About Québec City

Visually stunning Québec City, with a population of close to 700,000, combines the modern, urban dynamic of a North American city with the history and charm of a small European town. The narrow, winding streets of old Québec are very French in feel, and this area is full of open-air cafes, restaurants and shops. Old Québec is still encased by fortress walls and there are buildings here dating back to the 1600s. The Upper Town perches high on a cliff above the St. Lawrence river, while the Lower Town sits at the water’s edge, and the two are connected by a funicular. There are a number of historic sites, art galleries and museums in Québec City as well as many fine restaurants, parks and cultural venues. 95% of the population speak French as their first language although English is also widely spoken.

The Program

The Québec program is an exchange program offered through Hobart and William Smith Colleges in partnership with Université Laval, the oldest French-language university in North America. Université Laval has an enrollment of approximately 28,000 undergraduate and 10,000 graduate students, including nearly 4,000 international students from 90 countries. The campus is made up of over 50% wooded parkland, green space and athletic fields. There are pedestrian and bike paths for the warm, sunny days, as well as over 6 miles of underground walkways connecting the campus buildings for the cold winter months. Students can take courses in French language and culture offered through the École de Langues at a level determined by a placement exam. Students with very advanced linguistic ability may enroll in regular university classes and choose from among courses in many different departments and programs.


Click here for detailed course lists.

Academic Focus

This program will be of particular interest to students in French and Francophone studies, as well as those interested in developing French language skills.


This program is open to juniors and seniors in good academic and social standing who have a minimum GPA of 2.75. (Sophomores may be considered in exceptional cases). Students must have completed a minimum of one year of collegelevel French or equivalent before departure and must have at least a 3.0 in French. Exchange opportunities depend on the availability of slots at the host institution. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.


Students are housed in on-campus university residences alongside Québecois and other international students, providing an excellent opportunity to further develop language skills. The residences have common kitchen facilities where students may prepare their own meals or they may choose to have meals in various restaurants located around the campus.


The program at Laval is not a “study abroad program” in the traditional sense in that HWS students will be directly enrolled at the university. While there will not be excursions designed specifically for HWS students, staff at Laval can assist those planning their own travel. In addition, the university has an extremely active student union and international student office which plan a variety of educational and cultural activities in which all students are invited to participate (fees will vary). Independent and self-starting students will have a multitude of opportunities to immerse themselves in the local culture and to explore the province of Quebec and beyond.

Going Abroad With the CGE

Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester and an orientation program. No room or board charge is included: students will pay dorm fees directly to Université Laval and should plan to bring their board fee to cover meal expenses throughout the program. Additional expenses not covered include travel to Québec City, books and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel). Travel costs will vary depending on whether students fly or use ground transportation – we would estimate approximately $500 for most students. We estimate room fees at $1800-$2000, meals at $1500-$2000, and books at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1250 above and beyond meal and accommodation expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.


Application Deadline

  • This program is offered every semester.
  • Applications are available at the Center for Global Education.
  • Applications are due at the CGE office on a selected date in October (for Fall programs) and March (for Spring programs). For specific dates contact the CGE.

NOTE: This information is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.



Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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