By The Fab Studentpublished on December 20, 2021
Do you dream of taking the plunge and studying in Canada? Guillaume, Manon, Adrien and Léo did it. Their backgrounds and profiles are very different, but they have one thing in common: they all chose Laval University in Quebec.
Guillaume: from Strasbourg to Quebec
Guillaume arrived in Quebec at age 17, directly after passing his baccalaureate in France. After several language stays with a host family in Canada, he fell in love with the country and chose to do his university studies there.
“Université Laval met all my criteria. Originally from Strasbourg, I didn’t want to get lost in Montreal, I wanted a French-speaking city on a human scale. Quebec seemed more pleasant to me with its historic center and its green spaces. ULaval was also highly ranked with an excellent reputation, while remaining much more affordable than a business school in France. »
Left to do a baccalaureate, the equivalent of the license in France, Guillaume quickly decided that he no longer wanted to leave as he had planned at the start.
“I registered for the baccalaureate and I fell in love with Quebec. I decided to stay and continue my studies to become a chartered professional accountant (CPA, the equivalent of a chartered accountant diploma) with a DESS in public accountancy. Subsequently, I began my career with the international firm EY, then became a financial analyst for iA Financial Group, a group of insurance and wealth management companies that manages $214.5 billion in assets! From a concrete point of view, it is the economic dynamism and the very low unemployment rate that made me realize the great possibilities for the future offered by the region. »
The ULaval experience has allowed Guillaume to build an ambitious career.
“A month after my arrival on campus, I joined a political association in which I met many contacts who have enabled me to have a career today of which I am proud: I was elected councilor of the French from abroad, a position attached to the Consulate of France in Quebec! My time at Laval University, the influence of my professors and community activities gave me the means to get out of my comfort zone to surpass myself and achieve my goals.
It is a daily motivation to live in a country where everything is possible, where there are fewer barriers than in France. My advice would be to take the plunge without hesitation, the adventure is very rewarding. »
Manon and Adrien: an unexpected turning point
Manon and Adrien arrived together in Quebec accompanied by their dog to complete their graduate studies after obtaining their license in France. Manon explains:
“We have two different courses, I was doing a biology degree and I was planning to do an internship or a session abroad as part of a master’s degree.
– Adrien: And I was also finishing a degree and there was no business school that interested me. I was also tempted by an international experience, so we chose Quebec for its French-speaking side and its different culture. »
At Laval University, their respective paths took an unexpected turn, especially for the student:
“Initially, I wanted to do a professional master’s degree with an internship. I opted for a master’s with thesis because I was really interested in the Faculty of Pharmacy. In the end, I liked this course so much that I continued with a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences! After midwifery studies and a reorientation in biology, I found my way. I am well, therefore I stay!
– Adrien: For my part, after one or two sessions, I got on with a teacher whose course was a revelation for me and I asked to be a teaching and research assistant. Then I accepted a research contract to restructure an MBA course and in early 2020 I started my first course load. Even if the pandemic put an end to this activity, I was asked to participate in the writing of a book on this subject. It was my first experience after graduation. And since January, I have been a study management advisor at the FSA, the faculty in which I obtained my MBA in strategic project management. I was lucky to have my fix contracts while waiting for the right opportunity and finally I got my dream job in the company I was aiming for.
– Manon: These opportunities, we would never have had them in France, especially for me in research.
– Adrien: And I would never have obtained a well-paid position with so many responsibilities and very advantageous working conditions just after my diploma! I was lucky enough to work at the FSA during my studies and to have good recommendations, which helped me land this position. »
More than a study project, it was a life project for the couple who are planning their future in Quebec.
“We bought a condo thanks to accessible real estate in Quebec. Our long-term project is to establish ourselves here.
– Manon: We are now permanent residents of Canada. We have never stayed so long in one place, that’s a good sign! »
Do research at Laval University
Finally, Léo came to do his doctorate in law within the Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration.
“I discovered Laval University somewhat by chance during an internship in Luxembourg. I met a former doctoral student who had worked with Mr. Delas, my research director, a specialist in international and European law. I was looking for a faculty in Europe to do my thesis on European migration policies and my contact with Professor Delas allowed me to learn more about the advantages that ULaval offers to doctoral students. First, the freedom to choose the subject and the research axis of his thesis. He was able to guide me towards an interesting and promising subject in the research community. Then, the Quebec doctoral system is different from that in France: it is both structured, with compulsory courses, and flexible, because the doctoral student can organize himself as he sees fit. And in the context of my research, being in Quebec means working in a more neutral environment on European issues. »
More than a place of research, ULaval is for Léo a real place of life and fulfillment.
“I am athletic and I discovered that Université Laval has the largest university sports complex in eastern Canada, the PEPS, on its campus. I did pole vaulting for more than 20 years in France, so I contacted the coach and he included me in the squad of the Rouge et Or, the university team of the University. I am really satisfied to be able to start practicing this sport again, which allows me to take a break from my research work.
I am also a member of the Association of Laval Students Enrolled in Graduate Studies (AELIES). Getting involved is a good way to integrate into the student community. In this association, I carry the voice of foreign students, I find it interesting! »