I’m taking part in the EXPLORE French program. It’s offered at different locations all across Canada. I’m at the University of Quebec campus in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. And so, at the ripe ‘ol age of 32, I’m now a rez boy (residence boy) staying in dorm rooms & livin’ the (French) student life.
The thing about this city, like many in Quebec, is something that a lot of people can’t wrap their head around: yes, there are people here that speak French, but no English at all.
I think it’s completely fascinating and I think it’s sad that a bilingual country like Canada doesn’t embrace its (apparent) bilingualism as much as it should. So many young people in Quebec are completely bilingual, which opens up a wealth of opportunities for them. I’m completely jealous and in awe of their ability. But the majority of the rest of Canada is English-speaking with only a minor influence placed on French language acquisition.
And so here I am: tonight I go through the Countdown Ceremony where we’ll count down our last moments of being able to speak English. Afterward, for the next 5 weeks, we commit to speaking and living a French life in Trois-Rivieres.