Should I learn French to go to Canada on study visa?

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A number of students who are planning of going to Canada for their higher studies often ask this question.

Well. The quickest and straightforward answer is ‘No’. You don’t need to learn French to ‘get your student visa to Canada’ or to even reach there and study. But the real question is: “will a basic knowledge of French help me there in any way?”

The answer now is a big ‘YES’ . It will. How? Let’s see.
French language can help you in four different ways in Canada.

1. Get Job Quickly.

First of all, Canada, being predominantly a bilingual country, you will come across a mixture of English and French speaking residents. So, a somewhat good knowledge of French will land you in a job as quickly as possible. How? Most employers in Canada prefer to recruit candidates who can speak some French along with English communication skills. This is because their customers or clients consist of both English and French-speaking people.

For example, let’s suppose you got a job at a McDonald’s restaurant in some Canadian city. You can speak only English. Suddenly a French-speaking guy turns up, feeling real hungry.

He orders, ‘s’il vous plaît me procurer des tranches d’aplle’?
You’re unable to understand what he ordered so you feel like
‘what the hell was that!’

And if the customer doesn’t know English, your boss will lose that business. Do you think he will continue to keep  you further as his employee? Chances are remote. So, in order to avoid such embarrassing situations, I would strongly recommend that you learn some French before flying to Canada, even if you are going on a study visa.

2. Earn More Money.

We’ve already seen that Canada is a bilingual country. So, not only will French help you to find a job easily, but also will enable you to earn a handsome salary that your friends (who can speak only English) will feel jealous of you. The reason must already be clear to you from the previous point. Yes, as you are bilingual (who speak both English and French), you will be paid more dollars per hour, per day, per month… or whatever the frequency of your payment is going be. There is an acute shortage of bilingual waiters, salespersons, drivers, delivery boys, manual laborers etc in Canada.

3. Adaptation to Canadian environment.

Once you land in a foreign country, one of the most important things to become successful there is to make friends with the locals. You can make more friends and local contacts in Canada with your French-speaking skills, coupled with a good knowledge of spoken English. What more? You could even impress that cute French-speaking Canadian blonde girl or charming guy of your dream. All with a bit of French language magic!

Traveling around different places also enhances your knowledge and experience about a country. And Canada is no exception.
With your English communication skills, you can of course survive there but if you really want to get fully immersed in Canadian culture, a knowledge of spoken French will be of great help. This is particularly true if you want to explore the French-dominating parts of Canada, such as Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and so on. In certain such parts of the country, I have even come across people who hate to speak English or to help those who speak English to them! Extreme, huh? But it does happen at times!

4. Canadian PR (Permanent Residency)

Alright. You’re going to Canada to do your higher education. Great! But I’m quite sure that 99% of you are planning to eventually settle there. When it comes to getting PR, French could help you to speed up the process. (Not a mandatory requirement though.) This is particularly true in the case of those who want to be permanent residents in the French-speaking provinces, or those who are unable to get settled in the most popular provinces in the country.

Well now some of you might wonder:
Can’t I learn French after reaching in Canada?’

Of course you can. But with this hope in mind, many people land in Canada on student visa or work permit. Most of them end up having not enough time even to attend their college or do part-time work. Finding time to learn French often seems to be a daunting task along with your study, work and personal life in Canada. If you don’t think so, of course you can go on with the idea of learning French after reaching in Canada. Otherwise, it seems wise to make sure that you learn some French before you embark on your long-awaited Canadian adventure!

Happy learning!
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This blog was written by the French faculty at
Nova English & French Campus, Amritsar. To know more about our online and classroom French preparatory courses, click here or email us at novafrenchcampus@gmail.com