Return to this page often for updates and information about the upcoming immersion weekend.
Bienvenue à Blueberry Cove Camp! We are thrilled to announce that the annual French immersion weekend Le Français au Bord de la Mer has returned to its previous location at Blueberry Cove Camp in Tenants Harbor. UMA is the sponsor of the weekend, with support from the Maine AATF.
Here you will find information about the weekend, UMA student testimonials, and videos that showcase the various activities of the weekend. Registration and payment information will also be posted below closer to the event date.
“Le Français au Bord de la Mer” was held September 27 to 29, 2019, at Blueberry Cove Camp, in Tenants Harbor.
The Immersion Experience
Here is a series of videos filmed at Blueberry Cove Camp in 2013 with funding from Le Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques. You can get an idea of the natural beauty of the camp location and hear the participants speaking French! It is truly a supportive atmosphere where you can test your language skills and have fun.
Blueberry Cove Camp is in a beautiful, natural coastal Maine setting. There is a big lodge with a fully-equipped kitchen and a fireplace. Accommodations are rustic cabins with no heat, so a warm sleeping bag is a must!
This Year’s Theme
One of our aims is to explore together the rich diversity of the French-speaking world. Our theme this year is French North America, with a focus on French-Canadian, Acadian, and Franco-American culture, music, and food.
The French Immersion weekend is a gem of an experience for active students of the language, as well as for members of the larger Franco-American community here in Maine, or those simply wanting to practice the beautiful language of French [..] The facilitators of the event are all such wonderful, warm people who create a beautiful opportunity to dive in and take one’s own pursuit of French to a new level.
— Ashley Whittemore, UMA student and participant
During the immersion weekend, highly skilled and experienced volunteer instructors (many of whom are French teachers) will lead group activities and, all day on Saturday, give participants a choice of workshops targeting different levels. You will have the choice of either intermediate or advanced activities.
This video was filmed on-site at UMA. Instead of a weekend immersion, a one-day event was held in Fall 2018.
It will give you an idea of the types of activities we do during the weekend. It does not do justice, however, to the beauty of Blueberry Cove Camp (right next to the ocean!) or the comradeship that is built by cooking together and sharing a full weekend ensemble.
Every part of the weekend is designed to encourage conversation and develop participants’ abilities in spoken French. A puppet show, sports and games, theatre, music, preparing crêpes, and discussions about the Francophone world are all part of the mix of “hands-on” activities being planned. Instructors also hope to offer interactive performances by guest artists.
Event Sponsors and Staff
UMA wishes to thank the University of Maine for its generous in-kind contribution granting us the use of Blueberry Cove Camp for the weekend.
UMA French Professor Chelsea Ray and Julia Schulz are co-coordinators for the weekend. Julia Schulz co-founded the Penobscot Language School in Rockland and began the school’s first weekend immersion programs in 1991. This total immersion experience is a continuation of the successful Le Français au Bord de la Mer and Le français dans les bois that has run for nine years. The Maine Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French co-sponsors the weekend.
Staff will include native-speaking exchange students attending UMA from l’Université de Bretagne in Brest, France, who will share aspects of their daily lives as college students living in Western France.
Participants can expect to have fun and learn a lot as they practice French outside of the traditional classroom in a relaxed environment with instructors who are patient, experienced, and are doing what they love!
— Co-Coordinator Julia Schulz
This event is open to intermediate and advanced speakers of French, whether they are high school students, college/university students, French teachers, or interested community members who are seeking the challenge of a 100% French-speaking environment. Participants must be able to speak French for the entire weekend.
High school students should have completed two years of French study or equivalent and college students should have completed one year of French study or equivalent.
We encourage people who have grown up speaking French or have learned it outside the classroom to attend as well! We extend an especially warm welcome to local Franco-American participants.
If you are not sure if your level of French is appropriate for the weekend, please contact Julia Schulz at email@example.com.
Did you know? You can also earn one college credit and participate in the immersion weekend as a course. FRE 202 is offered at UMA and you can sign up by calling the Enrollment Services Center at 207-621-3185 or the Registrar’s Office at 207-621-3079 for assistance. More information on FRE 202 »
Fees are $125 for students and $165 for community members. This includes all meals and snacks, lodging, as well as all instruction and materials. Teachers will receive CEUs.
Scholarships for Teachers of all Levels and High School Students
French Immersion Weekend – “Le Français au Bord de la Mer”
University of Maine, Augusta, Maine
September 27 to 29, 2019
The Maine Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) is teaming up with French at UMA to offer “Le Français au Bord de la Mer” and is pleased to grant three full scholarships to attend the weekend immersion. (See below for additional sources of information on this exciting French immersion experience.)
• One FULL French Teacher scholarship – $165 value; CEUs available.
• Two FULL French High School Student scholarships – $125 value each.
* Teachers must be AATF-Maine Chapter members to qualify for the teacher scholarship. It is easy to become a member by signing up on the AATF National Chapter website.
How to Apply
French Teachers – Prepare a short paragraph including your name, contact information, and name of school. It should explain how you would use the immersion experience to enhance your teaching.
French Students (at the high school level) – Prepare a brief paragraph including your name, name of school, name of French teacher, contact information, and French level. It should describe your French studies.
Submit your application by the JULY 1, 2019 deadline, via email, to Nathalie Gorey, AATF (Maine) President, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications submitted after the JULY 1, 2019 deadline will only be considered if additional scholarships remain. APPLY SOON!
French at UMA Scholarships
For Immersion Weekend, September 27 to 29, 2019.
The French at UMA Scholarship Committee has scholarships available for UMA students only for the immersion weekend at Blueberry Cove Camp. Please write a paragraph on why you need the funding and what you hope to get out of the immersion day. The scholarship will cover $100 of the student fee. Students are responsible for paying the remaining $25 to Student Life at the UMA Augusta campus.
Please send a paragraph to Chelsea Ray at email@example.com and she will forward it to the committee. The deadline for applications is July 1st.
Applications received after that date may be considered if funds remain.
Up to 60 students and staff are expected to attend the French Immersion weekend. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to register early.
Registration forms and payment must be received by September 20th.
This event has passed. Keep an eye on this page for information about the 2020 French Immersion Weekend!
Cancellation policy: Cancellations received before September 13th, 2019 will be refunded 50% of the amount paid. After September 13th, 2019 there will be no refund.
Spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Spots cannot be held, so please reserve when you are ready!