I began learning French at my small town school in Grade 4. As a student of core French, I would have never imagined that I could have benefited as much from learning French as I already have.
While studying Agriculture and French at the University of Saskatchewan, I had the opportunity to travel to Québec twice to participate in the Summer Language Bursary Program. My French language studies opened my eyes not only to Québec culture, but also to French literature, television, theatre and music from all over the world. After graduating from university, I received employment as an English monitor in Québec through the Official Language Monitor Program. I improved my French, but also expanded my knowledge of the English language and Saskatchewan culture. While living in Québec, I traveled extensively within Québec and four other provinces. Even though I loved Québec and all of the places I visited, my appreciation for Saskatchewan grew each day that I was away.
When I moved home last December, I was thrilled to find work in Saskatchewan that gave me the opportunity to use my French. Through my Young Canada Works internship, I was able to live and work in my home province while promoting French education and learning about Fransaskois culture. I have recently been able to combine both of my degrees by offering language classes for agronomists and translation services to agricultural companies.
Now that I am aware of the many challenges facing French educational opportunities in Saskatchewan, I am thankful that I learned French and can use it to encourage others that learning a second-language has both personal and professional benefits.