By Amelia Payne (Game Programming ’21)
Let’s get this straight right off the bat. You DO NOT need to speak French to study in Montreal. Canada is a bilingual country and most people speak both languages. I’ve yet to meet a single person who doesn’t speak flawless English. That said, learning a few French phrases is a great idea because it will enhance your experience. In Montreal, a little French will take you a long way.
I decided to study French before coming to Montreal because I love learning languages but it is not necessary to do so. Once in Montreal, you can take Survival French or just survive without it.
If you do decide to study in advance, the school has some great online resources. I especially like Mango languages. It has a course on Quebec French and a very laid back approach. You use your Champlain login to get free unlimited access to Mango.
Montrealers are very laid back but they appreciate it when people make an effort to speak French. They won’t laugh at your American accent. Even if you immediately switch to English, starting a conversation with a few french words will be well received.