SFU students ready to reap the benefits of bilingualism with $225K in new bursaries


More SFU students are set to benefit from learning both of Canada’s official languages thanks to a recent substantial contribution. 


The Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne (ACUFC) has awarded SFU’s Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs (OFFA) the management of 75 bursaries totaling $225,000. The $3,000 bursaries, provided under the Postsecondary Studies in French as a Second Language Program, encourage more young English-speaking Canadians to pursue postsecondary studies in French to become bilingual.

The 75 bursaries granted to SFU will be awarded in the 2021-22 academic year to students enrolled in their first year of an undergraduate program in French, where at least 50 per cent of their courses and related activities are in French.

In a competitive job market, the economic advantages of mastering both French and English are clear. A study conducted by the Conference Board of Canada shows that bilingualism leads to better job opportunities and higher salaries.

"Living in a province where the tradition of French-immersion education is so strong, SFU is pleased to enable English-speaking youth to pursue post-secondary education in French and thus have everything they need to achieve their best career potential," says Elizabeth Elle, SFU vice provost and associate vice president, Learning and Teaching.

Indeed, SFU is the only university in British Columbia to offer the opportunity to take a variety of courses and programs in French. Whether you want to add a French dimension to your studies or to pursue a bilingual degree, the options are flexible and accessible. 

Gino LeBlanc, director of OFFA, says "the majority of students who follow a program in French at SFU are Anglophone." Many support services are available to ensure the success of anyone ready to take up this opportunity.

The Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs’ mission is to coordinate, promote, and support the development of programs and courses offered in French at Simon Fraser University. It also organizes scientific and cultural activities within the French-speaking community to promote a plural and inclusive Francophonie.

SFU is the only university in British Columbia to be part of the Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne (ACUFC), an association of 22 francophone or bilingual post-secondary institutions located in eight provinces across the country to promote and increase the access to post-secondary education in French in Canada.

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It’s rewarding to be bilingual

  • 84% of Canadian employers prefer to hire a bilingual person.
  • Only 10% of young professionals (25-29 years old) speak both official languages.
  • Bilingual people (FR/ANG) earn on average 10% more than unilingual people.

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