French Club visits Montreal

December 13, 2023
Izzy Quam '25


On December 2, the Saint Michael’s French Club took a weekend trip to Montreal. It was a two-day, one night trip led by the three co-leaders of the French Club, Cito DeNegre ’24, Maddie Laquerre ’24, and Frank Loveland ’24. The group consisted of ten students and two instructors. Most of the students were French majors and minors. 

“I chose to go to Montreal for the weekend because I wanted to practice my Spanish in a bilingual setting, explore the city’s unique culture, try diverse cuisines, and enjoy the affordability of the experience,” Margeret Wilk ’25 said. Wilk is an Accounting and Business major and Spanish minor. “Plus, the added excitement of experiencing a different country for a brief escape made the decision even more enticing.”  

The first stop on the trip was the Montréal Biodôme. “[The Biodôme] consists of four distinct biospheres, each with its own climate conditions, habitat, and animals,” Peter Vantine said. Vantine is the Chair and Associate Professor of Classical and Modern Languages and Literature and accompanied students on the trip. Some of the animals in the Biodôme included capybara, tamarin, a sloth, a family of lynx, and arctic penguins.   

For Kathleen Dean ’26, who is an English major and Psychology and French minor, the Biodôme was her favorite part.  


I thought it was really amazing that Montreal used the infrastructure that was originally built for the Olympics for the creation of a Biodôme. Instead of letting it lay vacant and wasted, they used it for something meaningful and sustainable! Plus, seeing the cute little tamarins was awesome,” Dean said.

The group made their way across the Old Port, on foot and by subway. After dinner, they stopped by the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal before heading downtown to an outdoor Christmas market at the Place des Arts. The market consisted of food vendors and local artists selling holiday themed gifts.  

“The city was on elegant display, full of holiday lights and decorations,” Vantine said. 


On Sunday, the group had brunch before their activities. They split into groups to visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Mount Royal Park, or to do some shopping, explained Vantine. Then the group walked through the snowy city before heading back to campus to return in time for dinner.  

“My favorite part was when it began snowing as my friends and I were heading back home. Walking through the city streets was such a magical feeling as the snow fell down on us,” Wilk said. “We had a blast talking to everyone we met and taking pictures in front of the grand entrances of the shopping malls. Everything was decorated for the Christmas season, and I truly felt as if I was in a winter wonderland!”  

The short trip to Montreal provided an opportunity to practice their language skills. Vantine said, “It was a brief but memorable linguistic and cultural immersion.” 

 “I would definitely go again and certainly recommend it to others. Much of the trip was paid for by the French Club, which was super helpful!” Dean said. “The trip is a wonderful way to get away from campus (but it’s not too far), have some delicious food, practice French (if you want), and explore a beautiful city in another country!” 

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