I am planning to go to Canada for a year after my A-level exams this summer. Basically, I want to stay in Québec in order to greatly improve my French (hopefully! ).
I will (most probably) apply for a Working Holiday Visa but I am not yet sure whether to do so on my own or with the help of a German organization. Do you think that their help (basically job offers and information about accomodation by SWAP offices during my stay) is worth about 400 Euro or can I get that organized on my own and save that money?
If I can make ends meet, I would like to do some voluntary social work as well, so I would not mind staying at a place for a few months. Which town would be a good place to stay and work for quite a while??? I do not need the big city, I think (coming from the countryside, I admit ) and Montréal it is not that francophone…. but I suppose it is much more difficult to find a job in smaller towns, isn't it? What about Québec Ville?
I think about staying in a Canadian host family for a while, as it is an ideal way to learn about the culture and not expensive. Unfortunately, I do not have any private contacts - do know how I could find one??
Ooops, sorry, it’s a whole lot of questions, I see – Merci beaucoup for all kinds of advice!!!
Try checking out Quebec's language-assistant program.
My boyfriend is from N. Ireland, and he was able to join through the British Council as part of his studies. But there are also students (and some non-students) from across Canada, the UK, Ireland and N. Ireland, France and Germany in the program, and each assistant is placed in a Quebec school for an entire school year.
It's one way to work here and still have time and money to travel around. Plus a lot of the schools are in more remote cities; I don't know of anyone who's been placed in Montreal.
Hope that helps!
I just noticed a link for a German site at the bottom of the Web page I sent you. That may be what you're looking for!
And Montreal is pretty bilingual, if you're worried about not learning French here!
Check out this webpage: http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/canadaeuropa/youth/
But be very fast dude cos Visas will run out pretty fast. I'd advise you to arrange yourself yours as soon as possible. I had to wait for 3 months to be able to apply again and now I finally have it. This has costed me 5000 euros spending on skipass, rent etc because I was not able to work.
Ow and no it's not worth it to spend 400 euros for kind off nothing. It's much more fun to arrange things yourself and not difficult at all. Just do some research on hostels etc in the area you want to go to. Local newspapers are good for finding a place to life. Good luck
Just to expand on Tsjebber's link to the Canadian Embassy in Germany: http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/canadaeuropa/germany/visa-internD-en.asp
This part of the website has all the possible work permit/visa programs for Germans wanting to work in Canada.
Ok, that said, Montreal is bilingual, but there are parts of the city where French is the prominant language. If you base yourself in Anjou, Riviere-des-Praries (RDP), or Pointe-Aux-Trembles you'll be emersed in French. These places are located on the eastern part of the island (the city is an island). Another place around Montreal and not a small town would be the south shore, perhaps in a city like Loungueil. French is also very prominant there. That way, you can be near the big city (just a bus and metro ride away from the centre of town) and not have to worry about too much English being spoken. Quebec City (Ville de Quebec) is very French, but a lot of English is spoken in the more touristy areas.
If you're looking for small towns, anywhere in the Laurentians, the Eastern Townships, or the Monteregie areas are good, and they aren't too far from bigger cities. You could also try Gaspisie, which is in the Eastern part of the province.
I would probably recommend to stay in and around larger cities, just because it will be easier to find a job. If you locate yourself in a small town where no one understands you (ie: They only speak French), it might be less likely to get a job (and harder to find one since it's a small place and less opportunities).
Hope that helps!
I'm from Pointe-aux-Trembles, although I'm English. But, yes, definately lots of French there. That's how we got to learn French wehen we were kids. Laval is a good place to be immersed in French, as well, although it's definitely got that "suburb" feel to it.
To add on what Katie and Tina said, if you aim for the eastern part of the downtown area (around the St-Denis street, Petite Patrie, Plateau, Outremont, Quartier Latin, etc), you will be just as immersed in French, be in a central location, and be close enough to English districts so you can truly experience bilingualism (and as a tiny oasis you can go to when you just need the comfort of a language you understand better!).
Thank you so much for your help! I have not applied for a Visa yet, but I am slowly getting out of last weeks' frustrating sort of crisis ;-).
Working as a language assistant is a very good idea really, actually the first I thought of as well, but it is for universitiy students only (at least for me, cause neither English nor French is my mother tounge!) :-( . There is a possibility to help in youth hostels, maybe I will try to do that. Which ones would be advisable (i.e. nice and big/busy enough that there is sth to do really, not only in the summer months)?? What about Québec, some of the others seem to be so remote that working outside the hostel (in the evenings,..)to earn a bit of money would be impossible, wouldn't it?
Anyway, still all kind of advice is warmly welcomed ! Thanks in advance!