French and the Immersion school systems and can help them in different ways.

Students from Core-French will find that immersion in a French-speaking environment helps them acquire oral accuracy and fluency, and confidence when both speaking and listening to French, while progressing to a higher level of writing skills.

Students from Immersion often have a number of errors "built into" their French. Exposure to continuous correct usage helps them correct these errors, improve their pronunciation and expand their vocabulary.

Experience over more than 40 years has proved that all students who apply themselves will soon attain a level of comprehension and expression enabling them to deal with almost any situation. You should be aware, though, that the first few weeks of the term can be quite demanding while students adjust to everyday life in French and to the different customs of a French community.

Roughly 2000 students from Newfoundland and Labrador and from other provinces have benefited from this program. Their semester in Saint-Pierre helped many of them on the road to becoming bilingual. In addition to being a rewarding linguistic experience, the program offers students the chance to broaden their cultural horizons and enhance their understanding of Newfoundland's French neighbors, while continuing to further their education at Memorial.

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Language Testing

A test is administered to students at the beginning and end of each program. Results are released prior to departure from Saint-Pierre along with a percentile indication of the progress made.

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Additional Information and Application

If you have any question, please contact the departmental office. Download the application form or pick one up at the departmental office.

Students should normally apply during the Winter Semester for the following Fall program.

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