Out-of-province and international students struggling with French are greeting with open arms a university initiative to support students in their endeavours to improve their language skills.
Concordia University has developed a new bursary which is part of the Oui Can Help program to support students who wish to live in Quebec after their studies by improving their French language skills.
“I think the bursary is a great idea. It’s almost like saying thank you to students who take the time to learn French,” out-of-province student Leah Batstone said.
Batstone recently applied for a job and got cut off halfway through the interview because she couldn’t answer in French.
Out-of-province student Hilary Sinclair agreed. “I think the program is really important because it encourages students to learn the basic French skills that all Canadians should have,” she said.
“It sends the message that the university recognizes the effort it takes to learn a new language and is giving a great incentive to do so.”
The program will connect Concordia students with French-language resources at Concordia and in Montreal, with the aim of increasing their chances of attaining a part-time and full-time job in the city.
“Each winner will receive one bursary valued at $500 which will be paid directly to their student account at the university,” said university spokesperson Chris Mota. There are 100 bursaries up for grabs.
The bursaries are available to international and out-of-province students who are in good academic standing. These students must enroll in specific courses given by the university’s French department.
The program was founded through a financial contribution from the Quebec provincial government. The Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports is financing the bursaries through contributions from the Canada-Quebec Agreement for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction.
An Open to Question session on the topic takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 12 p.m. in EV 3.309.