Bienvenue au Québec!
Welcome to Quebec!
We hope that you’ll come to visit us in the land of 4 seasons, poutine, maple syrup and cultural eclecticism!
Background and History
Quebec was originally inhabited by Native Americans. Its natural richness attracted French traders in the 16th century, who started to form colonies and, eventually, two satellite cities – Montreal and Quebec City. The province of Quebec would later fall under Imperial English rule in the 18th century and gain a certain governmental independence in the 1960s. Today, Quebec provides a mishmash of cultures (from the Québécois, Anglophones and immigrants from the 4 corners of the world)
Having been active in both SCORE and SCOPE for many years now, our exchange programs are focused on providing internships upheld to North American standard while providing more relaxed after-hours. Our team of exchange officers, contact persons and IFMSA-Québec community is dedicated to making your experience in Québec a culturally and academically rich and enjoyable experience.
Québec's medical education system is different from the one of the rest of Canada.
Here, there are two paths available to get in medical school:
Path 1: After highschool, we have 2 years of CEGEP (Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel, sometimes known in English as a "General and Vocational College") before getting in university. It could be compared, to a certain extent, to a lycée in France. Upon graduation from CEGEP, we can apply for medical school, an option that Canadians from other provinces and American students do not have. If we get into medical school directly from there, a premed (preparatory) year is sometimes necessary to learn all relevant subjects traditionally taught in a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences. After that, we have 2 preclinical years followed by 2 clinical years (clerkship), then residency (2-5 years).
Path 2: Students may get in medical school after having completed a bachelor’s degree, a master’s, or even a doctorate. Students going through this path may skip the premed year if they have all the necessary prerequisites. It is also possible to have older students who have already been involved in the workforce to join us back in our ranks, albeit rare. They all follow the same courses as Path 1 after the premed year.
Quebec in general has a lot of lush evergreen forests and fresh water lakes for the avid hikes and campers. For those more interested in an urban experience, Montreal provides numerous festivals. Said festivals include the International Jazz Festival, les Francofolies, Osheaga, Ile Soniq, Heavy Montreal, and Just For Laughs. Another particularity of Montreal: many immigrants of the Baby Boom period settled in this city, which manifests itself in the form of cultural burrows and an impressive variety of food options. A trip to Montreal will undoubtedly inspire your inner foodie, and make you wonder whether the space-time-continuum opened up and plopped all the possible flavors of the universe in one place.
For those feeling homesick, Quebec City is often described as more-than-vaguely European. Many historical sites reside within the walls of the citadel, and whale watching is a fun activity for those who enjoy productively staring into the abyss. There are also many festivals going on in the summer in the city, and the city is located very close to the Jacques-Cartier National Park and to the Montmorency Falls, which are must-sees for nature lovers!
If you’re looking for a traditional university campus feel, Sherbrooke’s legendary bars and vibrant student population will keep you busy year round. You will also be extremely close (as in, right beside) a ski resort and beautiful mountains, so there is much to do there as well.
Our predominant culture is Québécois with undertones of all the cultural groups and the resident Anglophone population. Most people speak French, but not knowing how to communicate en français shouldn’t cause too many issues in the urban centers. We tend to be very eager to meet new people, especially from foreign countries. As you may have noticed from the text on this page, we’re also rather humorous (as long as you understand our humour).
In Quebec, it is normal to have an 15% tax on most products (which is not included on the price tag) and to tip around 15% whenever you go to a sit-down restaurant or bar.