This semester I am fortunate enough to be living with two french-speaking students, Cindy and Carole. Cindy, a twenty-seven year old psychology major, is from the island of Guadalupe. Always singing, dancing around, and smiling, Cindy has taught me a lot about her culture, from music to cuisine. The upbeat music of Guadalupe certainly reflects her personality. After a long day of classes or work, it is great to come home to such a light-hearted person. Cindy knows English, but is eager to learn more, and I enjoy helping her as well. My other roommate, Carole, is a culinary major from Val-d’Or, Quebec. For only being eighteen, Carole has already done a lot in her life. Last year, she spent six months in Oxford, England at the EF International Language School studying English and the culture of England. Independent and responsible, I often feel like Carole is older than me. Carole is very fluent in English and she loves the language.
My experience at the UQAM dorms has been very valuable thus far. For example, simple tasks, like going to the grocery store, can become overwhelming when the cashier speaks to you in French. However, Cindy and Carole help me respond in French and understand the language. Even when going out at night, it is comforting to have a French speaking person with you. Indeed, I did not have room in my schedule to take a French class here, but Carole and Cindy have taught me a number of different, useful phrases to help me get around.
Ultimately, I have learned that, despite being different in age, and despite having a bit of a language barrier, my roommates and I still have a lot of commonalities. It has been a great opportunity to not only learn from them, but to also have them learn from me as well. We all get along so well, and I am very lucky to have them as roommates and as friends.
–Written by Kelsey Smith, Digital Media and Film major, Spring 2013