French-speaking university for a student from the U.S.?
May 19, 2009 9:36 PM   Subscribe

What are some universities which teach in French that a student from the U.S. should consider? (Especially in Quebec.)

I'm a high school student in the U.S. currently trying to figure out where I would like to go for college. I'm interested in going to a school in a French-speaking location and at a school where classes are taught in French. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions for places to consider, especially in Quebec (or New Brunswick?), from anyone who has attended one or knew someone who has.

posted by non-kneebiter to Education (6 answers total)
Montreal's Université de Montréal, Quebec City's Université Laval and the Université de Sherbrooke are all well regarded - you need to sift through their sites and see whether they have programs to interest you. The Université du Québec has major sites in Montreal, Quebec City, Trois-Rivières and other Quebec centres - dig around, they all have their own websites. UQÀM (the Montreal branch) has had pretty serious financial problems in recent years.

If you're seriously interested in plunging into French, pick a school outside Montreal. In Montreal it's all too easy to find yourself getting by in English outside school, which wouldn't be the case in Trois-Rivières or Chicoutimi.
posted by zadcat at 10:00 PM on May 19, 2009

Universite de Moncton
posted by pised at 11:09 PM on May 19, 2009

I would not recommend Unversite de Moncton.

The University of Montreal would be a fabulous experience. McGill also allows submissions in french, although I'm not sure to what degree or how helpful that would be to you.
posted by Grimble at 12:44 AM on May 20, 2009

If you're going to UdM or UQAM in montreal, and if you're mostly making friends through school, you'll be able to have a fairly french experience in a vibrant and student-friendly (cheap) city. There will definitely be english around, but you should be able, to a degree, to choose your level of immersion.

Mcgill wouldn't really be an option; while you can submit assignments in french, classes are generally in english.

You'll certainly be more immersed in Chicoutimi, but it will also be a /drastically/ different experience. I don't think I would personally enjoy it as much, but YMMV.
posted by cmyr at 3:22 AM on May 20, 2009

If you're a little hesitant about having all your classes in French, University of Ottawa is officially bilingual.

Except for certain programs, UdeM is considered a better school than UQAM. UQAM is more a francophone commuter school, while UdeM has more international and non-francophone students. This is not to say UQAM is a bad school, but it's a very different sort of feeling. Going to a French school, you'll probably be safe from ghettoizing yourself in English in Montreal.

Laval is also well respected.

All other schools (the other UQs, Moncton, Sainte-Anne) are in smaller towns, which may or may not be what you want.

Much of this depends on what you intend to study.
posted by jeather at 6:04 AM on May 20, 2009

I am familiar with all of these universities and cities, and the info presented above is on track from my perspective. You want to consider the courses, the student community and the location's culture as far as French language goes- one doesn't necessarily get you the others.

Ottawa is basically an English city, and UofO would give you access to a French community in that program.
It is easy to live in English or in French in Montreal. McGill is an English student culture, UQAM & UofM are both French student cultures.
Quebec city and Chicoutimi are French cities, with everything French.
Ste Anne and Moncton are smaller cities/towns and are bilingual.

So it depends how much French you want: just the courses, the student culture, or the city too.
posted by kch at 8:03 AM on May 20, 2009

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