Montréal is known for a lot of things: Céline Dion, the St. Lawrence River, snow, hockey, bagels … and French! The city’s French language and culture give it a unique charm, setting it apart from most major cities in North America. Learning French will allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture and it will open the door to a world of career opportunities.
What better excuse to take a break from the daily grind than to study a new language? Since French is the main language used by professionals in Greater Montréal, many companies offer lessons to their employees for free, some supported by the government. Ask your employer about the opportunities available at your office.
Universities offer a wide range of courses and programs for workers looking to improve their French. Université du Québec à Montréal, Université de Montréal and McGill University all offer French as a Second Language courses, while Concordia University has its Oui Can Help! program. Each of these programs includes specific courses (like oral conversation, scientific text comprehension and French for the business world) along with general language training.
After all that hard work, you won’t want to graduate without proof of your new French skills. Make sure that the school or program you sign up for is recognized by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration and can provide you with a certificate or diploma showing that you’ve reached the intermediate to advanced level in oral French. If you plan to settle permanently in Québec, you’ll need this certificate (among other things) when you apply for your Québec Selection Certificate, the first step in obtaining your permanent residency.